On June 10th, 1950, Springfield College voted to inaugurate a regular undergraduate program for women, ending its status as an all men's school since its founding in 1885. On July 20th, 1950 the ground breaking ceremony was held for a new women’s dormitory. Emily F. Abbey Gill, who donated the funds for the dormitory project, served as a member of the college corporation, but died on April 24th, 1950. After her death, the college suggested that the new dormitory be named Abbey Hall in honor of her dream of a women’s program at Springfield. The corner stone was laid on January 18th 1951 and in September of that year Abbey Hall was ready for occupancy. The formal dedication took place on May 9th, 1952, after the building was fully furnished and the interior decoration was completed.
Only a year after the first women’s dormitory was completed, the college estimated that by 1953 there would be more women than would fit in Abbey Hall. In June of 1935, a proposal was made to build an e
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