The oldest residence hall, Willard is named for Frances Willard, a well-known temperance leader remembered for her involvement with the prohibition movement. Completed in 1911, Willard is representative of Mary Washington’s bygone days. In addition to being the first hall built, Willard once contained a dining hall and a post office. Renovated and restored in 2019, the large community space on the first floor is designed to capture the essence of the original 1911 dining hall while simultaneously providing modern, functional spaces for 21st century living and learning. Equipped with a 16-seat seminar room, two group study spaces, a large kitchen, a modern media room, and two moveable glass walls, Willard Hall’s community space enhances the first-year experience by providing a flexible floor plan for intellectual and social engagement among students, faculty, and staff.
The renovation of the residential spaces also blends Willard Hall’s rich history with research and student survey data to maximize student success. Willard’s heritage is captured in the wide, bright hallways, the classic moulding and trim, and original hardwood floors in majority of the bedrooms on the upper floors. Inspired by years of student feedback, each upper floor includes a small lounge and four nooks, all perfect for studying individually or in groups.