For the last decade, a former hub of activity has been virtually vacant. C.H.C. Anderson Hall, the former student union commonly called “The Den”, has been closed since fall 2002. Since that time, the building has been used for the staging of phon-a-thon and a historical exhibit during the Homecoming Celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the College.
From its opening in 1954, to its closing, the building was recognized as the campus social center. Originally, it housed a snack bar, a large lounge, and the college bookstore. Its high usage and popularity necessitated a renovation in 1968 where the total space was enlarged by two-thirds including a lounge expansion, television room, game room, expanded bookstore, and the mailroom. In addition, a new patio was developed as a result of a gift from the Class of 1969.
The building and opening of the Demuzio Campus Center in 2002 created a new campus venue for student activity. This new modern building matched the growing needs of the student population while putting more student related offices (Work Program, Student Life, and Admissions) and the campus dining hall under one roof. As a result, the Anderson building became somewhat obsolete.
Blackburn’s leadership team has developed a plan for the repurposing of the Anderson Building that will create usable space while preserving the character of the Den as remembered by generations of alumni. The Claire Jaenke Alumni & Visitors Center at Anderson will house the offices of Institutional Advancement, casual meeting space and a large conference room.
New windows will modernize the building and improvements to the outside landscaping and patio area will make the building more aesthetically pleasing as the new Claire Jaenke Alumni & Visitors Center at Anderson.
The $300,000 renovation is part of the $25 million Creating Opportunity! capital campaign for Blackburn College. More information about the campaign is available here.
The repurposed facility is scheduled to open for Homecoming, in the fall of 2016.