The official dedication of Western's first new residence hall in over 40 years was held on Thursday, Oct. 7 in the multipurpose room of Alma Clark Glass Hall. In December 2020, the WWU Board of Trustees approved the naming of this residence hall after the first Black student to attend Western Washington University (then called New Whatcom Normal School) in 1906.
Ms. Glass went on to be a librarian in Seattle and was a founding member of the King County NAACP. Due to current COVID protocols, the in-person attendance for the ceremony was extremely limited, and many project partners and guests attended virtually through the ceremony livestream.
Dedication speakers included Leonard Jones, Director of University Residences, WWU - Emcee; Sabah Randhawa, President, WWU; John Meyer, Chair, WWU Board of Trustees; Kurt Haapala, Partner, Mahlum Architects Inc.; Richard Henderson, Assistant Director, Residence Life; Wren Hart, Inclusion Assistant for Black Affinity Housing; Carolyn Riley-Payne, President, Seattle-King County NAACP; Katana Sol, Artist and WWU student (designed mural art for Alma Clark Glass Hall); and Juanita Laney, granddaughter of Alma Clark Glass.
The new residence hall sits where the previous Highland Hall was located off Highland Drive, and extends towards central campus. Alma Clark Glass Hall provides an accessible connection between central campus and the Ridgeway Complex, with the "Shared Journey" walkway that runs through the residence hall. Glass Hall has a 400-bed capacity and features Black Affinity Housing, as well as other Living Learning Communities.
Architect: Mahlum Architects, Inc.
Construction: Lydig Construction
Haven't been able to see the inside of the beautiful new building? Take a video tour here.