The creation of a commons for Weis College House was made possible by a gift from Robert F. Weis and Patricia Ross Weis P’85. The project included the construction of a new entrance—including a Great Room with large windows overlooking the quad—and the renovation of existing space in Weis Hall into a living room, kitchen, seminar room and offices.
Trustees, students, faculty members and administrators joined President Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., and the Weis family to formally dedicate the new House.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to extend our profound thanks to Patricia and Robert Weis for their remarkable gift and steadfast love that has made possible the conversion of Weis Hall into Weis College House,” Porterfield said. “Patricia and Robert, on behalf of your F&M family and all who will grow and learn in the house that bears your family name, thank you.”
Porterfield also extended gratitude to Colleen Ross Weis ’85, who is a member of the College’s Board of Trustees.
Weis College House is the fourth physical house to be completed since the establishment of the College House system in the 2005-06 academic year, along with Bonchek College House, Brooks College House and Ware College House. Weis College House is the new home for members of Schnader College House, which now becomes Schnader Hall and will house sophomores and juniors from all College Houses. The fifth College House, nearing completion to the north of Weis, will be dedicated in the fall.
Kathleen Triman, professor of biology and don of Weis College House, and Kate Snider, associate dean and house prefect, welcomed members of the incoming first-year class and their families to the new House this week during Beginnings. “I’m excited that we were able to welcome the Class of 2015 into their own College House this week,” says Triman, who succeeded Schnader's founding don, Roger Thompson, the Dr. E. Paul and Frances H. Reiff Professor of Biological Sciences.
Triman says Weis College House provides a more spacious environment than that offered by Schnader College House.
“We were unable to have large gatherings in Schnader. We had them in the Catering Suite, Booth Ferris, or sometimes off campus,” Triman says. “Now we have a living room, a kitchen, a Great Room and more spacious living quarters.”
Students played a key role in the planning process of Weis College House. In addition to Triman and Snider, the planning committee included Elizabeth Hernandez ’12, Jessica House ’12, Amanda Loh ’13, Alexandra Lortie ’14, Elena Lopez ’12, Nicole Pagnoni ’12 and Matthew Putterman ’11.
Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis are among Franklin & Marshall’s most generous donors, and their gifts have enhanced both residential and academic life at F&M. In 1988, their gift made possible the construction of Weis Hall, which opened in 1990. In 2001, the couple endowed The Robert F. and Patricia G. Ross Weis Professorship in Judaic Studies.
Patricia Ross Weis has served as a member of the College's Board of Trustees, and joined the Board of Visitors in 2005. Colleen Ross Weis, daughter of Patricia and Robert, was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2005.