In 1871, as the enrollment at Kemper Hall increased, a four-story wing was added onto the back of the Durkee Mansion. The first floor included a larger kitchen and dining room. In 1891, the dining room expanded again.
The back of the dining room featured hutch cabinets filled with dishes and glassware on either side of a large fireplace. Above the fireplace was a three-panel scene depicting St. Francis of Assisi surrounded by four children, several small animals, and many birds. This mural was painted in 1911 by Edith Jane Bacon, an 1897 alumna, who eventually became an art instructor at Kemper Hall.
Now known as Founders Hall, the former Kemper Hall dining room is now used mainly for business meetings, parties, and receptions. It is decorated in soft greens and muted red, carpeted, and handicap accessible.
Special thanks to the Kemper Hall Alumnae Association for providing historical information from archived documents, oral histories, interviews, and yearbooks.