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The Hurwitz Admission Center opens to campus visitors

By Daniel DeVries on March 4, 2014
The Hurwitz Admission Center is now open for visitors.

The Hurwitz Admission Center is now open for visitors. (photo by Erica Hasenjager)

The former lobby of James B. Colgate Hall has undergone a major transformation in becoming The Hurwitz Admission Center, and the doors to this contemporary and informative welcome space are now open.

Entirely donor-funded and a year-and-a-half in the making, the renovation was possible thanks to a lead gift from Dan ’86 and Ellie Hurwitz P’17, and the generosity of a number of alumni, parents, grandparents, and other friends of Colgate.

“When Ellie and I think about Colgate, we think of an unparalleled standard of excellence. The introduction point for prospective students should appropriately highlight the extraordinary opportunities that are uniquely Colgate. It is an honor for our family to partner with Colgate to achieve this goal,” said Dan Hurwitz.

About 40 additional gifts were given in the name of Vice President and Dean of Admission Gary Ross ’77, and as requested by the donors, the lobby, presentation room, and new office space will be named in his honor.

“This is a really significant renovation. Our guests will find a completely reimagined visit experience created to best show what makes Colgate so extraordinary,” said Ross.

“Colgate’s admission staff is tremendously excited to greet prospective students and their families in this memorable and welcoming new space. I greatly appreciate the generosity of the Hurwitz family and the other donors who have made The Hurwitz Admission Center a stunning and highly functional addition to campus.”

Sasaki Associates of Watertown, Mass., designed the major interior and exterior updates to work with the historic building’s strengths, to increase visitor comfort, and to further showcase all that makes Colgate special.

Victor Vizgaitis, principal architect, said the work focused on accentuating the building’s symmetry while increasing the amount of square footage available for busy visit days.

“You have this formal front facade, but the center was closed off,” Vizgaitis said, adding that visitors are now welcomed by a central point of entry, eliminating confusion of the two side doors and clearing the way for new glass-enclosed areas for guests to enjoy unobstructed views of campus.

“We wanted to preserve the historical integrity of the side porches and also be able to use them year round. ” Vizgaitis said.

New colors, building materials, and windows help brighten the admission center interior, while highlighting visual elements that include video feature walls, touch-screen displays and visual enhancements during admission information sessions.

New digital experiences created by 160over90 of Philadelphia, Pa., illustrate how Colgate students contribute to an atmosphere of academic excellence on campus, in the local community, and around the world.

“The level of experiences and opportunities at Colgate can launch students anywhere they want to go in life, and in the world,” said Darryl Cilli, 160over90 principal and chief creative officer. “We’re showing — through technology — that Colgate truly is in the middle of everywhere. These walls actually talk, and tell stories about the transformative experiences that students have here.”

Parents and students visiting the new admission center are encouraged to explore rich digital content that highlights the amazing work of current students and strong success stories of graduates.

Renovations also include new heating and air conditioning, a new conference room for the Office of Admission, a coffee station, and an all-important Chipwich freezer to store the traditional sweet treats that conclude every campus tour.



  • Gate88 said:

    The renovation was necessary and appreciated. However, it is a bit underwhelming. What saddens me most is the lack of maroon from everything, our signature color. It is nonexistent in all furniture and furnishings. There seems to be no school spirit in this new building. In terms of appeal, it could easily be any admissions center for any college.

  • Stephen W Solomon, '76, MAT '78 said:

    I understand that there will be a dedication ceremony on 28 March and that additional photos of the project will be forthcoming as a result.

    I am looking forward to both!

  • mark a mandel md said:

    terrific survey of the construction. would like to see a few photos of the finished project. its a great improvement from the dark dreary admissions building pictured in the Charles Adams carttoons

  • Cris Johnson said:

    That’s wonderful.

    The finest night I ever spent and the most lasting lesson I ever learned at Colgate was in that building in April of 1968.