Campus Life

Buildings and Facilities

In all, Hamilton owns more than 1,300 acres of woodlands, open fields and glens overlooking the Oriskany and Mohawk Valleys of Central New York. Included within the grounds are numerous hiking and cross-country ski trails and many unusual varieties of trees and plants. The Hamilton campus was designated as an arboretum in 2004, and the Root Glen, a gift of Mrs. Edward W. Root in 1971, is remembered by all who have strolled its shale paths.


Afro-Latin Cultural Center

Founded in 1969, the Afro-Latin Cultural Center provides a place of sodality for Black and Latin students. Open to and used by the entire community, the center sponsors discussions, lectures, art shows and similar educational, cultural and social events.


Anderson-Connell Alumni Center

Originally an inn called Lee's Tavern and the home of the Root family, the Alumni Center is one of the oldest buildings on the Hill. Renovated in 1986 and 2002, it is named in honor of Molly and Joseph F. Anderson, Class of 1944, and in memory of Clancy D. Connell, Class of 1912. It houses the offices of Communications and Development.


Athletic Center

The Athletic Center provides Hamilton with some of the finest and most modern indoor sports facilities of any small college in the nation. Components of the complex include the following: the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House, completed in 1978 and expanded in 2006 with the addition of the Little Squash Center; the Russell Sage Hockey Rink, one of the first indoor structures of its kind to be built on a college campus, renovated in 1993; the Alumni Gymnasium, dedicated in 1940 and renovated in 1978; the William M. Bristol, Jr. Swimming Pool, dedicated in 1988; and the Charlean and Wayland Blood Fitness and Dance Center, opened in 2006. For more information, see "Athletic Programs and Facilities."


Azel Backus House

The only building still extant from the Hamilton-Oneida Academy, it was constructed as a boarding house for the academy's students. In 1812 it became the home of Azel Backus, the first president of the College. Since 1958 the house has contained faculty and staff apartments and has also served as a meeting place for various campus and alumni groups. In 1984 it was renovated to include faculty dining rooms.


Beinecke Student Activities Village

The Student Activities Village was constructed in 1993 and named for Walter Beinecke, Jr., former chairman of the board of trustees of Kirkland College and a life trustee of Hamilton. The bright yellow buildings link the north and south sides of the campus via Martin's Way, a red-brick path named in honor of J. Martin Carovano, Hamilton's 16th president. The village contains the Mail Center, the Howard Diner and the Fillius Events Barn, as well as lounges where students and faculty members meet informally outside of the classroom.


Benedict Hall

The gift of Henry Harper Benedict, Class of 1869 and one of the pioneers in the manufacturing and marketing of the typewriter, Benedict Hall, which was erected in 1897, houses faculty offices and classrooms.


Bristol Center

Constructed in 1965, the William McLaren Bristol Center is named for the co-founder of Bristol-Myers Co., a member of the Class of 1882. In addition to several administrative offices, the building houses the Mauice Horowitch Career and Life Outcomes Center, meeting rooms and 12 guest rooms.


Buttrick Hall

Originally built in 1812 as the student dining hall, Buttrick Hall is as old as the College itself. In 1834 it became the home of Horatio Buttrick, then superintendent of the Buildings and Grounds Department as well as registrar. Through Oren Root's marriage to a daughter of Horatio Buttrick, the building became the birthplace of Elihu Root, U.S. secretary of state and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. It has served as Hamilton's administrative headquarters since 1926.


Career and LIfe Outcomes Center

Located on the third floor of the Bristol Center, the Maurice Horowitch Career and Life Outcomes Center comprises offices for counselors who provide assistance to students in developing their post-graduate plans.


The Chapel

Designed by architect Philip Hooker and completed in 1827, the Chapel is thought to be the only remaining example of an early three-story church in America. Restored in 1949 as a World War II memorial, it is the most notable landmark on the Hill and the center of the religious life of the College. It is frequently used for public lectures, concerts and assemblies. The third floor of the Chapel was renovated in 1999 and provides office and meeting space for campus chaplaincy.


Couper Hall

Constructed in 1889 and rededicated in 1992 in honor and memory of Edgar W. Couper, Class of 1920 and former chancellor of the University of the State of New York, Couper Hall was originally the College YMCA building. It contains classrooms and offices of the Classics Department as well as the Women's Studies program.


Dining Halls

Hamilton has two dining halls: the recently renovated Soper Commons, the gift of Alexander Soper, Class of 1867, and his brothers Arthur and James; and McEwen Dining Hall.


Glen House

Formerly a private residence, the Glen House was refurbished in 2006 as headquarters for the Hamilton Outdoor Leadership Center. It contains equipment rooms for the Bike Co-op, Ski Club and Outing Club, among others, as well as student meeting and social space.


Health Center

The Thomas Brown Rudd Health Center, named for the College's 13th president, was completed in 1959, and an addition was constructed in 1972. The building houses the Student Health Services and contains fully equipped examination and treatment rooms. The center also houses the College's Counseling and Psychological Services.


Christian A. Johnson Hall

The former College library (1914-1972) was renovated and rededicated as Christian A. Johnson Hall in 1982. It houses the language and speech laboratory and the College's media library. It also contains classrooms and faculty offices for the Critical Languages program, East Asian Languages and Literatures, French, German and Russian Languages, Hispanic Studies and Mathematics as well as the Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning Center.


Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts

Opened in 2014, the Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts features large classrooms and an exhibition area as well as studios and workshops for painting, printmaking, sculpture, woodworking, metals and ceramics, photography and other media. The interdisciplinary digital arts suite provides space for video artists to collaborate with musicians, dancers, actors, poets, mathematicians, scientists and others. The 175-seat Romano Theatre, with dressing rooms, a costume shop and support spaces, accommodates a range of productions, while the smaller Barrett Theatre is a laboratory space ideal for senior projects, class projects and guest artists. The center is named in honor of Kevin Kennedy '70, former chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Karen. Both are collectors of art and longtime supporters of the performing and visual arts at Hamilton.


Kirkland Cottage

The oldest building on campus, Kirkland Cottage was constructed in 1792 as the home of Samuel Kirkland, the founder of Hamilton College. In 1925 it was moved from the foot of College Hill to its present site and later restored. The cottage is used by the senior honorary society, Pentagon, for its meetings, and for the matriculation of the first-year class.


Kirner-Johnson Building

Having reopened in 2009 after an extensive renovation and expansion, these connected buildings house departments in the social sciences as well as the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center, the Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center and the Oral Communications Center. Originally constructed in 1968 for Kirkland College, Kirner Building is named in honor of Juvanta H. and Walter R. Kirner, and the adjacent Johnson Building is named for Virgil E. Johnson. The facility features large, flexible classrooms and common areas, and the latest technology. The building earned gold certification from LEED, the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.


The Library

Construction of the Daniel Burke Library was completed in 1972. Named for a member of the Class of 1893 who was for many years chairman of the board of trustees, this facility provides Hamilton with one of the finest small college libraries in the nation. The library is also home to the Multimedia Presentation Center, a state-of-the-art computer and media facility, which opened in 2002.


Little Pub

Located adjacent to the Beinecke Student Activities Village, The Little Pub opened in the spring of 1996. The restored horse stable/carriage barn contains a game room, bar, dance floor, fireplace room and other spaces for informal social gatherings.


McEwen Hall

Named for Robert Ward McEwen, 14th president of Hamilton College, McEwen Hall houses dining facilities, the Café Opus coffeehouse, a cinema lab, classrooms, music practice rooms and offices for faculty members.


The Observatory

Made possible through a gift from Elihu Root III, Class of 1936, the Observatory houses an 111/4" Maksutov telescope. Several smaller telescopes are also in use. In 1977, a building was constructed next to the observatory to provide work space for students enrolled in astronomy courses. This structure is heated by solar energy and is designed to permit experiments in this field. The observatory is off College Hill Road on Peters Lane, a quarter-mile from the campus.


Residence Halls

Hamilton believes the opportunities for educational and personal growth are best served when all students are in residence together. Toward that end, 95 percent of our students live in the 27 residence halls on campus, and first-year students are housed in clusters in nine of those halls. As students grow and develop at the College, they have an opportunity to live more independently in small houses and apartments.

Resident advisors live in each hall, with an average ratio of one resident advisor for every 30 students. Working closely with the Office of Residential Life, resident advisors are responsible for advising students in their areas, developing educational and social programs, limit-setting and administrative responsibilities within their buildings.

The College tries to provide its students with as many different housing options as possible. For example, even though all residence halls are coeducational, some floors are single-sex while others are coed. Dunham, Kirkland and North contain rooms ranging from singles to quads, and Carnegie and South contain doubles and quads. All offer lounges, recreation areas and kitchenettes. Babbitt and Milbank ­residence halls comprise six-person suites with kitchens and lounges. Keehn, Major, McIntosh, Minor and Root contain singles and doubles, kitchenettes and large lounges. The Bundy residence quadrangle consists of large singles and doubles. The third floor of Major is designated as "the quiet floor," where students abide by a 24-hour-a-day quiet policy. In addition, Root, Kirkland and 100 College Hill Road are designated as "substance free" halls. All residence halls are smoke-free.

Other housing options for primarily juniors and seniors include the Griffin Road and Farmhouse apartments, Wallace Johnson House, Saunders House, Rogers Estate, Ferguson House, Carnegie, Woollcott House, Eells House, and 3994 and 4002 Campus Road.


Root Hall

Given in 1897 by Elihu Root, Class of 1864, in memory of his father, Oren, professor of mathematics, the building was originally the Hall of Science. It now houses classrooms and faculty offices for the departments of Comparative Literature, English and Communication.


Elihu Root House

Built in 1817 for Theodore Strong, Hamilton's first professor of mathematics, the structure has served as the home of presidents, as well as faculty members of the College. The house was extensively remodeled after being purchased by Elihu Root as a summer home in 1893, and was occupied after 1937 by his daughter, Edith Root Grant, and her husband, Ulysses S. Grant III, grandson of the president. A National Historic Landmark, it was acquired by the College in 1979 and houses offices for the registrar, dean of students and some faculty members.


Molly Root House

Designed in 1915 by the renowned architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, the Colonial Revival building was commissioned by Elihu Root, Class of 1864, as a wedding gift for his son, Elihu Jr., Class of 1903. Beginning in the 1950s, the home was occupied by Elihu Jr.'s son Elihu III, Class of 1936, and his wife Molly Bidwell Root. In 2006, the building was dedicated as the headquarters for the Art History Department.


Sadove Student Center at Emerson Hall

Built in 1928 as home to the Emerson Literary Society, the Sadove Student Center opened in 2010 after a major renovation and expansion. The building houses the Student Activities Office, the College Bookstore, meeting spaces for student organizations, the campus radio station, a cafe and informal gathering areas.


Schambach Center

Completed in 1988, the Hans H. Schambach Center for Music and the Performing Arts houses the Music Department, its classrooms, studios, practice rooms and library. The center also contains the 700-seat Carol Woodhouse Wellin Performance Hall, an appropriate setting for the talents of student artists as well as internationally recognized artists in music and dance who regularly visit Hamilton.


Siuda House

Built in 1917, the Siuda House is home to the offices of Admission and Financial Aid. The building, which originally served as the Sigma Phi fraternity house, was rededicated in 2007 in honor of Joy and Chet '70 Siuda, a College trustee.


Philip Spencer House

Renovated in 2002, the former Chi Psi fraternity house was renamed the Philip Spencer House in honor of the fraternity's founder. It now houses the Business and Human Resources offices.


Taylor Science Center

The Taylor Science Center, the largest building project in the College's history, was completed in 2005 and houses offices and laboratories for Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics and Psychology. The complex contains a tri-climate greenhouse, auditorium, coffeehouse and more than 100 teaching and research laboratories. Students and professors are supported in their research by a 500 Mhz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, and an X-ray diffractometer and fluorescence spectrometer. The chemistry supercomputer, biology laboratory for bioinformatics research, psychology statistics laboratory, general computing classroom and wireless computer connectivity provide state-of-the-art computing facilities. The Science Center's expansive atrium boasts several environmentally friendly features including a temperature control system that involves geothermal loops and displacement ventilation. In 2011, the building was dedicated in honor of Edward ’46 and Virginia Taylor, who established Hamilton’s largest financial aid endowment and committed funds for faculty research in the sciences and new arts facilities.


Tolles Pavilion

Built in 2000, the Tolles Pavilion was dedicated in 2007 in memory of Patricia and Winton '28 Tolles, a longtime dean of the College. The large multipurpose facility is equipped with satellite television, a data projector, a 16-foot screen, dressing rooms and state-of-the-art sound components. Home to student theatre performances, concerts, comedy shows and banquets, the Tolles Pavilion serves a variety of programming needs.


Wellin Museum of Art

The Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art opened in 2012 as a “teaching laboratory” featuring both an open archive that gives students and professors ready access to the College’s collection and a large, flexible gallery space for rotating exhibits. The museum is named in honor of the parents of trustee Keith Wellin ’50, who, along with his wife Wendy, provided funds for the College's new arts facilities.