University celebrates community, Hutchesons

Busy and energetic students have filled the resident hall that sits at the bottom of the hill on the north side of campus for over eight years. These students have formed traditions, fostered community, and loved the building where they spend their lives at John Brown University. Although the memories of the building are life-long, the name “North Hall” has always been temporary.

This summer, North Hall was given a new name—Hutcheson Hall— to better honor longtime donors and friends of the University community.

Bill Hutcheson served as a member of the University Board of Trustees from April 1996 to April 2008 and was then named a Trustee Emeritus. Hutcheson and his wife also donated a large portion of the funds needed to build the dormitory.

“Bill and Dede [Hutcheson] have never sought the spotlight or recognition for their service to JBU,” said Andre Broquard, director of resident life. “They are sincerely humble, wanting only to celebrate the lives of JBU students. This summer, the Advancement office asked Bill and Dede if JBU could honor them by putting their name on the building and they graciously accepted.”

Broquard hopes that the Hutcheson’s generosity and gracious spirit can become a hallmark of the building and for the students who live there.

During the all-hall welcome back meeting on Aug. 22, President Pollard told the residents of Hutcheson Hall that Bill and Dede Hutcheson wanted the building to be a place that students could call a home away from home.

The Hall then celebrated Bill and Dede’s generosity to campus and the building’s new name with cake and ice cream.

Community has become an important trait of the building and the residents. Students say the idea of a “home away from home” is more of a reality than a wish.

“I started living in North my sophomore year,” senior Katy Rogers said. “I really like the community here. I remember a conversation I had with a friend in the past, how each dorm on campus seems to have its own particular personality that attracts certain people, and I really like the personality and vibe of Hutcheson.”

For senior and resident assistant Austin McCullough, the community truly feels like coming home.

“I can get to my hall and laugh, study, cry, pray and anything else with people who I know care about me and accept me just the way I am, both girls and guys,” McCullough said.

Because of the home-like atmosphere and students’ strong ties to the building, the initial news of the building’s name change, which came in late July, was a shock to most students, and in return sparked some negative feelings.

“Initially, I was very opposed to the new name,” Rogers said. “Being on the edge of campus, the name North just fit and also kind of added to the personality of the dorm. After hearing the story of the name change though, I became much more appreciative of it.”

Growing in community and in Christ-likeness is the central theme of the whole dorm this year. The resident life staff of Hutcheson Hall adopted 2 Corinthians 5:17 as the theme verse for the building.

“Being careful to not take the verse out of context, it is a call to live a new life ‘in Christ.’ The grace that comes through Christ is available for us,” Broquard said. “The newness comes at the point of salvation, but also is new every morning as we are continually renewed and refined to be more like Christ. I hope that those living in Hutcheson this year will live ‘in Christ’ and continue their transformation into Christ’s likeness.”