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08.14.2015

20150814 092018The College of Social Work continues to grow, and we finally have a building that can accommodate us. Previously, the CoSW was scattered across campus, separating classrooms from offices and students and faculty from each other. As social work is by necessity a collaborative field, the CoSW was ready for a place to call its own.

The CoSW can now call Hamilton College home. Hamilton was constructed in 1942 as a naval armory and training space and has most recently been used by the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Performance Experiment. The gleaming hardwoods of the armory’s gymnasium floor have been incorporated into the renovations as a reminder of the history of Hamilton. Dean Anna Scheyett finds it especially meaningful that officers training during World War II were “stepping on the same floors that now students going into military social work are stepping on,” noting that the renovation plans for Hamilton started taking shape approximately four years ago, right as the CoSW began exploring a new military social work specialization.20150814 092139

Though the upgrades respect the history of the building, Hamilton is otherwise entirely modern. After 17.5 million dollars in renovations, the historic building can now boast computer-equipped classrooms, conference rooms with teleconferencing capacities, faculty offices, and a computer lab.

20150814 092450Over 800 students, once accustomed to traipsing across campus for their classes and faculty office hours, will now have one place to learn and to mingle. A student lounge and a lobby offer spaces for catching up between classes, and students and faculty alike will enjoy a new deck surrounding a tree in the courtyard. The building will be further enhanced by the gift of Graham Arader, who arranged for the donation of Audubon prints, Redouté prints, and Chinese watercolors of flora and fauna to grace Hamilton’s walls. Beautiful design and artwork is important, says Scheyett, as a means of “feeding the spirit of the students and honoring their work.”

20150814 092950Moving into Hamilton College signifies the growing presence of the CoSW on campus and in the community. Scheyett notes that the CoSW’s move is thanks to “university support, increasing national recognition, and donor champions.” In addition to giving CoSW faculty, staff, and students a sense of being valued, the move to Hamilton also gives them a sense of identity. Being housed in one building allows “the ability to communicate and collaborate easily,” says Scheyett, and this will bring everyone together.

20150814 092544All CoSW faculty, staff, students, and alumni are welcome to celebrate the CoSW’s new home at a dedication ceremony on Friday, September 11, at 10:30 a.m. Speakers will include UofSC President Harris Pastides; Board of Trustees member John von Lehe, who has also endowed a scholarship in the CoSW; and alumna Carla Damron, current Executive Director of the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. The dedication ceremony will be followed by light refreshments and student-led tours. Guests can RSVP to the dedication ceremony here. We hope to see you there!

 

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