It’s history in the re-making.

After 14 months of careful renovation, the historic Quad is home to students once again. Bailey, Coit, Cotten, Gray, Hinshaw, Jamison and Shaw residence halls now blend the best of the past with redefined spaces for the future.

For many, the Quad holds a unique place in memory – a place of friendships and mischief, a place of learning and growing.

Sarah Pearlman ’60 lived in Jamison as a freshman. When she toured Coit earlier this summer, she had tears in her eyes. “This looks so different – in a wonderful way. It’s beautiful.”

This looks so different – in a wonderful way. It’s beautiful.

Originally built in the 1920s, the Quad buildings have lots of character but, before the renovation, had years of deferred maintenance. After discussions with alumni, faculty, staff and students, Chancellor Linda P. Brady recommended that the buildings be renovated rather than replaced.

The approximately 600 students who live in the Quad this year – predominantly sophomores and upperclassmen – enjoy more than new rooms. They also have a number of amenities, such as:


Laundry rooms on each floor, not in the basement as before

Suites, with no more than four students sharing a bathroom

Several single rooms

Bike storage in the basement

Carpeted rooms

“Loftable” beds

Lockable storage

ADA accessibility

New outdoor walkways

Shaw Residence Hall, which fronts Walker Avenue, is the focal point of the Quad, with a large gateway leading to a plaza and seating walls. Shaw also is the site of a new game room, the Tillman-Smart Parlor, to be used for gatherings of all kinds, and two classrooms which are used for learning communities and other classes.

While all the new amenities are wonderful, alumni appreciate that most of the exteriors of the Quad buildings are original. Bricks were cleaned and repointed, and all the trees within the Quad were preserved.

Alumni also have financially supported the renovation of community spaces such as parlors, lounges, classrooms, meeting rooms and faculty offices.

“This project awakens my deepest memories of the past and strengthens my hopes for the future,” said Emily Herring Wilson ’61 when the buildings were under renovation. She, along with Elinor Brandt Winn ’61, named the Hinshaw vestibule in honor of their house mother, Nancy W. Melvin.

On Nov. 3, the university will celebrate this new kind of homecoming with a re-dedication at 12:30 p.m. at the gateway entrance to the Quad. Self-guided tours will follow from 1 to 3 p.m.

Suitably enough, the re-dedication will occur during the university’s Homecoming weekend. After the Quad tour, participants are encouraged to stay for other festivities including Spartan Village, the Homecoming parade and men’s basketball game.

Complimentary parking for the Quad and Homecoming events will be available in the Walker Avenue Parking Deck.

Photography by David Wilson, University Relations