De Witt Student and Cultural Center
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The DeWitt Student and Cultural Center was dedicated in 1971. It was designed by architect Charles Stade of Park Ridge, Illinois and was paid for by students and a generous gift from Messrs. Jack and Dick DeWitt. Although the building was conceived as a student cultural facility, two events led to a shift in DeWitt's role. In 1980 Van Raalte Hall, the college's administration building, was destroyed by fire, and in 1982 the nearby Carnegie-Schouten Gymnasium was demolished. A renovation of DeWitt was undertaken by Alden B. Dow Associates, and the building was rededicated in 1983.
DeWitt is a center of campus cultural and social life. It houses the Hope theatre and the department of theatre, the student/faculty café ("The Kletz"), the college bookstore, and administrative offices. Artistically, DeWitt is significant in its ties to post-1960s architecture. It stresses juxtaposed geometric masses rather than the glass and steel planarities of the late International Style. Its sculptural character--evident as well in its classical coffers--suggests an impact, perhaps indirectly, by the Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn.