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Juniata Honors Former Employee by Naming Residence Hall for Her

(Posted April 17, 2014)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College will celebrate its first single-room residence hall, the first new dormitory on campus since the 1970s, at a dedication ceremony that will start with tours and refreshments at 4:15p.m., Friday, April 25 at the building located off Cold Springs Road.

The college has chosen to name the building Hilda Nathan Residence Hall in honor of Hilda Nathan, a longtime Juniata employee who worked in the college's treasurer's office from 1946 to 1976.

"Hilda throughout her time at the college became well known to students for her efforts to do all she could to help them pay for a Juniata education."
Gabriel Welsch, vice president for advancement and marketing.

"Hilda throughout her time at the college became well known to students for her efforts to do all she could to help them pay for a Juniata education," says Gabriel Welsch, vice president for advancement and marketing. "Hilda's compassion for students is legendary among our alumni from the '50s to the '70s. She sometimes loaned students money, found scholarships, and helped them stay at Juniata when finances may otherwise have stood in the way of their earning their degrees."

The dedication will open with tours of the new residence hall from 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. As visitors wait for their tours, punch and snacks will be available.

The dedication ceremony begins at 4:45 p.m. with remarks by James A. Troha, president of Juniata. Several other speakers will make remarks, including David Witkovsky, Juniata's chaplain; Anshu Chawla, president of Juniata's student government for 2013-2014; Kunal Atit, student government president-elect for 2014-2015; Carly Wansing, project manager for Street Dixon Rick Architecture, an architectural firm in Nashville, Tenn; and Robert McDowell, chair of the Juniata board of trustees. More tours of the building will begin after the dedication ceremony, from about 5 to 5:15 p.m.

Hilda Nathan came to Juniata in 1946. She worked at Juniata for the next 30 years and became renowned by successive generations of students for her compassion and zeal for helping students find funding to stay in school.

In the days before the Internet, she also was a clearinghouse of information for finding scholarships to help Juniata students remain enrolled.

The building was designed by Street Dixon Rick. The builder and general contractor for the project was R.S. Mowery and Sons, of Mechanicsburg, Pa. The contractor for mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems was D.C. Goodman and Sons, of Huntingdon, Pa.

The new residence hall offers significant improvements in the areas of accessibility, community and sustainability. Nathan Hall has an elevator and is designed for accessibility throughout the building. The space also is designed to foster community with such features as informal gathering spaces and lounges within the building and outside. The dorm also was constructed using such "green" technologies as geothermal heating, energy-efficient lighting, plantings and green spaces. The building also offers a bike shelter to encourage less driving.

Construction costs for the residence hall reached $7.5 million and students who opt to live in the new space will pay 15 percent more than students who live in the other Juniata residence halls. The building is 24,533 square feet.

Nathan Hall is designed to offer 77 students a chance to live alone without a roommate during their time at Juniata. There also is an apartment to house the residence director. The layout of the residence hall offers four different styles of single living. Two rooms have bathrooms. There are six styles with two bedrooms sharing a bathroom. There are five styles with two bedrooms sharing a living room and bathroom. The rest of the rooms are single rooms sharing a bathroom situated off the main hall.

The common areas of Nathan Hall will include a kitchenette, a student lounge, a seminar room, an outside patio, a fitness room, small study spaces at the ends of each wing, and a café. The residence hall rooms are all air-conditioned.

The last Juniata residence hall to be constructed before Nathan Hall was East Residence Hall, which was completed in the 1970s.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.