News is that Georgetown College is building for the future – the first new student housing in years! – while honoring the past. The name of the complex, Rucker Village, is certain to evoke warm memories for many senior alumni and help create new ones for the 84 students who will live there.
“As soon as we received the go-ahead for new housing I knew it had to have the name ‘Rucker’,” said President Bill Crouch, who knows how magical the right name can be (see below for naming opportunities). “And, I wanted the word ‘Village’ for how we want students to feel at Georgetown College – a sense of nurturing and community.”
Dr. Crouch still has great memories himself of the Rucker Hall Reunion that took place during Georgetown’s Homecoming 2006. Many of the women who lived in the mammoth Romanesque Revival dormitory attended that special celebration near the old Jackson Street site and shared their great stories. The dorm – built in 1895 and named for the College’s champion of co-education, J.J. Rucker – was torn down in 1971 to make way for “modern residence halls.”
Sometime in March, construction will begin on our 2011-style modern residence – 14 two-story, brick townhouses on Dudley Avenue behind Collier and Allen halls. When they are near completion, upperclassmen in groups of six will apply to live in the units and those with the highest GPAs will be awarded spots.
Dean of Students Todd Gambill is elated on so many levels. “I think students will be excited to live in brand new townhouses. It should serve us well as both a recruitment tool and a retention tool,” said Dr. Gambill, who’s also Vice President for Student Life. “Once we get a bulldozer on campus, I suspect it will generate some positive buzz.
“We have some great facilities (the Ensor Learning Resource Center, the George H.W. Bush Center for Fitness, etc.) but it has been a long time since we built new housing,” Gambill continued. “Students spend more time in their residence hall than in the classroom, so our residential facilities are important!”
Georgetown builder Jim Barlow ’47 got the ball rolling with fellow GC trustees and came up with the design from a collaborative effort. “My philosophy about student housing has been to build it in an affordable yet pleasantly livable design,” he said. “Since I have spent a lifetime building homes under that concept, it was an easy application.”
Although Barlow remembers as a student not always feeling welcome at Rucker Hall – the girls’ “fortress…guarded by one formidable lady, Miss Rena Calhoun” – he is excited about the project.
“Seriously,” Barlow said, “I do agree that the name Rucker Village will be most appropriate in tribute to Georgetown College’s history.”
A special letter from President Crouch will go out soon to all living men and women who attended Georgetown College up to 1972 – that is, the “Rucker Hall girls” and the young men who knew them and dated them. This packet will include a wide variety of naming opportunities.
If you would like for your name – or the name of a loved one – to live on in the form of a handsome name plate in Rucker Village, the options range from a gift of $250 for an engraved brick in the courtyard to $1,000 for an engraved plate on the front door of a townhouse to $25,000 for your name on the one community room.
To become a member of the Rucker Society and have your name permanently part of Rucker Village, contact Roy Lowdenback at 502-863-8044 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org