The Towers – 1968
Huntington Hall, the freshman and sophomore men’s dormitory was first occupied in 1968. This dormitory currently houses 162 men and a full-time Resident Director, Ryan Moyher. Moyer states, “This is the place on campus for guys to congregate and get to know each other in their beginning years at Vanguard.”
Huntington is comprised of 7 floors with elevator access on the bottom 6 floors. The first floor houses numerous Student Life offices: Leadership Development, the Student Government Association, the Student Activities Council, the Yearbook, Spiritual Formation, Chapel Accountability, and the offices of both Local and Global Outreach.
Laguna Hall, the first-year women’s dorm, was completed in May 1970. This dorm was built as the “twin tower” to Huntington Hall and in 1968 was advertised as having a “high speed” elevator that served all floors. This dorm featured amenities such as a shower and bathroom in each room and originally it was built to house 2 students per room. Currently, the capacity has been stretched to accommodate larger incoming freshman classes and there are now 215 women occupying the dorm.
There are approximately 50 rooms that have been utilized for triple capacity in order to provide space for freshman women who desire to live in this community. Bethany Palmer, the resident director of Laguna who lives in the first floor apartment, believes that “Laguna is a place for young women to develop friendships, grow spiritually, and find a mentor.” The Student Life offices of Housing, Residence Life and Student Discipline, Frontline new student orientation, Parent Relations, Diversity Programming, and International Students are also located on the first floor.
The Tower’s lobby was constructed in 1970 as part of the Laguna Hall construction project. This lobby provided a common meeting room between the two dormitories where men and women could meet and socialize or study together. The Tower’s lobby did not have heating or air conditioning; yet, it was the place of choice for students who wanted to meet for a discussion group, gather to share a meal, or just relax and share life stories.
The only recorded partial remodel of the lobby was in 1979 when the Women of the Southern California District of the Assemblies of God created a “penny fund” and donated $25,000 to buy furniture, carpeting, and wall decorations. Their focus was to make the lobby “beautiful and durable” (Campus Update, 1980). Some additional furnishings were provided in the late 1980’s to replace worn furnishings and floor coverings.
Welcome Porch for Freshmen Students and Families
Vanguard exists in an area of Southern California that is known for its innovation, beauty, and creativity. Students are searching for a university with a warm community and innovative environment that will open worlds of opportunity to them. Vanguard would seek to be the university that will provide this place for students to be transformed through truth, virtue, and service.
As students and their families visit several colleges to compare their offerings, they often choose their college based on the major of their choice and the living environment or atmosphere of a university. Our prospective and current students need a campus area and residence lobby that reflects this commitment to a creative learning environment. They need a place to experience the comfort of good friends and feel at home.
Every campus tour for prospective students and their families visits the Towers lobby. Every single student must walk through the Towers lobby to the Student Housing office when they are registering for each semester and visiting any of the Student Life offices. The Towers lobby is the hub of campus activity and is a safe meeting place for male and female students. “See you in the lobby” is a familiar phrase on campus with our new students when they plan an activity. As one student says, “The lobby is a comfortable middle ground.”
In Desperate Need
The Towers lobby area and furniture are seriously outdated. Significant parts of the is unusable and needs to be renovated. On hot August days, the lobby is sweltering and needs to have air conditioning. The lobby does not have the proper insulation in the windows so it is also chilly in the mornings and evenings during the winter months. The current sliding doors are not up to current safety code for glass breakage. The phone booths, circa 1960’s, are a non-functional eyesore. The furniture is outdated and uncomfortable and makes conversation and relaxation difficult.
Students also need a safe place on campus to meet and study. When a student has 2 roommates that are sleeping and she needs a safe place to use her computer and study, she has to place her laptop on a trash bin since there are no tables of the appropriate height or size for studying. Students who are trying to have a group study session find that the light is dim and the old kitchen fan with lights does not provide the illumination that they need. As one student stated, “The Towers lobby is a place where students should be able to study or hang out comfortably and get to know each other. The weird old phone booths should disappear and be replaced by comfy couches and tables!”
Most universities have a student union building that houses lounges and gathering places for students. Our university cannot match what other local universities provide in this area. Our Cove, though beloved, only has approved space for approximately 90 students and it cannot begin to meet the campus needs of our resident students.
Two of our Student Government Association leaders, Tyler Choi and Samantha May, realized the incredible potential for this space and began efforts to gain support and funding to renovate the lobby. They met with Dr. Ann Hamilton, Vice President for Student Affairs who strongly supported this effort and recommended that the University Housing committee become involved. After the information was presented to the Housing committee, they unanimously recommended that this project move forward. With the support of the President, Dr. Carol Taylor, and the other vice presidents, this project was advanced to the Board of Trustees for their approval. The Trustees supported this endeavor and approved the opportunity to raise the $250,000 that is needed to renovate and refurbish the Towers lobby. In the summer of 2010, Mrs. Johanna Townsend was appointed as the chair for the Love the Lobby fundraising committee, and committee members were selected to join in this valuable project.
Love the Lobby – Campaign to Renovate the Towers Lobby
The type of renovation that is required for the Towers lobby is beyond paint and new carpet: there is a need to bring this area up to current California code standards with new safety glass windows, heating and air-conditioning, electrical wiring and outlets for laptop computers, and a functional, accessible area for those with disabilities. New furniture is needed that is appropriate for a high capacity college environment. Three hundred and seventy seven people live in this environment. They deserve a lobby that will be a beautiful, comfortable home away from home.
The goal for the Love the Lobby campaign is to raise $250,000 to renovate and refurbish the Towers lobby in the Spring of 2011, with the ultimate goal of completing the renovation in the summer months in time for the new students to enjoy the benefits of a safe, home-like environment in the fall of 2011.
Campus representatives from Student Life and from the Facilities department have surveyed students for their needs and conducted focus groups. The students have given input in the design and arrangement of the new lobby area. They have emphasized the need for a hearth for relaxation, a media center, a game area, and computer bays and tables for studying. One student passionately stated,
“The Towers lobby is a freshman and sophomore sanctuary. I have made many fond memories chatting with friends…The Towers lobby is a place where Huntington and Laguna residents come together. I would like to see this rendezvous spot meet its full potential. I want to see the lobby become a comfortable environment where students feel welcomed. I want it to be a place on campus where students will be proud to socialize, and where others will make fond memories, like the ones I have made.”
The Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Ann Hamilton, believes that this project is an important message to let the students know that the university is listening and is responsive to their needs. She states, “Now is the time to create this place. Now is the time to believe our students when they say ‘This is important to us’. This is the time to show them that the university is moving forward and that as a community we can accomplish this project!”
Our goal as the Love the Lobby fundraising committee is to raise the funds in order to complete a renovation that will empower the students to realize their dream for this important community area for the new students that will arrive to their “home away from home” this next fall.
Serving Students in Community
The Love the Lobby project is designed to provide significant refurbishment to the towers lobby, providing a “family room” environment for students living in Huntingdon and Laguna. The project will include some structural elements such as demolition of old phone booths and check-in center to facilitate an expanded lobby area. The project area also includes new doors and windows, improved stairs and railings, and an expanded seating area for meeting friends and for conversations around a large screen TV.
The lobby will be a wifi hot spot for all students and campus printers will be available. Table seating will provide a place for casual time together. Game tables, such fooze ball and pool will also be provided.
“The Towers lobby is a place where students need to feel comfortable since this is there home away from home. The Love the Lobby project will bring about the community that Vanguard University strives to create with its students as a first reaction to the freshman students that are experiencing this great community for the first time.” Tyler Choi, Class of 2010
Your Gifts to Love the Lobby
We are happy to announce that we have raised all of the funds needed to complete the renovation of the Towers Lobby. The funds raised from the Love the Lobby campaign will be utilized to contract the services, supplies, permits, and furnishings needed to complete this project. If you would like to further contribute to the Love the Lobby renovation, please contact Kelly Kannwischer, Vice President for University Advancement, regarding named gift opportunities for the Towers dormitory and lobby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-966-6733.
To request more information, please contact Vice President for Student Life Dr. Ann Hamilton at email@example.com or 714.966.5488.