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History of Halls

Photo of a dorm room in 1908 from the Archives.

To learn more about the history of our Residence Halls, click on one of the Halls below!
DuBois Hall | Brute Hall | McCaffrey Hall | Basil Hall | Pangborn Hall | Sheridan Hall

DuBois Hall
The first dormitory on campus was constructed in 1808 as an all purpose building, which housed the President and faculty along with the students.  Fr. John DuBois began construction on the first residence hall and classroom in 1824.  The original hall was built where Purcell Hall is currently located. Shortly after being built, due to deficiencies in construction, the building burned down.  After this, construction began on a much safer and more adequate building that currently stands today. It was dedicated on December 16, 1825. Throughout the rest of the century the building housed the seminary until 1907 when McSweeny Hall was built. The cupola at the top of DuBois held the original college bell.  The clock, a gift from Fr. McSweeny, was not installed until 1888. The building was officially recognized as DuBois Hall in 1908.  In 1908, the College Council approved the names for all current residence halls found in the Terrace. It is named after founder, Fr. DuBois, the first Mount president and later the first resident Bishop of the New York Diocese.

Brute Hall
The cornerstone for Doric Hall now called Brute Hall was laid in 1843.  It was built for $9,500 dollars. Originally, this part of the Terrace was used as a study hall.  However, around 1897 the open porches that connected DuBois and Brute were closed in with stone and the study hall became the library. What is currently known as A and B deck served as the library until 1960 when Phillips library was built. The first college degrees were granted in 1832.  For years, there was no place for a commencement service to be held.  When Brute Hall was built it served as the college commencement hall and was first used to graduate 5 students in 1844. In 1908 the College Council officially named the building Brute Hall.  Fr. Brute had joined Fr. DuBois at the Mount in 1812 and served at the Grotto helping to create the paths that are still used.  Fr. Brute also served on the faculty and as a school administrator.

McCaffrey Hall
McCaffrey Hall was built on the site of the original all purpose building.  The original building was a log structure that was demolished in 1844. Although construction of McCaffrey Hall began in 1852, the building was not dedicated and used until January 11, 1858. McCaffrey was originally two stories high and housed the college refectory until 1962.  In 1962 the Cogan Student Union Building was built; now known as Patriot Hall, the McGowan Center, and Cogan Hall. The building was originally only two stories due to a shortage in funds related to the Civil War and so that more attention could be dedicated towards the Gothic style church that was intended to extend from the Immaculate Conception Chapel down to the current location of Patriot Hall. Money ran short on such a large project and construction was never completed.  The leftover stone was used to build Flynn Hall. In 1897 the third and fourth floors of McCaffrey Hall were completed and the rooms were considered to be the first deluxe housing found on campus.  The building was named after the 7th President (1838-1872), Fr. McCaffrey.  During his presidency, he oversaw the construction of Brute, McCaffrey, and Purcell Halls, and led the college through the very turbulent times of the Civil war and the battle of Gettysburg that occurred very close to campus.

Basil Hall
Basil has never been officially recognized as a residence hall by the University. It is technically a wing of McCaffrey that has been called Basil after Sister Basil. The history of the wing is surrounded by Mount myth but the story is that Sr. Basil, as a member of the Daughters of Charity, lived in the convent located in McCaffrey.  The Daughters of Charity are the renamed Sisters of Charity that was started by Saint Elizabeth Anne Seton to do charity work and teach in the local community. Their convent was located in McCaffrey and they provided many services to the community such as cooking, cleaning, and giving spiritual guidance to many of the students and seminarians. Sr. Basil would take care of the students and seminarians, along with advising them on a spiritual and personal level. She became a much loved member of the Mount community.  Students and seminarians would simply refer to going to that wing of McCaffrey as visiting Basil. The name stuck and the University has been referring to that wing as Basil in remembrance of her impact on everyone at the University.  When the new Terrace renovation is complete, the name Basil will be replaced with the original name McCaffrey.

Pangborn Hall
Pangborn Hall was dedicated on October 15, 1955 by Archbishop Keough. Pangborn Hall was built as campus enrollment rose after WWII Navy V-5 and V-12 programs left. The building is named after Thomas W. and John C. Pangborn of the Pangborn Construction Company in Pittsburg, PA. The building is the only Residence Hall to incorporate a chapel, Mary Queen of Peace Chapel, located at the north end of the building.  At the south end of the Hall is a replica of the Pangborn corporate offices which now houses the Catholic Education Ministries office and the Pangborn memorial room.

Sheridan Hall
Sheridan Hall was opened in 1962 and was built after the Navy barracks were removed from campus. The current location of Sheridan housed the married Navy personnel and their families while they were stationed at the Mount. After the Navy left there was no need for the structure and a true residence hall was constructed. The building is named after Msgr. Sheridan who was a member of the class of 1871, seminary class of 1921 and the president of the school from 1937-1961. Msgr. Sheridan was instrumental in guiding the Mount through the Great Depression and WWII. He also played a key role in instituting the Navy V-5 and V-12 program which kept the Mount afloat as enrollment dropped due to WWII. During Msgr. Sheridan’s time as president, he oversaw the building of Memorial Gym, first annex to the Seminary, Pangborn Hall, the Phillips Library, and Sheridan Hall. Msgr. Sheridan is also the first inductee into the Mount St. Mary’s Sports Hall of Fame and the first to be publicly inaugurated as President.

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