NEW BRUNSICK, NJ – Rutgers broke ground on Friday for the new Global Village Learning Center at the Jameson Dormitory Complex at Douglass Residential College. The 19,000 square foot, modern residential facility will provide assembly and lounge spaces for lectures and conferences, additional dorm rooms, and classrooms.

The $11.5 million project is a partnership between members of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College and others, who donated $4.6 million, and Rutgers, which contributed $6.9 million. The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016, during Rutgers’ 250th anniversary celebration.

The Global Village is a living-learning community that will expand Douglass students’ opportunities to develop communications skills, intercultural appreciation, global awareness and a sense of community. The unique residential environment will combine curricular and co-curricular activities meant to enhance each student’s overall college experience.

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Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Rutgers University President, Robert Barchi, Rutgers University-New Brunswick Chancellor, Richard L. Edwards, and Douglass Dean, Jacquelyn Litt. Other speakers included Douglas alumnae and donor, Kathleen Ludwig, who graduated in 1975, and student Marquisa Graves, who will complete her degree program in 2016.

“On the 97th anniversary of Douglass, we break ground on a facility that will provide new opportunities for the women of Douglass Residential College to experience the richness of a global community,” President Barchi said. “Douglass Residential College is the national model for combining a world-class research university with an institution focused entirely on the success and advancement of undergraduate women. The new Global Village Learning Center will only add to our reputation as a leader in women’s education.”

“It’s wonderful that construction of this living-learning community, which was in planning for several years, has begun,” said Edwards. “The Douglass Residential College students who choose to live here will be enriched by its special programming and supportive learning environment.”

“Our students live, study and work in a globalized world, and there’s an unprecedented opportunity for women to be leaders on global issues,” said Litt. “Through the current Global Village program, Douglass Residential College students have created positive change both in the United States and abroad, and this new complex will allow a greater number of Douglass women to learn and apply the skills necessary for effective global leadership.”

The Global Village Learning Center is the latest in a series of projects demonstrating Rutgers’ ongoing support for Douglass Residential College. Residence halls around campus have been renovated, creating modern and welcoming places for students. Updates to the campus and recreation centers also have made the campus a more welcome home to the students who choose to live there.

“This is a one of a kind facility dedicated for the education and advancement of women college students to become global leaders,” Litt added. “There are centers for global education and centers for women, but there aren’t really centers for women’s global education to create leaders. So I think this will make a very big splash in the media and be very important in the higher education community."

Founded in 1918 as the New Jersey College for Women, Douglass Residential College continues its mission to prepare women to thrive as global leaders in the 21st century’s rapidly changing political and economic environments.