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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]


Revitalized Xavier poised to open its doors

By Drew Brown, Editor

Xavier Hall
STEP INSIDE: The Philip Nordquist Lecture Hall in the renovated Xavier Hall

Homecoming 2001 will be highlighted by the rededication of Xavier Hall, a celebration that concludes a $5 million effort that began in September 2000. The renovation is the first of three capital projects to be completed as part of The Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University: The Next Bold Step. Future projects include the renovation of Eastvold Auditorium and the new Center for Learning and Technology.

The plan wasn’t merely to remodel Xavier—the main objective was to give Social Science faculty and students improved facilities and the very latest in supportive technologies. The belief was a contemporary teaching-learning space would optimize collaborative learning. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone more excited about this goal than David Huelsbeck, dean of social sciences.

“We can’t wait to move back in,” Huelsbeck said. “It will make both teaching and learning a lot easier.” Huelsbeck is most excited about the new archeology and anthropology lab.

“We now have more than just space,” Huelsbeck said. We have place to work with archeological samples, a place for the collection of field notes, a place to store and display materials and a separate area to keep our tools.”

Along with the new lab, Xavier now has seminar rooms for small classes, a room for larger classes and conferences, renovated bay windows, new collaborative learning spaces, two “smart” classrooms that allow for computer interaction and satellite downlinks, a map room, three faculty office wings and 38 refurbished faculty offices. Formerly the university library, Xavier Hall was built in 1937.

With the Xavier Hall project complete, PLU looks to celebrate this accomplishment and honor the generous support of donors that made the revitalization possible. The Homecoming weekend celebration will begin in Xavier Hall at 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12, with the annual Heritage Lecture. This year’s lecture will be given by PLU professor and university historian, Philip Nordquist ’56. After a lead gift and challenge by Bob Gomulkiewicz ’83, friends and family of Nordquist raised money to renovate the old “reading room” of the original library building and dedicate it in honor of his many years of service. The lecture will take place in the Philip A. Nordquist Lecture Hall.

The dedication of Xavier Hall will begin in worship at University Congregation, 11 a.m. Sunday, October 14 in Lagerquist Hall of the Mary Baker Russell Music Center. The service will proceed outside of Xavier Hall.

There will a picnic luncheon (reservations can be made through the alumni office) and tours throughout the building. The classrooms will be active for the tours, meaning representatives will be in each room demonstrating the equipment.

“Inside and out, the building is better,” Huelsbeck said. “Everyone’s getting out of the renovated Xavier Hall the best of the old, and the best of the new.”

For more about the Xavier reopening, visit encore!

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