Oxford Sentinels

By Mary Loftus

Architect rendering

past meets present: Residence halls at Oxford will be named for legendary figures.

Courtesy Cooper Carry

Bond Fleming, Marshall Elizer, and William Murdy were already legends at Oxford College, and now their names will be associated with Emory’s original campus as long as its residence halls stand. The buildings that make up the East Village residential complex at the intersection of Emory and Hamill Streets have been named Elizer Hall (formerly Alpha Hall) and Murdy Hall (formerly Beta Hall). A third residence hall now under construction will be named Fleming Hall.

Murdy, dean of Oxford from 1987 to 1999 and professor of biology at Emory College for three decades prior, was pleased to hear of the honor, says his wife, Nancy Murdy. The couple still lives near the college, across from the dean’s house. “Oxford means so much to us,” she says, “and people from the college are always popping in and out to visit, which brings a smile.”

Neal Bond Fleming 33C 36T, who died in 2009 at the age of ninety-nine, was dean of Oxford from 1966 to 1976, as well as a philosopher, Methodist minister, and teacher. He established the Oxford Board of Counselors and was selected as one of Emory’s original 175 history makers.

“I have always been more involved in doing than in publishing,” he said in a conference speech in 2000. “I have sought to do my writing in the lives of students.”

And Marshall Elizer, who died in 2009 at ninety-eight, worked at Oxford from 1946 to 1978 as a mathematics lecturer, director of student activities, and business manager. He also served as Oxford mayor, chair of the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, and a founding member of the Oxford Historical Shrine Society. One of his passions was helping to restore local cemeteries, including the Civil War cemetery on campus.

“This is a good, quiet place to come down and hold hands and what not, and I’m sure a lot of romance has taken place here,” he said in an Emory Magazine interview.

Murdy, Fleming, and Elizer exemplify the best qualities of those who have shaped Oxford, says Dean Stephen Bowen.

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