School of Social Transformation now under one roof

ASU's Wilson Hall, a three-story brick building with fuchsia bougainvillea.

Wilson Hall keeps a bit of a low profile on ASU’s Tempe campus – no pillars or porticos, no gleaming glass, and a footprint so slim Wilson hides behind tiny Danforth Chapel when you approach from the east.

Some recognize it as the building with the perpetual three-story spray of fuchsia bougainvillea blossoms near its main doors. Some enjoy it as a lunch spot, with restaurants e2 and Dave’s Doghouse tucked into its west end and outdoor café seating on the north. Some appreciate it as the building where ASU’s feline residents bask on the south-facing picture window ledges.

But for all School of Social Transformation students, faculty, and staff, Wilson Hall now means home. For the first time since its formal launch in October 2009, the School of Social Transformation has all of its academic programs under one roof, with the move this summer of Women and Gender Studies faculty and School of Social Transformation administrative staff from West Hall to join the rest of their school colleagues in Wilson.

When classes begin on Aug. 23, the School of Social Transformation is excited to be welcoming more than 100 new undergraduate and transfer majors, 19 new master’s and doctoral students, and some 600 continuing undergraduate and graduate students.

The school’s Student Engagement team and undergraduate advising offices continue to be centered around Wilson 125, with the school’s administrative team also on the west wing of the first floor. African and African American studies faculty offices are on the east wing of the first floor. On the second floor are the offices of faculty and graduate students in Justice and Social Inquiry. Women and Gender Studies faculty and graduate students and Asian Pacific American Studies faculty offices are on the third floor. ASU’s North American Center for Transborder Studies will maintain their offices on the third floor of the building until later this fall.

Wilson Hall, named for George Washington Wilson, who owned the five acres used as the original site of the Tempe Normal School in 1883, was built in 1956 as a residence hall. Eventually remodeled to house office spaces, Wilson today also includes open areas on the second and third floors where students can meet and study.

“We’ve had the atmosphere of ‘residence hall move-in week’ all summer in Wilson Hall,” notes School of Social Transformation director Mary Margaret Fonow. “And that sense of excitement is continuing to build as faculty and students arrive for fall. Being together under one roof in Wilson is going to be great for our students, for our maturing identity as a school, and for the continued cross-pollination of ideas that SST is becoming recognized for.”