Volume 7, Number 3, 1998

Gore Hall, new classroom building, a 'magnificent landmark' for the Mall

Gore Hall, UD's new classroom facility, was officially dedicated April 25, adding a magnificent example of classic Georgian architecture to the Mall.

"All buildings tell stories," architect Allan Greenberg said, noting that Gore Hall "tells us that in a democracy, the God-like pursuit of knowledge is now available to all our children." Greenberg was selected by the Trustee Visiting Committee on Architecture to design Gore Hall.

In keeping with the "academic villages" first proposed by third U.S. president and architect Thomas Jefferson, Gore Hall features a Roman temple fasçade, with four massive columns reflecting its status as "a temple of learning."

Greenberg said that the 65,000-square-foot classroom building "stands out as a monument to its enlightened patrons"-UD trustee Robert Gore, EG '59, his wife, Sarah I. Gore, HP '76M, and his mother, Genevieve W. Gore. The Gores contributed $17.5 million to cover the total cost of the facility.

President David Roselle described Gore Hall as "a magnificent landmark classroom building," which reflects the meticulous efforts of "hundreds of artisans" and completes an historic master plan for UD's scenic, tree-lined Mall.

Expressing the UD community's deep gratitude to the Gore family, Roselle said simply, "Our cup runneth over."

Featuring a three-story central atrium with a skylight--surrounded by 17 general classrooms, four seminar rooms, three tiered case-study rooms and one problem-based learning classroom--the facility exemplifies the Gore family's philosophy of "bringing people together for the exchange of knowledge," Provost Mel Schiavelli said.

Faculty member Joan DelFattore, professor of English, described Gore Hall as "a wonderful environment for teaching," where faculty are provided with fingertip control of the latest technologies for displaying video images and computer-based information and for controlling the classroom, including the lights and window shades. DelFattore jokingly quoted one of her students as saying, "This is the first time that I ever felt I had to live up to the furniture!"

The case-study classrooms in Gore Hall are equipped with "Level I" audiovisual and information technologies. Among 17 such high-tech classrooms on campus, the Gore Hall Level I rooms include direct network connections, allowing faculty and students to access the Internet via laptops, if they wish. The new classrooms also let educators marry technological and traditional instruction in their courses, without having to "wheel [technology] over to the classroom," DelFattore said.

Douglas Mauro de Lorenzo, AS'98, and UD's most recent Rhodes Scholar, recognized that students are the "primary beneficiaries" of the Gore family's generous gift to UD.

Indeed, the plaque on the building will read: "Dedicated to the students of the future by Robert Walton Gore, '59, Sarah Ives Gore, '76, and Genevieve Walton Gore, on behalf of the entire Gore family and made possible by the business success of W.L. Gore & Associates Inc, of Newark, Delaware. April 25, 1998."

-Ginger Pinholster