New Living-Learning Center Will Enhance the Global Village: Exciting developments are bringing the long held vision of a new building for the Global Village at Douglass closer than ever to reality. The Associate Alumnae of Douglass College and Douglass Residential College have reached the $3.6 million Campaign for Douglass goal for the Global Village and design is underway.
Douglass alumnae and friends, through The Campaign for Douglass, have responded generously to the project with gifts that, together with the pledged support of $6.4 million from Rutgers University, have reached the project’s $10 million goal for this priority. On December 3, 2013, the Rutgers University Board of Governors formally approved the project. After a competitive bidding process, the multi-award winning architectural firm of Michael Graves & Associates was commissioned to design the building.
“The new living-learning residence hall for the Global Village will expand a hallmark College program. It will allow a greater number of Douglass students to learn and practice the skills necessary for effective global leadership,” stated Douglass Dean Jacquelyn Litt. “The project will impact students enrolled in our language, cultural, career or issues-based living-learning communities by providing new housing and classroom space. It will also benefit all Douglass women by providing large community space where students can participate in presentations, panel discussions and conferences that will bring the world to campus. For example,” she continued, “we have recently established a new student organization, the Douglass Chapter of Friends of UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund), which seeks to raise the issue of global women’s health among the student body. The multi-purpose rooms in the new building will provide a center for this type of global education and outreach. ”
This is the first new construction on Douglass in more than 30 years, since the Douglass College Center at the corner of George Street and Nichol Avenue was expanded and became a central point on the Douglass campus. “It is particularly exciting to have Michael Graves & Associates architects as our designer,” notes Dean Litt. “They bring expertise in designing for higher education and in many international sites, such as the recently completed Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, to our project.”
Because of the success of The Campaign for Douglass and with approval of the Board of Governors, the project timeline will now allow for a fall 2016 opening. “We are very grateful to the alumnae and friends who join with us and with lead donor Kathleen Whitehouse Ludwig ’75 in making commitments to the Living-Learning Residence Hall, ” stated Campaign Co-Chairs Joyce Kovatch Albers-Schonberg ’65 and Alice Herman ’70. They noted that contributors have a variety of reasons for their generous participation. Advancing a Douglass strength in offering living-learning communities to students appeals to many contributors. Others, aware that this will be the first new construction on campus in some three decades, want to showcase Douglass’ continued excellence and to assist in student recruitment and retention.
This project will complete the fourth side of the beautiful Georgian-style Jameson Campus, which is home to many of the current Global Village living-learning communities. Among them are Human Rights, Leadership Education at Douglass (LEAD), Women and Business, Africana, East Asian and the French House, to name a few. The Global Village is one of the most popular programs among students at Douglass.
Associate Alumnae of Douglass College Board of Directors President Tina B. Gordon ’72, expressed appreciation to the Campaign Co-Chairs on having raised the needed funds for the project. “This project would not have become a reality without the leadership of Joyce, Alice, Kathy, Sharon Matlofsky Karmazin ‘67 and many other contributors. We are grateful for their commitment and passion for Douglass.”
AADC Executive Director Valerie Anderson ’81 summarized progress, “When the AADC Board of Directors took on the challenge of conducting a major campaign to benefit the College, they had tremendous faith in the interest and loyalty of our alumnae.”
“This building, a key priority of our Campaign, confirms what we have always known about our alumnae and their commitment to Douglass.” Valerie continued, “Our alumnae have been instrumental in assuring the advancement and success of Douglass College throughout its history. Now is the time for all of us to invest in Douglass to ensure its vitality for the future.”
Ahead for the project is about a year of design, followed by a year of construction. Ahead for The Campaign for Douglass is building on the success of meeting this project to fulfill other essential needs to ensure the Douglass Difference. These areas include raising program and technology funds for the Global Village, support for STEM programs, signature Douglass curricula and Women’s Leadership initiatives. For updates on The Campaign for Douglass, visit www.campaignfordouglass.org