Building Community

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When Madison Clifford ’17 wants a change of scene, she grabs her computer and heads to her floor lounge.

On a clear day, she can see Mt. Hood from the fourth-floor common space in Pacific University’s new Cascade Hall.

“It’s a really pretty view,” said the sophomore. “Lots of people hang out there.”

Pacific’s newest living community opened this fall to nearly 200 students, most freshmen and sophomores. The hall is designed to help draw underclassmen into the community. The rooms, though comfortable, are basic, while common areas — like the floor lounges, shared kitchens and spacious first-floor recreation area — are luring.

The hall also is designed to fit the university’s aesthetic and philosophical values. Its wood and brick exterior borrow from the historic feel of Marsh and McCormick halls, while its up-to-the-minute environmental design match Pacific’s commitment to sustainability.

Cascade Hall is part of a larger transformation project that launched this summer throughout the university. The new roof over the grandstands at Hanson Stadium (page 14), as well as remodeled classroom and lab space at the Hillsboro Campus are part of the transformation, as is the refresh of the Washburne University Center.

After a summer of remodeling, the UC reopened to students in September with a whole new look. A large, round skylight brings in natural light, while contemporary furniture, selected by a student committee, offers comfortable eating, studying and lounging options. The stairways have been opened up and the bathrooms remodeled. And, updates to the dining options — from all-access meal plans to the new full-service Starbucks — make it an enticing place to eat.

For Clifford, the updates throughout campus are part of an even better college experience.

“My siblings went here six and eight years ago,” she said. While she’ll share their academic success, her on-campus life will be something different.

“It’s a chance to create my own experience.”

Cascade Hall Construction Time-Lapse

This story first appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Pacific magazine. For more stories, visit

Monday, Oct. 27, 2014