University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

Posts in the Italian category

Combs Hall opened in 1959 as the science building and housed the departments of Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry. The building was named after the former president Morgan Combs who served from 1929 to 1955. By the 1990s, Combs Hall was forty years old and was extremely outdated and too small to accommodate the needs of the science department and student research. Every inch of the building was used for undergraduate research, “a process that included turning a bathroom into a lab and a storage closet into a research cubicle” according to Biology professor Rosemary Barra. 1 Thankfully, two benefactors, Robert and Alice Jepson stepped in and donated the money needed for the construction of a new science building located on the Northern end of campus. Combs was used for storage until 2002 when it was renovated and became the home for the Historic Preservation, Modern Foreign Languages, English, Linguistics, and Speech departments. The building also houses the Speaking Center, a program devoted to helping students overcome difficulties with public speaking.

Combs  Photo credit: Jessica Reingold

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

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  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 518.