Admin­is­trators are waiting for a donor to pledge funds toward the New Dorm, at which time the res­i­dence will be renamed. Julia Mullins | Col­legian

Since opening for res­i­dents last semester, the women’s New Dorm still lacks an official name, and there is no plan for one as of yet.

Chief Admin­is­trative Officer Richard Péwé said rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Hillsdale College’s Insti­tu­tional Advancement are reaching out to friends of the college who may be inter­ested in making a donation for naming the New Dorm.

“It’s pos­sible some­thing could happen before the May 1,” he said. “There is no pre­dictable timeline.”

According to Péwé, Insti­tu­tional Advancement pri­or­i­tizes the use of dona­tions to meet unre­stricted oper­ating needs, then schol­arship needs, and finally capital project funding. Unre­stricted oper­ating needs include labor and utility costs, while capital project funding is used for building or improving facil­ities.

“Typ­i­cally when at least half of the total cost of con­struction is gifted, that donor is honored,” Péwé said. “This new dorm costs $3.5 million, so naming would require a gift of at least $1.75 million.”

In the case of the New Dorm, Péwé said the college admin­is­tration financed the con­struction, antic­i­pating that a gen­erous lead gift would be made.

“It’s a really great facility, so I bet we will encounter interest before too long,” he said.

Asso­ciate Vice Pres­ident for Insti­tu­tional Advancement Nancy Johnson said the college does not place a time limit on naming new dorms.

“We are con­tin­ually devel­oping rela­tion­ships with people who are inter­ested in sup­porting Hillsdale College, and they all have dif­ferent interests when it comes to des­ig­nating their support for a project,” Johnson said.

Waiting months, if not years, to name a newly built dorm seems to be a common occur­rence.

According to Public Ser­vices Librarian Linda Moore, who handles Hillsdale College’s archives, it took 11 years to name Simpson Res­i­dence and eight years to name McIntyre Res­i­dence.

Moore said con­struction on both Simpson and McIntyre res­i­dence halls began Feb. 20, 1965.

Simpson was known as West Dorm from 1965 until Oct. 8, 1976 when it was ded­i­cated as the Robert J. Simpson Res­i­dence.

“Simpson was a local man, a long-time bene­factor and trustee of Hillsdale College,” Moore said.  “He had been killed in a car accident on Aug. 27, 1976.”

According to Moore, McIntyre Res­i­dence was orig­i­nally known as North Dorm or the dorm in back of Waterman Res­i­dence. McIntyre was ded­i­cated Nov. 4, 1973 to honor Brouwer D. and Jane E. McIntyre.

“Brouwer had been a member of the Board of Trustees until his death in 1966, and Jane McIntyre was a member of the Board of Women Com­mis­sioners,” Moore said. “They were longtime con­trib­utors to the College, and a donation from the McIntyre Foun­dation was applied to the indebt­edness of McIntyre Dorm.”

Péwé said donors some­times do not want their names on buildings or they may want to honor an indi­vidual, family, foun­dation, or — in the case of the chapel — Christ.

“College Pres­ident Larry Arnn makes all those agree­ments with lead donors,” Péwé said.

Although some stu­dents have expressed interest in referring to the New Dorm based on its location, Péwé said student leaders liked “New Dorm” better than “Union Street” or other names based on location. According to Péwé, the admin­is­tration agreed to call the new res­i­dence hall “New Dorm” on a tem­porary basis.

“Giving it a more fitting tem­porary name may have stuck,” Péwé said. “It’s best to tran­sition to a the per­manent name – when the time comes – without resis­tance.”

New Dorm House Director and senior Rosemary Pynes said res­i­dents of the New Dorm are neutral toward its tem­porary name.

Pynes said she believes the tem­porary name will last even if the New Dorm lacks an official name in the next couple of years.

“It seems to me that the first name you give a place nor­mally sticks as part of habit,” Pynes said. “For instance, stu­dents still call the dining hall ‘Saga’ even though Saga hasn’t pro­vided the food for more than five years.”