As Harvard Divinity School prepares for the most significant renewal of the HDS campus in a century, Dean David N. Hempton announced on May 1 that Andover Hall will be renamed Swartz Hall in honor of Susan Shallcross Swartz, her husband, James R. Swartz, and their family.
“For a decade now, Susan and Jim have been our partners in strengthening every aspect of Harvard Divinity School,” said Hempton. “From day one, their priority has been focused on the student experience, whether funding scholarships for students with need, professorships that enable the School to retain the best teachers, or programs that bring prominent leaders, practitioners, and artists to campus from all over the world.”
Dean Hempton said Susan and James Swartz share the School’s vision for a campus that is truly inclusive—a place where students from every imaginable tradition and background can come together in pursuit of humanity’s most fundamental questions—both in classrooms worthy of their brilliance and in cozier spaces that facilitate the informal interactions from which new ideas and new relationships so often flow.
Andover Hall, Harvard University’s only example of collegiate-Gothic architecture, was designed over a century ago for the education of Protestant ministers. Since then, the Divinity School’s mission has evolved to reflect the rich multireligious reality of the world. Its teaching and learning spaces will evolve, too, as planning continues for the renewal of the historic building. The building will undergo its first renewal since its construction in 1911 thanks to a major gift from Swartz, an artist and philanthropist, and her husband.
Swartz played a vital role in shaping and sharpening the School’s vision as a longtime Dean’s Council member and co-chair of the School’s recent campaign, Hempton said.
“Susan’s artistic eye has been invaluable in the recent design process. Jim’s insights have been critical to the HDS leadership team as we navigate higher education’s rapidly changing environment. Their commitment to excellence in every sense encourages us to ‘dream big’ as we move into an exciting—and challenging—new era,” said Hempton.