Irma Giffels

Giffels Auditorium

Irma Fitch was born in Hindsville, Arkansas, in 1904, and was the first woman from Madison County to graduate from the University of Arkansas, receiving a degree in home economics in 1925. She obtained a master's degree in nutrition from the University of Tennessee and became a regional home economist for the Westinghouse Corporation.

Later, she took a job with the National Association of Food Chains, where she developed materials coordinated with the federal government's nutrition program. She wrote weekly bulletins on nutrition topics that were distributed to consumers through grocery stores. She married Raymond Giffels in 1946, and returned to Arkansas after his death.   She has been a significant benefactor of the University, especially in her sponsorship of the restoration of the auditorium in Old Main, which was named in her honor.

To reserve space in Giffels auditorium:

  1. Read the policy below.
  2. Download the Giffels Auditorium Reservation Form
  3. Email the completed form to Debbie Power at

The following policy is intended to ensure that all uses of Giffels auditorium are consistent with University policy and appropriate to the character of the facility, as well as to facilitate a smooth working relationship between the staff of Fulbright College and potential users of Giffels Auditorium. The policy is designed to

  1. Provide basic information/considerations for potential users of the auditorium outlining availability and specifications;
  2. Establish parameters for use of the space:
    • priorities and limitations regarding permissible uses
    • responsibilities of the user
    • resources available and contact information
    • agreements and expectations
  3. Ensure continued care, maintenance, and responsible custodianship of Giffels Auditorium as:
    • a facility dedicated for advancing the University’s primary educational mission
    • an irreplaceable historic landmark
    • a showcase for Fulbright College and University of Arkansas events
    • a gracious, welcoming space for future users/patrons

These guidelines are subject to all applicable policies of the University of Arkansas, including, but not limited to, Board of Trustees Policy 705.1 and Fayetteville Policies and Procedures Policy 708.0, which are incorporated herein by reference.

Purposes of Giffels Auditorium Under University Policy; General Priorities for Use and Restrictions on Use

Pursuant to University policy, Giffels Auditorium, as with other University facilities, exists for the primary purpose of serving a planned and scheduled program of educational activity. When not required for regularly planned educational or research programs, and subject to other University policies, Giffels Auditorium may be made available for extracurricular use to colleges, departments, and other university organizational units; faculty; staff; students; University-related foundations and University alumni association; and registered student organizations. Use of the space must not interfere with educational activities of the University, which take priority over all other uses. Moreover, such use is conditioned on receiving prior approval consistent with the procedures described in these guidelines.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, all uses of Giffels shall remain subordinate to the University’s right to use the facilities at any time to advance the educational mission of the institution, and Fulbright College reserves the right to modify or cancel reservations accordingly.

Subject to all other University policies, use of Giffels Auditorium and other university facilities for private, for-profit business activities is prohibited. The University regulates any use of its buildings and grounds for solicitation, including fund-raising activities. Giffels shall not be used by groups or organizations for private purposes, for the conduct of private business and/or to raise money for projects not connected with a University activity except as otherwise permitted by University policy.

At all times, the Chancellor, Provost, and Fulbright College Dean have first priority for use of the space. Consistent with the priorities for usage discussed above, if one of these officials should need to use Giffels Auditorium, even on short notice, Fulbright College shall have authority to postpone or cancel a reservation. Should this occur, Fulbright College will provide assistance in seeking an alternate location for the event; however, alternate space is not guaranteed.

Office Hours & Hours of Availability

Inquiries and reservations are handled by the Dean’s Office, open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Giffels Auditorium is available for use Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and may be available on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. if/when a staff member is available. The space is not available on holidays or University breaks.

Approved Events

Subject to all applicable University policies, Giffels Auditorium may only be used for the following activities: University classes; University-sponsored guest speakers, panel discussions and forums; and University-sponsored special educational events, including recruiting, orientation, and training seminars and programs.  Further, when available, Giffels may be approved for use by other University entities for the above purposes or for organizational functions such as pageants, ceremonies, or initiations. Finally, memorial services may be considered for current or former University students, faculty, and staff. All use of Giffels Auditorium is subject to users obeying all guidelines and prohibitions.


Fixed seating capacity in Giffels Auditorium is 282. The maximum seating capacity with the addition of portable chairs is 324. Any use in excess of these maximum capacities is strictly prohibited.


Access accommodations and services are available, in accordance with American with Disabilities Act regulations. It is the sole responsibility of the event sponsor, and not Fulbright College or the University of Arkansas, to ascertain and provide for the needs of event participants.

Organizer Presence Required

The event organizer must be present throughout the event with a copy of the approved reservation form for the duration of the function. The form must be presented to University officials if requested. The event may be terminated by University officials for failure to have a copy of the approved reservation form on the premises.

Decorations & Alteration of University Property

Alteration or physical modification of University property is not permitted. The organizer must have decorations approved and/or inspected for safety by Fulbright College and/or other appropriate University officials in advance. In particular, materials taped or tacked on the walls of the auditorium are prohibited, in order to preserve the building’s wall coverings and fixtures.

Responsibility for Costs or Damage

Users of Giffels Auditorium must agree to be financially responsible for all costs associated with the use, including but not limited to security costs, cleanup, or damage to University property. University employees, students or organizations may also be subject to disciplinary action for misuse or damage. If warranted by the nature of the event, Fulbright College may require a user to obtain appropriate insurance coverage and/or to provide a separate written indemnification of the University, its officials and employees for any claims pertaining to the use of the facility. Furthermore, the University will not be held liable for any costs or liabilities of any nature associated with the event, including but not limited to any lost or damaged goods.


The University of Arkansas is a no-smoking campus. Smoking is strictly prohibited. Burning of candles and incense is also prohibited.

Inclement Weather

The Inclement Weather Policy of the University of Arkansas will be used to make building closure decisions. Wather information is also available via the University of Arkansas Inclement Weather hotline (575-7000) or by clicking on the RazALERT emergency notification link on the University of Arkansas home page to receive information regarding the University of Arkansas closing. In the event that inclement weather occurs, the Fulbright College Dean’s Office will contact all primary contacts to discuss options of holding, canceling, or rescheduling the event. Event contacts and organizers are responsible for notifying all participants.


Prospective users are strongly encouraged to provide their requests for use several weeks in advance of the event. Please be sure to include sufficient time for access, set-up, and clean up when scheduling an event. Additionally, be prepared to vacate Giffels Auditorium and the building at or before your stated end time. This is particularly important on evenings and weekends, as a courtesy to our staff member responsible for securing the building after use.

At all times, any reservation approval is conditioned upon full compliance with all University policies and all reservation requirements. Fulbright College reserves the right to disapprove the request of any entity that fails to comply with University policies or state or federal law, or which has damaged University facilities at any time.

Equipment & Audiovisual Considerations

Event organizers must contact Fulbright IT Services at or 479-575-6066 at least two weeks in advance of the reserved date for the event. Questions or concerns about projection capabilities and program suitability should be discussed with the audio/visual tech at that time.

Technology in Giffels Auditorium is capable of projecting images from a document camera, VHS and DVD players, a PC, or a personal laptop. The resolutions possible for computer projection will not exceed 1280x1024 resolution and 32-bit True Color. While excellent for PowerPoint presentations, films, and DVD’s, the projection is not a 100% art-quality reproduction. As a result, anyone who is planning to use the space for presentations of art or photography are encouraged to test their equipment and images well in advance to make sure that the image quality is within acceptable parameters for their work.

There are two microphones available, a wireless handheld microphone and a wireless lapel microphone, both of which are suitable for personal amplification. Additionally, there are some lighting controls that may be tailored to your event. However, any advanced audio (for musical performances) or lighting will need to be provided by Media Services at the global campus.

Some other space usage considerations:

  • the control panel is strictly off-limits to facility users
  • contact Media Services in Continuing Education (479-575-5710) to arrange for closed-circuit TV, filming, aisle microphones, etc.
  • audio/visual equipment or extra seating may be reserved through Facilities Management (479-575-5050); audio/visual equipment and assistance is less elaborate, but less costly than going through Media Services.
  • viewing of copyrighted media may require securing of public showing rights (see "Film Copyright Policies," available on the Associated Student Government website)
  • additional tables may be set up, either in the hallway or in the auditorium, by contacting Fulbright College (Debbie Power, 479-575-3684) least 3 days prior to the scheduled event
  • tablecloths or skirting for tables may be rented from an off-campus vendor or from Chartwells at the University of Arkansas Union (479-575-2185) with at least 24 hours advance notice
  • Fulbright College does not provide furniture or props for “interview” settings, presentations, plays, etc.
  • Fulbright College has no spotlight available


If requested by a university official, a prospective user must contact the University of Arkansas Police Department (479-575-2222) to enable an assessment of potential security needs, including estimated costs to the organizer. If the UAPD Director or designee recommends that security be provided for the event, UAPD will provide a brief description of the expected arrangements and estimated costs; such costs shall be the responsibility of the event organizer, along with any other required costs, as a condition of approval of use of the space.


Parking space on the University campus is very limited and Fulbright College does not have authority to grant parking privileges to users of Giffels Auditorium. Users of the space and their guests are fully subject to all parking policies of the University of Arkansas and will be expected to pay any parking fees or fines incurred. Parking arrangements for events in Giffels must be arranged directly between the user and the University’s Transit and Parking Department (479-575-PARK or 479-575-7275). Upon request, Fulbright College will verify to Transit and Parking that it has reserved Giffels Auditorium for a specific event.

Additional Requirements and Prohibitions

Prohibited in Old Main (entire building) are:

  • rice, birdseed, and confetti
  • alcohol
  • attachments to any fixture
  • tapers, candles, or incense

Additionally, the following are prohibited in Giffels Auditorium:

  • food
  • beverages
  • signs (except on easels)
  • flowers must be hand-held or in vases and may not be attached in any way to fixtures or structure

Updated 11/11/14