Emory & Henry College will celebrate the 176th anniversary of its founding Thursday, March 21, with a ribbon cutting for what is expected to be the nation’s first large-scale residence hall to be built with passive energy design.
The new 119-bed facility, which cost an estimated $7.5 million, represents the College’s most significant initiative in energy efficient construction. The new building, to be called Hickory Hall, has been constructed with the aim of obtaining LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Hickory Hall also incorporated passive house designs, which reduce the amount of outside air coming into the building and thus reducing heating and cooling costs. Passive house technology has been used for years in Europe, but mostly in homes. Hickory Hall would be the first large-scale residence hall in the nation to be built to such high standards for energy efficiency.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony begins at 2 p.m. It will be preceded at 11:15 a.m. by the annual E&H Founders Day ceremony, which will be held in Memorial Chapel on the E&H campus.
E&H President Rosalind Reichard, who has announced her plans to retire, will deliver the keynote address. Reichard, who is known as the “Building President,” will have presided over more than $50 million in new construction and renovation when she leaves office in July.
Reichard, who has sought high levels of energy efficiency for all new and renovated campus facilities, has placed a high emphasis on environmental protection during her seven years as president. She was the first president in Southwest Virginia to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which challenges the College to become carbon neutral by 2036, the College’s 200th anniversary.
During Founders Day, the College also will honor members of the community who have provided through service support to their communities or the College. This year, the recipients are Dr. Rachael D. Fowlkes of Abingdon, who is the founding executive director of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon; Dr. Henderson P. Graham, who has led the effort to establish a center for medical education in Marion; and the Glade Spring Presbyterian Church, in recognition of its vital role in the founding of Emory & Henry by raising significant funds for its establishment.
Emory & Henry also will recognize several alumni for their achievements and service to the institution.