In the spring of 2017, the Department of English received a generous donation from Andrea Lunsford—the Director of Stanford University's Program in Writing and Rhetoric, former director of Ohio State's Center for the Study of Teaching and Writing (1997 to 2000) and current Department of English Advisory Council member—to remodel our beloved but downtrodden Graduate Lounge.
Beginning last autumn, Tammy Carl (Academic Program Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program), Kathleen Griffin (Academic Program Coordinator of Graduate Studies), Breanne LeJeune (Comunications Specialist) and Tracee Mohler (HR/Fiscal Associate) convened to develop a master plan for the project. The first step of the process involved reaching out to current graduate students to see what they wanted for the space. Most students responded that they wanted a calm space where they could relax, read and eat between teaching and classes. They wanted something comfortable, calming and distinctly uncommercial. A home away from home.
Citizens of the fourth floor may have noticed a flurry of activity lately as the room has been emptied of all its curious contents: the enormous bulletin board, the body-shaped body pillow, the battle shield, the twig in a vase and so, so, so much more. Our friends in facilities have been frequenting our halls as they paint the walls and refinish the floors and surplus joined in on the fun by picking up our sunken and strangely sticky old couches.
In recent weeks, the remodel team has begun ordering furniture and décor and plans to formally unveil the new and improved space in April when Lunsford returns for our spring Advisory Council session. Until then, here is a sneak peek of the progress that's been made so far.
(The Graduate Lounge before the remodel began)
(The Graduate Lounge, emptied and cleaned)
(The hallway outside of the Graduate Lounge as the paint crew begins preparations)
(The Graduate Lounge mid-painting)
(The Graduate Lounge post-painting)