College of Liberal Arts
 

New Building

 

Dean Cooney Speaks at the Groundbreaking

CLA has its own version of the red hat brigade among us.  If the hats mean anything, they mean we are ready for a new building!

L-to-R (Top) Drs. Irena Makarushka, Salvatore Zumbo, James DiLisio, Karen Eskow, Kent Barnes, Karen Dugger, Lena Ampadu (Bottom) Drs. Robert Rook, John Murungi, Howard Nixon, James Roberts, Terry Cooney, Doug Pryor, Craig Johnson

There are ten departments in the College of Liberal Arts and a variety of interdisciplinary programs, many organized together as Interdisciplinary Studies.

CLA New Building August 08We are the largest college at Towson, carrying a bit over 30% of the credit hours generated in the University as a whole. We deliver a major portion of general education courses for all students, and we have currently more than 3000 TU majors in CLA programs. CLA faculty have remained committed and dedicated teachers and scholars as they have faced the challenges associated with pouring increased quantities of wine into the old bottle of Linthicum Hall. But they know the seams are being stretched. We need a sign that the relief of physical space is on the way, and today we have one as we break ground for our new home. We would also welcome, as always, a sign that what we do and the commitments that shape our lives continue to be valued. And today we have that sign as well.

New Building Gets First Gift

I’m pleased to announce that the College of Liberal Arts received its first gift connected with the new building; a gift to name a classroom in honor of a retired faculty member.

Connie Kihm is the donor who has made that gift possible, and I offer her the deepest thanks of the College and the University for her gift. A classroom will be named for Professor George Friedman, emeritus faculty member from the Department of English, as Connie’s way of saying thank you to him for what he made possible in her life. When I had lunch with Connie and George to tell him of her plans, she looked at him and said, “I cannot hear a poem, or read a book, or watch a movie in the same way because of you.”  She wanted him to know that he had made a difference. 

Connie’s gift honoring Professor Friedman is so exceptional as a first gift for this building because it celebrates precisely these kinds of relationships--- between a faculty member and students, and among an apparently somewhat raucous band of English majors. The gift celebrates the high quality of teaching on which this college has prided itself, the attention to students for which Towson has been known, and the room those students have had in the past to carve out a place for themselves commensurate with their own energies. We have lost some of our breathing space in the last few years as a growing faculty and larger numbers of students have squeezed into quotidian use the odd-shaped rooms and the peculiar nooks that once became student lounges.

New Building's Structure

The building that will rise over the next few years will reaffirm our purposes and allow a thousand flowers to bloom once more. It will have no mass production classrooms for 500, or 400, or 300, or 200, or even 100. 

CLA New Building July 08The building will have classrooms of varying size holding from 20 to 90 all of which allow easy contact between faculty members and students. It will provide office spaces that allow students better access to individual advising and a more ready opportunity for conversations beyond the classroom. The building will introduce a variety of spaces for students to gather, from quiet study areas, to lounges with network access, to areas with digital projection screens, to spaces for food and restoration.  The structure will promote interactions between faculty as well and provide many of the tools needed for effective use of technology in instruction.

Room for More Gifts

Do we have room for other such gifts? Why yes, we do. All institutions of higher education increasingly depend on the generosity of friends who share a belief in the importance of what colleges do in creating better professionals, better people, and better citizens.  We need not only financial support but support in spirit and through conviction.

I am grateful to Connie, to Professor Friedman, to every faculty member who invests fully in students and in the college, to every alumnus or alumna who stays a part of the University, to members of the wider community who help us define and fulfill our mission, and not incidentally to all those who have been digging up our yard all summer and filling the air with dirt to make what is about to happen possible. A long line of people working on this campus site have brought Towson University to the place where it now stands. We honor that tradition today as we promise them, and ourselves, a better CLA tomorrow. 

On April 14, 2009, an open house was held for alumni.

- Pictures from the event

 

On September 12, 2007, the ground breaking ceremony for the 250,000-square-foot College of Liberal Arts Building was held.

 

- Site plan for the new building (PDF)

 

Terry Cooney

Dean, College of Liberal Arts

 

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