The Arnold Johnson Lien House opened in 1999 and is a part of the Robert S. Brookings Residential College. The dormitories on the upper level are modern housing primarily for freshmen students. On the lowest level Lien houses the Office of Residential Life and Ursa's Cafe. Ursa's Cafe is a popular hangout on campus providing coffee, a place to study, and various student shows and events.
Arnold Johnson Lien earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1913 and came to Washington University in 1924. His reputation on campus was so powerful that students spoke of taking "Professor Lien" rather than "political science." His interests ranged across the whole breadth of human endeavor, and he inspired students to pursue a wide variety of subjects and study. Though shy and reclusive outside the classroom, Lien won the affection of hundreds of students, many of whom he helped with both personal and financial problems.
A native of Minnesota, Lien served as a captain in the American Red Cross during World War I, doing general welfare and hospital work in France, Luxembourg and Germany. He died in 1963. A scholarship named for Lien is awarded yearly to three entering freshmen, providing an annual stipend and full tuition for four years of undergraduate study in social science disciplines in Arts and Sciences.