Mary Mendenhall Hobbs Hall
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Originally known as New Garden Hall, Mary Mendenhall Hobbs Hall was constructed to meet the housing needs of women students. It was specifically designed to serve as a cooperative dormitory and required students to assist with cooking and cleaning tasks. The cooperative dormitory model provided a supportive community for women students with reduced costs for room and board. Until the late 1990s the dormitory maintained a kitchen and dining room for residents.
The driving force behind the establishment of the dormitory was Mary Mendenhall Hobbs, Quaker leader, educator, and activist for women's education. She believed it was vital to provide methods of financial support for women students since families were not always willing to invest in a college education for their daughters. Hobbs was the wife of the first college president, Lewis Lyndon Hobbs, and a school classmate of Bryn Mawr president M. Carey Thomas.