How McDaniel names These Halls of Ivy

Colleen McCarrack
Staff Reporter

McDaniel College students certainly have their own campus lingo. Glar equals cafeteria, Peterson equals art, Rouzer equals freshmen boys, Gill equals gym and the list goes on and on. Students regularly use the names of the college campus buildings as a reference. But the real question is, do the students really know what the building names mean or represent?Priscilla Ord, and adjunct lecturer for the English Department, helped her students find the answers to these questions. Ord assigned a unique project titled, Naming the Halls of Ivy, to her freshman English class. Following a study of how college buildings and designated places were and are now named, students employed six types of expository writing to show what they have learned about McDaniel’s history in genera, including the specific history of some of the college’s buildings.

Ord’s students researched general background information on the naming of buildings, including the process involved in naming the buildings. Ord explained that the building’s naming process first goes to the President’s council followed by the Board of Trustees for approval.

The students’ next step was to classify the buildings based on their function and compare and contrast the patterns of naming the buildings on campus. Students learned that buildings could be named after a College President, after a trustee, coach or donor or in honor of someone. Lastly, students were assigned a particular building on campus to research the history and name of that building.

Although the students seemed apprehensive at first, the project was eventually embraced with enthusiasm and interest. “It’s a way of learning the history of the college” said Ord.

Ord, who is currently the First Vice President of the American Name Society, will be taking office in January as the President of the group. The American Name is a professional organization devoted to the study of names and their role in society. Their mission is to find out what really is in a name, and to investigate cultural insights, settlement history, and linguistic characteristics revealed in names.

Ord has been a member of the AMS since the mid to late 1970’s and she admits that “the names of things always have and always will fascinate me.”

Each year, the American Name Society holds a conference in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America, the American Dialect Society, and several other associations. This January, Ord will be traveling to San Francisco to take part in the two and a half days of overlapping panels and paper presentations at the conference. Ord’s presentation will be based off her student’s research and findings.

So next time you’re walking to class, take a moment to think about where you’re headed and the rich history behind the buildings. Here is what some of Ord’s students discovered about McDaniel’s buildings:

Englar, usually referred to as Glar, was constructed from 1965 to 1968 and was named for the Englar family, many of whom were alumni of McDaniel. In 1969, the students petitioned the food company for two main dishes at each evening meal in Englar cafeteria. However, the planned cafeteria strike in March 1970 failed. In 1993, the bread, deli bar, and salad bar selections were upgraded and vegan entrees became available, as well as pizza and hamburgers!

The Peterson Hall building was originally built in 1908 as the library and was later an art studio. In 1994 the building was renovated and named in appreciation for the $1 million gift from a trustee emerita, Clementine Peterson. During the renovation, an elevator was installed, the classrooms were equipped with technology, the basement area was refitted for drawing studios, the offices were redesigned to be an art gallery and the ceiling was refitted with translucent and stained glass.

Rouzer was opened in 1968 as a men’s dormitory. During the planned phase of this new dormitory, a third floor was added to accommodate an additional 56 men and to balance the male-female housing options. This hall was named for trustee E. McClure Rouzer, a ’07 graduate of McDaniel. Rouzer and Whiteford were constructed at the same time.

The groundbreaking for the new Gill gymnasium was held in December 1938. The gym was named for Robert J. Gill, an outstanding athlete during his undergraduate years, a trustee from 1925-1983, and a significant leader in the fund-raising events for the facility. Gill also served as a general in the army and served at the Nuremburg trials in 1945. The gym’s 80 by 115 foot playing floor was one of the finest in the East; and the Gill gym, when it opened in 1939, was the largest and best-equipped gym in Maryland.

Eaton Hall was completed in 1999, costing the college $13.4 million dollars. Eaton Hall is an impressive 50,000 sq. ft. and sits three stories above ground. The most impressive feature of Eaton Hall is where the three stories convert from brick to glass as it connects to the Lewis Hall of Science. The building was named after Thomas and Katherine Eaton who, upon passing, donated $8 million dollars to the college.

The building has already been given two awards; The 1999 Craftsmanship Award for mechanical pipe instillation, awarded by the Building Congress, an Exchange of Metropolitan Baltimore, Inc., and the Regional Technology Award for System Design from the Baltimore Metropolitan Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.

The Harlow pool was named after Richard C. “Dick” Harlow, a successful football coach at McDaniel from 1926 to 1934. The pool was dedicated and named after Coach Harlow in 1968. Unlike most pools, the Harlow Pool only has five lanes, which is atypical and often causes problems during swim competitions. The college considered constructing a new pool when the gym was built but because the current pool was already a large expense, they chose not to.

Levine Hall was named after James Levine Billingslea. His parents Dr. and Mrs. Charles Billingslea paid for the building and dedicated it to their son who died at a young age from measles. The building was built in 1891. Over the years, the building served as a preparatory school and men’s dorm building. It was not until 1940 that it became the official building for the music department. It has been refurbished over the years and was rededicated in 2002.