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The vision for the Walter Commons was a decade in the making, and evolved over the years. The seed for the project was planted in 2007 with a faculty-led initiative that broadened the emphasis on world languages and international studies.
“This vibrant hub for global learning allows our faculty and staff to infuse courses and off-campus programs with diverse world perspectives, and affords our students new opportunities to address the most relevant issues of our time,” Bergeron said. “The Walter Commons is the embodiment of our vision for a more deeply connected and engaged education that promotes the intellectual, social, professional and civic development of every student.”
Students have already taken advantage of the Walter Commons, which unofficially opened at the start of the spring semester. Julia Panter ’18, a Slavic studies major and linguistics minor, has been utilizing the technology that is wired throughout the Walter Commons.
“My Russian seminar is using the new video system to Skype with students at the New Bulgarian University in Sophia, Bulgaria, which enhances our course and our understanding of Slavic cultures, as well as gives students a chance to practice Bulgarian,” Panter said.
Panter is also excited by the design of the Walter Commons. “I like how modern it is. It’s a great place to study.”
Martha Peak ’75, who serves as vice president and grants director at the Walter Foundation, said the space is a perfect reflection of what Otto and Fran Walter stood for and created their foundation to promote.
“The Walter Commons truly brings into focus Otto Walter’s lifelong belief that the way to build global peace tomorrow is to create opportunities for international cross-pollination today,” Peak said. “The foundation is proud that this commons is located at the heart of the Connecticut College campus, in a place that has long emphasized international study and cross-cultural engagement.”