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Ann Moskowitz: Building communities one residence hall at a time at Alfred University
5/15/17

President Mark Zupan and Ann Moskowitz

President Mark Zupan and Ann Moskowitz

Ann Moskowitz is a builder, although you won’t find her swinging a hammer or sawing a board.

            She’s a builder of communities at Alfred University, said Alfred University President Mark Zupan in announcing the gift. “We are so grateful to Ann Moskowitz for her continued support of Alfred University. She gives from her heart, and her heart is always fixed on the students we serve. Her favorite projects are those that give students a sense of home while they are away from their own homes.”

            “I am always happy when I can do things for Alfred University to make the student experience better,” said Ann Moskowitz.

            The widow of Joel Moskowitz ’61, Ann Moskowitz has pledged $1.8 million to transform what is now known as Reimer Hall into Moskowitz Hall. But what will be inside is the Unity House, which will be one of Alfred University’s “first true living-learning communities,” according to Kathy Woughter, vice president for Student Affairs.

             Ann and Joel together built two other residence halls at Alfred University that have fostered tight-knit, although perhaps less formally organized communities than what Moskowitz Hall will allow.   Both have been used as “special interest housing,” so groups of students with a common interest can choose to live together in the residence hall. Joel’s House was the first, opening in 2004. Ann’s House, which opened in 2009, is the University’s first Gold LEED-certified building, meaning it was built to higher standards for sustainability, established by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, using as many locally sourced materials as possible.

            What Ann has insisted upon in all three residence halls she’s had a hand in refurbishing are gathering spaces for students, and kitchens, where they can cook and share meals together.

            Moskowitz Hall will have all that, plus a flexible classroom space, and that’s what will allow it to become Alfred University’s first true living/learning community.

            Shakima McCants Clency '01 will serve as professional mentor to the Unity House residence life staff and a consultant for programming design. Clency will be serving Alfred University’s Institute for Cultural Unity while finishing her doctoral dissertation from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she has past experience building learning communities.

            The Unity House started in Crawford, one of the Pine Hill Suites, but moving it to Moskowitz  Hall not only allows for more programming and for a larger number of students to participate. Unity House serves as a home for students of color, those of indigenous descent, and those who identify as LGBT+ and their allies.

            The first phase of the project will be completed this summer, and will include renovations to the ground floor, creating additional gathering spaces for students, including a large game room, lounge and kitchen area, and a fitness room.  There will also an apartment and office for the mentor. The renovations will create more single rooms, something for which there is increasing student demand. Once the renovations are completed in the summer of 2018, there will be nine single rooms and 45 doubles. Each of the upper floors will have four full baths and two half baths, all private.  The total capacity of the renovated facility will be 99 student residents.

            Ann Moskowitz, who attended nearly every Alfred University Board of Trustees’ meeting with Joel during his more than 30 years of service as a trustee, has just taken her own seat on the board in February. “I first came to Alfred University with Joel in 1971,” she recalled. “I am always happy when I am on this campus. I wish I had gone to school here.”

            “Ann is a wonderful addition to our board,” said Zupan.  “One of the first things she said to me was ‘My job is to help you.’”