Kalamazoo College's Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (ACSJL) supports the pursuit of human rights and social justice in leadership by developing emerging leaders and sustaining existing leaders in those principles, creating a pivotal role for liberal arts education in engendering a more just world.
The ACSJL is funded through a $23 million grant from the Arcus Foundation - the largest grant in the College's 179-year history, and one of the largest given for the purpose of promoting social justice leadership to an undergraduate institution in the United States.
The new ACSJL is an approximately 9,500 square foot facility located on the southeast corner of Academy and Monroe streets. The one-story building is designed to be inviting and open and will serve as an interactive space for the College and the Community. Three gently arcing exterior walls define the structure's central gathering space and embrace the surrounding landscape. The end of each of the three branches contains a large window - with one window overlooking the neighborhood, another overlooking a grove of trees and the third providing a view of the campus.
Michigan-sourced White Cedar was used to construct the cordwood masonry exterior. 2,000 logs were cut into 16,000 pieces and connected to look like a brick wall. The building incorporates sustainable building practices and is expected achieve LEED Gold Certification.
The architect is Studio Gang Architects. Jeanne Gang, a principal and the founder of Studio Gang Architects, is a 2011 MacArthur Fellow - "genius grant" recipient.
Here is a peek into the construction of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership building.