The University of Vermont is now engaged in a $13.5 million fundraising campaign for the creation of a new Alumni House at 61 Summit Street in Burlington – the first such project in UVM history to be financed entirely by private giving.
In December 2007, the University of Vermont purchased a beautiful and historic home at 61 Summit Street just south of Grasse Mount (the location of UVM’s Development and Alumni Relations office) with the intention of restoring the historic building and transforming it into Alumni House.
The history of the Queen Anne Style house has had two very distinct chapters. The first chapter, from 1892 to 1919, was as the home of Edward Wells, a prominent Burlington businessman, and his family. The second chapter began in 1924 when, after being vacant for five years, it served as the home of UVM’s Delta Psi fraternity until 2003.
An exciting third chapter in the home’s history is about to begin as the University’s Alumni House. After purchasing 61 Summit in December 2007, UVM hired Ann Beha Architects to study the possibility of restoring and renovating the historic residence and achieving LEED certification. The firm proposed a combination of restoration, renovation and new construction comprising 18,260 gross square feet – three full floors and a raised basement, with views of Lake Champlain from the upper two floors.
The Alumni House site, combined with that of Grasse Mount, will create a significant four-acre presence for alumni on the west side of campus. Alumni House will be a place that alumni can use as a headquarters for annual events like Reunion and Homecoming and Family Weekend, as a meeting place for Alumni Association committees and boards, and for meetings of the student class councils. It will always have the welcome mat out for alums, parents, and friends whenever they’re visiting campus.