Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., September 7, 2016—As students return to campus this week, a new residential hall, the first one built in 40 years at Williams College, will open. Horn Hall, located on Stetson Court, will house 60 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
The 25,000-square foot residence hall contains 40 single rooms and 10 doubles organized into six-person suites that share a bathroom. It has several lounge rooms, study areas, a collaborative meeting room and classroom space, and a backyard with patio space for entertainment or meeting space. The building has many sustainability features including low-flow plumbing fixtures, triple-glazed windows, additional exterior insulation in the roof and walls, LED light fixtures, and occupancy sensors. The college is pursuing LEED Gold certification for the building.
The $15-million project is the first new residence hall on the campus since Mission Park was completed in the ’70s. Horn Hall is named for Joey and Ragnar Horn, alumni of the classes of 1987 and 1985, respectively, who supported the project with a $10 million philanthropic gift. Joey Horn has served as a member of the college’s board of trustees since 2009.
“We are delighted and grateful that the Horns stepped forward to support residential life at Williams so generously,” said Williams President Adam Falk. “Joey and Ragnar are great examples of alumni whose love of Williams has translated into active engagement and deep dedication to the college and its future.”
The Horns, who live in Norway and are both international alumni, said they consider the residential living experience at Williams to be particularly meaningful to the overall student experience at the college. The Horns themselves met at Williams through a chance encounter at Hubbell House, where Joey lived her junior and senior year.
“Residential life is an important part of the Williams experience, just as academics are,” said Joey Horn. “Whenever I talk to alumni from around the world, one of the first questions we always ask one another is ‘Where did you live?’ because everyone strongly identifies with their entry or the houses they lived in while at Williams. We each have lifelong friends from Williams whom we met in our entries or the dorms we lived in as upperclassmen.”
The building’s community-centered design appealed particularly to Ragnar Horn.
“This type of structure is what the liberal arts is all about,” he said. “It will bring together a diversity of people who will learn from each other, and that is as important as what they learn in the classroom. Williams gave us so much, and we have a deep sense of giving back to Williams. We hope to inspire other alumni to give back during this exciting capital campaign.”
Vice President for Campus Life Steve Klass said the opening of Horn Hall begins a 20 to 30 year-long strategy for enhancing residential life at Williams.
“Horn Hall really provides a program-driven template for us to use to reimagine some of our existing dorms to provide similar features,” Klass said. “This is a great opportunity to improve opportunities to cultivate community in our other upperclass facilities.”
Construction of Horn Hall began in April 2015. The general contractor for the project was Engelberth Construction of Colchester, Vt., and the building’s architect was Centerline Architects of Bennington, Vt.
Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.