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Pitzer Participant - Summer 2005

Strengthening the Foundations of Living and Learning: The Residential Life Project

When my parents insisted that I go to college, they also insisted that I go to a “residential liberal arts college.” The reason, my father explained, was that he expected that I would learn as much from my experience with other students, campus activities, and out-of-classroom discussions with faculty as I would in class. Living on campus provides undergraduates with a unique opportunity to meet people and experience new things. He was right.

Pitzer College has long excelled at creating a vibrant residential life experience for its students. Connections between the classroom and the life of the campus and the world outside are a vital thread running throughout Pitzer’s statement of core values of academic excellence, diversity, intercultural understanding and social responsibility. Student involvement in the communal governance system also reflects the connections between the classroom and the community. And the incredible number and diversity of student organizations reflect this, as well.

So, while I am excited about how the new Residential Life Project will transform the architecture and programs of the College, I am also aware that it is doing so with a remarkable record of success in creating a life-changing educational experience for its students. The real difference, now, will be that our new residence halls have been carefully, specifically, even painstakingly designed to support this powerful approach to liberal arts education.

Kresge Foundation Support
The Kresge Foundation, the nation’s leading foundation supporting “bricks and mortar” building projects on college campuses, has awarded a highly prestigious $50,000 Green Building Planning Grant to Pitzer College to support Pitzer’s green planning process.

Opportunities for formal and informal learning are woven everywhere into the very fabric of the buildings. New art studios and an expanded writing center are complemented by a rich environment of study rooms, a music practice room, a computer lab, wireless Internet access, learning communities with faculty in residence, and rooms with old-fashioned Dutch doors to encourage indoor-outdoor interactions. Pitzer’s LEED certified buildings will teach about how to live sustainably, and its outdoor gardens will serve as a living laboratory for learning. The new residence halls represent the best thinking of the entire Pitzer community—its students, faculty, alumni and staff—about how to create a vibrant living and learning experience on the campus.

On September 18, the community celebrated the Project groundbreaking and we are now officially under way. Be sure to tune in regularly to our construction Webcam as this exciting new project becomes a reality!

— Richard Chute ’84
Director of Capital Projects

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