Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Last year, most everybody had an opinion on what to name the new dorm, and many were unhappy with the final outcome of Alice Paul hall. This year, as freshmen inhabit Paul Hall for the first time, another dorm renaming has generated far less hubbub. The student housing formerly known as 1 Whittier Place or just “Whittier” is now called Kyle Hall.
Fred and Elena Kyle ’54, apart from furthering the Quaker Matchbox legend, have long been friends of the colleges. According to Vice-President Dan West, Fred, a member of the College’s Board of Managers, has been “very active as a volunteer”, including chairing the Annual Fund for two years and the Board’s Development and Communication Committee for two terms. Along with Elena, he co-chaired the recent 50th class reunion.
The Kyles have also been strong financial supporters of the College’s effort to raise $230 million by the end of 2006 and, according to Vice-President Maurice Eldridge, the dorm renaming “…has to do with giving honor to generous alumni donor.”
Meanwhile, 16 freshmen are spending their first year at Swarthmore in Alice Paul hall. The small number of frosh would seem to be a concern, but for Dan Hodson ’09, this is not the case. Hodson, a resident of room 104, not only says “I like it” to living in Alice Paul, but even likes being part of a small group of freshmen. “It’s a small enough group so that we all get to know each other.” The brand new and air-conditioned bathrooms probably don’t hurt either.
Hallmate Suneal Bedi ’09 agrees with this assessment. “I like it a lot…it’s nice, clean, quiet, the people are nice, the lounge and TV are nice, the bathrooms…” he said, finding little wrong with his residential arrangement. Bedi also likes being one of only a few freshman in the dorm, saying “it makes us really close, and lets us make more friends with upper(classmen).” Roommate Gerrit Straughter ’09 feels the same way. “It’s tight.”