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A Dedicated Legacy
Barbara Cromwell ’55 and her late husband George Cromwell ’53, whose steadfast devotion to their alma mater has been expressed through service as well as philanthropy, will be well known to students in the College’s new academic building on Washington Avenue. The building, which beginning this fall will house the Departments of Anthropology and Environmental Science and Studies, will be named Barbara and George Cromwell Hall. It also will house the Barbara and George Cromwell Center for Teaching and Learning, which supports faculty innovations through talks, workshops, and grants.
“We both came from families that believed in giving back to the community. I came to Washington College on a merit scholarship—the George A. Bunting Scholarship—so I felt compelled to give back to the College,” says Barbara Cromwell. “We had four wonderful years, we had a great education, and we felt that we had to give back to the College, so that future generations could have the same great experience that we did.”
A former Alumni Council president who helped organize the Annapolis alumni chapter and was the first chair of the George Washington Legacy Society, Barbara Cromwell is an emerita member of the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors (1980-86). In addition to an annual scholarship the Cromwells fund through The Washington Fund, in 2013 they pledged support to the Barbara and George Cromwell Center for Teaching and Learning. Although she has been most obviously active as an alumna, Barbara Cromwell says that her husband George, who died last year the day after his 85th birthday, was always the quiet but staunch supporter behind all of their service to the College.
“We talked about this, and I am sure that he would have been very happy that we are going to do this,” she says of the naming of the new building. Both attended the building’s groundbreaking in April 2015.
“Barbara and George Cromwell are two of Washington College’s most dedicated alumni,” says College President Sheila Bair. “Their unwavering commitment to and undeniable love for this institution have always shone through. We are deeply grateful for their generosity, and I’m pleased that future generations of students will know their story and their name when they pass through the doors of Cromwell Hall.”
Barbara and George Cromwell Hall is nearing completion at 215 Washington Avenue, on the site of the former Kent County Board of Education building. The first of two buildings planned for the site, it houses offices, classrooms, laboratory space, and study areas for the Departments of Anthropology and Environmental Science and Studies. A second phase will house the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and the Department of Education.
EYP Architecture & Engineering, which specializes in sustainable design for corporate, government, and higher education clients around the world, designed both phases of the new complex. When the firm was selected, EYP Project Executive Elissa Kellett described the Washington College project as “especially exciting because of its aggressive sustainability goals within the context of an historic district and an environmentally sensitive area.” Project architects are Suzanne Kelin and Brian Tucker, and project managers are Joshua George and Monica Lerro.
The building is scheduled to earn LEED Gold certification in “green” design and construction. Sustainable features include geothermal heating, energy-efficient lighting, and a two-thirds reduction in the amount of impermeable, or paved, surfaces now on the site. A system of filtered collection pools will capture rainwater and direct it into the town’s stormwater pipes.