A new neighbor with a familiar name will join Franklin & Marshall's College House community on the quad in May 2011.
Patricia G. Ross Weis P'85 and her husband, Robert Weis, have pledged $3 million to the College for the construction of Weis College House, President John Fry announced Monday.
The gift will be used to construct a commons for Weis Hall, including a new entrance facing the quad and a multipurpose room. The College will renovate existing space in Weis Hall into a living room, kitchen, seminar room and offices for the Don and Prefect, and develop new junior and senior living options.
"It is our hope and intention that the Weis College House will bring additional excitement to the F&M campus," Patricia and Robert Weis said in a statement.
Weis College House will effectively serve as the new home for residents of Schnader College House, becoming the fourth physical house along with Bonchek, Brooks and Ware. Schnader, which does not have an expanded addition like the other College Houses, will house suites for sophomores beginning in the fall of 2011.
Kathleen Triman, professor of biology and don of Schnader College House, looks forward to the day when the Schnader community can enjoy its new surroundings in Weis College House.
"It's just terrific from the students' point of view," says Triman, who succeeded Schnader's founding don, Roger Thompson, the Dr. E. Paul and Frances H. Reiff Professor of Biological Sciences. "We have a history of wonderful house events with large turnouts. It will be exciting to be able to host those events in our own space."
In Monday's announcement, Fry said that students would play a role in the planning process of Weis House. He thanked Kent Trachte, dean of the College, for his efforts in developing plans for the new house, and others for their roles in the process.
The Weises have also presented significant gifts to the College on other occasions. 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 Weis has served as a member of the College's Board of Trustees, and joined the Board of Visitors in 2005. Colleen Ross Weis '85, daughter of Patricia and Robert, was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2005.