Its 800 acres is compact, it has many red brick structures -- some contemporary enough to reflect the interesting angles and shapes you find in modern architecture -- and it has a core pedestrian green mall/quadrangle (Earlham refers to it as "the heart.") Students, faculty and administrators traverse the quadrangle, a tree-rich network of access options, to reach any of almost a dozen nearby academic or residence hall buildings.
One residence facility, Earlham Hall, pictured in the photo leading off the post, sits prominently at the south end of the mall. Its original structure (built in 1855) was rebuilt in 1957 after a devastating fire. It looks large and stately enough to be an academic building, and as it turns out, the first floor is used for various student services, including health, counseling and security. Student housing is on the second through fourth floors. It connects to the Runyan Center for student activities and dining facilities.
But perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. If you approach the school from the main entrance off National Road (U.S. 40), you get a terrific, quiet transition drive through another green area with sporadic trees. If you happen to access the school from College Avenue along its eastern border, as I did, you first encounter the School of Religion and Bethel Theological Seminary, which are decidedly detached from the rest of the campus.
The campus layout is compact, a word I've used to describe other campuses I've visited in my tour. But unlike other campuses, parking is impressively plentiful and sprinkled throughout the campus, making it easy to get to places if you have to make multiple stops on the grounds.
Earlham has beautiful building exteriors, and the only one that struck me as in need of upgrade or replacement is Lilly Library. The library was built in 1953, and even though there was additional construction 40 years later, it struck me as lacking the place of prominence on campus that I've sensed from libraries I've visited elsewhere. Most schools make their library a centerpiece structure (Butler University's Irwin Library, Taylor University's Zondervan Library and University of Indianapolis' Krannert Memorial Library jump to mind immediately).
I wanted to inspect the inside of the Athletics and Wellness Center, which was open Saturday, but you needed a student ID card to get in. That was unfortunate, because it looked like a splendid facility to photograph. Another frustration (I might even say oddity) was the bookstore was closed -- on a game day. (Perhaps because it was a holiday weekend?) There was a modest station to buy Earlham spirit clothing near the gate of the stadium. Varieties were limited. There were a few T-shirt style options, but if you were looking for a hooded pullover sweatshirt, you had one choice.
Earlham's Darrell Beane football stadium (which also is used for field hockey and soccer) is a relatively new facility (2007), and its FieldTurf surface is only four years old. My only nit about it is that there are no trees nearby for shade cover on hot days.
The only parts of campus I didn't make it to were the baseball stadium and equestrian center on the far south end (referred to the as the "back campus") and Comstock Field. I didn't spend nearly as much time exploring the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.
Photo geek stuff: I shot the campus photos with my Canon 6D equipped with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens. I hand-held the camera and bracketed exposures (at minus 0.75, plus 0.75 and zero) for three images of each scene to later meld into one photo using Photomatix high-dynamic range software in post-processing. I set my ISO at 100 (increasing it only in very dark circumstances) and aperture at f/8, using my shutter as the exposure variable.
For a full gallery of images from my campus shoot, visit my site at SmugMug.com. Follow the link in this sentence to view the previous post on the Earlham-Southern Virginia season-opening game.
Above: One of several interesting bay concrete rounds I saw in a residence hall.
Above and next two below: Residence halls and their facilitation of environmentally friendly mobile transportation.
Above and next several below are examples of the splendid landscaping you'll find on campus. Many of these were the quadrangle ("the heart") in the center of campus.
The scenes immediately above and below were from the green area at the north of campus by the main entrance.
Above: This view to the west from in front of Stout Meeting House overlooks Earlham Cemetery, which is outside of campus.
Above: A view north toward the main entrance from the quadrangle.
Above and below: Spot plantings between Runyan Center and the Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
Above: The Center for Science and Technology.
Noyes (above) and Dennis (below) halls, with the Joseph Moore Natural Science Museum to the right of Dennis Hall.
A bloom (above) from a plant near Dennis Hall, and ornamental grass (below) along the west side of Landrum Bolling Center for Interdisciplinary and Social Studies.
Above: A monument in front of Stout Meetinghouse. In 1660, Dyer, a Quaker, was punished by hanging in Boston for her belief in religious freedom.
Above and below: Front facades of the School of Religion and seminary.
Above: Virginia Cottage, near the religious studies section of the campus, houses the Newlin Center for Quaker Thought and Practice and the Office of Religious Life.
Above: A forgotten pair of sunglasses on a bench south of the quadrangle proved to be a fascinating find in reflective photography.
Above: Path to Runyan Student Activities Center.
Above and below: Two views of the Athletics & Wellness Center.
Above and next three below: I'm always looking for interesting benches in compositions.
Above: One side of Landrum Bolling Center for Interdisciplinary and Social Studies. The building was named for the man who served as the college president from 1958-73 and who, at age 102, is still alive.
Above: Carpenter Hall.
Above: Lilly Library
The south facade (above) of the Center for Visual and Performing Arts and a portion of an exhibit (below) inside the facility.
Approaching (above) and arriving (below) at Darrell Beane Football Stadium. The John Loose Weight Room and home team lockers are behind the stadium entrance in the second photo below.