Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Smith Memorial Hall

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Institution Name: Randolph-Macon Women's College
Original/Historic Place Name: Smith Memorial Hall
Location on Campus: 2500 Rivermont Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1923original construction Johnson, Stanhope S.
Designer: Stanhope Johnson (Lynchburg, VA)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
ca. 1923residence hall (quarters for day students)
ca. 1923dining hall (banquet room)
ca. 1923alumni center
ca. 1923student union (banquet room, formal drawing room, quarters for day students, offices for student organizations)
ca. 1923auditorium
ca. 2004-present (2006)dining hall
ca. 2004-present (2006)theater
ca. 2004-present (2006)student union (banquet hall and reception spaces)
ca. 2004-present (2006)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)administration

The senior class of 1911 launched the effort to construct this building prior to the death of Dr. William Waugh Smith, the founder and first president of the College, in 1921. Their desire was to create a students' building housing an auditorium, banquet room, formal drawing room, quarters for day students, alumnae offices and parlor, and offices for various student organizations. It was named for Dr. Smith, "who saw this college begin, who has never failed her at any time, and who in this present instance has carried out in long and faithful detail the plan and has entered into the spirit whereby the building should be erected."

The building was dedicated in February 1923 followed by a more elaborate dedication program on Founder's Day in 1923. The Honorable Calvin Coolidge, then Vice-President of the United States, was the principal speaker. This building has been used for a wide variety of social, political, and cultural programs throughout the years, hosting many prominent speakers and performers. It serves as a Lynchburg community performance and event space.


Cornelius, Roberta D. The History of Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1951.

Randolph Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, VA. Historic American Buildings Survey photographs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ National Park Service, n.d.


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Last update: November 2006