In September 1941, Sayles Hall was opened as a men's dormitory with accomodations for 134 students. The dormitory also contained a billiard room, gymnasium, and dining hall. Sayles Hall had been dedicated and formally named on Alumni Weekend, June 14, 1941. Purchase of the land and the construction of the building was funded by donations to the Alumni Association, which voted to name the building for then Acting President John M. Sayles, in recognition of his many years of service to the Association.
John M. Sayles
As the long time chairman of the Alumni Association's funding arm, the Dormitory Committee of the Benevolent Association, Sayles, with Anna E. Pierce, is widely credited with successfully guiding the fund-raising campaign that purchased the land comprising Alumni Quadrangle and built the first two dormitories on the site, Pierce and Sayles Halls.