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McDaniel building to be renamed in honor of Merritt

Leroy MerrittMcDaniel College next month will rename its Academic Hall for the late commercial real estate developer Leroy M. Merritt, a McDaniel alumnus.

Officials at the Westminster college said Tuesday the eight-year-old hall, home of the school’s departments of education, psychology, graduate and professional studies and student academic support services will be called Merritt Hall.

Merritt was a 1952 graduate of the former Western Maryland College, now McDaniel, located in Carroll County.

Merritt grew up in Dundalk and was a graduate of Dundalk High School where he was a football player and boxer. He died of cancer at age 79 in 2010.

His business smarts became legendary in the local commercial real estate community after he founded Merritt Properties in 1967, which went on to become the largest privately held commercial real estate portfolio in the Baltimore metropolitan area. He also founded the chain of Merritt Athletic Clubs.

In 2007, his alma mater named its new Merritt Fitness Center for him. Merritt also pledged $5 million to help fund renovations to student dormitories at McDaniel as well as additional athletic facilities.

The naming ceremony for the Academic Hall is scheduled for May 4 at 11 a.m., during McDaniel’s reunion weekend festivities.