Renovation of Villa Maria’s 49 rooms will house Marylhurst’s low-residency graduate students as part of university’s new strategic vision
In January 2018, Marylhurst University will embark on a seven-month project to renovate the building known as Villa Maria into student housing. The renovation will be complete by fall 2018, welcoming students into Marylhurst campus housing for the first time in more than a decade.
“As Marylhurst continues to grow student enrollment and expand programs to meet both student demand and business and workforce needs, we’re thrilled the campus will once again offer housing to many students,” said Scott Bolton, MBA ’02, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees and Sr. Vice President for External Affairs and Customer Solutions at PacificCorp.
Marylhurst President Melody Rose added: “Reopening Villa Maria speaks to our commitment to academic excellence and to fully activating our campus as a hub for cultural events and professional development opportunities, featuring numerous events and workshops with artists, authors, business leaders and scholars.”
The dorms will house students in Marylhurst’s low-residency graduate programs as well as other students taking courses on campus. Marylhurst’s low-residency graduate programs, such as the M.S. in Food Systems and Society, are structured so that most coursework is completed online. Students travel to campus for short stays (residencies) twice a year, coming together as a community of scholars and learners.
When not in use by students, Marylhurst will make Villa Maria’s 49 rooms available to organizations for retreats and small conferences.
“Being close to downtown and easily accessible from all over Portland and the surrounding counties, we often receive requests from conferences and groups looking for this type of space,” said Christina Laird, events manager at Marylhurst University. “We’re excited to be able to meet the needs of organizations and community groups when students aren’t using Villa Maria.”
Built in 1965-66, Villa Maria has been home to Sisters of the Holy Names who served as staff and faculty at Marylhurst, in addition to international students and those enrolled in Marylhurst’s Early Scholars program. While the main floor has remained in use as a meeting and event space – hosting Toastmasters, yoga classes, summer camps, author readings, the Oregon Association for Music Therapy 2012 conference and the Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival in 2009 – Villa Maria’s 49 rooms have gone unoccupied for more than a decade.
The $2 million renovation of Villa Maria will be done by Schommer & Sons. It is expected to begin in January 2018 and take approximately seven months to complete. The first residents will likely include graduate students arriving for their fall residencies in programs such as Marylhurst’s M.S. in Food Systems and Society, Master of Divinity and its newest program – M.A. in Mental Health Counseling. Additional rooms will be available to students across Marylhurst’s undergraduate and graduate programs, including domestic and international students.
Founded in 1893, Marylhurst University is a premier, not-for-profit, professionally focused liberal arts and business university. Marylhurst’s community of scholars, professionals and artists offers exceptional master’s degrees, bachelor’s degree completion programs, courses, continuing education and impressive arts, music and cultural events.
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