History: Construction and Naming
H Quad was built shortly after Mendelsohn as a part of Phase I of the original construction plans. Stony Brook University officially opened on September 16, 1962, but it was not until January 21, 1964, that the dorms were given names, and even then, these names were only to be temporary, until the administrators could decide on permanent names. As such, the buildings were named based on how they were labelled on the architectural plans for the campus. The building currently known as Benedict College was labelled with an 'H' on those plans, and so it was dubbed simply "H Dorm". In a similar fashion, James College and Langmuir College, which were collectively labelled as 'J' on those plans, were called "J South" and "J North" respectively. The three buildings together took their name from the H Dorm, and have been known as H Quad ever since.
In order to choose permanent names for the buildings, a "Name the Building Contest" was begun on December 17, 1964, but nothing came of this. In January of 1966, a committee presented to the Student Council a list of candidate names for the buildings which were considered "most favored" by students. The suggestions were Kennedy, Stevenson, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, Herb Lehman, Al Smith, LaGuardia, Einstein, Goethals, Schweitzer, Dag Hammarskjold, Linus Paulding, Karl Marx, and George Shaw. This list was ultimately rejected.
Finally, on September 20, 1967, the administration decided to name the buildings of H Quad, Mendelsohn Quad (at the time called "G Quad"), and the newly constructed Roth Quad according to the theme of "Great Deceased New Yorkers". Thus, H Dorm became Benedict College, after Ruth Benedict, J South became James College, after Henry James, and J North became Langmuir College, after Irving Langmuir.