John M. Paz ’78 Alumni & Family Center
One of Dickinson College’s most prominent buildings will be transformed into a centralized facility with event spaces, gathering rooms and suites that are dedicated to the needs of alumni and families of current students, providing a vital link between the college’s past and its future.
Dickinson’s historic President’s House dates to 1833, when it was originally built for a local judge. Twelve presidents of the College have resided at the 11,000 gsf mansion which served as a dual functioning facility for nearly 130 years. It was the presidents’ and their families’ residence while also doubling as a major events space on the campus. In 2016, the College decided to separate the president’s residence from the quasi-public building and moved the president’s residence to a new location.
The Presidents House has been re-designed into the new John M. Paz ’78 Alumni & Family Center by Murray Associates Architect, P. C. The new centralized facility will be a permanent venue hosting special events and seminars for career-building and student-alumni networking; presentations by featured alumni and parent experts; reunions and other group events; fireside chats with senior leaders and faculty; and lifelong-learning programs.
A new stone terrace off the building’s northern façade has been created, as well as a new front entrance of South West Street. The first floor will be transformed to serve as a reception area and provide interactive, multipurpose programming space. The second and third floors will be renovated to include three guest rooms with en suite bathrooms, as well as a conference suite with advanced interactive virtual-meeting technology. The kitchen will be upgraded to support the new use in addition to the electrical and HVAC systems.
The design interjects modern elements including the glass entrance while maintaining the elegance of the buildings historical character. The interior design provides new contemporary gathering spaces that are flexible for multiple usages and the new suites provide the College guests an elegant bed and breakfast experience.