This 1950s building was constructed during the Dixiecrat movement and named after one of the area’s most well-known military figures, a Texas Ranger who fought in the Mexican and Civil Wars. Unlike other campus buildings that have seen departments come and go, the “Dale Building” was purpose-built for military sciences classes and the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. It sports an indoor gun range, armory, classrooms, and a small gym with changing rooms and showers. The nearby drill field is the site of morning and afternoon physical training, and it offers bleacher seating for Drill Review. Further to the east is a challenging obstacle course known as the “meat grinder.” North of the building is the “War Zone,” a small outdoor paintball field.

One interesting feature of the Dale Building is that it does not have a single, distinctive entrance. Rather, the large, single-story building features many modest entrances and exits that all lead like spokes to an open, central hub. A bronze statue of Edmund Dale in uniform sternly stands watch at one end of the lobby, overlooking the benches and study tables that pepper the area. Legend says that Captain Dale will fight again should the need arise. A favorite ROTC anecdote is that in 1970 someone upset over the war in Viet Nam stormed into the Dale building and took aim at the first person in uniform. The shot missed, hit the Edmund Dale statue, and ricocheted back to the shooter, who was struck dead.

Of course urban legends thrive on campus, but like many buildings this one is purported to be haunted. Late at night, students leaving the building sometimes meet a sad-looking fellow student in out-of-date uniform approaching down the hall. The students call him the “sad soldier” and he usually only appears once every four or five years. Because he looks so real, most people usually describe their realization that something was amiss only when they noticed that he makes no sound. The ghost morosely traverses the hall and disappears when he enters the central lobby.

The other ghost is Sgt. Alvarez, the building’s first quartermaster. Sgt. Alvarez was a crusty WWII veteran who had lost his leg and was thus passed over for service in Korea. The Sergeant was well known both for his foul moods and foul mouth.  He was especially notorious for foul browbeating he would give any students who failed to take care of the equipment he issued them. Sgt. Alvarez haunts the armory, where he sometimes curses at careless trainees.

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