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Odell Alumni Gatehouse Welcomes Alumni

February 05, 2009

  • The new exterior signage for the Morgan S. Odell Alumni Gatehouse.
    The new exterior signage for the Morgan S. Odell Alumni Gatehouse.

After many years of discussion and planning, a committed group of undergraduate alumni has realized the dream of acquiring dedicated space for alumni social gatherings and events. Lewis & Clark’s gatehouse, a stone and brick building at the main entrance to campus, has been refurbished and renamed the Morgan S. Odell Alumni Gatehouse.

The college dedicated the Odell Alumni Gatehouse in the spring during the Golden Reunion of alumni celebrating their 50th anniversary of graduation from Lewis & Clark. The name honors the first president on the Fir Acres campus, Morgan S. Odell, and the alumni body. During Alumni Weekend in October, the college hosted an open house to celebrate the completion of the renovation.

The gatehouse project originated with the Albany Society, a group of alumni who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences 50 or more years ago. Alumni committed $100,000 to pay for the improvements, with Robert Godel B.S. ‘51 and James King B.S. ‘52 making leadership gifts.

“Getting married was a thrill, having two children was a thrill, and getting the letter from the president saying the gatehouse was a done deal was a thrill,” says Godel. “The gatehouse is a critical element in the alumni renaissance. It will be the focal point for alumni.”

The renovated gatehouse includes:

  • An expansive living room, with new chairs, a custom rug and bookcases, a gas fireplace, and a custom table and lamps
  • Restored wood floors on the first floor and staircase
  • New carpet on the first and second floors
  • A custom handrail leading upstairs
  • Restored bathroom features
  • New interior lighting fixtures
  • Restored exterior lanterns, hallmarks of the building’s original architecture
  • New exterior signage

The gatehouse, designed by architect Herman Brookman as part of the original Fir Acres estate, was home to President Odell and his family and has served many functions in the years since. Today it houses the Office of Alumni and Parent Programs.

As the building’s dedication plaque reads, “Morgan Odell envisioned the college as ‘a citadel of light and learning.’ In dedicating this campus landmark, Lewis & Clark honors him and our alumni, who bring that vision to life.”

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