A new residence hall is being named in honor of University of Arizona President Emeritus Peter Likins and his wife, Patricia.
Likins Hall will open to 369 students during the fall semester, along with Árbol de la Vida, a hall designed for 719 Honors College students.
"This was an unexpected honor, and my wife and I are enormously pleased," said Likins, who served as the University's president from 1997-2006. "This is not something anyone is entitled to."
Together, the two new halls embody a strong community orientation with great emphasis on values associated with collaboration, connection and sustainability.
Melissa Vito, UA's vice president for Student Affairs, said naming the hall after Likins proved to be "a perfect tribute" to his legacy and leadership. Vito said the building will be dedicated during UA's 2011 Family Weekend events, which will be held in September.
"Likins prioritized the improvement of the undergraduate experience in significant ways," Vito said, adding that the Learning Technology Center and Student Union Memorial Center are both visual testaments of his efforts.
Both UA facilities exemplify his "recognition of the link between quality and innovative facilities and an outstanding undergraduate experience," Vito said.
Also important to the student experience is community-building and sustainability awareness, said Melissa Dryden, a senior program coordinator for UA's Planning, Design and Construction.
Dryden said that, like Árbol de la Vida, Likins Hall contains recycled building materials and a similar orientation.
"The organization of the building modules led to angled placement to preserve vistas of the stadium to the east and the Highland tower to the west," Dryden noted.
"The form of the interior courtyard and the acknowledgment of the water that once went through the site, inspired the arroyo imagery that helped to inform this building design," she added.
The hall, located across from both the Student Recreation Center and Highland Market, is designed around a large hacienda-style interior courtyard.
The hall also includes a custom-designed interactive website and kiosk, which will display the hall’s energy and water use.
Likins Hall, also like Árbol de la Vida, contains a range of energy-efficient fixtures and features, including roof-mounted solar panels, low-flow water fixtures and "green" outlets that power off devices that are not in use.
"The building was named after the design was complete," Dryden said. "However, family and community are important to Dr. Likins, so it is appropriate to recognize him with a building that fosters community, and supports academic and personal growth and success."
Vito also noted that the family-focus Likins maintained coincides well with what UA leaders have in mind for the hall.
"His focus on family makes the naming of this residence hall a perfect fit as these halls house what become new 'families' for our freshmen," Vito said.
This is at the core of what UA Residence Life hopes for students is what the Peter and Patricia Likins value: Developing community connections between people with differing backgrounds and experiences.
"I think there is an effort at the University to persuade students to understand that they have an obligation and an opportunity to engage in service," Likins said.
"I have always cared very deeply about students and that very intersecton," he added.
Likins also said that serving as a university president helped him to be a better father to his children and that being so closely connected with his family helped him to be a better institutional leader. He also said that connecting with students over the years also informed his orientation toward community and diversity.
"These things in my mind are fused together," Likins said. "It's not just race and ethnicity, but all the ways humans can be different."