By Grace Hatton, Editor-in-Chief
During my first year at Wilson a building stood as a prominent part of the campus architecture, that building being Carson Hall. Carson Hall was built in 1926 as a gift to the college given by Anne C. Carson. Carson Hall, a tall brick building with white doors and an old-time clock sitting atop those doors, was one of the few buildings on campus (along with Spidel and Sunderland) that reminded me that Wilson had actually been around for a long time. Indeed, Carson was the oldest building on campus and was home to the Education, Religion, Peace Studies, and Outdoor Leadership departments, as well as to the Environmental Leadership Center.
Carson was a gorgeous old building, but in the summer of 2011, between my first and second year, Carson was discovered as being infested with mold. The problem was seemingly so out of control that then president Sandy Pfeiffer ordered the decommissioning and razing of Carson Hall. Carson Hall was torn down and many of the faculty and staff who called Carson home were displaced to various buildings around campus.
Thus, the area just past the Admissions Office, between the two giant oak trees where those lonely stone benches sit, where Carson used to stand, remains quiet and empty. After the razing of Carson, there was talk of a new and improved Student Activity Center being built on the vacant lot. This would be a Center with more than just old sofas and a ping-pong table. Aside from a few e-mails from the campus architect, however, who said that campus talks were being facilitated for students to bring ideas to the administration, there was no more talk of this new Student Activity Center. Now, every time I walk past those lonely stone benches that are no longer attached to a building, I think about Carson Hall and the promises that the former administration made for a brand new, sustainable Student Activity Center that would include a slew of offices for the displaced departments.
Beyond that, as I talk to first-years, sophomores, and even juniors, I realize that my year is the last that will know this campus with Carson gracing its grounds. After we graduate, no one will remember Carson or the promises for a new space to be built on its former grounds. Therefore, I will be posing the question: whatever happened to the Student Activities building that was supposed to replace Carson Hall? I hope that in the next issue of the Echo I will have an answer for the community.