Department of Housing & Residence Life
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252-0001
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Newell Hall offers a wide range of living arrangements. Room occupancy ranges from one to three students. The rooms are arranged in the following styles:
Community living accommodating from three to 15 people with a self-contained bathroom.
In suites: two rooms with a shared bathroom between them.
All rooms are carpeted and equipped with heating/air-conditioning units, beds, wardrobes with a chest of drawers, desks, chairs, and blinds. Newell houses 202 residents.
Built in 1914, it is the oldest residence hall on the Towson University campus and it was renovated in 2012.
McFadden Alexander Newell, born in Belfast, Ireland, on September 7, 1824, was the son of John Newell, a distinguished educator in Ireland. M. Alexander Newell was educated in the private school of his father, and by the age of fifteen he had learned Latin and Greek so well that he was teaching them. In 1840, at the age of sixteen, M. Alexander won a prize in Belfast for Logic and Rhetoric. He went on to attend the Queen’s College in Belfast and Trinity College in Dublin, graduating in 1846. On October 8, 1946, Newell married and from 1846-1848 Newell taught at the Mechanics Institute in Liverpool and may have also taught at other schools in London.
In 1848, Newell and his wife traveled to Baltimore to visit relatives and decided to stay. Newell became a professor of natural sciences at Baltimore City College and in 1853 was called to a chair in Madison College in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. After he left that position, he returned to Baltimore and established a commercial school in connection with his brother-in-law and held other various education related jobs. In 1865 Newell was called to Baltimore to establish the Maryland State Normal School and served as it’s principal from 1866-1890. During this time he also served in these two capacities, M. Alexander Newell also helped found the Maryland State Journal and edited it for a number of years. Along with William R. Greery, Newell published a number of textbooks entitled “The Maryland Series,” and Newell also edited a series of six readers known as “The Newell Readers.” In addition to all these activities, the years of 1877 and 1878 found Newell as the president of the National Education Association.
Newell was very well respected in education and was offered the position of U.S. Commissioner of Education by President Grover Cleveland. Newell, however, refused citing as his reason that he did not wish to move to Washington away from his friends for four years. Along with many other honors, Princeton University conferred an honorary Ph.D. upon M. Alexander Newell. After Dr. Newell resigned his position as president of the normal school in July 1890, he became the principal of Male Grammar School #1, but also resigned this position to become the principal of the high school at Harve De Grace. At the time of his death, August 14, 1894, Newell had accepted the principalship of the Baltimore Colored Normal School.
In its 1893 Report the State Board of Education recognized Newell’s 25 years as head of the education system of Maryland and his commitment to establishing an uniform system of Free Public Education in Maryland. Towson alumni, in their 1941 history of the college, describe Newell as “affable warm-hearted, and possessing a keen, quick sense of humor. He easily won the admiration and confidence of those with whom he was associated. Probably no one in the State of Maryland has left such a deep impression on the education policy of the state or made such great contribution to the state’s educational advancement.”