Denison University Dedicates New Burton D. Morgan Center
Posted: October 17, 2003
GRANVILLE -- Denison University dedicated its newest building -- theBurton D. Morgan Center-- at noon on Friday in a ceremony atop College Hill in Granville as Homecoming Weekend began.
Denison received an $8 million grant in 2000 from theBurton D. Morgan Foundationof Akron, Ohio, for the construction of the innovative mixed-use building, which University PresidentDale T. Knobelnoted was, "designed to encourage the productive interaction of students, faculty and alumni." He added, "It's more the way the world works."
The Morgan Center and the new Samson Talbot Hall of Biological Science anchor a $60 million "Campus Common" project at Denison, which has created four acres of useable real estate north of the Academic Quadrangle and provides subsurface parking for nearly 400 automobiles.
A view of Denison University's new Burton D. Morgan Center, looking east across the Campus Common and subsurface parking facility. Also pictured is the new Ridge Drive which runs through the Morgan Center and north of the Common to reconnect North Quad and the athletics facilities to the center of campus. The bell tower of Swasey Chapel can be seen behind the Morgan Center.
The Cambridge, Mass., firm ofGraham Gund Architectsdesigned the five-story structure that serves as a dramatic new entry portal for the campus and houses an alumni center and related offices, a faculty common room, and facilities for Denison's Office of Career Services and its off-campus internship program. Internet- and satellite-connected classrooms, an amphitheatre and meeting areas will enhance the college's growing inventory of technology-rich teaching and learning spaces.
In particular, the Morgan Center is seen as unique among national liberal arts colleges in its focus on encouraging alumni of this 172-year-old institution to reconnect and engage with today's students and academic programs. In addition, the University's Organizational Studies program and University Resources and Public Affairs offices will be relocated to the Morgan Center. There are numerous classrooms and office spaces for visiting speakers and educators, as well as a new Welsh Hills Room for special events, including receptions and dinners. Useable floor space in the spacious new building measures approximately 41,000 square feet.
An aerial photo of Denison's new Campus Common looking south, with the Morgan Center at the lower left and Talbot Hall on the right. Slayter Hall is in the center of the image with the Academic Quad pictured along the top.
The Burton D. Morgan Center dedication was witnessed by a standing-room-only Homecoming audience who watched from three levels in the building's central atrium. The ceremony included remarks from Denison Board of Trustees ChairMark Dalton '72, Morgan Foundation PresidentJohn V. Frankand Denison alumnusMarty Erbaugh '70, who is a trustee of both the Morgan Foundation and the University's Board. Erbaugh delivered a sincere and affectionate recounting of the life of philanthropist Burton D. Morgan, who died in March at the age of 86.
Also speaking at the event wereMarlene Tromp, chair of the faculty;Kim Cromwell '81, president of Denison's Society of the Alumni; and Denison seniorMelissa Latchem, a participant in the college's Organizational Studies Program.
Following the ceremony, the public was invited to tour the Morgan building and Talbot Hall. Adding to the festivities were Denison's malea cappellasinging group,The Hilltoppers, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary with alumni during the weekend and sang prior to the dedication. The Andy Carlson Band, a folk and bluegrass group led by violinist, guitarist, vocalist and Denison Assistant Professor of MusicAndy Carlson, performed in the Morgan atrium following the ceremony. On display in the lobby of the building were works submitted during the summer by first-year Denison students in anticipation of the college's opening convocation. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke about environmental issues related to America's rivers, and the students' projects, which ranged widely from art to science, were based on the "rivers" theme.
The Burton D. Morgan Center is named for the "free enterprise humanitarian" whose successful multinational Morgan Adhesives Company in Stow, Ohio, allowed him to create the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to further his philanthropic vision. Mr. Morgan was able to be present and participate in the groundbreaking for Denison's Morgan Center in October of 2001.
TheAlbert M. Higley Co.of Cleveland was construction manager for the Morgan building, along with other elements of the Gund-designed Campus Common project, including Talbot Hall, the underground parking facility and the new road connecting the center of campus with residences and athletics facilities to the north of College Hill. Morgan, Talbot and the new grassy "Common" area north of Slayter Hall student union all now afford striking views of the nearby Welsh Hills of Ohio to the north. The Gund design deliberately maintains the vision of Denison's original campus master plan which was developed nearly a century ago by the firm ofFrederick Law Olmsted & Sons, designers of New York's Central Park and campus plans at Stanford and Wellesley.
Link to story about Denison's new Morgan Center by Carey Checca in The Newark Advocate.
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