“When you walk into Carr McGuire House, you have such a sense of space and expanse; a space that is open for creative, intellectual and personal interaction,” Dean Debra DeMeis P’06 said during the dedication of one of the latest student residence halls on campus.
After a thorough renovation including a new suite for visiting scholars, what was once the Sigma Chi fraternity house is now a living environment unlike any other on campus thanks to the generosity of Trustee Carolyn Carr McGuire ’78 and her husband, former Sigma Chi member, Terry McGuire ’78. “Terry and I hope that this house will promote the spirit of mutual respect and collaboration between Hobart and William Smith students that we experienced as students during our days at the Colleges and during the designing process of this gorgeous residence,” said Carr McGuire.
Carolyn and Terry met at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as students, went on to Dartmouth College for master’s degrees in business and engineering, respectively. 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. The gratitude they have for the Colleges was the impetus behind the renovation of the building, now home to 29 students.
“This was just the perfect project for us to work on together,” said Carr McGuire in an interview before the dedication. “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. 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 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 house’s high ceilings, tall windows and expansive backyard and deck enable students to enjoy an amazing view of Seneca Lake. “Memories are already starting to take place for the residents of the house,” explained Shavonne Ward ’09, student trustee and resident advisor for Carr McGuire House, during her speech at the dedication.
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 snacks in the newly renovated kitchen.
Something the McGuires 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. 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 with students about a particular career field in the evening and will then meet with students again the next day.
“We are truly thankful for Carolyn and Terry’s gracious gift,” said President Mark D. Gearan at the dedication. “This house is and will be a symbol of great beginnings for generations to come.”
Photo, top right: Posing before cutting the ribbon on Carr McGuire House were: President Mark D. Gearan, Trustee Carolyn Carr McGuire ’78, Eileen McGuire, Terry McGuire ’78, Student Trustee and Carr McGuire Resident Advisor Shavonne Ward ’09, Chairman of the Board of Trustees David H. Deming ’75 and Dean of William Smith College Debra DeMeis P’06.
Photo, bottom left: Trustee Carolyn Carr McGuire ’78 and Terry McGuire ’78 in front of the building that bears their name.