University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

Posts in the Monroe Hall category

Then Photograph

Colony Studios, “ Monroe Hall through the trees,” n.d., The Centennial Collection, UMW Digital Archives, University of Mary Washington.

Now Photograph

Alexandria Parrish, “Monroe,” February 26, 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish, University of Mary Washington.

Photograph editing by Conner Allen

Emil Schnellock, a prominent artist who is featured in the “then” photo below, “came to Mary Washington in 1938 to teach art;” 1  Although an excellent professor, Schnellock’s greatest contribution to the College was the murals he and his students painted in Monroe and George Washington Halls in the 1940s. 2

Today, the Schnellock paintings are still visible in Monroe Hall and are enjoyed on a daily basis by students, faculty, and visitors.

Students Chatting in Front of the Murals in Monroe Hall, 2014 From left to right: Julia Wood, Laura-Michal Balderson, Leah Tams Carly Winfield, "Students Chatting in Monroe Hall," April 3, 2014, Personal Collection of Carly Winfield, University of Mary Washington.

Students Chatting in Front of the Murals in Monroe Hall, 2014
From left to right: Julia Wood, Laura-Michal Balderson, Leah Tams
Carly Winfield, "Students Chatting in Monroe Hall," April 3, 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), 44.
  2. Ibid., 44.

The May Day celebration used to be one of the grandest events at UMW, especially when it was still an all-girls school. The first May Day was held in conjunction with the Field Day games in the Spring of 1914 on the lawn in front of Monroe Hall. In 1923, the event was moved to the amphitheater located behind Trinkle Hall and next to Marye Hall. The celebration would begin with a processional led by the May Queen and her attendants, Senior Maypole dancers, and then the classes followed in order wearing their color. 1 After the May song, the Queen was crowned and the seniors performed the Maypole dance. In the late 1960s, the tradition fell out of favor, as an antiquated event. By 1968, with “the war, divisive camp politics, and rabble-rousing, Bullet editorials, our attention was obviously directed elsewhere…May Court was trivial in comparison.” 2 1968 was the last year to see a May Day at the University. In January 2001, several clubs, led by the Inter-Club association and French Club tried to revive the tradition but with marked changes. The revival never really caught on however, and the May Day tradition still remains an event of the past.
Today, other celebrations have taken the place of May Day. One such celebration is Holi, the Indian celebration of the arrival of spring and the passing of winter.3 The celebration is traditionally held on Ball Circle and hosted by the UMW International Living Community. Participants wear white and dried paint is passed out to be thrown into the air for a simultaneous burst of color.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. As quoted in The Bullet William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008),16.
  2. Ibid.,125.
  3. BBC Schools, “Holi,” March 17, 2014, BBC News Network, http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/religion/hinduism/holi.shtml (Accessed April 18, 2014).

Monroe Hall was founded in 1911.  It was one of three original buildings built for the State Normal and Industrial School for Women, the first incarnation of the University of Mary Washington. The building currently functions as an academic building, and houses the History, Geography, Political Science and International Affiars, Sociology, and Anthropology Departments.  Notably, murals by retired faculty member Emil Schnellock adorn the building’s walls on the second floor. 1  Monroe has been renovated multiple times, and was most recently reopened for the 2011-2012 academic year. 2

Directly in front of Monroe today lies what students commonly refer to as the “Monroe Fountain.” The brick area around the fountain which connects Monroe Hall with Virginia Hall and Willard Hall was named Palmieri Plaza in honor of Richard Palmeri. Richard was a greatly esteemed Geography professor at the school who succumbed to cancer in 1997.3 The area is a central part of campus and is one of the most traveled places at the university.

 

Monroe, 2014

Monroe, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, "Monroe," February 26, 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish, 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), page 44.
  2. Ibid., 216.
  3. Ibid., 604-606.
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