By the mid-1940s, the facilities of Busch Hall, built in 1900, were not sufficient to support newer research in atomic sciences. New facilities were needed, and they came to the University thanks to the generosity of William Louderman, an alumnus of the University and chairman of Louderman Investment Company, St. Louis. Later, Busch Hall was converted into class and office space for several humanities departments in Arts & Sciences.
Louderman was a native St. Louisan, born in March 1868, and graduated from the Manual Training School, a division of Washington University that no longer exists. He began his career with Sels & Company merchants at the age of 23, and pursued work in the brick industry until 1908, when he formed Louderman Investment Company; he soon became President, and then the Chairman of the Board. With his two brothers, he built a 12-story office building in downtown St. Louis, and later served as President of the St. Louis Stock Exchange from 1911 to 1912. Active in Masonic organizations, he was a member of Scottish Rite and Moolah Temple, and was a 32nd degree Mason. He was a member of the St. Louis Athletic Club and contributed to its rebuilding after a deadly fire struck. He lived there until his death.