The atrium has been designed to be a warm, welcoming, open space for students, alumni, and visitors, and an inspiring workspace for faculty and staff. It’s filled with natural light, and houses numerous organic elements that connect it to the world outside. Some wood surfaces in this area – for example, the computer station counters under the staircase – are made of wood milled from the trees that originally grew here, and a ceramic plaque with the photo of these “witness” trees commemorates the fact.
When you enter the building through the West entrance, you’re welcomed by the History Wall, now on your left. It’s a visual record that brings together the story of the School of Nursing, its achievements, and its mission. At its beginning, the end closest to the entrance, the History Wall incorporates the original architectural elements from Nurses Dormitory at 1402 University Avenue. During this tour, you will find many spots inside Cooper Hall, and in the green spaces that surround it, that incorporate various architectural elements from that historic building. But it’s not all about the past – the 1st and 2nd floor feature several interactive touch displays that tell the story of the School, and include video interviews with faculty and staff.
The display on the wall opposite the History Wall includes the biography of Signe Skott Cooper, after whom the building is named. Cooper Hall has similar information-rich displays on each floor. Some of them incorporate interactive touch screens that offer additional information, providing context to the spaces that surround them. Whenever you come across one of these displays along the tour, take a moment to explore.
Next to the history wall is the auditorium, a space that seats 300 people. It’s primary role is to provide a welcoming space for guest lectures, including the annual School of Nursing Littlefield Leadership Lecture, a film festival, and community events. The glass decorative element between the two entrances to the auditorium lists the names of donors to the capital campaign that made Cooper Hall possible.
Photos on this page: George Jura (CC by-nc-nd). This page last updated / revised on August 20, 2015.