Agnes Scott Receives $1.5 Million in Challenge Gifts for Renovation of Historic Rebekah Scott Hall

Monday, October 6, 2014


Two Agnes Scott College trustees have made challenge gifts for the renovation of historic Rebekah Hall. 

Built in 1905 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Rebekah Hall is the second-oldest building on the Agnes Scott campus. The gifts will go toward a $15.5 million renovation project that includes the creation of a new welcome center for prospective students on the ground level, new electrical and plumbing systems, and the installation of air conditioning to student residences on the upper floors. Reflecting the college’s strong commitment to sustainability, the project will be designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.

Mary Lou Cornwall Hawkes ’65, and her husband Jim, will offer a $1 million gift, and Beth Daniel Holder ’82, and her husband Tommy, will make a $500,000 gift. Both couples have offered these funds as challenge gifts to encourage others to help support this ambitious renovation.

In the first phase of the challenge, gifts made by June 30, 2015, to the Rebekah Hall renovation will be matched 2-to-1 by the Holders and the Hawkes, up to $500,000. Once fulfilled, this challenge will result in $1.5 million for the renovation.  

On July 1, 2015, until June 30, 2016, the Hawkes will use the rest of their gift, $500,000, to match gifts 1-to-1, resulting in an additional $1 million for the renovation. 

With these fulfilled challenge gifts of $2.5 million, the college will have raised $6.1 million toward the renovation.

“I designated my gift for Rebekah Hall because the new welcome center and admissions office that the college wants to add on the first floor will be the first thing that students and parents see when they come to campus,” said Hawkes. “That space will be the face of the college for prospective students.”

Hawkes says she hopes future students living in a renovated Rebekah will have “the same wonderful experiences that I had living in Main, Winship and Walters. I encourage others to contribute to make the Rebekah renovation a reality.”

Holder also said she hoped alumnae and friends of the college would take the challenge.

“I hope others will join us in helping to turn Rebekah Hall into a building that will welcome prospective students to campus and give our current students an inviting home away from home,” she said.

Holder, a college trustee, also is chair of Agnes Scott’s comprehensive campaign, The Greatness Before Us. She and her husband previously made the college’s largest gift for faculty development.

“The renovation of Rebekah Hall is vital to the success of the college’s new initiative, Summit,” says Agnes Scott President Elizabeth Kiss. “Summit, which will launch in the fall of 2015, will provide every student with an individualized four-year program of global learning and leadership development, guided by a personal board of advisers. Summit is designed to increase our enrollment, and these wonderful gifts from the Hawkes and the Holders will help make that growth possible through a welcome center that tells the Summit story and attractive and appealing living space for students in this lovely historic residence hall.”

Agnes Scott has engaged the Charlotte-based architectural firm Jenkins-Peer to lead the design work on the Rebekah Hall renovation.

To learn more about the challenge gifts, please contact Elizabeth Wilson, interim vice president for college advancement, at 404.471.6326.

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.