Brigham Hall was named in honor of Mary Brigham, the eighth president of Mount Holyoke, whose tragic death en route to her official appointment rocked the campus community. Brigham Hall was hailed after its construction as “expressive of the strength and beauty of her character.” Students today adore Brigham Hall for its spacious rooms, enticing dumbwaiter, and ideal location close to classes, the library, and the Village Commons.
As the first hall to replace the Seminary Building, which burned to the ground in October 1896, Brigham Hall represents the strength of will and giving spirit that empowers all Mount Holyoke students and alumnae.
After the fire, trustees of the College voted to build new halls at once. The construction was made possible by donations from many benefactors and alumnae contributors. Money enough to build four new dorms was raised within a year of the tragic fire. Generous gifts given by the alumnae clubs of New York and Brooklyn allowed for this first residence hall to be “the most beautiful in its appointments” of all the new houses being built on campus, though the students living in it were likely just happy for a roof over their heads in the cold Massachusetts winter.