Willard Hall

Exterior of Willard Hall


Born in 1839 and passing away in 1898, Frances Willard  is remembered for an activist stance in the prohibition movement as well as rallying support for important reforms in the areas of education, prisons, and labor.[1. “Frances Willard (1839-1898),” Frances Willard House Museum House Museum, http://www.franceswillardhouse.org/Frances_Willard.html (accessed February 21, 2012).] She was president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union from 1879 to 1898, where under her leadership the WCTU grew into a national force.[2. “Frances Willard (1839-1898)” http://www.franceswillardhouse.org/Frances_Willard.html.] Her best known accomplishments are aiding in the formation of kindergarten,  combating child labor, and  raising the age of sexual consent from seven and ten years old to sixteen years old.[3. “Frances Willard (1839-1898)”http://www.franceswillardhouse.org/Frances_Willard.html.] Frances Willard died before the passage of the eighteenth and nineteenth amendments to the United States Constitution.  She was instrumental in gaining the support needed for their passing. The eighteenth amendment created prohibition and the nineteenth amendment gave women the right to vote.

Building History

Willard Hall is the oldest residence hall on the University of Mary Washington campus and construction was completed in 1911.[4. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History,1908-2008 (Fredericksburg, VA: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 6.] Willard Hall is named after Frances Willard who was a well-known temperance leader.[5. “Willard Hall,” Residence Life, http://students.umw.edu/residencelife/housing-and-operations/first-year-residence-halls/willard-hall/ (accessed February 21, 2012).] Willard Hall was the first and only residence hall on the Mary Washington  College campus until Virginia Hall was constructed two years later. It was first called “The Dormitory” by residents of the college.[6. Edward Alvey, Jr., History of Mary Washington College 1908-1972 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1974), 39.] When Willard Hall was first constructed, it was used as a residence hall, dining hall, infirmary, post office, gift shop, classroom and office space.[7. Alvey, 173.] Willard Hall was the only dining hall on campus until the completion of Seacobeck Hall in the 1930s.[8. Alvey, 173.] When Willard Hall was remodeled in the late 1970s, the color scheme chosen was “fire engine red, bright orange, fuchsia, lavender, black, peacock blue, and white.”[9. Crawley, 217.] Currently,  Willard Hall houses 181 upperclass men and women as a residence hall.[10. “Willard Hall” University of Mary Washington Residence Life. “http://students.umw.edu/residencelife/housing-and-operations/first-year-residence-halls/willard-hall/ (accessed April 29, 2012.]

Willard Hall, March 2012

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