Name changes create new campus environment

1 year ago Val Miller Comments Off on Name changes create new campus environment

Following the retirement of Director of Community Service Diane Hotaling, the name of the Office of Community Service will soon be changed to the Center for Civic Leadership and Service Learning. This follows the trend of changing names of existing entities on campus as well as naming new ones.

These changes include the renaming of Village II and Village IV to Allen Village and Honors Village. Also, new additions to campus are called the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field, the Frank Blocker Youth Center and the Avenue of Sciences. Many of these new additions and name changes on campus are associated with President Miller’s 10 year “Master Plan” to improve the university.

The changes from Office of Community Service to Center for Civic Leadership and Service Learning may be to help bring the center into the school’s academic sphere. “The term ‘community service’ is a rather outdated term,” Miller said. He intends to expand the function of the center and develop it into something more. Therefore, the name of the center should be changed to reflect its updated purpose and goals.

This change is part of an effort to make service learning the fourth pillar of the Virginia Wesleyan experience. The other three pillars, consist of study away, internships and undergraduate research, which are included within the Lighthouse Center for Discovery.

With other new names and entities on campus, the naming process is fairly simple to follow. For the most part, things on campus have been named after individuals or families that have significantly contributed to the school, either through years of service or significant financial contributions. Naming buildings is a way for the school to recognize their contributions.

This is the case for Allen Village, the Frank Blocker Youth Center and the Betty S. Rogers Track and Field facility. Allen Village was named after the late Dennie Allen, who was the first student to receive a diploma from Virginia Wesleyan in 1970. His historical significance and generous contributions to the school made it fitting to honor him in this way. The Frank Blocker Youth Center was named after Frank Blocker, who provided the funds for the project. The Blocker family, which students will recognize from the building named in the family’s honor, Blocker Hall, has contributed significantly to the school over the years. The Betty S. Rogers Track and Field facility was named after the sister of a donor who asked that it be named after her in honor of the impact she had on their life.

However, other names of entities on campus are more functional, such as with the Honors Village and the Avenue of Sciences. The Honors Village, formerly Village IV, was renamed to add distinction to the village, as it was repurposed this year to house members of the recently established Batten Honors College. The Avenue of Sciences, the new road and parking lot in front of Blocker Hall and the Greer Environmental Center, was named as such due to its location in front of the science-centered academic buildings. Since it is also technically a street, its name also serves the purpose of designation.

Val Miller
vgmiller@vwu.edu