University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

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Construction on George Washington Hall (also known as GW Hall) began in 1938 and was completed the following year.1 The building was established to answer the need for classrooms and administrative space necessary to serve the growing student population. The building also contained an auditorium capable of seating 1,624 people and included a stage with dressing rooms located below. 2 In 1980, the auditorium was named Eileen Kramer Dodd Auditorium in honor of a former professor who retired after forty four years at the College.3 Located below the auditorium was a mirrored ballroom known as the “Hall of Mirrors” used for events and formal dances. The roof of George Washington Hall contained a roof garden used for special events but also as a recreational area for students to relax and eat. Today, GW is the home of administrative offices, including the office of the president. Neither the roof garden nor the Hall of Mirrors are present today, however, Dodd Auditorium is still a central part of student life. The auditorium holds formal events, performance art shows, and “Cheap Seats” a program that shows popular movies for students for only a dollar admission.


George Washington Hall, 2014
Meaghan Sullivan, "George Washington Hall," March 21, 2014, Personal collection of Meaghan Sullivan, 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),43
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.,44.