Peabody Park was created from a tract of land located behind the original campus area. Philanthropist George Foster Peabody (1852-1938) gave the College $10,000 in 1901, and President Charles Duncan McIver earmarked half of the funds to develop an educational park. It was named in honor of his relative, George Peabody (1795-1869), who had also been a benefactor of schools in the South.
The original plan for the park, designed by landscape architect Warren H. Manning of Boston, included five miles of graded drives and walkways. It served as a resource for natural science classes, student ceremonies, and dramatic productions, and a place for the students’ mandatory walking period. With the elimination of the mandatory walking period in the 1920s and Park Night in 1935, Peabody Park became neglected. It has gradually been repurposed for dormitories and academic buildings and is now a small wooded area on the northern edge of the campus near the Music Building.