Sewanee: The University of the South


Interior of Spencer Hall

Spencer Hall at a Glance

State-of-the-art Spencer Hall, with space for instruction, research, and study in chemistry, biology, biochemistry and environmental science, was funded through The Sewanee Call campaign.

Quick facts:

  • The beautiful and advanced facility was dedicated Oct.7, 2008. The building opened in late August 2008.
  • The building was named in honor of William M. Spencer, III, C’41, for his generous lead gift.
  • Construction of the $22 million building began in late 2006, adding 49,000 square feet to the existing Woods Lab and expanding Sewanee’s sciences facilities by almost 60 percent.
  • Spencer Hall includes six teaching labs plus four classrooms; five research labs and five lab preparation, support and storage rooms; 16 faculty offices; and three student reading rooms.
  • The new lab spaces are equipped with the latest scientific tools and technology, designed to be specialized but flexible—each class has the tools it needs, but the same space can be used by multiple classes.
  • Spencer Hall was designed to foster a spirit of openness and cross-disciplinary work and to encourage the formal and informal exchange of ideas, offering “science in sight” with interior glass walls open to laboratory space.
  • Sustainable building practices and technology were incorporated into Spencer Hall, including improved indoor air quality, energy conservation and heat recovery technology, and the use and re-use of local materials. It is expected to be Sewanee’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified building.
  • Spencer Hall was designed by Ballinger Architects in Philadelphia, and the general contractor was Brice Building Company, Inc. of Birmingham.

Special features:

  • The Herbarium. The Sewanee Herbarium consists of a collection of dried and mounted plant specimens, systematically arranged for the purpose of education, research, and conservation. The inventory and database reflect the botanical diversity of the 13,000-acre Domain.
  • The Darwin Garden. The garden, in a courtyard between Woods Lab and Spencer Hall, continues the themes of interactivity and “science in sight” and celebrates Charles Darwin and the science of evolution. It features a walkway with fossil stamps divided into geological periods, evolutionarily significant plants, and a sculpture of Darwin by biology major Jeanie Stephenson, C’78.

Schedule at a Glance

Monday, Oct. 6
  • Honorary Degree Dinner, 6:30 p.m., Cravens Hall (by invitation only)
Tuesday, Oct. 7
  • Dedication of the new Never-Failing Succession of Benefactors plaque, 11 a.m., Walsh-Ellett Hall (by invitation only)
  • Founders’ Day Convocation, 12:30 p.m., All Saints’ Chapel
  • Community celebration, approximately 2 p.m., Spencer Hall lawn
  • Special presentations about key accomplishments of The Sewanee Call campaign, 3-5 p.m.
  • The Sewanee Call gala celebration, 7 p.m., Robert Dobbs Fowler Center (by invitation only)
Sewanee: The University of the South735 University Ave, Sewanee, TN 37383931.598.100035.204826-85.921674