New Gateway Project Nears Completion

October 4, 2021
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Entrance Hearkens Features from 20th Century Gateway and Modern Buildings

The College is poised at the threshold having a new entrance to campus that both reflects a modern institution entering its second 150 years yet offers a sincere nod to WC’s rich heritage. Wilmington College is RISING and the new gateway at Main St./Fife Ave. and College St. is a physical indication of the College embracing its distinct role in higher education.

PICTURED: (ABOVE) The College’s new Gateway provides both a welcoming entrance to the campus and leaves no question in the minds of passing motorists as to where they are. (BELOW) The Gateway project’s final phase included installation of the letters — Wilmington College: Founded by the Religious Society of Friends — in early October on the brick wall located at the eastern side of the entrance area.

Gateway EastSupport from alumni and friends of the College made the gateway possible as it replaces what for some 60 years was an understated front door to the campus. Indeed, the largest donor, who currently wishes to be unnamed, was a student here when the College’s formal entrance was about 100 feet up the road and visitors turned from Fife Ave. onto Whittier Place Drive, a thoroughfare traversing the interior of campus that was closed to traffic in 1958.

While much of that original gateway remains — brick pillars and black wrought iron fencing — its history is celebrated as part of the new gateway’s design.

The gateway features both substantive and complementary elements on both corners of College St. where Main St. transitions into Fife Ave. The eastern corner hosts a brick sign emblazoned with the College seal and “Wilmington College, Founded by the Religious Society of Friends 1870.” On the western side, a tall monolith highlighted with “Wilmington College” and the historic seal on two sides rises from a concrete surface along with a brick platform that houses a two-sided, electronic message screen that will be visible to both east and westbound traffic.

Behind both corner fixtures are brick columns attached by black, wrought iron fencing in a concrete base at ground level. The seven columns represent Wilmington College’s seven core values: community, diversity, excellence, integrity, peace/social justice, respect for all persons, and service/civic engagement.

College officials worked with the architects in designing a gateway that both reflects the College’s 151 years of history and its modern renaissance. Indeed, elements from WC’s two newest facilities, the Center for Sport Sciences and Center for the Sciences & Agriculture, can be seen in the gateway design. Also, the brick and black fencing hearken the College’s original gateway built 100 years ago as a gift from the 1919 graduating class.

Final touches are being administered this week.

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