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A base camp for outdoor exploration

In 1920, Edward W. Root, Class of 1905 and a member of the art faculty, wrote to the president of the College recommending his department be expanded to include a place where students could learn the “language of art.”

A clapboard cottage known as “the studio” was built two years later to fulfill Root’s intentions. Upon his death, Root’s widow Grace spent many summers at the home located behind what is now the Anderson-Connell Alumni Center, and fondly named it the “Glen House.” When she died in 1975, it sat vacant for several years before becoming a private residence, most recently for Hamilton deans.

The building that once opened its doors to students exploring the world of art now beckons others — those interested in the great outdoors. Dedicated this fall, the Glen House is the new home of Hamilton’s Outdoor Leadership Center, providing dedicated educational and social space for the Outing Club and the Adirondack Adventure (AA) Program.

The expansion of the Glen House was made possible by an anonymous gift of $700,000. The building includes offices for the Bike Co-op, the Ski and Snowboard Guild and for the administrative staff of the Adventure Program. Featuring plenty of storage space, a large room with a working fireplace and an outside deck to seat 50, the open, sun-drenched facility is ideal for student activities, classes and AA functions.

Adventure Program Director Andrew Jillings believes that this new building will serve as a social center on campus and provide a central hub for students interested in the outdoors. “My biggest worry is that I won’t get any work done, as my office is right off what may be the coolest hangout space on campus!” he said.

Hamilton has a long history of outdoor activity. The Outing Club was formed shortly after World War II by students eager to explore the Adirondacks and local ski areas. AA, founded in 1984, allows incoming first-year and transfer students to participate in a pre-orientation program
in the Adirondacks. The ropes course, a series of high and low outdoor physical challenges designed to engage groups in trust-building and teamwork exercises, was created in 1997 with funds from the Class of 1996 senior gift.

Jillings noted that the Glen House helps the Adventure Program achieve an important goal: “to have a unified program, with all assets under one roof — to create a community of ‘outdoorsy kids’ with a place to call their own.”
 

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