In last year’s magazine, we featured our new strategic plan, The Unfinished Work: A Strategic Direction for Gettysburg College. This plan focuses on advancing our students’ personal and intellectual development, and specifically preparing them for living, working, and making positive contributions in an increasingly interconnected and fast-changing world.
Of paramount importance to this preparation are academic and cocurricular programs that emphasize critical thinking, effective communication, the integration of knowledge, and an appreciation for and understanding of different perspectives that develop from different life experiences. The delivery of this education requires talented faculty and staff who are dedicated to mentoring our students. It also requires a commitment to the upkeep and renovation of our facilities to meet the needs of this vibrant College community. Over the last few months, we have been engaged in some significant facilities projects.
As prospective students visiting the College campus for the first time, many of you passed through the Eisenhower House Admissions building. Although the Eisenhower House provides a nice first impression to our visitors, an applicant pool of over 6,000 each of the last two years has stretched this facility far beyond its capacity. I am pleased to announce that as you read this magazine, we are getting ready to open our new Fourjay Welcome Center—a 4,500 square-foot addition to the existing building—thanks to the generous philanthropic support of Geoff Jackson ’91 and his family. This addition will provide a beautiful reception and gathering space for our prospective students and their families, as well as additional interview rooms and offices. The space will also be available for campus lectures, receptions, and other events when not in use by admissions.
This summer, we also kicked off a substantial renovation of our College Union Building, as we replace the old swimming pool and Bullet Hole snack bar with a 26,000 square-foot addition. This addition will allow us to provide a central location and increased space for the Center for Career Development and the Garthwait Leadership Center, two programs that are attracting many Gettysburgians. In addition we will expand the capacity of our Bullet Hole and provide space for our student activities offices. Over the summer we also completed an addition to the west side of our dining hall that will serve as a temporary Bullet Hole while the CUB is under construction. Next year, this addition will allow for a much-needed expansion of student seating in our dining hall.
As we move through the current academic year, we also have plans to pursue a number of smaller-scale facilities upgrades related to our inclusion and internationalization efforts— enriching the facilities for our Office of Multicultural Engagement and our Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and relocating our International House.
There’s no doubt that construction makes a mess on campus while it’s in process, as those of you who navigated the orange fencing on Reunion Weekend know very well! But it also creates excitement about the future—and, most importantly, each of these projects will enrich the Gettysburg experience for our students. I encourage you to come visit to see what’s new.
As always, thank you for your loyal support of Gettysburg College. It truly makes a difference!
Janet Morgan Riggs ’77