The Mid-Atlantic Region of The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) held its annual conference from March 6 to 8 in Williamsburg, VA. Vertical Access partner Evan Kopelson attended the conference. Most of the events of the conference took place on the campus of the College of William and Mary, which contains a wide range of significant buildings from the Wren Building, the oldest college building in the United States, to a new state-of-the-art business school designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Most of the 200 plus conference attendees were architects, planners and engineers, with a large contingent of college and university representatives and a smaller number of equipment and support service vendors.
One of the interesting features of the conference was that about half of the presentations were interactive sessions, which combined a technical presentation with complete audience participation. All participants had the opportunity to participate in design charrettes, role play as various team members discussing sustainability options and even play “Scupopoly” to understand the intricacies of campus real estate planning. Case studies presented over two days of concurrent sessions examined various aspects of higher education planning, from academic curricula to renovations of interior spaces to the design of entire new campuses. The interactive sessions as well as the overall atmosphere of the conference promoted a sense of collegiality, partnership and sharing of knowledge.