Southwestern University’s new Dorothy Manning Lord Residential Center has been recognized in a national search for “Dorms of Distinction.”

University Business magazine sponsored the competition, and received 76 nominations from colleges and universities across the country. Of these, four were named winners and 8 were named runners-up. Southwestern was a runner-up in the category of small private institutions. Dorms recognized were chosen for their ability to meet the needs of today’s students, including:

• Making students feel at home

• Fostering a sense of community through interior and/or exterior spaces

• Helping keep students and their belongings safe

• Incorporating green elements in an aesthetically pleasing way

The Dorothy Manning Lord Residential Center was designed by Group Two Architecture in Austin, and opened in the fall of 2007. It features three residence halls that house a total of 64 students. One of the residence halls is a Civic Engagement/Green Hall Living-Learning Community. The residence halls offer apartment-style living, with private bedrooms and baths, living rooms and complete kitchens in each apartment. The complex is fully furnished, and for the first time on campus, students have full-size beds, rather than the standard twin-size dorm bed. Each apartment also has its own balcony or patio, and the complex has a community room and recreation areas. Large trees were preserved during construction of the center, giving it a park-like setting.

“Students enjoy the opportunity to spend quality time outside with other students, whether during a Texas barbecue or while planting in the small community garden on the site,” said Mike Leese, associate vice president and dean of students.

An article featuring all the winners and runner-ups in the first “Dorms of Distinction” competition appears in the August issue of University Business magazine at

The team that selected the winners included current and prospective college students, parents of current and prospective college students, and several staff members from University Business.