Campus Tour: Malone University
I had the privileged to tour Malone University today in Canton, Ohio. Although I was there for another meeting, I was able to connect with Russ Thorn, the Service and Grounds Manager, who was gracious enough to give me a tour of campus.
Situated on a hundred acres on the south side of highway 62 on the north end of Canton, Malone is the home of 1,700 students, 1,200 traditional. It’s a comfortable pedestrian campus with lots of gathering spaces under shade trees for students and social centers between buildings. I liked the way they combined movable Adirondack-style chairs with rigidly defined outdoor spaces to make conversing organic and spontaneous, but also anchored in the landscape. Intramural fields, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, and other activity spaces are naturally integrated into the campus footprint. On warmer days (it was cold and windy this afternoon) I imagine these spaces get a lot of use.
Russ and crew have initiated no-mow areas of campus as part of a campus-wide sustainability effort. While they receive push-back from alumni who don’t understand the change, I was encouraged by their success and want to implement a similar practice on my campus.
I also admired some of the branding efforts along the perimeter of campus; gated entrances, matching fencing along town roads, distinguishing crosswalks at the entrance to campus. Bordered by a nursing home on one side, a church on another, and residential areas on a third side, I thought these elements helped the campus to distinguish itself from the neighbors while also being aesthetically sensitive to their neighborhood.
I hope to return to Malone to talk shop with Russ some more and ask him more detailed questions about how he and his team keep their grounds, the equipment they use, etc. Thanks Russ for a nice visit today!