Becoming a Residential Campus
Stevenson built its first University-owned residence halls in Owings Mills in 2004 on a property that would become its second campus. Although there was initial concern about how successful the deliberate transformation to a residential campus would be, students came in droves, filling all 550 beds that year. The University built more residence halls; today, there are 13, with about 2,000 students calling the Owings Mills Campus their Stevenson home.
The 74-acre campus developed rapidly from there so that the University could provide the amenities and activities that enhance student life on campus. There are two student-oriented areas, Rockland Center and Ratcliffe Center, both of which offer meals, places to relax, and activities. There is also a robust athletics presence on campus, including the Owings Mills Gymnasium, the Caves Wellness Center—the original Baltimore Ravens training facility—and Mustang Stadium. As of September 2014, more than 1,000 of the University’s approximately 4,000 students participated in either Division III, club, intramural, or recreational sports. Finally, Stevenson’s second bookstore, the Campus Store, opened.
When the Owings Mills Campus opened, it offered the first University owned and built residential housing and a student building, Rockland Center, that included a food-court-style eatery.
In addition to the Stevenson facilities, a number of businesses cropped up down the hill or up the road from the Owings Mills Campus. These offer fast food, casual dining, dry cleaning, computer repair, hairstyling, medical, and other services for the residential students—many at a discount with proof of Stevenson ID.
Because students who live on the Owings Mills Campus often have classes on the Owings Mills North and Greenspring Campuses, the University introduced a fleet of complimentary shuttle buses. It’s a 12-minute ride to the Greenspring Campus, and the shuttles offer residential students an easy—and car-free—way to commute. Students can ride a shuttle or walk to the Owings Mills North Campus via a planned scenic, secure path between the two campuses.
The University's close proximity to downtown Baltimore (approximately 20 minutes by car) provides students, via shuttle, myriad opportunities to take advantage of what the city has to offer. Options range from professional baseball and football games to exotic restaurants and cultural attractions.
Combined, all of these steps have created a truly immersive residential campus.
The Creation and Expansion of Owings Mills North
In November 2011, Stevenson University purchased the Owings Mills site of Shire Pharmaceuticals for $10.5 million. The 28-acre property, off nearby Crondall Lane, included two buildings totaling 168,000 square feet and a 400-space parking lot. This became part of the adjacent Owings Mills Campus and, accordingly, was named the Owings Mills North Campus. It serves as the location for the University’s School of Design and will also be home to the School of the Sciences, both of which were previously located on the Greenspring Campus.
Given the location of the new property and the University’s steadily growing student body, new programs, and presence in Owings Mills, its purchase was a natural fit. The Owings Mills North facilities were modified to provide additional acreage and parking, both of which were much needed to support Stevenson’s growth.
The Owings Mills North Campus is home to the School of Design, which includes high-tech printing equipment in its labs.
An aerial view of the Owings Mills Campuses as of 2011.
Starting in 2012 and continuing into 2016, the University has redesigned and retrofitted the site for the Schools that will be housed there, including creating appropriate design spaces for the School of Design and tailoring labs for the School of the Sciences. The School of Design moved into the space in time for the fall 2013 semester, and the School of the Sciences is scheduled to move to the campus in 2016.
Becoming a National Leader in Athletics: The Place to Play
In 2011, Stevenson set a goal of becoming a national leader in Division III athletics. To set its programs on that path, the University built facilities that are among the best in the division. The first step was acquiring the former headquarters and practice facility for the NFL’s Baltimore Colts and Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. The building was renovated and new facilities were added.
The majority of the Ravens’ former facility is the University’s Caves Sports and Wellness Center, which opened in fall 2006. The 60,000-square-foot building serves the needs of the University’s student-athletes and the Department of Athletics. The 38,000-square-foot Owings Mills Gymnasium, which opened in August 2010, seats 1,250 spectators and is home to the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the men’s and women’s volleyball teams. Widely considered to be one of the best facilities in Division III athletics, Mustang Stadium, which opened in September 2011, seats 3,500 and features field-level team locker rooms. The stadium is home to the University’s football, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. The second floor of the stadium is a 6,400-square-foot fitness center for students, faculty, and staff.
The men’s lacrosse team, led by Head Coach Paul Cantabene, won the NCAA Division III national championship in 2013, bringing the University its first national title.
The athletics program began in 1994. In 2013, the University’s first national championship was won by the men’s lacrosse team. On the national scene, a bobblehead of the Stevenson Mustang appeared on ESPN’s Mike and Mike show in winter 2011 for a multi-year run.
Another important facet of promoting Stevenson’s athletics teams was creating a uniform, branded look via a logo system. Commissioned from The Loeffler Agency, the logo system today is clearly defined (see images on page 17). The Mustang head is the primary logo and the others serve as alternate logos. In 2011, the Office of Marketing and Digital Communications officially copyrighted the standalone “S” to protect its legal status.
Finally, in 2014, the University announced its inaugural Hall of Fame inductees. In addition to eight individuals, Stevenson also recognized the 1995 men’s lacrosse and the 2000 women’s soccer teams. The launch of the Athletics Hall of Fame coincided with the 20th anniversary of the start of the University’s NCAA Division III athletics program.
Students need books, but they also need supplies, T-shirts, hats, and other items to convey their school spirit. With the growth of the Owings Mills Campus—and the expansion of the SU athletics facilities—it quickly became apparent that Stevenson needed a second campus store to supplement the one on the Greenspring Campus. In August 2011, the Owings Mills Campus Store opened in the Boulevard Corporate Center—a visible location flanking the University’s new entrance to the Owings Mills Campus with the Gymnasium and Stadium on the other side of the drive.
SU Library facilities have transformed during the past 15 years. With the development of the Owings Mills Campus, a second library was created to serve undergraduate and graduate and professional students. The Brown School of Business and Leadership Library pioneered 24-hour service in 2008 to accommodate a residential student population. The facility provides student employment opportunities as well as a place to study and conduct research. The Library is part of the Maryland Interlibrary Consortium, which allows students and faculty to access more than 1 million volumes from other regional universities with a quick turnaround. Digital assets have also grown with e-book services and approximately 80 electronic databases to meet the research needs of faculty and students.
The Stevenson University Archives
As much as the Library looks to the future, it also works to preserve the past. In June 2011, the Greenspring Library became home to the Stevenson University Archives. Under the direction of Glenn T. Johnston, University Archivist and Chair of the Public History Program, the Archives aim to not just collect and preserve the history of Villa Julie College and Stevenson but also serve as a research resource for scholars outside the institution. In April 2012, the University signed an agreement with the Maryland Bible Society to curate the society’s collection of manuscripts and historic Bibles, including a rare 400-year-old first edition of the King James Bible, as part of the Stevenson University Archives collection.
Meditation Center and Labyrinth
The experiences of alumna Carol Lee Menning ’69, both personally and as a career law enforcement officer, taught her the importance of introspective thinking, a value she wanted to share with SU students, staff, and faculty. Her dream was realized in 2010 when she provided a naming gift to establish the Menning Meditation Center and Labyrinth on the Greenspring Campus. The outdoor Labyrinth was constructed during September 2010 by student volunteers from the University’s Service Corps, while renovations to “the Coop”—which had once served as VJC’s student center—created the indoor Meditation Center. Both were dedicated on Founders Day 2010, and in fall 2014, selections of Menning’s own nature photography were added to the Center.
Students can relax in the Menning Meditation Center.
Mock Trial Courtroom
Originally located in Garrison Hall, the Mock Trial Courtroom took on a whole new technological character in 2009 when it found its new home in the Brown School of Business and Leadership. The technological capabilities and design of the Courtroom were inspired by the mock trial courtroom at the William and Mary Law School and demonstrate what a modern digital courtroom should be. On April 29, 2010, the University honored local attorney and mediator Francis X. Pugh, Esq.—a long-time Trustee and the founding director of the paralegal studies program at then-Villa Julie College—by naming the Courtroom in his honor. (Pugh passed away in 2012.)
Opening the Brown School of Business and Leadership in 2009.