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Patrick Henry College - The Barbara Hodel Center

The Barbara Hodel Center
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Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. Psalm 127:1

At the heart of every campus, you will find a place around which all student life seems to orbit, a building humming with activity and echoing with the voices of eager, exuberant young people. Since Patrick Henry College opened its doors in 2000, Founder's Hall has served as that building. It is home to the Chancellor's and President's offices, the dining hall, the bookstore, the library, faculty and staff offices, and the majority of the College's classrooms.

Patrick Henry College has an ambitious mission - to prepare Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless, biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding. We have experienced growth over our first six years, with a current student body of about 300. As a result we now have the vision for a facility designed with our growing student body in mind, one that will not only serve the students of today, but also meets our needs as we move toward our eventual goal of more than 1,000 students.

We are now poised to undertake our next ambitious building project - The Barbara Hodel Center. The 106,000 square-foot student center will become the hub of student life on campus and will greatly enhance our recruitment and retention efforts. The cost of this vital building is projected to be $31 million. We presently have $14 million pledged or given to this project. We would like you to consider making an investment to help make this building a reality.

What will be included in the building?
A full-size gymnasium, dinning hall, bookstore and lounge, running track, two racquetball courts, fitness space, classrooms, faculty and staff offices.

Would it be better to invest in an academic facility rather than an athletic facility?
This facility will provide an important outlet for students to exercise and participate in sports. The curriculum of the College is demanding, and it is important for students to have appropriate opportunities for physical exercise. However, this is not merely an athletic facility. The student center will also allow us to triple the size of our library using vacated space in our present dining hall and fitness room located in Founders Hall. We have outgrown our current dining hall. We also need more common areas for students to gather and study in group settings. The Barbara Hodel Center will also include classrooms, faculty offices, and music practice rooms. Our strategic plans call for the addition of an economics and business major in a few years, and we presently do not have the space for additional classrooms and faculty offices, much less for other planned program expansions.

Why was the student center project selected over other possibilities?
The other building project considered at this time was the chapel. However, the site for the chapel on our master plan has not received construction approval by the county. Like many areas of the country, Loudoun County has a rigorous development process that will require considerable planning and approval. The site of The Barbara Hodel Center is within the city limits and had the needed approvals. More importantly, it provides a critical missing student life resource on which the rest of our collegiate program can stand.

Does a college the size of PHC really need a student life center?
The long-range plan is to have a student body of 1,200 and expand to offer majors in business, law, and music. We have designed this facility with future growth in mind. Yet even our present program needs to be adequately resourced. Prospective students and their parents are very interested in the kind and extent of resources available for their college experience. The other colleges that our typical student visits will have facilities similar to the student life building, and the lack of such facilities puts PHC at a comparative disadvantage even in maintaining enrollment at present levels.

When will construction on the building begin and what is the projected completion date?
We began construction on November 21, 2006. Since all the funds to complete the project have not yet been given or pledged, we are not able to establish a completion date. We currently have enough funds to finish the site work and shell of the building. We will be assessing the construction schedule beyond this phase based on the receipt of private gifts. If we receive all the funds in a timely manner, we anticipate completion of the project in April 2009.

What gifts are you seeking?
This will probably be the largest building ever built on the campus, and it is the largest capital project to date. In order to fund the outstanding amount, we need gifts of all sizes. We are also seeking some additional major gifts in the $1M to $5M range. Please contact the Development Office for more details. (540) 338-8729.


Patrick Henry College is a not-for-profit corporation created and authorized to operate under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the College is a qualified charitable institution and contributions to PHC are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Patrick Henry College
Office of Development
One Patrick Henry Circle,
Purcellville, VA 20132
(540) 338-1776