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Landmark College’s Hall Four to be Renamed Edward Durell Stone Hall

by Solvegi Shmulsky

PUTNEY, Vt. -- As of May 18, 2014, Landmark College will begin referring to Hall Four by its original name, Edward Durell Stone Hall, in honor of the architect who designed this unique Putney, Vt. campus. Stone Hall will be home to 77 students and will hold updated academic and social space on its first floor. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Family Weekend (September 27, 2014), when alumni, students, families, and community members will be invited to formally recognize Stone Hall. 

Renaming the building aligns with the contemporary trend to identify campus spaces by the names of individuals or concepts that have been instrumental in building the original campus environment and, more recently, Landmark College and its revolutionary mission. “We recognize the importance of the architectural style of this campus, and of the original architect, Edward Durell Stone,” said Dr. Peter Eden, Landmark College president. “We aim to honor this contribution to the campus and restore his name on this important residence hall structure.” 

Spaces on campus underscore the identity of the College. Two other examples are “Perseverance Lane,” the drive into upper campus that reflects the long-haul work ethic that students demonstrate to reach their academic goals; and the Drake Center for Academic Success (DCAS), named after the LD education visionary and founder of Landmark College, Dr. Charles Drake. These spaces and many others recognize the people and ideas that have built the College.

Providing context for the change, Eden explained that Stone Hall has a history on upper campus: “In this case, the residence hall was first named Stone Hall almost 50 years ago. The original marble sign from 1966 is still on the building but had been turned over. Landmark College senior vice president Dr. Brent Betit recalled this as we walked about campus last winter, so we decided to restore the original view of the sign.” (The orginal sign is pictured at right, after it was removed from the building and reversed.) In addition to bringing back the building name, scheduled improvements inside and outside Stone Hall will make it an inviting space for students to live and learn.

Who was Edward Durell Stone? Born in Arkansas, Stone (1902-1978) had an aptitude for drawing that ultimately led him to the East Coast to study architecture at Harvard University and MIT in the 1920s. Stone’s career spanned 50 years, and he designed many major projects, including the United States Embassy in New Delhi, India; the Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California; and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Describing Stone’s style, Betit said, “His work is notable for its distinctive, horizontal planes, integration of strong vertical lines, interesting use of light and shadow, lack of ornamentation, and presence of a water feature somewhere within the campus design.” Stone’s prolific and controversial career is chronicled in the 2011 biography Edward Durell Stone: A Son's Untold Story of a Legendary Architect, written by his son, Hicks Stone.

Stone Hall acknowledges the roots of Landmark College and could become be an icon of inspiration for students. Stone’s work continues to be analyzed in academia for its refusal to fit neatly into the aesthetic of the day, as can be seen in the biography by Hicks Stone and the 2012 volume Edward Durell Stone: Modernism’s Populist Architect by Mary Anne Hunting. Eden stated, “Stone’s work was not tied to the conventions of his discipline, nor is Landmark College tied to conventional educational models that may leave out some learners. Stone’s name befits a college that is at the forefront in serving students who learn differently.”

Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Offering two and four-year degree options, a graduate level certificate in universal design with technology integration, and summer programs for students who learn differently, today Landmark College is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, ADHD, and ASD. Students, faculty, and professionals from all over the world are drawn to Landmark College for its innovative educational model—designed through research and practice to help all students who learn differently become confident, self-empowered, and independently successful learners.

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