New Creativity and Culture Living Community in Historic Otterbein Residence Hall

Posted Oct 26, 2021

By Catie Duzzny ’21, MBA’23 

The study of humanities has a long history at Otterbein University and a new creative and cultural community is bringing first year students together with faculty and students.  

Dunlap-King Hall, better known as “DK,” is one of many residence halls students call home at Otterbein. DK is the oldest residence hall on campus and was built in 1926.  

“DK has naturally had a higher concentration of humanities majors in the building; students who are in related areas of study, and these students have gravitated towards this area,” said Tracy Benner, director of residence life at Otterbein. “We were interested in creating more living learning communities on campus. For instance, Mayne Hall is home for the honors program. We wanted DK to be recognized as an arts appreciation hall.”  

The new Creativity and Cultural Living Community is now located in DK for humanities students. The humanities area of study includes artEnglishhistorymodern languages, musicreligion and philosophy, and theater and dance.  

This community was designed to recognize students who are intellectually curious and creative, who see the arts and humanities as having central meaning and value, and who crave a fun and inclusive living environment.  

The program came out of a desire from the humanities faculty and the Office of Admission wanting to do something special for incoming first-year humanities majors.  

The beginning of this community started with an early arrival program. Before the 2021 fall semester started, humanities students arrived a few days earlier to explore, engage, and connect.  

The arrival program allowed first-year students to interact in activities on campus and build connections with faculty and other students before the school year began.  

Some of the activities in the early arrival program for humanities students included exploring the local arts scene, history connections, a graveyard tour, and more. 

“The goal for a community like this is that it will ramp up over the next few years, and that we see the students that came in this year make a good connection with faculty and other students,” said Benner.  

DK’s resident assistants have had success with their programming and developing programs that speak to their residents on humanities-related topics.  

The humanities faculty and admission hope to continue the early arrival program and develop new ways to connect their students with their majors and the Otterbein community.