Ylvisaker Hall, pronounced "il-vuh-soccer" and commonly called "Ylvi" ("ILL-vee") by the students, is a monument to a Luther College president who was dedicated to the building of the campus. Built as a complement to the freshman women's dormitory, Brandt Hall, Ylvisaker Hall is situated just south of the Regents Towers and north of Valders Hall of Science.
During the years of 1964-1967 the student body at Luther College experienced a rapid growth due to the "baby boomers" reaching college age. At the time of its construction, Ylvisaker Hall was needed as a freshmen men's dormitory. The enrollment of men in 1964, when the hall was opened, was substantially higher than that of women. It wasn't until 1970 that this discrepancy became equal followed by a reversal in the very next year.
Ylvisaker Hall needed to house the entire male freshman class when it was built. The design called for a long three story building which included large study and recreation lounges on the east end of the building. The person put in charge of the building was W.O. Kalsow, the previous chief financial officer, who became the assistant vice president of plant expansion. In the summer of 1964 there was a frantic rush to finish the dormitory before freshman move in day in the fall. In order to finish, Kalsow insisted the contractors work on Labor Day. Not surprisingly, a union representative showed up to encourage workers to walk off the job, but Kaslow ordered the man off the campus as a trespasser. Work continued until the end of the day. On the day that the freshmen moved in, faculty members were carrying the mattresses in along side the freshmen students.
The building was in use when it was dedicated in 1964 and named after former Luther College President J. Wilhelm Ylvisaker, who had retired in 1961. Ylvisaker Hall today stands as a memorial to this soft-spoken man and to the entire Ylvisaker family who has contributed so much to the college.
Ylvisaker Hall was made into a co-educational facility when the demographics of Luther College made it necessary. In 2002 it was renovated to its current interior although the exterior integrity was kept. Ylvisaker Hall still stands with Brandt Hall as the two all freshmen dormitories on the Luther College campus.