On this day in 1967, the Board of Regents voted to rename Margaret Brent Hall at the eastern end of McKeldin Mall for Marie Mount, who came to campus in 1919 as the head of the Department of Home and Institution Management and served as the dean of the College of Home Economics from 1925 until her death in 1957, with “quiet dedication and unswerving loyalty,” as the Board noted at the time of her passing. The building was constructed in 1940, and it was originally named Margaret Brent Hall after the colonial Marylander who was the first American woman to request the right to vote.
UMD President Wilson Elkins noted in a tribute to Dean Mount that he was
“impressed by her quiet efficiency, her ability to carry out the duties assigned to the office of the Dean and, above all, her ability to inspire confidence. She had an abundance of common sense which was apparent to all who sough her judgment on important questions.”
The re-naming came at the request of a group of alumni from the college who felt strongly that Miss Mount’s legacy should be honored in a very visible way.
At one time, Miss Mount supposedly lived in the building in a special dean’s apartment there. She was much loved by her students, and University President Wilson Elkins declared in a 1957 memorial to the dean that “The character of Marie Mount will live forever.”
Dean Marie Mount does just that. Night watchmen and building inhabitants in the late 1970s reported sensing other-worldly presences, doors opening and shutting on their own, toilets flushing when no one was there, and matches blowing out when all the doors and windows were closed. Could these activities be Dean Mount reminding us of her everlasting presence? It’s said that on dark and stormy nights, as the wind blows through the building, and the rain pounds on the window panes, she can be heard vigorously playing a piano. Next big thunderstorm, Marie Mount Hall is the place to be!