Like many who work in higher education, I love university traditions--the rituals, events, and stories that carry on and bind together each generation of students. Those traditions engender devotion to our institutions on the part of our alumni and make us feel a part of something bigger than ourselves.
As high school, college, and NBA basketball seasons power up, we hearken back to one of the best sports movie of all time: Hoosiers. In the film, the small-town Hickory High basketball team is about to do battle with the behemoth South Bend squad for the 1952 Indiana High School State Title. Hickory player Merle Webb famously declares, "Let's win this one for all the small schools that never had a chance to get here."
Over the past few decades, colleges and universities have engaged in a kind of facilities arms race to build new, state-of-the-art dormitories, dining halls, classrooms, athletic complexes, and fine arts centers. Higher ed institutions face enormous competitive pressures to build buildings that rival what's on their peers' campuses. For many, cutting-edge means new.
"We're the new U." The tag-line is fitting for The University of North Texas at Dallas, which, in September became its own independent four-year university after a decade of being considered a branch campus of UNT in Denton. The just-opened second building on its campus creates a physical presence to complement the separate identity UNT Dallas officials have been building for themselves.
So, what do the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, the State University of New York at Binghamton and Berkshire Community College have in common? If you are searching for an answer, just consider the role higher learning has played in the transformation of America's river mill cities into contemporary collegetowns.
Amid all the gloomy head-lines about furloughs, layoffs, hiring freezes, and early retirement, one employment trend report offers a glimmer of hope.
More than 300 students from five Kirkwood Community College (Iowa) programs study in state-of-the-art kitchens and classrooms, working alongside a 70-person professional staff.
For many campus building projects, the period following schematic design is critical to the project's future. With the proposed design illustrating the building's significant forms, program, functional relationships and scale, the project enters the fundraising phase.
What was originally supposed to be a renovation of the University Center at The University of Memphis (Tenn.) became a much bigger project.
Education students at The College of William & Mary (Va.) have a new building just for them?seven years in the making and the first time in 20 years that all of the school's people and programs will be housed together.
The Livingston campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey was in need of a new identity. Thanks to a push from students and the vision of leaders, it's well on its way to becoming a center for professional education.
FUNCTION: Student center with social, recreational, dining, and learning spaces, plus a flexible theater space allowing for five different event configurations
Young Harris College (Ga.) needed more housing, and fast. This project had to move forward ahead of even a new campus master plan.
FUNCTION: A two hundred-bed residence hall with 50 suites
Over the past two years, Arizona State University has opened two new schools at its campuses in the Phoenix area. But these educational additions are not training future social workers, lawyers, or business executives. They'll be turning out qualified future college students, many of whom—ASU officials hope—will populate the state's universities years from now.