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AXD open house

Barry McNamara
03/09/2011
Monmouth College’s new Greek life house at 833 E. Broadway will be open to the public on March 20 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Part of the college’s Greek life initiative, the 6,000-square-foot house is initially being occupied by the Alpha Xi Delta women’s fraternity. The 19-bed house is the first new construction of Greek housing on campus since 1966.

It was designed by Metzger Johnson Architects, Inc. of Galesburg in the Queen Anne style to reflect surrounding architecture and pay tribute to a historic fraternity house that formerly stood on the site. With a price tag of nearly $2 million, the new structure reflects some of the opulence of an earlier era, but with modern comforts such as energy-efficient windows, an elevator and zoned heating and cooling.

Many of the Alpha Xi Delta residents moved into the house on the first official night of occupancy, which was Feb. 15. Ground was broken for the house last May during commencement weekend activities, making the total construction time about nine months.

“It is just so amazing to think that a year ago I had just announced we would be getting the new house,” said senior Kristen Wyse of Woodstock, past president of the chapter. “Now that it is here, it is hard to believe.”

“Our first impressions were that we loved it,” said chapter president Kim Dwyer, a junior from Roseville. “It went beyond our expectations. It is absolutely gorgeous.”

“It is breathtakingly beautiful,” agreed Wyse. “It’s very big and open and feels very much like a home that I think will be cherished for many years to come. I can’t put it into proper words – it is better to see it firsthand.”

“While some colleges attempt to downplay their Greek presence, we are offering the best housing to outstanding women and men of principle,” said Don Capener, vice president for strategic planning. “Why? Because, on average, these Greek students outperform their peers in the classroom and are willing to help others succeed. New houses such as this are aspirational places for women who have proven themselves in the classroom and in service to the college community.”

Monmouth’s Beta Epsilon chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was installed in 1932. After a short hiatus, the chapter returned to campus in 1997, and it currently has 45 members. The national women’s fraternity was created in 1893 at Lombard College in nearby Galesburg. There are currently 110 chapters nationwide and more than 150,000 initiated members in the organization’s history.