Hepner Hall, one of the original buildings on Montezuma Mesa, was constructed as the Arts and Letters Building in 1931. It was renamed in 1976 in honor of Walter R. Hepner, president of the college from 1935-1952. It was during Hepner's administration that the campus name was changed from San Diego State Teacher's College to San Diego State College.
This building has become the symbol of the campus, with its open-faced mission style bell tower and archway, leading from the Campanile Walkway and Main Quad to the Hepner Hall Quad. The tower bells are rung only once a year - during Commencement ceremonies.