The Meal Hall (formally Becker Hall) of Marshall College was a cafeteria building with Gothic arches and high-pitched roof, filled with chairs and long table with the kitchen at the back where the cooks readied the meals. The hall sometimes doubled as a lecture hall, and some students used the building as a study place during off hours. Others tried to score food off the kitchen staff.

The Meal Hall was originally named after a 17th century English scientist called Samuel J. Becker but around 1906, one of the man's descendants discovered his diary with the revelation that Becker had made a living stealing the ideas and inventions of other scientists and students. Searching for a new name, the idea of naming the building "Murphy Hall" after the college's first Head Cook was selected but was then retracted when records showed that Murphy had been an embezzler during his campus tenure.

The incidents birthed the idea of "the Cafeteria Curse" and it was decided the Meal Hall would not be named after a person.

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