Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Memorial Plaza

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Institution Name: McDaniel College
Original/Historic Place Name: Memorial Plaza
Location on Campus: center campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1991original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Landscape site
Type of landscape–
Small-scale features:
Plaza commemorates emeriti, who are named on individual blocks; corner stones from all the original buildings of the College that were demolished form a pedestal on which the bell from “Old Main” (1966-1959) sits.
Large-scale features:
Other characteristics:
Materials: brick, block, grass, granite
1991-present (2007)memorial site

Significance: history, religion
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

When the plaza in front of the new Hoover Library was created in 1991, its granite ledges were bare. William M. David Jr., a retired professor of political science, suggested that the names of all professors emeriti be engraved on the tops of the granite ledges to perpetuate their service to the college (name, department, and dates of services are inscribed for each). He provided some of the funding through his estate, and the project was carried through to completion. The plaza was named "Memorial Plaza" at that time, and on one side was placed a small brick pedestal which incorporates all the cornerstones of the original college buildings which once stood (1867-1959) very near the site. Atop is the bell from Old Main, which called students to classes and meals in an earlier time. The bell is also rung by freshmen upon their arrival, by seniors as they pass by on their way to graduation, and during memorials when an alumnus/alumna dies.

The plaza is a memorial not only to the old buildings of the College but also to the people who gave their professional lives and careers to the institution. Memorial Plaza is the very center of the campus and a focal point for many college activities. It is also a place for alumni to seek out the names of former professors who made an impact on their lives, and it marks a significant part of our heritage.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Bulletin of the Historical Society of Carroll County, Maryland 2, no. 2 (May 1952).

Chandler, Douglas R. Pilgrimage of Faith; A Centennial History of Wesley Theological Seminary--1882-1982. Santa Ana, CA: Seven Locks Press, 1984.

Makosky, John D. "Western Maryland College in the Nineteenth Century." Western Maryland College Bulletin [n.d.].

Schofield, Samuel Biggs, and Marjorie Cowles Crain. Western Maryland College The Formative Years, 1866-1947. Westminster, MD: Western Maryland College, 1982.

Weeks, Christopher. "The Building of Westminster in Maryland." Bulletin of the Historical Society of Carroll County, Maryland 2, no. 1 (May 1949).

Zepp, Ira G. "Western Maryland College: The Hill." In A Grateful Memory: History of Baker Chapel. Westminster, MD: Western Maryland College, 1995.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections, Facilities Management Office

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