In an attempt to more efficiently organize Alumni Relations while providing more comfortable accommodations for alumni returning to campus, renovations began over the summer on the Rectory, the center for returning alumni on campus.
For around six years, the College has leased The Rectory, a small, gray building next to Calvert Hall, from Trinity Church for office uses. However, the building itself is quite old, standing possibly 60-70 years, and was a crowded place for the work of the Alumni Relations office. The renovations, begun over the summer, serve as an attempt to transform the office spaces into suitable rooms and meeting areas for alumni, visitors, and partners.
“What I began to explore was how we could create that space,” said Maureen Silva, the newly-appointed Vice President for Development who proposed the idea of such a place for alumni. Silva and her staff, who had all originally worked in the Rectory, have been relocated to Calvert to work in the same building and make room for alums in the Rectory.
Charles “Chip” Jackson, the Associate Vice President of Planning and Facilities, stated that “it’s an importance of any college to foster strong ties to our alumni group,” and that creating a social gathering spot for alumni would be beneficial. The building would act as both an alumni affairs office, and a sort of living room, serving similar functions to alumni houses that can be found on other college and university campuses nationwide.
While most of the renovations involve replacing furniture, a major change to the Rectory was the addition of handicap-accessible bathrooms with ramps, making the space more appropriate for alums requiring such services.
“It’s nice to have a place you can go where you’re not intruding on classrooms,” said Joseph Urgo, President of the College, in reference to the functionality of the Rectory as an alumni space. “It is a base from which alums can do what they need, and look up other alums as well. They may come back for homecoming, vacations on the waterfront, or simply to show their children where they went to college, so a designated alumni area would be ideal and accommodating.”
Though Silva established that the alumni needed “a large place to call their own,” the Rectory will serve the community as well, functioning as a meeting place for other nearby organizations.
Alumni Relations is also planning future renovations to the Rectory as this project completes its final stages before the College’s Family Weekend in October. “When students become alums, we want to foster relationships with them,” Jackson said.
“The aim is to keep everyone coming back when they leave.”