Stories by Margaret D. Smith
Photos by Jimi Lott and Rod Mar

SPU Opens a New Residence Hall,
Breaks Ground for a Science Center

"On September 25, two on-site ceremonies marked the latest steps in Seattle Pacific University's Comprehensive Plan for the 21st Century. At the groundbreaking ceremony for a new science building, SPU President Philip Eaton climbed into a huge trackhoe to break up a patch of ground. Two hours later, Eaton joined the campus community in dedicating Emerson Hall, the first residential facility built by the University since the 1960s.

Just-completed Emerson Hall stretches from the corner of Sixth Avenue West and West Emerson to McKenna Hall on West Bertona. Students helped design the new residence hall with creative spaces such as a prayer chapel, adjoining exercise and laundry rooms, and garden courtyard. Featured as front-page news in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on the day of its dedication, Emerson Hall has turned heads with its contemporary Northwest architecture and varied, suite-style living spaces.

SPU senior J.J. Kissinger spoke for the hall's 335 residents when he said at the ceremony, "We all want to say thank you for a facility that is truly unmatched. To all the people who drew up blueprints, chose light fixtures, donated dollars and swung hammers, we offer our deepest thanks."

A stone's throw away from Emerson, a plot of open land stood ready for builders to erect a state-of-the-art science facility. "Here is a piece of bare earth, alive with history and potential," said Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Bruce Congdon at the groundbreaking.

History does indeed surround this particular spot since it was where Tiffany Hall, a well-loved campus fixture, persevered for nearly a century. The hall, which suffered from severe structural problems exacerbated by earthquake damage in March 2001, was razed earlier in September. Neighboring Green Hall was also demolished to make room for the new 63,000-square-foot science building.

Scheduled to open in time for Autumn Quarter 2003, the science facility will house the biology and chemistry programs, as well as laboratory portions of the psychology program. Features include high-tech classrooms, cutting-edge research labs for undergraduates, and a greenhouse. Spaces like these, according to Congdon, will help create "the best hands-on laboratory- and inquiry-based education we can offer to generations of students."

To compensate for space lost in the demolition of Tiffany and Green Halls, Marston-Watson Residence Hall was retrofitted over the summer for faculty offices and classrooms. Workers also updated utility and telecommunications systems, expanding a central campus phone and data hub in Lower Marston.

"Emerson Hall and the new science building are very exciting projects," says President Philip Eaton, "not just because they are state-of-the-art facilities, but because of the key role they will play in SPU's vision for becoming a premier national Christian university and engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are watching that vision become a reality before our eyes!"

Remembering Tiffany Hall
When it was dedicated in 1909, the Ladies' Dormitory at Seattle Seminary was admired for both its elegance and functionality. Besides housing female students, it featured a large, beautiful dining area complete with a fireplace, and for many years all students shared meals there.

The Seattle Pacific College Board of Trustees officially named the stately dormitory Tiffany Hall in 1940 in honor of Grace English Tiffany, former dean of women and wife of President Orrin Tiffany. By the 1960s, five new residence halls had been built on campus, and Tiffany Hall was gradually converted to office space. It was the longtime home of the humanities faculty, and various other campus offices, until its demolition this fall to make way for a new science building.

A new area on campus, close to where Tiffany Hall once stood, will be paved with bricks removed from the building. Alumni, students and friends will soon be able to purchase and engrave a "legacy brick" for use in the project. (For more information on the legacy brick program, call 206/281-ALUM.)

My grandmother, Alice Ruth Tiffany, lived in Tiffany Hall during her high school and college years. Her mother, Grace, was the first Tiffany Hall housemother and dean of women. People used to tell my grandmother that Grace was their second mother. The feeling that came through Tiffany Hall was of a warm and loving place to belong. I feel torn: On the one hand Tiffany Hall needed to be taken down. I felt especially when we had the earthquake that it was time. But it's like the death of anything; it's gone, and it's not going to come back. At the same time, the school is about the future, and the new science building is good for the students' futures. I'm so glad the Loop will be renamed Tiffany Loop, though, because it's a place where Grace and Alice liked to walk. I'll feel their footsteps there.
Alice Horton, Great-granddaughter of Orrin and Grace Tiffany

I moved into Tiffany Hall in September 1945, when veterans were just coming back from the war, and I lived there for two years. That first year, I lived on the third floor, and we had one bathtub that we all shared. Once, I took a classmate's clothes away while she was in the tub. Later, she threw my clothes into the tub of water. I remember nights when we tried to get our housemother up the stairs by various means — she was quite large, and it took her a long time to get up those stairs. We had metal beds and would try to see how high we could jump on them. At night, some of us would go over to Peterson Hall to see what the bed-jumping looked like from there with the lights on. Oh, they were all happy, silly things — I don't think any of the students would be so silly now!
Frances Reynolds '49

As a new instructor in English in the 1960s, I worked in my office on the second floor of Tiffany Hall, looking out on those huge maples. All around were offices of my colleagues in English, anthropology, communication, drama, foreign languages and philosophy, in rooms designed for a dormitory. In fact, on the third floor, women students were still being housed. Faculty members passed continually down the narrow, scruffy hallway and came in to chat. Students dropped by to discuss what they were reading or encountering in their classes. There was an ongoing aesthetic, intellectual and theological ferment resulting from an extraordinary interaction between disciplines, all of which nurtured deep and lasting friendships.
Leon Arksey, Professor Emeritus of English

Tiffany Hall somehow seemed set apart from the rest of the campus, tucked into a corner of the Loop and shielded by trees. The building itself was comfortable, shaded and shabby. And, once inside, for three years, it was more home than my dorm room. What I remember most about Tiffany is the community inside it. It was a place of laughter, of intellectual excitement - a place where faculty and students gathered to talk, to read, to think.
Susan Aronstein '80

When I reflect on my 34 years spent in dear old Tiffany Hall, I think of what C.S. Lewis said about the affection that can develop for both important things like home or country, and relatively unimportant things like well-used slippers.
Michael Macdonald, Professor of European Studies

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