Opens at Johns Hopkins
Building Dedication Set for Oct. 29 at Homewood campus
The days of having students file in, sit in chairs, and be talked at are numbered. Today's classrooms are interactive and fully loaded with state-of-the-art technology.
A case in point is Hodson Hall, the newest academic building on The Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus. The building is named in honor of The Hodson Trust, one of Johns Hopkins' most generous supporters.
The 44,200-square-foot, $15 million facility, which opened last month, is bursting with high-tech amenities. Standard room specs include tiered seating, a JBL sound system, data and power ports and wireless Internet access. Students and instructors have access to single- or dual- projection screens, CD/DVD players, VCRs, document cameras, slide-to-video converters and dual-audio cassette decks. Window blinds and lights can be adjusted with the touch of a finger.
"Hodson Hall sets the standard for how universities are going to operate in the future," said William R. Brody, president of the university. "Every room is wired, and where we can't wire, there is wireless access, so you can be immediately connected to the Internet."
Hodson Hall allows professors to project high-quality slide images, show multimedia files and simulations, access supplemental materials directly from the Web, and even conduct virtual laboratory exercises during class, all from an easy-to-use touch-screen podium.
"In my course, I use a lot of audio and video presentations, some with computer-driven animations, and I need to push the limits of the available technology," said Steve Yantis, a Psychological and Brain Sciences professor whose Sensation and Perception class meets in the building. "In Hodson, I can just plug in my laptop and I'm ready to go."
Students join faculty and university administrators in praising the building's design and technology.
"I couldn't help playing with the computer hook-ups. And I think the swivel chairs are just great," said Katie Ruocco, a junior, whose Cellular Tissue Engineering course meets in one of the medium-sized classrooms.
"The building is awesome," said classmate Alicia Atwood, a senior. "It's the best building on campus, definitely."
Hodson Hall will be dedicated at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29, in a ceremony on the Homewood campus at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. The building was made possible by a gift from The Hodson Trust.
"The trustees of The Hodson Trust are very pleased to be able to fund Hodson Hall," said Finn M. W. Caspersen, chairman of the trust. "The elegantly classic design is a perfect fit with the existing buildings on the Homewood campus, and each of the classrooms represents the state-of-the-art in telecommunications and information technology. Most important, Hodson Hall is an enabler of knowledge and education."
The Hodson Trust has endowed the Hodson directorship of the Digital Knowledge Center at Johns Hopkins' Eisenhower Library and provides significant annual support to the university for Hodson scholarships, the Provost's Undergraduate Research Awards, research in oncology and other projects.
Designed by Hillier, an architectural firm based in Princeton, N.J., Hodson Hall is a three-story, red brick building located at the southern end of the Homewood campus next to Clark Hall, a biomedical engineering building that opened last year. Hodson Hall fits comfortably with Homewood's earliest Georgian-style buildings as a contemporary interpretation of classical themes, adding a new cupola to the campus' skyline.
Public spaces on all three floors feature large windows; towering white oak, red oak, and beech trees are preserved in a natural greenway to the rear and north side of the building.
In total, 1,010 students can be seated at any given time in the building's nine classrooms, three lecture halls, and large first-floor auditorium, where Internet and power ports are installed on all chairs. The facility also houses the archives of The Hodson Trust and Beneficial Corp.
The Hodson Trust was established in 1920 by the family of Beneficial founder Col. Clarence Hodson. Col. Hodson founded Beneficial in 1913, creating the model for the modern consumer finance industry. Beneficial merged with Household International in 1998, although its name continues to be displayed on loan offices across the United States.
In addition to Johns Hopkins, the Hodson Trust supports Hood College, St. John's College and Washington College, all in Maryland. Since 1920, it has awarded more than $126.4 million to fund student scholarships, academic programs, buildings and other activities at the schools. Johns Hopkins University alone has received $39.8 million.
"The opening of Hodson Hall," Brody said, "marks another chapter in our more than four-decade partnership with The Hodson Trust, whose generosity to Johns Hopkins and three other Maryland colleges has had an enormous impact on Maryland higher education and on this university. We are deeply grateful for their support."
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