Hulon L. Willis Sr. Hall (formerly Taliaferro Hall), Constructed 1934-1935
Hulon L. Willis Sr. Hall is a freshman dormitory at William & Mary located on Jamestown Road between the Campus Center and Admissions Office. The building can house up to 60 students, and was originally named after William Booth Taliaferro, class of 1842, American Civil War soldier, and Rector of the Board of Visitors 1890-1899. In 2021, the building was renamed to honor Hulon L. Willis, Sr. "the College’s first Black student, who received his graduate degree from the College in 1956. Willis was a veteran of World War II upon enrolling in the College. He later went on to become a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University." (see Flat Hat 4/23/2021) The building has served as a dormitory, bookstore, and tea room since its completion in June 1935. The construction of the building was made possible by a Public Works Administration (PWA) grant and loan of $650,000. In keeping with tradition, the building was designed to mimic the Georgian architecture of its neighboring structures. It began as a men's dormitory, but, in 1978, it became the first co-ed freshman dormitory at the university. From 1986 to 1988, Taliaferro Hall housed freshmen designated as Presidential Scholars, which later morphed into the Monroe Scholar Program, the most prestigious academic program at William & Mary.