August 31, 2011 5:45 AM
Carol J. Schlueter
With pristine crisscrossed brick walkways and newly installed landscaping, Weatherhead Hall officially opened its doors on Friday (Aug. 26) as the newest Tulane residence hall. The $28-million structure is more than a home for 269 students — it’s also a symbol of resurgent New Orleans, according to speakers at the opening ceremony.
“This is quite a commitment by Tulane and the New Orleans community,” Michael Hogg, vice president for student affairs, said at the opening ceremony.
With a large incoming first-year class of 1,630 students pushing the on-campus community in excess of 3,600 students, Tulane residence halls are 98 percent occupied. Weatherhead is a welcome addition, offering instructional kitchens, study lounges and “student-friendly space,” said W. Ross Bryan, the new assistant vice president for housing and residence life.
For Tulane President Scott Cowen, the 81,000-square-foot red brick building “is another symbol of the renewal of Tulane University after Hurricane Katrina” and also represents the merging of Tulane’s academic mission with residential living on campus.
“Our best and brightest students live in this building,” Hogg said. Weatherhead is teamed with Butler Hall, home to a living and learning community linked to the Honors Program, whereby first-year students live in Butler and move to Weatherhead as sophomores. The new building also is the home of a faculty member-in-residence — Paul Colombo, associate professor of psychology, and his family.
The energy-efficient structure is named in honor of philanthropists Albert J. Weatherhead III and his wife, Celia, who is a graduate of Newcomb College and a member of the Board of Tulane. In the last two years the Weatherhead Foundation has pledged $100 million to Tulane for student scholarships and universitywide professorships.
“Once we learned to use all the green appliances, it’s been fabulous,” says new Weatherhead resident and sophomore Marianna Bradley. Her fellow residents “are really a fun group. They’re all invested in schoolwork but active in the community as well.”
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