Carolyn Carr McGuire ’78 and Terry McGuire ’78 met at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as students, went on to Dartmouth College for master’s degrees in business and engineering, respectively, and Terry then continued on to Harvard University to earn his MBA. In looking at their collective college careers, it is HWS that they appreciate for providing them with challenging yet supportive educations, says Carolyn, who is a member of the Colleges Board of Trustees, and Terry, a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity while at Hobart.
The gratitude they have for the Colleges was the impetus behind a significant gift to renovate 775 South Main Street, the former Sigma Chi fraternity building, as a residence that now is home to 29 students. The work was completed this summer and at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, the building will be dedicated as the Carr McGuire House.
“This was just the perfect project for us to work on together. It is one that is equally meaningful for both of us, can provide value to the institution and will make a difference to the students, Carolyn says. “When the opportunity arose to do something with the residence that was important for hundreds of Sigma Chi alums, we knew that this was the project we were looking for.
The renovation provides extra space for students at a time when the Colleges are seeing record enrollment. It also maintains a special piece of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges footprint, and preserves the history of Sigma Chi’s alums. The McGuires intend to have a plaque noting the history of the house installed shortly after its dedication.
For Shavonne Ward ’09, assigned to live there as a resident advisor, the house is “icing on the cake.
“When you’re an RA, you’re selected to live in the residence hall that best suits you as a person. It was a total surprise to find out I was assigned to the newly renovated house, she says. “It’s an amazing place.
That common space includes a library and a recreation room with a pool table and plasma TVs for relaxing and socializing.
The Carr McGuire House is home to two theme houses under one roof – the Substance Free House and Pathways Program House. Substance Free is comprised of students who choose to live a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. Pathways, while also a declared substance-free group, is for students dedicated to developing their professional careers. The students also represent a wide spectrum of academic and extracurricular interests.
The house's high ceilings and tall windows enable students to enjoy regular showings of the sunrise over Seneca Lake and a backyard with a deck lets them take in even more of the scenic geography. Students recently hosted a barbecue in the backyard for about 60 people from a variety of theme houses on campus. Many also gather for a “Grey’s Anatomy night every Thursday and one student, an avid and talented baker, makes the snacks in the newly renovated kitchen.
Something Carolyn and Terry McGuire specifically added during renovation to benefit all students on campus was a guest suite. Designed at Terry’s behest, it is based on Harvard’s model of having visiting scholars and dignitaries live with the students and be part of the community.
“Terry really wanted the suite to be a lovely place to stay, to make the guest part of the community and enable interaction with the students, explains Carolyn. “The hope is that it will also entice scholars to stay on campus longer than just their designated lecture time so they can become an active part of the campus while there.
That dream will soon be realized. Fittingly, with the Pathways Program theme in the house, the suite will host visitors from the Professionals in Residence program of the Salisbury Center for Career Services. Speakers will come to campus to talk to students about a particular career field in the evening and will then meet with students again the next day.
“We thank the McGuires from the bottom of our hearts for a generous gift that will be here for years into the future, says Ward, on behalf of the house’s residents.