3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30
Good afternoon! It’s wonderful to be here today.
It is always a happy occasion when we can celebrate the opening of a new building on campus. But today is especially gratifying because we are dedicating two new buildings that will serve so many of our students today and for generations to come.
Construction for these new residence halls began in 2013, and students began moving into them in June. Today, 872 students call Dorman and Deviney Halls home.
And what a home this is. These new six-story halls feature suite-style living and have kitchens and study areas on each floor, as well as first floor lounge areas. It goes without saying that they have air-conditioning, cable TV and wi-fi.
Surely, this was beyond the imagination of Olivia Dorman and Ezda May Deviney — both longtime Florida State College for Women faculty for whom these halls are named.
The original Dorman and Deviney Halls were built in 1952, back when residence halls were called dormitories. That’s because back then, the purpose of campus housing was to provide students with a place to sleep and little else.
Those halls served the campus well for more than 60 years. But these new halls provide living environments that meet the needs of today’s students and support their academic goals.
In fact, these residence halls have been designed to be living-learning communities. Here, residents will have the opportunity to take classes, attend programs that put learning into action, or interact with faculty, staff and other students.
This is just the first phase of a $120 million, multi-phase residence hall project that will include two more residence halls and a new dining hall.
This is all part of a goal we set several years ago to provide more on-campus living experiences that would contribute to students’ success.
That’s because research tells us that students who live on campus their first year have a more successful academic year. They have higher GPAs after their first year than students who live off campus. They also have higher retention rates when it comes to returning for their second year.
This approach also supports our efforts to recruit top students. And just look around. What a great location right here in the heart of campus!
So let me add my thanks to all who worked hard to make these new residence halls possible — from obtaining the funding to designing, constructing and opening and operating them.
These are more than just buildings. For many students, Dorman and Deviney will be their first-ever home away from home.
I hope they will one day look back on these halls as a place where they made friends, created memories, and, yes, studied a little bit, too. This is where they became part of the Florida State family.