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A history of homes away from home

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Today the Cowles Library Reading Room will hold a presentation looking at Drake University’s changing housing polices and the relationship between Drake University and the Drake Neighborhood community. The presentation is, “ Home Away From Home: Drake Student Housing through the Decades”

Professor Maura Lyons, an associate professor of art history at Drake University, and Jen James, one of the leaders of an intensive Drake Neighborhood Association historical survey will be presenting Thursday. The presentation was an invitation from the library to talk about the architecture of Drake and the link between the University and the community.

“The residential area and the Drake campus were designed at the same time and they were intended to compliment each other,” said Lyons.

The presentation will be looking at the history of the campus and community relationship over the years. It is relevant now that there is a softening of the borders of the university, with the visual and physical relationship between the two. The removal of the hedge from in front of Old Main is an example of that.

“The history of the campus and of the neighborhood are inextricable,” Lyons said. “The health of the University is dependant on the health of the Drake community and the health of the Drake community is dependant on the health of the University. It is a benefit for both communities.”

There will also be interesting facts about student housing and how it has evolved and expanded from the period after World War II. It focuses on the on campus housing available for women. During that time period there was only one housing option for women and that was Moorhouse Hall, which housed about 60 women. That expanded into the quad area for women’s housing and men’s housing was in the Goodwin-Kirk hall.

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