The President’s House underwent significant renovations for Hood’s new President, Shirley D. Peterson, and her husband Donald M. Peterson, who moved into the house June 30, 1995.
Since then, there has been a steady stream of visitors to the President’s House, with an open house for the staff in July, a reception for the faculty in August, and a series of teas for students during Orientation Week at the beginning of the academic year. Additional events will be scheduled, as time permits, for trustees, alumnae and alumni, and friends of the college.
During its renovation, the first and second floors of the house were remodeled, with several interior walls moved to provide a more open and formal atmosphere for entertaining. The entrance hall is wider, with a gracious, formal dining room to the left, complete with several of the silver tea services belonging to the College.
The kitchen, renovated to be more functional for preparing and serving food to large groups, now opens onto a spacious family room.
“The family room is perfect,” says President Peterson, “for informal chats with students.”
Built in 1961, the President’s House had not been renovated since its original construction, according to William Ruffner, vice president for administration and finance and treasurer of the College.
The recent renovations included painting throughout the house, a forced hot air and air conditioning system, and wood floors in the entrance hall and dining room and living room. With the addition of a ramp and new restroom on the first floor, the President’s House is now accessible to people with physical disabilities.
Bruchey Builders, Inc. was the contractor and Proffit and Pryor Architects the architects for the project.
The First President’s House
The first President’s House (now Alumnae House) was built in 1920 as a home for Joseph Henry Apple and his family. (See the Winter 1994 Hood Magazine, Alumnae House, and the Fall 1989 Hood Magazine, Apple.) Other presidents who resided in the first house were: Henry I. Stahr (1934-1948) and Andrew G. Truxal (1948-1961). In 1961, the Trustees voted to build a new President’s House. Three College Presidents resided in the house prior to the Petersons: Randle Elliott (1961-1971), Ross Pritchard (1972-1975), and Martha E. Church (1975-1995).