Princeton's class of 1976 gives dorm to Butler College

Princeton's class of 1976 is celebrating its 35th reunion by naming a dormitory in Butler College. Class of 1976 Hall is the fifth dorm to be named in the complex, whose reconstruction completed the University's launch of its four-year residential college system.

"1976 Hall reflects the ties that link the members of the class of 1976 to one another and to Princeton," said President Shirley M. Tilghman. "I am deeply grateful to the class for its generosity and for its decision to help create an outstanding residential experience for future generations of Princetonians."

Located near the south end of the University's central campus, Butler College reopened to students in fall 2009 after a reconstruction project begun in 2007. The reopening marked the end of a transition to a new residential college system that features three four-year colleges paired with three two-year colleges

The class of 1976 joins a longstanding tradition of naming campus dorms to commemorate undergraduate classes, beginning with Class of 1879 Hall, given in 1904 by members of then-University President Woodrow Wilson's class. Now an academic building, 1879 Hall was a dorm until 1960. Most recently, Butler's Class of 1967 Hall was given by members of that class and dedicated in September 2009. Previously, the class of 1981 in 2005 named a dorm in the Whitman College residential complex before it opened in 2007.

"The gift of 1976 Hall was a class-wide effort," said former University trustee Ellen Harvey, a 1976 alumna and member of the organizing committee. "We were fortunate to have the example of the classes of 1967 and 1981 to inspire us. Our class has always felt very engaged with the University -- perhaps because we were one of the earliest to be coed from start to finish -- and our 35th Reunion is a wonderful opportunity to commemorate this class spirit."

The class of 1976 is dedicating the dorm during a private ceremony during Reunions, which takes place Thursday through Sunday, May 26-29, on campus.

The largest of Butler's dorms, 1976 Hall is located in the northeast corner of the Butler complex. It houses 83 undergraduates and one faculty member. Most students live in four-person suites with two bedrooms, a living room and a bathroom. Each residential floor includes a lounge, study room and kitchen, while the lower level has a 50-seat classroom, two seminar rooms and the college's computer cluster. The building also features a "tower" apartment for the resident faculty member.

In addition to spacious and welcoming living spaces and common areas, the complex has sustainability features that include three green roofs to improve heating and cooling efficiency and decrease storm water runoff. The architect, Henry Cobb, is a founding partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York, which also designed Princeton's Friend Center for Engineering Education.

The gift for 1976 Hall is part of "Aspire: A Plan for Princeton," the University's five-year campaign to raise $1.75 billion.