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Photo provided by Audrey Deitrich

House of Schwalmeries: Schwalm Hall to be Closed during 2020-2021 School Year; Former Residents Share Memories, Part 2

Carly Greaves

Former residents of Schwalm Hall continue to remember the good times they spent there after hearing that the residence hall would be closed for the next school year.

It was announced via email on April 16 that Schwalm Hall would be closed next year in order to conserve resources. The building will not be torn down.

This news has led many former Schwalm residents to remember the unique environment that Schwalm offered. “I absolutely loved it there,” said Audrey Deitrich, 2013 alumna. “Doors were always kept open and everyone was so friendly. We were all close and all loved each other.”

1966 alumnus Terry Troxell agreed. “There was a strong bond between many of us living there,” he said.

Mary Kohrman, 2012 alumna, recalled a particular moment of friendship. “I remember once coming back from a trip home where my horse had died,” she said. “When I got back to Schwalm after midnight, I found that my friends and residents had built a 25-foot cardboard tunnel out of boxes that led to my dorm room. It was decked out with signatures, drawings, and ‘castle’ decor to make me feel like a Schwalmie princess. As soon as I got close, a few of them popped out from around the corner dressed as cardboard clad knights who escorted me to my room through my cardboard tunnel. It was goofy but just what I needed to cheer up.”

There were certainly other goofy moments that former Schwalm residents had to share. “I was student teaching and had to get up at 5 a.m. for the commute,” Troxell said. “One morning I followed my usual routine; however, when I went out to my car and the radio came on, the 4 a.m. news was just starting. My roommate and the other guys on the floor had set back all clocks for two hours and recreated a normal morning to play a joke on me.”

Cierra Thomas, 2017 alumna, has her own unique memory. “My first year I was known as the girl who locked herself inside her room and flipped out because I couldn't get out,” she said. “Schwalm Hall doors were old and wooden, so when it got super-hot the doors tended to swell shut, making it extremely hard to enter and exit the room. Long story short, I panicked so bad every person on my floor met me before the mandatory icebreaker!”

Deitrich remembers a musical moment: “I lived on the same floor as several football and male basketball players; you know, stereotypical guys. One day I heard the song ‘All or Nothing’ [an earnest break-up song] by O-Town blaring out of one of the guy’s rooms and, there they were, playing video games and singing along.”

Of course, living in Schwalm was not always perfect. “Being so far from campus, we always had to bundle up like we were going to walk through a frozen tundra just to get to classes in the winter,” Deitrich said. “You could always tell who the Schwalmies were when it snowed!”

“The fire drills,” said Jill Swartzmiller, 2001 alumna, when asked if there was anything about Schwalm Hall she did not like. “We often had multiple alarms pulled in a week.”

Despite these flaws, Schwalm Hall is still fondly remembered by many of its former residents. “Schwalm was my home,” Deitrich said. “There are a lot of things I might change about my college experience, but I would never, ever change what dorm I lived in.”

Kohrman agreed. “I know Schwalm is not the most beautiful or functional building on the campus, but it has served as a home for many college kids who were just beginning the best years of their lives,” she said. “Whether it's open or not, that dorm will always be the hot, slightly stinky, loud, crazy, amazing building that it is in my memories.”