Making Rooms for History
Pyon-Chen Hall Opens, Honoring Pioneering Terps
By Sala Levin ’10
Photo by John T. Consoli
Four hundred and fifty students, including student-athletes and members of living-learning communities, moved this semester into Pyon-Chen Hall, UMD’s newest residence hall, named for two trailblazing alums.
The six-story high-rise overlooking La Plata Beach honors Pyon Su, who became the first Korean student to receive any degree from an American higher education institution when he earned a bachelor’s degree from the then-Maryland Agricultural College in 1891, and Chunjen Constant Chen, the first Chinese student to enroll in the college in 1915. He received a master’s degree in agriculture in 1920.
The roughly 131,000-square-foot building is full of natural light and features occupancy sensors to help reduce energy use. Central lounges and enclosed study spaces on each floor will help students connect with one another and focus on their academic work. Each floor also includes one handicapped-accessible room with a private bathroom; the other rooms are single- and double-occupancy. Twenty-four hour-laundry rooms are located on every floor.
An adjacent residence hall, Johnson-Whittle Hall, and new dining facility will open in 2022. These buildings, together with Pyon-Chen Hall, will make up the Heritage Community, centered around an outdoor plaza outfitted with eco-friendly natural landscaping.
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