On Sunday 1st March, the College officially opened its new “East Wing” building. Spread over four levels the building will greatly enhance the academic, social and health aspects of St Mark’s residential college life.
The new building was opened by His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO, Governor of South Australia during an official ceremony and was dedicated by The Most Rev’d Dr Jeffrey Driver, Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide.
The state-of-the-art Academic Centre allows students immediate access to University resources and on-line tutorial and lecture notes. A far cry from the dark, boxy carrels of past years, the mix of open-plan tables and seating along with technology hubs encourage interactive and collaborative study. The College’s existing academic support program is further enhanced with the inclusion of three spacious tutorial rooms.
In the student rooms, cleverly designed built-in storage and a wall-to-wall pin-board for photos and motivational messages make the accommodation personal yet functional and modern. On the lower-ground level, the gymnasium provides equipment and space for individual and group exercise – perfect for a recharging during those stressful exam periods! The 30 additional single student rooms plus two postgraduate apartments takes the College’s capacity to 245.
St Mark’s College Chairman Mr Richard Burchnall highlighted the extraordinary generosity of benefactors Mr Ian Wall OAM (alumnus 1950 – 54) and Mrs Pamela Wall OAM, whose substantial donation enabled the East Wing plans to become a reality. “Their magnificent gift not only gave us the confidence to proceed but has allowed us to finish this development far earlier than we had anticipated,” Mr Burchnall said. In recognition of their contribution the Academic Centre has been named the “Ian and Pamela Wall Academic Centre.”
Other major donors were also be recognised for their wonderful gifts with the suite of tutorial rooms named the “Simpson tutorial rooms”, acknowledging the generosity of Mr Antony Simpson (alumnus 1958 – 62). The gymnasium too retained the name of Allister McLeod (alumnus 1950 – 54) in recognition of previous donations made by himself and more recently his widow Mary McLeod.
According to St Mark’s College Master Ms Rose Alwyn, the new facilities are a critical step to supporting the College’s commitment to providing a well-balanced and stimulating student experience. “The value of learning with and from those who are different from us remains central and we are committed to providing the best opportunities to students from many backgrounds according to their ability to benefit from and contribute to the College. It is this belief that students and staff learn from one another; through experiences of common life, through tutorials and through personal mentoring that has driven the development and construction of East Wing,” Ms Alwyn said.
East Wing is the College’s response to a more dynamic approach by universities to higher education, and demonstrates St Mark’s’ commitment to providing the environment and opportunities for students to reach their full academic and personal potential.