The Round House was originally the Guard House of the University back when it was a military campus in the 1860s under the 3rd president, Landon Cabell Garland. It was built to protect the students on guard duty from the elements. It was also used as a headquarters for the University Drum Corps. The building is one of the few structures on campus that remained after the Federal troops burned the University.
When the University re-opened in 1871, the guard house was used as the physician’s office, but in 1888 it was in such bad condition that people said it should be torn down. The trustees commented that it would be breaking a link to the past to destroy such a historical part of the University and proceeded to remodel it with a safe to hold the University records instead. In 1933 the Jasons, a men’s honor society that still exists at UA today, was permitted to use the round house as its home and thus it was known as the “Jasons Shrine.”
In 1990 the building was converted into a memorial for all the University’s honor societies.
Courtesy of the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library
Information collected from The University of Alabama : a guide to the campus by Robert Oliver Mellown (Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, c1988), and The University of Alabama, a pictorial history by Suzanne Rau Wolfe (University : University of Alabama Press, c1983). Historical images are courtesy of the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, The University of Alabama and are reproduced with permission.