James J. Anarelli
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Students
The process of building a new residential complex is - from a student life perspective - less a matter of constructing buildings than it is a process of designing space that will foster community. Among the distinctives of Eckerd College is the quality of the relationships that students establish here - relationships with mentors, with professors, with staff, and with one another. Our first priority, then, was to ensure that the design of the living, gathering, and outdoor areas of this new complex would be conducive to the formation of community among students.
The development of the program statement that guided the design of Iota was the result of a collaborative process that brought into deep conversation architects and facilities planners with current students, alumni, and student life staff. What emerged from this fruitful dialog was a vision of the Iota Complex that preserved the best of the College's original residential complexes. Hence, one can see elements of their original design reflected in Iota's scale and profile, in its arrangement as a cluster of four houses, and in the manner in which it stands in positive synergism with its surrounding landscape. At the same time, Iota represents an enhancement of the older design in terms of the arrangement of its gathering and meeting spaces and its state-of-the art amenities and technologies.
The true test of the effectiveness of our collaborative design process is whether it accomplishes our goal of facilitating community building among residents. From the earliest days of the occupancy of the first two buildings completed, the new student residents quickly established bonds with one another as together they worked through the inevitable challenges of living in newly constructed buildings. What emerged in a spontaneous and organic way was a nascent community represented by a newly formed student self-governing council. This initial group of residents, who came to be known as Iota Pioneers, built a community within these new buildings.
A key student leader involved with this process was Scott Hale. Scott is the chairperson of the Iota student self-governing council. I join the residents of Iota in expressing deep gratitude to Scott for his untiring efforts to make the houses of Iota homes for their residents.
It is my pleasure to introduce an outstanding student leader, Scott Hale.