Albion College to Transform Historic St. John’s Parish Into Alumni Unity Hall

Preservation and redevelopment are already underway and will bring new life to the historic community landmark.

November 3, 2021

A concept sketch of Alumni Unity Hall showing the outdoor amphitheater space.

The College began renovations of the 11,450-square-foot project over the summer by replacing the roof of the building. The goal is to preserve the community landmark while infusing new life and purpose into the space.

A concept sketch of Alumni Unity Hall showing the outdoor amphitheater space.

The multipurpose space will include an outdoor amphitheater for performances and festivals, along with spaces for student and alumni networking, multicultural events and alumni and career services. Exterior landscape architecture is being undertaken by SmithGroup, an internationally-recognized design firm, and the interior redesign is being completed by Driven by Design Studio of Battle Creek.

Albion College has announced the transformation of the former St. John’s Parish into an alumni and student destination, the Alumni Unity Hall. The official announcement was made by Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Marc Newman as part of the College’s homecoming weekend festivities on Oct. 23.

The Alumni Unity Hall will be a center for student and alumni networking, multicultural events, performing arts, and alumni and career services. Not only will it provide a modern space in which school community members can come together to share new experiences and nurture existing relationships, it will also preserve an important piece of Albion history in St. John’s Parish. Through enhanced points of connection between campus and the city of Albion, this project will build an even deeper sense of belonging for all students, past, present and future.

“Today marks the official start of an exciting investment in our students, our alumni, and our community,” said Newman at the announcement on Oct. 23. “This space is the intersection of Albion College’s three core pillars: purpose, belonging, and action. Together, we’re building an intentional space where connections can be made between generations and across backgrounds and disciplines. That’s what an Albion education is all about.”

Exterior renovations to the 11,450-square-foot project are already underway. The goal is to preserve the historic architecture of the building, while infusing modern, student-focused features that will make the space functional for years to come. On the main floor and lower level, performance and meeting spaces will be added, along with central office space for the College’s Alumni Services. The lower level of the building will be accessible from the east via a terraced amphitheater space for outdoor festivals and the performing arts.

The Alumni Unity Hall project is part of the school’s broader Comprehensive Campus Plan, which is slated to be unveiled in its entirety later this fall. Projects and initiatives contained in the plan aim to improve the structure of campus, provide opportunities for connection between the campus and the Albion community and further define Albion’s mission and values.

“I’m grateful that our college chose to preserve this important piece of Albion’s history,” said Ted Everingham, President of the Albion College Alumni Association Board of Directors, as he addressed attendees on Oct. 23. “This has been a physical, emotional and spiritual haven for generations since 1875. Here students, alumni, staff and faculty can come together to share both new experiences and fond old memories, while celebrating all the blessings this extraordinary community has to offer. Albion College is again creating with courage and vision, and we’re eager to see that vision come to life.”

Renovations to the Alumni Unity Hall are expected to be complete Fall 2023.

For more information on the Alumni Unity Hall and Albion’s Comprehensive Campus Plan, please visit www.albion.edu.

About Albion College

Albion College is a private liberal arts college of approximately 1,500 students and is nationally recognized for its academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition, a learning-centered commitment and a future-oriented perspective. The College is a leader in preparing students to anticipate, solve and prevent problems in order to improve the human and global condition. Albion immerses students in the creation and processing of knowledge and graduates skilled architects of societal change, active citizens and future leaders. The College is dedicated to the highest quality in undergraduate education and is committed to diversity as a core institutional value.

Albion, Michigan is a culturally diverse community in the south-central part of the state. The College recognizes the value of community, both on- and off-campus and has invested resources in supporting the revitalization of the greater Albion community. This work offers an increasingly vibrant city around the campus that provides students with a fuller experience as they prepare to become engaged citizens in their own communities. For more information, visit albion.edu.