By Rebecca Fiedler
East Village Residential Community was formally dedicated Friday to Baylor in honor of late alumni Dr. Gordon Teal, an American scientist, and Hallie Earle, the first female graduate of Baylor Medical School in Dallas. Members of the Teal and Earle families were present at the dedication and were recognized.
East Village was opened at the beginning of this semester and includes two residential buildings, Earle Hall and Teal Residential College. Earle Hall is home to the Science & Health Living-Learning Center and Teal Residential College is home to the Residential College for Engineering and Computer Science.
Austin sophomore Jade Norwood is a community leader at Hallie Earle Hall. She spoke at the dedication ceremony and said students in East Village have created an environment where they can thrive both academically and socially. Norwood said because halls in the community cater to specific majors, it’s easy for students to feel a sense of community.
“It is a blessing to serve as a leader in a community full of go-getters,” she said.
Kevin Jackson, vice president of Student Life, said national data reports that students who live on campus have better grades and develop a stronger affiliation for their school.
Richard Willis, chair of the Board of Regents, said Baylor made it a goal to get about 50 percent of students living on campus, and the addition of East Village takes the student population living on campus to 45 percent.
“East Village represents the third major residential construction project that we’ve completed in the last decade here at Baylor,” Jackson said.
Willis said creating an ideal residence hall is a challenge.
“It’s really hard to balance students’ faith, learning and living in one place,” Willis said. “And they started back in 2010 to dream what this facility could be, and it’s amazing what they come up with.”
President Ken Starr spoke at the dedication and said he and his wife were disappointed when faculty housing was torn down recently near his home to make way for new developments, but they are happy to welcome their 700 new neighbors, the students of East Village.
“Through innovation, through creativity, and through caring for the global community, inclusing caring for the sick, our students will study here and then they will go forth and they will be salt and light in a world that needs them,” Starr said.