Bicentennial Initiatives

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The Case for New Arts Facilities

Hamilton’s arts programs are inclusive, and that makes them distinctive. Their purpose is not merely to develop the talents of students who major in and plan careers in these fields; it is also to integrate creative work and performance fully into learning and life on the Hill.

But these programs have outgrown their homes and are struggling to keep pace with new pedagogy. Facilities are cramped and obsolete; studios double as workshops; storage space is carved out of corridors; technology is dated.

Just as important, the isolation and sprawl of arts programs and facilities across the campus contradicts two of the modern College’s most fundamental academic values: the richness of interdisciplinary exchange and the importance of sustained, personal student-faculty collaboration.

In the last decade, Hamilton has undertaken major improvements to its science and social science facilities. The results are dramatic. We have clear evidence that the Science Center and the expanded, modernized Kirner-Johnson Building are now helping the College to attract and retain more top students and increasing the expectations faculty members have of them.

Driven by the same commitment to academic distinction and coming generations of students, we are turning to the visual arts, theatre and museum — creating new spaces that respond both to new needs and to the College’s abiding values.

Hamilton’s facilities of the near future will offer spaces in which students can explore and create, teachers can lead and engage, and alumni and the community can share in the life of the imagination. They will offer an environment that is accessible to all students, one that helps the College continue to draw the very best students and faculty, and one that revitalizes the crucial connections among learning, performance and creativity on the Hill.

Help us imagine tomorrow’s Hamilton.

Goal: $35 Million

If we are to educate Hamilton students to address poverty and sickness, and to tackle questions of technology, the economy and the environment, we must educate them to be fully human. And what the arts do for us is to humanize us. They are the cornerstone of a liberal arts education.

— Hamilton President
Joan Hinde Stewart