Jefferson Hall

Jefferson Hall

Namesake

     Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. Ironically, he died on Independence Day, July 4, 1826 at Monticello, the fifteen years after he helped established the United States of America. Jefferson was most noted for being a politician, but he was a historian, philosopher, public official, and plantation owner. Through these jobs, he served his country for over five decades. Thomas Jefferson is best known for writing the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, as well as being the third president of the United States and the founder of the University of Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson inherited 5,000 acres of his land in Virginia from his father before he married Martha Wayles Skelton in 1772.[1. “Thomas Jefferson,” The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/thomasjefferson (accessed March 8, 2012).] Martha and Thomas only spent ten years together before she passed away.[2. “Thomas Jefferson,” The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/thomasjefferson (accessed March 8, 2012).] In 1785, Jefferson became the minister to France and sided with the Republican party on matters of France’s revolutionary cause.[3.  “Thomas Jefferson,” The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/thomasjefferson (accessed March 8, 2012).] While Jefferson was president he was best known for the Louisiana Purchase, but he also cut the national debt by a third.[4. “Thomas Jefferson,” The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/thomasjefferson (accessed March 8, 2012).] After Jefferson retired, he focused on creating the University of Virginia that was later linked to Mary Washington College.


Building History

     Jefferson Hall was named after Thomas Jefferson.[5. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History,1908-2008 (Fredericksburg, VA: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 82.] Jefferson Hall opened in 1967.[6. Ibid.] It currently houses 192 co-ed, first-year students.[7. “Jefferson Hall.” University of Mary Washington Residence Life. http://students.umw.edu/residencelife/housing-and-operations/first-year-residence-halls/jefferson-hall/ (accessed April 20, 2012).] “The residence hall was the first to have elevators on campus and also the first to have single-student rooms based on the acknowledgement that some students wanted a room to themselves.[8. Edward Alvey, Jr., History of Mary Washington College 1908-1972 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1974), 481.] The construction of Jefferson Hall helped complete the quadrangle where the former reservoir used by the city of Fredericksburg resided.[9. Crawley, 82.]

Jefferson Hall, March 2012

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