The General Electric company provided the impetus in Cordiner Hall's production with a $500,000 gift to Whitman College. Whitman then had a fund raising effort led by President Louis B. Perry (President 1959-1967). Through the gifts of many friends and alumni Whitman's fund raising efforts garnered $1,250,000. The hall was built at a cost of $1,600,000, not including $200,000 for site acquisition.
Cordiner Hall was built on a two acre site by a vast team of workers who tirelessly worked on the project. The architectural firm Naramore, Bain, Brady & Johanson designed the building, while many other companies, most of them based in the Walla Walla area attended to items such as insulation, carpeting, glasswork, seating and the like.
Cordiner Hall was dedicated on April 20,1968.
"This Whitman College accepts this auditorium and names it Cordiner Hall to recognize an illustrious alumnus, an outstanding leader in business and industry, and a devoted and loyal American."
— Donald Sherwood, and The Board of Trustees of Whitman College in a written statement commemorating Cordiner Hall.