Architecture on college campuses influences atmosphere for students

McKinley Building

The McKinley Building at American University in Washington, D.C. offers both old and new architecture. By Margot Susca.

WASHINGTON, D.C –Students and alumni say that both the architecture and atmosphere of their college campuses have enriched their educational experiences.

Most interviewed this week in Northwest Washington, D.C. said that traditional campus architecture–those schools with brick and stone buildings–has character and helps tell the story of the university’s history.

“You get a true sense of the institution,” said Philip Brown who had attended Howard university. “It had an inviting atmosphere with the interior design and structure of the buildings there, which provided a place for a more positive learning experience.”

They also believe that historic architecture can signal the university’s renowned academic status.

Campus atmosphere–including well-tended gardens and green space some called “homey”–was another significant factor to contribute to people’s desire to attend certain colleges.

A 2011 University of Rhode Island report of its Admissions Advisory Committee noted campus curb appeal matters to admissions decisions.

Rick Hesel, the Principal of the Arts and Sciences group at the University of Rhode Island, advises other institutions that it is very important to make a good first impression with the overall image and appearance of the campus.

Campus tour

Families on a campus tour of American University, Friday, July 14. By Elle Rosse.

“When I attended Towson University, there will new residential buildings that had been built. They were gorgeous and they really lead to a more organized, clean feel,” said Kim Kinner of Washington D.C.”

A beautiful and well – manicured campus can also attract more students despite possibly having a bad location.

Elizabeth Herzfeldt of Kalamath Oregon who attended Pacific Lutheran University, said “The campus was located in a bad part of town, so the well – groomed campus was very eye – catching.”