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Pitzer Participant - Winter 2005
Pitzer Plans for Future Take Shape
The past year has been a busy one as Pitzer College moves forward with its new Housing Master Plan. Three lead gifts totaling $11 million have been committed, a project manager and a design-build team have been selected, and conceptual plans are being prepared for final trustee review and approval. By the end of the spring semester, final plans will be ready to submit for city review and approval in preparation for a ground breaking in October. Beginning with this issue, the Participant will provide regular Residential Life Project updates on the rapid pace of the exciting changes on campus.
Design-Build Team Named
Three design-build teams participated as finalists in the design competition. The teams made presentations to the Pitzer community on Dec. 9, with input gathered from students, faculty, staff and the trustees. In addition, the entire design team holds professional accreditation for work in sustainable design and construction by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.
The new residence halls will offer much more than a place for students to sleep: Pitzer is building a living environment that nurtures social and intellectual life. Living and learning will be interwoven in the new residence halls by incorporating spaces for music, art, technology, library collections and quiet study. Current plans call for the development of affinity-based “learning communities” that will allow students to live together in a setting where they can bring greater focus to an area of particular interest. Pitzer will create a seamless integration of the academic and co-curricular aspects of the college experience so students will continue to learn as they move from the classroom to the dorm room.
As just one example, Pitzer is exploring the creation of an International Learning Community that will accommodate 30 to 40 students who share a common interest in intercultural and international studies, along with specially designed communal and study spaces. An International Community will support Pitzer’s programs in important ways, including: providing an intellectual focus for a group of inherently diverse disciplines (language, history, culture, and politics) and a “home” for people from a variety of backgrounds, languages, and cultures; offering a supportive environment to Pitzer students preparing to leave for a semester abroad or just returning; creating a supportive community for foreign students attending Pitzer; giving students a place to practice foreign languages in an everyday setting; and, creating an ideal setting for Pitzer students to live while applying for the prestigious Fulbright or Watson fellowships.
The International Learning Community will offer a place where diverse cultures, languages, and histories meld together creating a rich environment for learning and self-discovery.
Fundraising Progress: Gifts Take Off
Due to the extraordinary support of three leading families—the Pitzers, the Golds and the Pritzkers—the College is well past the halfway mark for its fundraising goal to support the Residential Life Project. With a tentative goal of $18 million in fundraising, Pitzer already has commitments for more than $11.3 million.
In addition to the three lead gifts, Pitzer recently received a highly competitive $200,000 grant from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Trustee Eugene Stein also has enthusiastically joined in supporting the Residential Life Project, pledging a generous gift of $120,000 toward the new residence halls. Pitzer College appreciates deeply these important lead gifts to the Project and the positive momentum that they give to the overall fundraising effort.
— Richard Chute ’84