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Peabody Hall is a two-story brick building located on the University of Georgia's North Campus Quad. It is positioned across from the University Law Library and between the Ilah Dunlap-Little Memorial Library and Waddel Hall. Peabody Hall currently houses the departments of Philosophy, Religion, and the Institute for Native American Studies.


  • Peabody Hall as photographed by David Lewis Earnest. This photo was taken between 1930 and 1950 and is part of the Earnest Photographs Collection, courtesy of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. https://dlg.usg.edu/record/guan_earnest_20
  • Peabody Hall as photographed by David Lewis Earnest (in color and from a wider perspective). This photo was taken between 1930 and 1950 and is part of the Earnest Photographs Collection, courtesy of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Peabody Hall is named after George Peabody, whose Peabody Institute supported the construction of Peabody Hall. Peabody willed his assets - between 1873 and 1875 - to promote teacher education and training in the south, and the "promotion of Education in the state universities of the South".1 In 1903, these funds became available for use, and professors from southern universities applied for a portion of Peabody's donation. Dr. Thomas J Woofter, of the University of Georgia's joint Department of Education and Philosophy, was one of these professors. Dr. Woofter sought to secure funds to establish a permanent building for Education and Philosphy. Dr. Woofter's department -at the time - was forced to share space with the Science Department because of this limited funding. Calling for "outside aid and the urgent need of the Peabody Trust",2 Woofter's plan to promote educational training for Georgia teachers was one of the final plans chosen.  

On June 15, 1903, the University of Georgia Board of Trustees invited the Peabody Institute to establish a Teacher's College. Within two years, the Board of Trustees established the Peabody Committee to secure funding and work alongside Peabody Trust members. A donation of $40,000 (a little more than $1 million in 2017) was officially noted by the Board of Trustees in June 1912, though construction began earlier than this date.3 A construction committee was recorded in 1911, with Dr. Woofter having a "personal pride" in supervising the hall's completion.4 The official recognition by the Board of Trustees also requested that a bronze bust of George Peabody be placed inside the new Education College. The Peabody College of Education and Philosophy was opened and dedicated on June 12, 1913. A portrait of George Peabody, painted by Mary Franklin, was later presented by Dr. Woofter on the tenth anniversary of the Hall's opening. The portrait celebrated the philanthropic life of George Peabody and was "entrusted to the keeping of the Dean of the Peabody School of Education".5

Dr. Woofter and the Peabody College of Education continued to flourish at the University of Georgia. As Dean of Peabody College, Dr. Woofter promoted the importance of female student admission at the University of Georgia. He requested the "most serious and searching consideration" on the issue from the Board of Trustees.6 Dr. Woofter reasoned that if most teachers in Georgia were women, then Peabody College should promote the education and training of most Georgian teachers. The Board of Trustees relented in June 1918, and the entrance of women to the Peabody College of Education began in Fall 1918.7 The growth in education enrollment was susbtantial and within two decates, the needs of Peabody College could no longer be met by Peabody Hall alone. By 1962, the Departments of Education and Philosophy had formally split, and the Department of Education moved to Baldwin Hall.8

The Department of Religion, originally a subset of the Department of Philosophy, was formally separated at UGA in 1984.9 Both departments have remained in Peabody Hall despite the division into distinct majors. The Institute of Native American Studies (INAS) has also been housed in Peabody Hall since its creation in 2004. 10

1. Thomas Walter Reed, History of University of Georgia (Athens: Digital Library of Georgia), 2199
2. History of University of Georgia, 2201
3. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library University Archives, Minutes of the Boards of Trustees (1887-1914)
4. History of University of Georgia, 2203. 
5. Minutes (1915-1931).  
6. Minutes 
(1915-1931)
7. F. N. Boney, A Walking Tour of the University of Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press), 30. 
8. Larry B. Dendy, Through the Arch: An Illustrated Guide to the University of Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press), 31. 
9. UGA Department of Religion, "About Us". 
10. Institute of Native American Studies, "About INAS". 

Works Referenced
Boney, F. N.. A Walking Tour of the University of Georgia. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989. 

Dendy, Larry B. Through the Arch: An Illustrated Guide to the University of Georgia. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2013. 

Department of Religion at the University of Georgia. "About Us". Religion.uga.edu
http://religion.uga.edu/about-us. Accessed 21 April 2019. 

Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library University Archives, Minutes of the Boards of Trustees (1887-1914) - (1915-1931). https://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/archives/trustees/index.html. Accessed 5 April 2019. 

Institute for Native American Studies at the University of Georgia. "About INAS". Instituteofnativeamericanstudies.com
http://www.instituteofnativeamericanstudies.com/about-inas. Accessed 21 April 2019. 

Reed, Thomas Walter. History of the University of Georgia. Athens: Digital Library of Georgia, 2002.