The weather forced the ceremony indoors and the guest of honor was 140 miles away in Danville, Ill., but the Julius W. Hegeler II Wing of Argonne Dormitory was officially dedicated Wednesday afternoon.
Hegeler, whose name graces the new wing, was unable to attend but still got to watch the ceremony in Danville via Livestream, thanks to the Culver Information Technology Department. After the event, he and Hegeler foundation secretary Lois Wise talked with several Culver Girls Academy students and members of the faculty and staff via Skype.
CGA Dean Lynn Rasch ’76 explained the four-story wing allowed the girls side to expand to eight dorms, adding Harbor Dorm this fall. The addition and Argonne renovations “allowed us to reduce the ratio of students to residential staff” within CGA. Improvements include air conditioning, an elevator, new lounges, residential staff apartments, counselor offices, kitchen facilities, study rooms, and a laundry room on each floor. Students living in Chateau Thierry are also enjoying the new construction.
Head of Schools Jim Power said Hegeler, who attended Woodcraft Camp in 1938-1939, has helped Culver in a number of ways through the years. His generosity has helped renovate the Cardinals Division headquarters, restore the Indian Crafts Building, and construct the Scout Headquarters and the Julius W. Hegeler II Kitchen in Woodcraft Camp. His philanthropic work has also established a Summer Schools & Camps program endowment and purchased new fitness center equipment.
The new wing was actually envisioned when the Chateau Thierry and Argonne dorms were originally designed in 1917, Power said. Hegeler’s gift made that wing a reality nearly 100 years later. His two daughters, Alix ’75 and Madelle ’80, graduated from CGA and his son Harlin is a 1978 CMA graduate. This gift was made with them and their Culver experiences in mind, he added.
The addition contains 28 new two-girl rooms, allowing for 56 additional students. A geothermal system is being used for heating and cooling, reducing the overall energy consumption. More than 50 specialty helical piers are being used in conjunction with the concrete foundation to support the four-story building.
The ribbon cutting ceremony included Power, Rasch, Ciel Dorm Chair Gabrielle Maiolo ’17 (Henderson, Nev.), Atrium Dorm Chair Allison Stathakis ’17 (Northville, Mich.), and Harbor Dorm Chair Nicole Maroney ’17 (New Buffalo, Mich.). After the ribbon was cut, everyone in the audience turned toward the camera broadcasting the event and thanked Hegeler in unison for his generosity.