Malloy Hall was built in 1965 during the presidency of Dr. Morton Christy Cunningham. This 56,899 gross square foot building is presently home to the departments of Music, Communication Studies, Journalism, Student Publications and Theatre. Palmer Hall, a 110-seat classroom and musical performance area and Felten Start Theatre, with a seating capacity of 316, are also located in Malloy Hall.
Malloy Hall is named for Henry Edward Malloy who was employed by the university in 1913 to teach chorus. Helen Bovee was hired to organize the Music Department in 1912. When she resigned in 1914, Mr. Malloy was placed in charge of music. The department grew rapidly under Mr. Malloy's direction and soon had six instructors, more than any other department. Mr. Malloy developed the annual Music Festival which was known throughout western Kansas. Mr. Malloy directed a 700-voice chorus in singing Handel's "Messiah" at the first festival in 1919. In 1928, he brought the first metropolitan opera to Hays and to western Kansas. He invited hundreds of boys and girls to participate in music contests on campus. His vision of providing music education for every western Kansas youth was becoming a reality when he died on October 14, 1937. The number of band programs organized in 200 western Kansas high schools increased from 38 bands in 1913 to 180 bands during his tenure at the university.