Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Renovations Modernize, Increase Efficiency

When students arrived on campus this fall, they were greeted with a slew of in-progress and recently completed campus renovation projects. Construction crews are currently finishing up remodels of multiple spaces that will allow for improvement and relocation of certain administrative offices, including the Office of Dean, the Office of Annual Giving, the Academic Resource Center and the Communications Office.

Photo Contributed by David Brauhn

In an effort to consolidate corresponding departments and arrange spaces more effectively, renovations began immediately following commencement last spring. Some offices were rearranged within Memorial Building, while others moved to separate buildings all together.

The Office of the Dean and the Academic Resource Center (ARC), both previously housed in separate areas of Memorial, are now located in the newly renovated east wing of the third floor of Memorial which was formerly occupied by a classroom and part of the communications department.

“We needed to be closer together and at the same time, the Academic Resource Center needed more space,” said Associate to the Dean of the Students Donna Cummins.

Although the two offices, both engaged in student affairs, work closely with one another, their separate physical locations made collaboration difficult. While the Office of the Dean was located on the west wing of the third floor of Memorial, the Academic Resource Center was based on the second floor.

“[Director of Academic Resources] Juli [Dunn] would go upstairs frequently throughout the day, but you can imagine how that would be challenging, because she’s upstairs, I’m downstairs. So it just makes perfect sense that we’re in the same space. It couldn’t be nicer,” said Academic Resources Program Coordinator Mary Claire Gegen.

Photo Contributed by David Brauhn

In addition to situating the two offices in close proximity to one another, renovations in Memorial gave the Academic Resource Center additional space. Before the remodel, the ARC shared an office with off-campus studies.

“Before, you know, [we had to ask], ‘Oh, are you here because you’re going to Spain or because you need a tutor?’ I loved working next to off-campus studies, but it just wasn’t effective,” said Gegen. “Also at that point, I didn’t have an office, and so I was working with students on perhaps confidential or really focus-oriented work, which was difficult to maintain that focus because I had a steady stream of students.”

The ARC’s previous location was not only ineffective for staff, but also for students seeking to utilize the office’s services as well.

“The old [office], when you walked in, was sort of confusing, because it was a shared space … The design of the office felt really cramped. It didn’t even feel that official because it was so crammed and sort of in the corner and just not a lot of space” said sophomore Student Academic Advisor Alex Hulse.

The ARC’s new location beside the Office of the Dean gives the department a more distinct, spacious and private office setup.

“We’re thrilled to be in this gorgeous space. We can help students in a much more effective and efficient manner,” said Gegen.

Photo Contributed by David Brauhn

The relocation of these two student affairs offices displaced the Communications Office, previously located in that area on the third floor prior to the renovations. However, this allowed the communications department to form a more cohesive office space as well. In addition to offices dispersed throughout the third floor of memorial, parts of communications were located across campus in Boyer House. Now, the entirety of the Communications Office is located in the newly remodeled Boyer House.

“This move consolidates the office of communications. So we’re all here. It’s nice to be able to easily talk to people you work with and work together as a unit. It’s been a good move,” said Acting Director of Communications David Brauhn.

In addition to moving office spaces for increased functionality, Memorial, Baker Faculty Center and Boyer House underwent extensive restorations including new carpet, paint-jobs and historic molding.

Baker Faculty Center is still undergoing renovations but upon completion will house Alumni Relations and the Office of Annual Giving.

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