Locust Walk to
Come Alive Day and Night
President Judith Rodin enthusiastically accepted the Locust Walk Advisory
Committee's recommendations last Thursday, that include plans to create
a dynamic student-oriented hub of activity in the heart of campus. The plans
encompass the creation of a cultural and performing arts center, a research
hub for undergraduates, a Graduate Student Center, and common, shared space
for student religious groups. The Committee, chaired by Provost Robert Barchi,
has been meeting since January to discuss a variety of options along Locust
Walk. President Rodin was presented with the Committee's recommendations
last Tuesday and acted swiftly to endorse them.
"These recommendations are wonderful, and I am delighted by their
potential to build on the excitement and allure of Locust Walk," said
President Rodin. "This proposal ensures that Locust Walk will be welcoming
and attractive to our dynamic and diverse community, and in particular,
The Committee was specifically charged with developing a strategy for
buildings that are either soon to be vacant or in transition, and are in
proximity to one another along Locust Walk.
"This was a unique opportunity for us to think strategically and
comprehensively about the Walk and also to quickly implement the decisions
reached," said Provost Barchi. "By next fall, Locust Walk will
be alive day and night with student energy and activity. When you add Perelman
Quad back into the mix, you can imagine that the very center of campus will
be more vibrant that it has ever been."
The Committee's recommendations are:
- The former Christian Association building will house a new cultural
and performing arts center, as well as a new undergraduate research hub
and fellowship office. A VPUL-sponsored naming contest for the building
will be held later this semester.
The first floor of the building will house La Casa Latina, the Pan Asian
American Community House (PAACH), UMOJA, a satellite office for the Greenfield
Intercultural Center (GIC) and swing office space for a new performing arts
hub. The Palladium will remain on the first floor through 2002. The performing
arts offices will ultimately relocate to the ground floor, once the Gold
Standard lease expires at the end of 2002. At that point, the entire lower
level will be devoted to the performing arts hub.
In addition to the space provided on the first floor, the cultural groups
will share five large conference spaces throughout the building. Students
from each of the groups in the building will form a space committee to allocate
use of the conference rooms. Priority will be given to the students in the
building, but the rooms will then be available to others if spaces remain
unused. The Auditorium on the second floor will be allocated through the
VPUL room reservation process.
The second floor of the building will house the new Center for Undergraduate
Research and Fellowships. Among its myriad research activity, the Center
will advise students from all four schools on research opportunities, assist
students in formulating grant proposals and host seminars and demonstrations
by faculty. In addition to the research hub, the Center will serve as a
resource for all post-graduate fellowships, and provide first-line support
for the international fellowships such as Rhodes, Marshall and Luce. In
the case of other fellowships, the Office will work in coordination with
those offices that already offer support and advise students on various
fellowship competitions. The Center will report to Deputy Provost Peter
- The Veranda will house the new Graduate Student Center, providing a
central site for Penn's graduate and professional students to socialize,
study, create and catalyze programming, and generally interact with one
another across school boundaries. The Graduate Center will be on the first
and second floors.
The ground floor will provide shared space for student religious groups
to meet and worship in a central location. Chaplain Will Gipson will coordinate
the space and will work closely with Penn student religious organizations
to allocate space within the site.
- As previously announced, 3619 Locust Walk will house SAS Centers, primarily
the Humanities Forum and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies.
It will also be available for other SAS conference and seminar needs.
- Over the longer term, there are plans to relocate VPUL, presently housed
at 3609-11 Locust Walk. The Committee recommended that this space be dedicated
for future use as a sorority, ensuring that the Greek presence remains
a vital part of the Locust Walk mix.
"The Locust Walk consultative process was broad and extensive,"
said Provost Barchi. "In the end, our goal was to produce a series
of recommendations that would make the Walk a place full of energy and life,
and be able to serve and reflect the needs of our diverse community. I think
this plan, which includes undergraduates, graduate students, cultural groups,
performing arts groups, religious groups and academically enriching support
services, meets the ambitious goals President Rodin had in mind."
Committee members included:
- Provost Barchi, Chair
- Jennifer Baldino, Director of External Affairs, Office of the President
- Jerome Byam, Chair, UMC
- Peter Conn, Deputy Provost
- Eric Eisenstein, Chair, GSAC
- John Keene, Professor of City and Regional Planning and Past Chair,
- Linda Koons, Executive Assistant to the Provost
- Kendra Nicholson, Chair, GAPSA
- Jorge Santiago-Aviles, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
and Faculty Master, Kings Court English College House
- Michael Silver, Chair, UA
- Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, VPUL.
Drew Faust: Dean of Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study
Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, the Annenberg Professor of History, has been named
the first Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.
The Institute was created upon the merger of Radcliffe with Harvard on October
1, 1999. Dr. Faust will succeed Mary Maples Dunn, former president of Smith
College and director of the Schlesinger Library, who has served as acting
dean since the merger. Dr. Faust will also hold a tenured appointment as
professor. A leading historian of the Civil War and the American South,
Dr. Faust has served since 1996 as the director of Penn's Women's Studies
"This is truly a unique opportunity. Drew Faust is a superb scholar
and teacher, and we will miss her terribly here at Penn. At the same time,
we are extremely proud of her and look forward to watching her star rise
ever higher," said President Judith Rodin.
"Drew Faust is a person and a scholar of unusual depth and range,"
Harvard President Rudenstine said. "As an historian of the first rank,
she will bring to the Radcliffe deanship a lifelong commitment to original
research and an instinctive understanding of the fundamental purposes of
the Radcliffe Institute. This perspective is crucial to the success of an
institute for advanced study that aspires to the highest level of academic
quality across a wide range of disciplines and fields, including significant
work in the field of women, gender, and society.
"Dr. Faust has the clarity of mind, the commitment, and the leadership
qualities essential to the successful launching of this new venture--particularly
within an institution as complex as Harvard," he added.
In accepting the appointment, Dr. Faust said, "I am deeply honored
to have been chosen for what seems to me the most exciting job in higher
education. The Institute will build upon Radcliffe's twin traditions of
academic excellence and commitment to women, uniting them with Harvard's
scholarly eminence in a way that will encourage and support outstanding
work in every field of intellectual endeavor. The opportunity for intersections
across disciplinary boundaries will make the Institute an environment from
which not just new knowledge, but new ways of looking at knowledge, will
emerge. I am delighted by the prospect of playing a role in shaping this
Dr. Dunn said, "This is a brilliant appointment. I could not be
more pleased. Drew will be an outstanding dean of the Radcliffe Institute."
The Institute is one of a very few large-scale institutes for advanced
study in the country. Each year it welcomes more than fifty fellows and
visiting scholars and hosts a wide array of colloquia, lectures, and other
Dr. Faust is the author of five books, including the award-winning Mothers
of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War,
published in 1997. She is currently working on a study of the impact of
the Civil War's enormous death toll on the lives of nineteenth-century Americans.
Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 28, April 11, 2000
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