At the 2017 Association for College Unions International (ACUI) conference in Atlanta, Young Harris College’s Rollins Campus Center and Zell + Shirley Miller Library was recognized as one of five awardees of a Facility Design Award of Excellence. The awards program recognizes outstanding and successful collaborations between architects and campuses in the design of facilities that foster student life and community.
Founded by a circuit-riding Methodist minister in 1886, Young Harris College is a private college located in the remarkable mountain setting of north Georgia. In 2008, Young Harris was awarded four-year status as part of an ambitious transition plan to expand its academic offerings, more than double its student body, and emerge as a leading, regional liberal arts college.
The centerpiece of this transformation is the 121,000 square foot Campus Center and Library. Highly anticipated, the facility is recognized as the social and intellectual heart of campus and has made a welcoming place for students, faculty, staff, visitors, and alumni to gather together as a college community. Designed to catapult the student experience into the 21st century, it combines union, dining, event, and library spaces into an innovative mix of uses within one dynamic building.
Young Harris College’s mission is to “educate, inspire, and empower.” Campus Center Director Chad Gray, who accepted the Facility Design award with VMDO’s Joe Atkins, summarized: “I quickly realized that Young Harris is committed and invested in the lives of its students. Prospective students and families get that same feeling when they visit the campus for the first time – an indescribable energy that draws you in. I truly believe the Campus Center provides and supports the mission statement – if a student gives the Campus Center the opportunity, it will have a defining influence on their journey here.”