In honor of Luther College's Centennial Year, on May 8, 1961, the cornerstone of the Centennial Union was laid by A. Alvon Nelson (class of 1929), pastor of First Lutheran Church and vice president of the Iowa District, ALC. The Union was completed in 1962 and the bookshop and canteen, which were originally in Valers Hall of Science, were relocated to the new space. The opening of Centennial Union could be described as an epoch-making event. It became a true center for student life, something which heretofore had not existed. The Union featured a lounge more spacious than any the college had ever had. It became the seat of the office of admissions, had recreational activities, a lecture hall used to sometime show films, and even served (briefly) as a chapel in 1969.
The main dining hall was the principal facility of the building. For the first time since World War II, the college was able to seat the entire student body at once. See a photo of it here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/luthercollegearchives/1485817836/
[Stability and Change: Luther College in its Second Century, Leigh D. Jordahl and Harris E. Kaasa]