In a speech during Eastern’s 2016 convocation service, Josephine Templeton announced that her family would be giving Eastern University $5 million towards the construction of a new Templeton building. Eastern will work to raise matching funds. The plan is for the new building to be built opposite Walton Hall, directly on the other side of Walton Pond. This building will provide space for classroom learning, office work, study, social interaction and maybe even worship.
Jonathan Yonan, dean of the Templeton Honors College, says that he envisions the new Templeton building as a “facility that will be good for both Eastern and the Templeton Honors College.” For example, Dr. Yonan describes his hope that the building will provide seminar-style rooms that are egalitarian rather than hierarchical in design, meaning that students and the professor sit around a table, facing each other, with no head of the room or head of the table to impose a sense of authority. While most of the Templeton courses would find a home in this building, Yonan thinks that the seminar-style classrooms would lend themselves well to other courses in departments like English and Biblical Studies and that the building could be a place where “teachers love to teach and students love to learn.”
Regarding the new building and the generosity of the Templetons, Jessica Nielsen, a senior history major, says: “Dr. Jack Templeton’s legacy lives on in many ways, including this kind gift from his wife Dr. Josephine. We all as students have benefitted so much already from the Templetons’ generosity, and I’m touched that through this latest philanthropic gift, students will have the opportunity to study in a place dedicated to beauty, truth and the pursuit of the good. It is my hope that there, students will always find a quiet place to work, a friend with whom to argue and an environment conducive to the cultivation of the love of wisdom.”
Emmie Moffitt, a junior studying philosophy, says: “I believe that the Templeton building will be of great educational benefit to the members of the Honors College and indeed for all Eastern University students. It seems to me that having somewhere beautiful to learn has the potential to make beautiful the thinking and conversations taking place there. We have seen this again and again during casual study sessions in Baird Library and classes in the Fowler Great Hall; to have an entire building dedicated to this will be wonderful.”
As a community at Eastern University, we as students are excited to see how these exciting plans unfold. The Waltonian will be sure to keep readers updated on the process of raising funds and on the timetable for construction of the new building.
Source: Jonathan Yonan