Graduate school now united in Rogers Hall

Graduate school now united in Rogers Hall

With the ringing of a bronze school bell, Lewis & Clark College celebrated the dedication of Rogers Hall—the new home of Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education.

Lewis & Clark has been training educators since its founding as Albany Collegiate Institute in 1867, but the dedication on November 15 marked the first time in the graduate school’s history that faculty, staff, and students have been housed under one roof.

The event also celebrated the completion of the first renovated facility on the College’s south campus. The College purchased the stunningly beautiful property from the Sisters of St. Francis in 2000.

Special guests at the dedication included Nel Noddings, president of the National Academy of Education, and Art Wise, president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education in Washington, D.C.

The Sisters of St. Francis built the four-story building that is now Rogers Hall in 1951 to house novices and postulants at Our Lady of Angels convent and later modified the building for use as a retreat and conference center.

A $4.5-million gift from the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation—the largest ever to a school of education in Oregon—enabled the College to acquire, renovate, and maintain the building. Lewis & Clark dedicated the building to honor Mary Stuart Rogers, a lifelong homemaker and mother of four who was deeply devoted to educational causes. Lewis & Clark Trustee John S. Rogers is president of the foundation.

The Portland firm of Soderstrom Architects transformed the 27,000-square-foot building from dormitories into state-of-the-art classrooms and offices for Lewis & Clark’s graduate school. Andersen Construction and Lewis & Clark’s staff completed the renovation on a short timeline.

“The building is having a dramatic impact on our graduate school,” said Michael Mooney, president of Lewis & Clark College. “It will enable the graduate school to build on its high-quality reputation to become a center of national significance.”

“Rogers Hall is not just a facility but a home for education and counseling programs of the highest caliber. And it is a sanctuary for students to explore their talents, dialogue with their peers, and nourish the creativity and leadership skills that our faculty are known to inspire,” said Jay Casbon, dean of the graduate school.

For close to 20 years, the College’s education programs have been scattered across campus and collaboration among departments has been difficult. Now, with the completion of Rogers Hall, there’s a new sense of interdepartmental collaboration and excitement about building on the strengths of each individual member of the graduate school community to create a truly world-class education program.

“The new space that we have, both the beautiful Rogers Hall and the grounds that surround it, give us a place to honor our work as a community in ways that touch the spirit,” said Carol Witherell, professor of education and interim chair of the graduate school’s teacher education program. “It has brought us closer together as a group of faculty and staff to celebrate the many things that are part of the graduate school’s mission.”

The graduate school prepares thoughtful, innovative leaders through programs encompassing teacher education, counseling psychology, educational administration, special education, and school counseling. The school also embraces the Northwest Writing Institute, which offers creative opportunities for students seeking to develop their skills as writers.

To meet the needs of these diverse programs, Rogers Hall houses six classrooms, including a science laboratory, offices, work areas, and conference rooms.

Architect Jon Wiener created a welcoming entry to the building with a covered patio that affords a spectacular view of forested hills. He reconfigured rooms once used as dormitories by the Franciscan sisters to house faculty and staff offices. Improved lighting and finishes give the interior a fresh, open look. New “smart classrooms” are wired for Internet access, connecting faculty and students to the latest technologies for teaching and learning.

Other improvements include new roofing; installation of telecommunications networks; upgrades of fire, lighting, electrical, and plumbing systems; improved accessibility for those with disabilities; and structural and seismic upgrades. In addition, Walker Macy, landscape architect, designed new pathways to connect the hall and the rest of the south campus with the main campus.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation, and, in particular, the vision and friendship of John and June Rogers, the Graduate School of Education looks forward to a bright and successful future,” Casbon said. “Their support will allow our faculty to prepare teachers and counselors of the highest ability for generations to come.”