Photo retrieved from University of Lynchburg website.

Anna-Catherine Kueng ~ Assistant Editor

     On Friday, Oct. 25, the new residence hall, now officially known as Westover Hall, was dedicated on Shellenberger Field beginning at 11:30 a.m.

     The speakers for the dedication were Nat Marshall, chair of the Board of Trustees, President Garren, Deans Aaron Smith and Kristen Cooper, several students, and University Chaplain Stephanie McLemore. 

     Lauren Adkins spoke about her experience living in Westover Hall. She was nominated to speak by Associate Chaplain, Nathan Albert. 

     Adkins said, “My speech was about how I believe this new residence hall will allow for students of Lynchburg to grow and thrive. I explained about my living learning community, which is the spirituality and wellness community. This group helps students manage stress and develop new ways to exercise or fuel their bodies. We are learning ancient traditions and practices that go back more than 1,000 years.”

     After Adkins spoke, Davion Washington, President of the Student Government Association, began his speech: “As a first year student, and a Westover Honors Fellow, I was invited to sit in on a meeting with the architects to envision this amazing facility. My peers and I provided suggestions and feedback, and our input was received and accepted regardless of class, major, experience, or background. We felt included. Looking back at that moment, and many moments since, I am reminded of what truly makes this building so special: this hive was built by Hornets. The Lynchburg community has always been led by brilliant minds, tremendous care, and outstanding work ethics that the University of Lynchburg fosters and creates in its students, faculty, and staff.” 

      Dr. Smith followed, talking about how the new residence hall came to fruition. He said, “Several years ago, our institution…complete[d] a campus wide space study analysis. This analysis indicated that we needed more suite style residence options to best serve our students. Suite style living provides more privacy for our students than our traditional residence halls while still encouraging active learning and collaboration. This space study provided the impetus and design for the construction of our newest residential facility that you see before us today.” 

     In addition to speakers, lunch was served at the dedication ceremony and a time capsule was on display that will be buried beneath Westover Hall’s patio at a later date. 

     According to the University of Lynchburg Facebook page, “Notes to the future. Autographed T-Shirts. A brick from McWane, and a copy of The Critograph. These (and more) are going in a time capsule near the new residence hall.” 

     Dr. Smith explained, “Our time capsule, which commemorates this very moment, recognizes the first cohort of residents in the new residence hall. It is a very special group of students. We wanted to allow each floor of residents to be able to participate in this event by selecting items that best represented those living on that particular floor.” 

     To conclude the dedication ceremony, participants were invited to tour the new residence hall. 

     Dr. Smith concluded, “We are excited for the student development that is going to take place inside this residence hall.”

     Adkins noted, “Living in the new residence hall means living and learning as a community.”