Monday, December 9, 2013

Warren Ashby Residential College

Today's Spartan Stories post was written by Sophia Kranz, a graduate student in UNCG's Library and Information Science department. In Fall 2013, Sophia interned in Special Collections and University Archives, processing a number of collections, creating finding aids, and developed an online exhibit on the history of computing on campus. The Warren Ashby Residential College Records, an archival collection Sophia processed during her internship, provided historical information for this post.

Located in Mary Foust Hall, the Warren Ashby Residential College is among the oldest continually operating living-learning communities in North Carolina. Wanting to keep the intimate academic experience at the university, “Residential College” was founded in 1970 by the Dean of Arts and Sciences Robert Miller and Professor of Philosophy Warren Ashby. In developing the residential college, they stressed the need for a community and wanted to develop a strong connection between liberal studies and community life, where its residents form a unity of academic and social experiences.

Instruction in Warren Ashby Residential College
Admission into the residential college is by invitation through student applications. The college wants a representative group of the entire class, academically, ethnically, economically, and by gender. Ashby students are offered priority access to an in-house academic program which focuses primarily on fulfilling the UNCG General Education Curriculum (GEC) requirements. Ashby provides a setting that encourages innovative study, small classes, unity of academic and social experiences, and close student-faculty contacts. The program is intended to challenge students to think critically and systematically about a variety of relevant issues and to link their academic fields to societal challenges. Students are usually confined to their freshman and sophomore years within the college due to more specialized studies in the student's junior and senior years. Following the two year stay in the residential college, most of Ashby's students become student leaders on campus and to achieve academic honors.

Mary Foust Residence Hall, circa 1973
The ARC offers a unique experience of having small classes held within in the building in relaxed environments, faculty offices, and having live-in faculty members. This results in a close knit community allowing its students to freely explore their academic, service, and social interests. Students are also encouraged to be a part of committees within the ARC and campus wide to develop leadership skills and collaborative learning opportunities.

On September 6, 2007, the UNCG Board of Trustees voted to officially name the residential college program in memory of Warren Ashby, who taught at the university for more than 30 years and was the first director of the residential college.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. RC changed not only my life, but the lives of many of my fellow classmates. Because of this experience, I have pursued a career in higher education.

  2. The only thing missing from this article is the kick-ass haunted house the created every year in Mary Foust.