Yesterday upperclass students could be seen hauling lamps and clothes and dishes and shoes into their new rooms and apartments. The line at the bookstore was growing by the minute. And faculty were busily getting ready for the start of classes today (Aug. 29).
But campus wasn’t exactly lifeless this summer. Summer scholars and their advisors were conducting research. The staff was working to keep the place running. And there were a few changes here on the Hill.
Here’s a quick guide to what’s new around here:
On July 1, Adam Weinberg and his family, including wife Anne, son Nathan, and daughter Abigail, moved into Monomoy Place. (The Weinbergs also have an older daughter, Margaret, who is a student at NYU.)
Weinberg came to Denison from Vermont, where he was president of World Learning, an international nonprofit organization that provides education, exchange, and development programs in more than 60 countries. A professor of sociology, he was vice president and dean of the college at Colgate University, where he served on the faculty for more than a decade.
Weinberg is excited for what’s to come and has spent the summer meeting with faculty, staff, and students to forge a plan for the future of the college. He’s excited to talk to you, too, so don’t be a stranger. As a matter of fact, at the first-year Induction Ceremony, he had this to say: “If you see me in the dining hall, please don’t be shy. Even the president doesn’t want to sit alone. If you see me walking across campus, let me know how things are going. And if you walk past Monomoy Place and see my family sitting outside, come say hello and meet our awesome puppy, Ellie.”
In August, Denison rolled out a brand new website. It’s a big change for Denison’s online presence, and it’s a more dynamic and interactive site than our previous version, with lots of layers—from a slick new view of events to faculty and department profiles to stories on campus life (some from students themselves). So take a little time to poke around our new digital digs, and get to know our newly renovated online home.
This summer Denison brought in a new food service provider, Bon Appétit, an onsite restaurant company that provides café and catering services to colleges, corporations, and specialty venues across America. Bon Appétit has taken over the dining halls and Slayter Union offering a bounty of local foods and meals created from scratch. (That Caesar dressing in the salad line, for example, did not come from a bottle.)
Here’s just a taste of what’s available: At Slayter, diners can choose from a Chipotle-style burrito station, a salad bar, a deli, grilled items (don’t miss the sweet potato fries!), and a wok station, where folks can “build a bowl” of noodles or rice with vegetables and pork, chicken, or tofu.
The Dining Experience
Last semester, students scrolled sentimental messages to their dear Huffman Dining Hall on a temporary wall set up to allow workers inside to plug away on the hall’s renovation. Since it opened last week, Huffman has been quite the talk around the Hill with its clean new design and expanded food selections. Even the entrance is new. Students will now be going in where they used to go out—those stairs you remember at the old entrance are now gone, allowing for additional seating space.
On opening day, the line extended well beyond reasonable, as first-year students, faculty, and staff all came at once to see the new Huffman first-hand. But the traffic has spaced out a bit now, so head on over for some roasted chicken or a slice of pizza.
The Campus Tunes
If you hear additional notes being played by the chapel bells this year, you’re not losing your mind. Just before his departure on June 30, Denison’s 19th president, Dale Knobel, used funds available to him for campus improvements and installed six new bells to the tower. “I chose to invest in the Swasey Bells, learning that adding six would allow our student carillonneurs to expand their repertoire of classical, ecclesiastical, pop, and show tunes,” said Knobel. “I’m hoping future generations of Denisonians will enjoy the sound of the bells rolling across our hilltop campus.”
In Swasey’s parking lot sit two cars that are now available for student rental thanks to an initiative supported by DCGA and Denison staff. Need to run some errands in Newark or Columbus? Just log on to Enterprise Car Share site to check out the rates and reserve some time. Need gas while you’re out and about? Just use the prepaid gas card inside the vehicle. Oh, and bring us some Jeni’s ice cream if you’re headed to High Street.
Last year students watched as the Mitchell Center went through a serious expansion and renovation, including the installation of an Olympic size pool in the new Trumbull Aquatics Center, as well as new office space for faculty and staff.
The last detail to fall into place was the Crown Fitness Center, which just opened on Monday (Aug. 26). The 8,000-square-foot center offers more than 100 pieces of equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, rowers, climbers, strength equipment, and free weights.
In addition to barbells and stability balls and dip stations, we’ve learned that the Center also holds a “body weight jungle.” We’re not sure what that means, exactly, but we’re totally going to try it. If you see a communications staffer giving it a go, please, we beg, don’t poke fun.
These are just some of the highlights of all the exciting new things going on this year. Tell the world about the latest in your office or department in the comments section below.