Generations of Sewanee forestry, geology, and natural resources students have regarded Snowden Hall as a “home” on campus, a comfortable place for studying, lab work, and gathering with friends as well as for classroom learning. After almost fifty years of service, Snowden has been beautifully renovated and expanded to meet the needs of current and future professors and their classes—in a most appropriate and environmentally-friendly way.
The building has more than doubled in size, and features new labs, classrooms, resource rooms, research space, and faculty offices. Snowden faculty members were actively involved in designing the building’s new footprint and interior spaces, and collaborated with the architects to achieve a state of the art science facility with the warmth and character of the original Snowden.
Expected to be the university’s first LEED Gold building, Snowden’s green features include solar panels (the first large-scale installation on campus), re-use of the building’s existing wood paneling, local wood and stone used for the addition, energy-efficient windows, recycled materials, and Sewanee’s first stormwater management practices.
The renovation strengthens the base of technical support—classroom and lab work and analysis—that Snowden provides for the research and teaching done in the field using the resources of the Domain. The new wing makes evident Sewanee’s increased emphasis on student-faculty research, with triple the space for student independent study or collaborative research. Faculty research space is attached to each office, making what has been a luxury—space for joint project work, internships, and independent study—a standard feature.
The Snowden family has sustained Sewanee for generations. Snowden Hall was named in tribute to J. Bayard Snowden of Memphis, a Sewanee alumnus from the class of 1903 who established the university’s forestry department when he endowed the Annie B. Snowden Chair of Forestry in memory of his mother in 1928. A gift from Bayard’s son Robert G. Snowden, of the class of 1940, launched the effort to expand and enhance Snowden Hall.