Independence Hall (with turf!), in August 2010From the ashes of Pencader, arose the Independence Complex. The “Independence” name, of course, was inspired by Bill Pullman’s rousing speech on July 4th, 1996, just before the Fresh Prince and The Fly defeated an alien invasion, using a crappy laptop computer. Awesome.
Nah, three of the buildings are named after George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith -- signers of the Declaration of Independence. Read Hall opened in 2005, McKean and Smith opened in 2006, and then the two-winged Independence Hall completed the complex in 2008…framing the new turf field up there.
Geographically speaking, Read Hall sits basically right where the old tennis and basketball courts were, across from Christiana Commons (other courts were built to replace them, adjacent to Pencader Way, on the White Clay Creek side). McKean and Smith are pretty much right where the Pencader complex was.
Also constructed on Laird Campus at the same time, was the like really long footbridge thing that connects the whole complex up to Ray Street, making the trek to main campus a bit less of a chore. Yes old-timers, the legions of newer UD kids will never know what it means to walk the infamous “Trail,” down and up. Oh, it’s basically still there…it’s just that the bridge is right over it!
Now, since I was compiling the original print incarnation of Glory Days at Delaware in 2007, the Independence Complex was so new, there weren’t yet any alumni that had lived there! But now, years later, it’s time to bring on the anecdotes. (Current students, feel free to contribute as well! One day you’ll be alumni as well…theoretically.)
And again, here’s the dedication of the Independence Complex, as delivered by the President of the United States…
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