October 13, 2009

Admin visit SCRH for official opening

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The University held a ceremony Saturday for the official opening of the South Campus Residence Hall (SCRH) in one of its main lounges. Dean of the College John Boyer spoke at the event, which featured a cake-cutting ceremony and tours of the new dorm.

Attendees included Trustees Bernard DelGiorno (A.B. ’54, A.B. ’55, M.B.A ’55) and Gregory D. Wendt (A.B. ’83), after whom two of the dorm’s eight houses are named, Vice President for Campus Life Kimberly Goff-Crews, current residents of the dorm, and alumni, some of whom had been residents of Shoreland Hall.

Dean Boyer’s speech touched on the building’s significance for the University.

Boyer said the dorm “is what [University founders] Burton, Woodward, and Rosenwald wanted to achieve” when they set out create a more residential campus in the 1920s.

Seeking to draw students into the dorms, they proposed a south campus plan modeled after Yale’s Harkness Tower, including a library, classrooms, and beds for over 2,000 students, all on which is now a part of Burton-Judson and the SCRH. The Depression dashed most of these plans, and only Burton-Judson was completed.

“In some ways,” Boyer said, “this dorm was in planning for 80 years.”

He said residence halls are integral to the University’s mission. “It’s impossible to ensure social solidarity for a well-rounded educational system without a residence hall,” he said. He emphasized the importance of expanding housing on campus.

On a tour of the dorm, Crown House RA Erin Ewald called attention to the SCRH’s 24-hour study space. With two floors and a panoramic view of South Campus, it draws students all hours of the day, according to Ewald, who noted that tables and comfortable chairs make it a “perfect place to study.”

Ewald explained that the study space is exemplary of what she thinks makes the SCRH an appealing place to live. “There are lots of windows and high ceilings, and it gives an open feeling that’s really nice,” she said.

SCRH is the largest dorm on campus, housing 811 students. Construction was finished in time for students to move in this quarter, though some work on the building continues.