The Beginning of Bessey Hall
In 1913, the Nebraska Legislature acted to provide a Special Building Fund for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an overdue acknowledgement of the University's horribly inadequate physical plant and grounds. Corresponding with the Special Building Fund was the first major campus expansion to the east across 12th street to 14th street, and from R to Vine. This land acquisition more than doubled the size of the original city campus, enlarging it to 37 acres (Logan-Peters).
In the spring of 1915, Bessey Hall was planned to be built shortly after Bessey's death in February of that same year. Although it is doubtful that Bessey was involved with the planning of this particular building, he had expressed interest in a new science building that the ideal laboratory would be oriented to the north, to take advantage of the soft northern light while using a microscope. Even before Bessey died, Chancellor Avery had expressed a desire to name a science building in his honor (Walsh).When the construction on Bessey was completed in 1916, it was already named Bessey Hall. This building was built in honor of one of the greatest professors in the University's history, and of course, in accordance with Bessey's wishes, laboratories were placed on the north side of the building.