Completed in 1951 at a cost of $298,000, the student center was financed by the gifts of the alumni, students, and friends in memory of the 39 Wheaton students who died in World War II and to honor the more than 1,600 students who served in that war. The MSC once housed the Stupe, college post office (CPO), and offices for many student activities like the Tower and Record. An early pamphlet described the new building and listed some of the rules for its use, such as "No Rook Playing and No Playing of Boogie-Woogie, Jazz, or Otherwise Abusing the Piano."
Once the Todd M. Beamer Center was completed the building was vacant for several years as the college administration determined how best to put the building to use. In 2007 the building was completed renovated and reopened in early 2008, housing the Business and Economics and Politics and International Relations departments, along with the Urban Studies program. Additionally, the J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy is housed there and contains a small exhibit highlighting Hastert's life and career. Eventually Hastert's professional papers will be housed in the Hastert Reading Room.