According to the Lyman Briggs FAQ, the chance of them being able to honor non-Lyman Briggs roommate requests is rare, as Holmes Hall must accommodate all of its Briggs students first and foremost. However, it is not entirely impossible.
The oldest standing building at Michigan State is currently Cowles House, the official residence of the president. Although it is technically only two walls and the foundation that are original, they were built in 1857, just two years after the founding of Michigan State. You can see my previous feature on Cowles House here.
The oldest building that is still standing in its entirety would be Linton Hall, built in 1881. Following that we have most of the Laboratory Row buildings - Eustace-Cole (1888), Cook (1889), Old Botany (1892), and then Morrill Hall, which, despite being built in 1900, is often mislabeled as the oldest on campus.
William J. Beal, certainly one of the most notable individuals in Michigan State’s early history, was always tied to his research and quest for scientific discovery. In 1872, he wrote a letter of admiration to another ground-breaking scientist - Charles Darwin. Beal included a paper he had written on the cross-fertilization of corn, showing that our college had a commitment to genetics research from the beginning.
Darwin wrote back promptly and a transcription of the letter is included below:
I am much obliged for your extremely kind notice of my book on Cross Fertilization and for your note of May 2. I have further to thank you for a copy of your article on Hairs [grasses] etc. I am glad that you intend to experiment.
I remain, Dear Sir, Yours faithfully,