SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -The more than 2,000 families that visit Slippery Rock University annually will soon be welcomed in a space that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
The Lillian Yartz Fireplace Lounge in North Hall, often called the "Fireplace Lounge," is being remodeled to provide a showpiece greeting space for the Office of Admissions. Studies indicate a positive first impression is critical element in a student's decision as to whether or not to enroll at a University.
The remodeled lounge will offer an elegant, welcoming room that harkens to an earlier era of student lounges. North Hall dates to 1939.
"This previously underutilized and shared space will now allow the Office of Admissions to be the gateway to SRU and showcase the breadth of our student experience" said Michael May, SRU director of undergraduate recruitment and admission. "Families will clearly see from our quality students, expert faculty, superior programming and student amenities why SRU should be their best choice and first choice."
The lounge is named for the late Lillian Yartz, a North Hall housemother from 1967-1994. She received the President's Award for Outstanding Service in 1981. In 1996, the University honored her by naming the multi-purpose North Hall lounge in her honor. Her portrait and a plaque honoring her service to hundreds of women are hung in the room.
May said the room has been designed with separate and distinct seating arrangements so families may engage the admission team in a more personal and intimate setting. Renovations include new paint, lighting, flooring, throw rugs and new furniture that should be in place next month.
"I am tremendously excited by this project because it enhances our ability to showcase the SRU experience and welcome visitors to campus," May said. "Now more than ever, the college choice is a family decision - our renovated greeting space will allow all who are involved in this decision to comfortably talk with a member of the admissions team and learn more about all that we have to offer. This space is needed to accommodate all families who want to learn more about SRU."
May said admission counselors would greet families in the lounge while continuing to use their offices for interviews. A small room at the back of the lounge will provide a more private space where admissions counselors can meet with prospective students and their families.
The lounge space for residents of North Hall students has been relocated to the former University Club and Pennsylvania Room space.
"The wireless network has been upgraded in North Hall this summer, which will definitely allow us to utilize technology better in our building," May said. "The staff will be getting iPads in part to help leverage our Student Success Stories which are located on the SRU Admissions YouTube Channel."
He said the renovated Yartz Lounge embodies SRU's commitment to combining the resources of a large public institution with the intimate feel and student-centered experience found on a private school campus.
"Facilities like this, Patterson Hall, the Smith Student Center, Vincent Science Center and Advanced Technology and Science Hall highlight why SRU is the premier residential university in the region," he said.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.