Within the new building, Harvey Mudd College will continue to honor the legacy of those whose visionary generosity made the construction of Thomas-Garrett Hall possible: Mr. LeRoy A. Garrett and Mrs. Marian T. Garrett.
LeRoy A. Garrett was one of the founding members of the HMC Board of Trustees. A partner in the law firm of Musick, Peeler and Garrett, he was legal counsel to members of the Mudd family and a trusted friend of Harvey S. Mudd. His father, Roy Garrett, had also been much involved in the discussions leading to the decision to found Harvey Mudd College. LeRoy and his wife, Marian (who held a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Illinois and a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Southern California), are remembered by Joseph B. Platt as perceptive and loyal partners in finding ways to move the College forward.
As of December 1959, four years after Harvey Mudd College was chartered and in the third year of instruction, the campus buildings consisted of three dormitories, a president's house, a laboratory building, and the former Scripps College swimming pool. Classes were held on the Claremont Men's College campus, which also contained most HMC faculty and administrative offices.
The Board of Trustees commissioned an architectural study for new classroom and administrative office space on the HMC campus. In response to gifts from the Harvey S. and Mildred E. Mudd Foundation and Mrs. Frederick Kingston to construct Kingston Hall, LeRoy and Marian Garrett pledged $150,000 to build Kingston Hall’s twin, Thomas-Garret Hall, named in honor of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Thomas, and Mr. and Mrs. Ray M. Garrett.
When Thomas-Garrett Hall opened its doors in the fall of 1961, it represented a coming of age for Harvey Mudd College. Gerald Van Hecke '61 remembers the dedication of Thomas-Garrett Hall with a sense of homecoming:
"When the doors to Thomas-Garrett Hall opened, the College for the first time had all of its instructional facilities, classrooms and laboratories on its own campus. The College and campus were as one, much to the satisfaction of students and faculty alike, who no longer had to trek to Claremont McKenna College and Pitzer Hall North for their HMC classes."
Today, as Harvey Mudd College moves forward with plans to replace Thomas-Garrett Hall, we remember and honor the legacy of LeRoy and Marian. When the new teaching and learning building opens to faculty and students, a new homecoming will commence, representing a continuation of LeRoy and Marian’s belief in the potential of this amazing college.