October 13, 2006

N. Campus Dorm Renamed Kay Hall After ’51 Alumnus

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‘Court Resort’ has been diminished in size once again. As of yesterday, the middle section of Court is now called Kay. A ceremony was held on Rawlings Green to dedicate the new Kay Hall.

The new name comes after Bill Kay ’51 and his wife gave $10 million to the University. Former Cornell President Hunter R. Rawlings III announced the news of Kay’s donation this past June at the alumni reunion.

This is the second step in renaming the entire building. The southernmost section was dedicated last October in honor of Robert Bauer ‘40 and Virginia Bauer ‘42. They met at Cornell in 1938 and were married in 1940. They later donated $10 million to the University.

Court and Mews Residence Halls, built as part of the North Campus Housing Initiative, are being renamed in order to fund West Campus growth, according to Aubrey Bodden ‘08, a resident advisor in the Kay section. Because the new West Campus dorms are named after famous professors, the money generated from rededication of North Campus is meant to help pay off the bill for developing West Campus, an estimated $248 million.

The lobby of Court-Kay-Bauer was named for Vice President of Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy ’73 last year, after a donation from Penny Haitkin ’65 and Ken Nagin ’75.

The renaming of what was once ‘Court Resort,’ as many students term the dormitory because of its nice new facilities, has not come without commotion. When the Bauer section was renamed last year, a Facebook group entitled “Fuck Bauer, I want my Court back” was created. It featured a picture of television show 24’s main character Jack Bauer with an X over it.

Although the group’s creators have since moved out, many current residents of Court-Kay-Bauer have expressed concern over the name change.

“It just sounds better as Court-Bauer. CKB could just as well be a fraternity,” said Harrison Tsai ’10, a resident of the Bauer side of the building.

Tsai’s roommate, Sean Yue ’10 commented, “I liked the name Court best because it didn’t have some dead guy’s name on it. It was more autonomous.”

Some, however, prefer the new name.

Kay resident Adrienne Zak ’10 said, “Now it’s easier to distinguish between the different parts. Before we had Bauer off on its own side, and all of Court lumped together. This way each hall can develop its own unity.”

Bodden said, “I hope residents of Court-Kay-Bauer still have a sense of unity between the sections that happen to have different names. People have already asked me if their Cornell ID will let them into the Bauer side if they live in Court. Yes, part of the name has changed, but we still function as one community with one staff.”