Building Community Fact #2: Mandelle Halls

February 2, 2015 at 2:00 PM

There’s a rumor on campus that Mary B. Mandelle lived on Prospect Hill and haunts the fourth floor of North and South Mandelle Halls. If you get a drink of water in the middle of the night, you may hear her ghostly footsteps trailing yours as you walk down the hall to the kitchenette—Beth Dunn ’93 and Melanie Otto ’89 both remember this ghostly nighttime experience.

Built in 1923 and named after benefactor Mary B. Mandelle in 1930, the building was originally named “Hillside” for its prime position on the east face of Prospect Hill. Its lofty perch blesses residents with breathtaking views and strong legs (from the uphill hike that carries them home). As of the 2014–2015 school year, the Delles houses exclusively upperclass students.

Though not near the center of campus, the Delles has a history of strong community to match the breathtaking views. In 1956, a first-year student living in South Mandelle found herself faced with a crisis: $10 of Christmas-shopping money had been found missing from her dresser, and the entire hall was convened to discuss the event.

Leniency was promised for the student who returned the missing funds anonymously by morning, but when dawn broke the distressed student found something peculiar instead—a $10 bill and handwritten note from Harriet Newhall. The famed admission director and charitable soul had been tipped off by a member of the Delles community to this firstie’s plight, and took it upon herself to reimburse the student for the loss. This altruistic spirit lives on in the Delles community, which often lends its north and south sunrooms for performances and weekend events.

The FebruMary campaign is a great opportunity to learn more about the people who make this community possible, engage with Mount Holyoke history, and inspire alumnae to continue the tradition of giving. We encourage you to comment, discuss, and interact with fellow students and alumnae here, where Mary Lyon’s vision for Mount Holyoke is stronger than ever.


MHC Development

Written by MHC Development