Where It All Began

Mount St. Mary’s University was founded in the year 1808 by Father John DuBois.  Many of the residence halls and buildings on campus have since been named after the founder and other previous presidents.

DuBois Hall, located in the Terrace, was named in his honor after the founder of the Mount. He came to Emmitsburg in 1805 originally planning to build a church, and then also helped with making the university possible. He was also involved in the creation of the Seminary as well.

McCaffrey Hall in Terrace was named after the seventh president at the Mount. President McCaffrey was around to see the Centennial for the Mount. He was also one of the Mount’s longest long term presidents. He was president of the Mount from 1838-1872, a whole 34 years! McCaffrey was also responsible for helping freeing that last slave on the campus.  

Another one of the residence halls, Bruté in Terrace, was named after Father Simon Gabriel Bruté. He was around for the Reign of Terror in France and was an advocate for priests. He decided to leave France in 1810 after just recently becoming a priest. Originally he taught Philosophy at the Mount. After a couple of years he came back and was made the President.

The Purcell building, also more commonly known as Club 1808 to a lot of the student body, was named after Father John B. Purcell. Interestingly enough, John Purcell was an advocate for the Pope and the Catholic Church in general all throughout the Civil War. He was not afraid to share and stick by his beliefs when others disagreed with him.

Of course a lot people would know that Powell Hall is dedicated after Thomas H. Powell, a recent president at the Mount. Most buildings around campus are named after people of significance, normally presidents or influential religious people to the campus.

Pangborn Hall however was not named after a president. Pangborn Hall was named after Thomas W. and John C. Pangborn. These two men were heads of the Pangborn Construction Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They helped make the construction of the residence hall possible.  

Every building on the campus has a unique story behind each person that the buildings are named after. Each of these people adds character to all the buildings. It also helps to showcase the strong history and identity that the Mount has made over the years.

One thought on “Where It All Began

  • September 28, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    It was my understanding that Pangborn Hall was named for the Pangborn family who owned the Pangborn Corporation in Hagerstown, MD at one time.


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