Mary Urie Watson (1866-1950) was, above all else, known for her devotion to the students of Macdonald Institute, where she was Principal from 1904-1920. Watson began her career with the Institute as Head of Home Economics, but quickly succeeded the Dean after his death in 1904; a major accomplishment for a woman in that time.
She was critical in establishing programs and diplomas in domestic science, including short courses that focused on food and food chemistry, along with housekeeping practices. Graduates of these programs were considered to have been trained “scientifically” and were considered essential for operating modern hospitals. Watson Hall was built in 1931 as a female student residence and today houses “International House”; a living-learning centre where students are able to explore cross-cultural commonalities and differences and celebrate them.
Offering the best views of the city, Watson Hall may also be said to offer the best view of the world. It is home to International House, Guelph's cross-cultural living experience.