University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

Posts in the 1950s category

Then Photograph

H. Bagby, “Randolph Hall in the Fall,” n.d., H. Bagby Collection, Simpson Library Special Collections, University of Mary Washington.

Now Photograph

Jessica Reingold, “Randolph Hall,” February 19, 2014, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, University of Mary Washington.

Photograph editing by Jessica Reingold

Then Photograph

“Fine Arts Center,” 1953, The Centennial Collection, UMW Digital Archives, University of Mary Washington.

Now Photograph

Alexandria Parrish, “Dupont,” February 19 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish. University of Mary Washington.

Photograph editing by Conner Allen

From its beginnings, Mary Washington has grown, constructing and incorporating numerous buildings across its campus. These expansions are important celebrations, recognizing the continued evolution of UMW. New buildings both remind us of our past and encourage us to look to the future. As can be seen below, the dedication of the Fine Arts Center in 1953 was a truly significant occasion, drawing large crowds.1 The same was true for the groundbreaking for the new Information and Technology Convergence Center in 2012, which was led by President Hurley and the UMW Board of Visitors.2

Show 2 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 57.
  2. University of Mary Washington Media and Public Relations, “UMW Celebrates Construction of Convergence Center,” University of Mary Washington, http://www.umw.edu/news/2012/09/20/umw-celebrates-construction-of-technology-convergence-center/ (Accessed April 18, 2014).

There have been a variety of formal events at UMW throughout the years. Some of the more iconic formal events have included the Junior Ring Dance, the Senior Ball, and the Spring Formal, all of which today are put on by the Class Council. The Junior Ring dance, however, another notable formal function, began in the 1950s as a part of the Junior Ring Ceremony where juniors are presented with their college rings.1 The Junior Ring Dance “developed in the course of a quarter century to become the biggest campus social event of the spring semester” and is still put on today, but with much less of an emphasis as a major school event, and more as an opportunity for juniors to receive their junior glasses.2 The Grad Ball, a dance for graduating seniors held during “Dead Week,” (the week between the last day of classes and Commencement) is more popular today since it is the last time the seniors can dress up and go to a University event with their friends as students at the school. The Grad Ball is also where seniors can get their senior glasses. Lastly, Spring Formal, known for its off-campus venues, started in the 1990s.3 Spring Formal today is the only Class Council event that costs money for a ticket since the venue is always off-campus. The venue is kept a secret in order to keep the event safe and without drunk driving since those students who are over 21 can consume alcohol at the formal.

Formal Function at Dodd Auditorium, 1940

Formal Function at Dodd Auditorium, 1940
From left to right: Winnie Hudson, Leighton Stevens, Mary Wilcox, Katherine Roberts, Lee Keith, and Harold Weiss
"Formal Function at Dodd Auditorium," 1940, The Centennial Collection, UMW Digital Archives, University of Mary Washington.

Junior Ring Dance, March 13, 2014

Junior Ring Dance at the Jepson Alumni Center, March 13, 2014
From left to right: Gibran Parvez, Jessica Reingold, Elizabeth Henry, Catherine LeBouton, Lauren Johnson
Ethan Lane, "Junior Ring Dance at the Jepson Alumni Center," Junior Ring Dance, March 13, 2014, UMW Class Council Facebook, University of Mary Washington.


Show 3 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 450.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid., 719.

Trench Hill was acquired by the College in 1947. The College remodeled it and designated it for academically talented students and later for the College’s first male students.1 Eventually it became the headquarters of the Alumni Association. In 2004, it was converted to an renamed “Kalnen Inn at Trench Hill, after the alumna benefactor Elizabeth Kalnen ’37.”2

The Jepson Alumni Executive Center is 24,000-square-feet was created by incorporating an addition to Trench Hill “to create a U-shaped, tri-unit structure.”3 The gates to the Jepson Alumni Executive Center are refurbished gates from 1900 France that were commissioned by Henry Phipps, who was a business partner of Andrew Carnegie.4

Today, the Kalnen Inn and the Jepson Executive Alumni continue as a bed-and-breakfast and as a venue available for events.

Jepson Alumni Center (formally Kalnen Inn and Trench Hill), September 22, 2013

Kalnen Inn, September 22, 2013
Jessica Reingold, "Kalnen Inn," September 22, 2013, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, University of Mary Washington.

Jepson Alumni Center, September 22, 2013

Jepson Alumni Executive Center, September 22, 2013
Jessica Reingold, "Jepson Alumni Executive Center," September 22, 2013, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, University of Mary Washington.


Fountain at the Jepson Alumni Center, September 22, 2013

Fountain at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center, September 22, 2013
Jessica Reingold, "Fountain at the Jepson Executive Alumni Center," September 22, 2013, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, University of Mary Washington.

Show 4 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 57.
  2. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 547.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.

As noted in University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008,  “in 1944 the College had purchased for $50,000 a brick residence located diagonally across from George Washington Hall.”1 The house was named Brent Hall in honor of Margaret Brent, an Englishwoman who came to America in 1638. 2 Margaret Brent eventually acquired “the site of what would become Fredericksburg.”3 From 1944 to 1947, Brent House served as the President’s home. After that it was the French language house residence hall, and then was “converted to administrative office space.”4

Today Brent House is where Emergency Management and Safety and the University Police are located.

Brent House, February 19, 2014

Brent House, February 19, 2014
Jessica Reingold, "Brent House," February 19, 2014, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, University of Mary Washington.

Show 4 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 56.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.

According to University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008, when the amphitheater was “Completed in 1923, it was built into a natural slope in a grove of trees just below the main campus and could initially accommodate approximately eight hundred people, a capacity that was doubled some years later.” 1  Dedicated on May 11, 1923, “the amphitheater was an impressive venue” 2 that served as the site for many campus events, such as senior plays, May Day performances, and commencement; however, as the campus expanded, the amphitheater was used less frequently. 3

The University of Mary Washington announced in March 2014 that Robert S. and Alice Andrews Jepson ’64 donated a $1 million challenge gift towards the restoration of the amphitheater.  Though a timeline for the project has not yet been released, sources say that “the restoration would return the amphitheater to its 1952-1953 appearance by repairing and reconstructing damaged and missing pieces. It would provide seating for approximately 600 people on weather-resilient benches and chairs while incorporating accommodations for ADA accessibility.” 4

Amphitheater Now

Amphitheater, 2014
Carly Winfield, "Amphitheater," March 21, 2014, Personal Collection of Carly Winfield, University of Mary Washington.

new amphitheater rendering

Amphitheater, future
Train & Partners Architects, Future Rendering of UMW Amphitheather, http://www.umw.edu/news/2014/03/01/jepsons-give-1-million-to-restore-umw-amphitheater/.

Show 4 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 22.
  2. Ibid., 23.
  3. Ibid., 23.
  4. Brynn Boyer, “Jepsons Give $1 Million to Restore UMW Amphitheater,” Media and Public Relations, University of Mary Washington, posted on March 1, 2014, http://www.umw.edu/news/2014/03/01/jepsons-give-1-million-to-restore-umw-amphitheater/ (Accessed April 6, 2014).

The Fine Arts Center was built in the 1950s, during a wave of new construction across campus.1 The trio of buildings consists of DuPont, Melchers, and Pollard, which now house the departments of art, art history, music, and theatre & dance. DuPont is named in honor of Jessie Ball duPont, a prominent philanthropist.2 Melchers is named in honor of Julius Garibaldi “Gari” Melchers, an internationally-acclaimed painter who moved to Fredericksburg in his later years. After his death, his wife, Corinne, became a prominent benefactor of the arts.3 Pollard is named in honor of John Garland Pollard, Governor of Virginia during the Great Depression. While the dire economic conditions of the era limited the aid he could give to the school, he did help with the authorizing of resources for construction projects on campus, notably those for Seacobeck Hall.4   At the center of DuPont Hall is Klein Theatre, named for instructor of dramatic arts Albert R. Klein. He was a member of the theatre faculty from 1952 until his death in 1970; the following year the theatre was renamed in his honor.5 The Fine Arts Center was renovated in the mid-1990s, updating the facilities which had originally been built in the 1950s, including the addition of a computer lab in Melchers.6

Dupont Now Resized

Dupont, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, “Dupont,” February 19 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish. University of Mary Washington.

Fine Arts Center Now Resized

Melchers, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, “Melchers,” February 19 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parish. University of Mary Washington.

Show 6 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 57.
  2. Jessie Ball duPont Fund: About Us, “Our History,” Jessie Ball duPont Fund, http://www.dupontfund.org/about/history/(Accessed April 18, 2014).
  3. Crawley, 226-27.
  4. Ibid., 31.
  5. University of Mary Washington Theatre & Dance, “Klein Theatre,” University of Mary Washington, http://cas.umw.edu/theatre/online-tour/klein-theatre/(Accessed April 17, 2014).
  6. Crawley, 572-74.

Randolph Hall, and its sister dorm, Mason, was constructed during a five-year building boom that began in 1950, and it was completed in 1954. 1  It was named for Martha Jefferson Randolph, daughter of President Thomas Jefferson. It recently underwent renovations and was reopened in Fall 2012 as a freshmen residence hall. 2

Randolph Hall, year needed citation

Randolph Hall, n.d.
H. Bagby, "Randolph Hall in the Fall," n.d., H. Bagby Collection, Simpson Library Special Collections, University of Mary Washington.

Randolph Hall, 2014 Photo courtesy of Jessica Reigngold

Randolph Hall, 2014
Jessica Reingold, "Randolph Hall," February 19, 2014, Personal Collection of Jessica Reingold, University of Mary Washington.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 57.
  2. University of Mary Washington Residence Life, “Randolph Hall,” University of Mary Washington, http://students.umw.edu/residencelife/randoph, (Accessed April 21, 2014).

Mason Hall, and its sister dorm, Randolph, was constructed during a five-year building boom that began in 1950, and it was completed in 1957. 1  It was named for Ann Thomas Mason, mother of George Mason, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights. It recently underwent renovations and was reopened in Fall 2012 as an upperclassmen residence hall. 2 

Mason Hall Then

Mason Hall, 1954
"Mason Hall completed," 1954, Simpson Library Special Collections, University of Mary Washington.

Mason Now

Mason Hall, 2014
Carly Winfield, "Mason Hall," March 21, 2014, Personal Collection of Carly Winfield, University of Mary Washington.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley, Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 57.
  2. University of Mary Washington Residence Life, “Mason Hall,” University of Mary Washington, http://students.umw.edu/residencelife/mason/(Accessed April 21, 2014).
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