‘Stanford’s Last Stand’: Paying tribute to iconic residential halls before demolition

Students holding “Stanford’s Last Stand” T-shirts at the farewell event. Photo credit: Trenton Campbell

After housing thousands of University of Miami students for the past 55 years, the iconic Rosborough and Walsh towers that make up the Stanford Residential College will close at the end of the spring 2024 semester.

The closure will pave the way for the second phase of the Centennial Village, a newly constructed housing plan set to open two residential buildings in August 2024, with three more buildings slated for completion by August 2026, utilizing the site of the former Stanford towers, which are scheduled for demolition this summer.

The University commemorated the freshman dorms on Tuesday, April 23, allowing students and faculty to say their goodbyes to the symbolic buildings in an event held outside the common area of the 12-story dorms.

“I lived in the Rosborough Tower of Stanford my freshman year and I made a lot of fond memories,” said sophomore computer science major Destiny Attagba. “Transitioning into college was hard for me, but living here made me grow to love college and the friends I made.”

Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres were served to all attendees with a wide selection of empanadas, beef sliders, fried macaroni bites and mini key lime pies.

Attendees were also invited to sign a poster and take home free “Stanford’s Last Stand” T-shirts and a lion stuffed animal named King Henry Stanford, the residential college’s mascot.

King Henry Stanford celebrates with Sebastian the Ibis
King Henry Stanford celebrates with Sebastian the Ibis Photo credit: Trenton Campbell

There were many opportunities for those in attendance to take pictures with both King Henry Stanford and Sebastian the Ibis.

Although many in attendance were sad about the future demolition of the residential college, some students are happy about the decision to take the towers down.

“I enjoyed my time here at Stanford, however I am happy to see it go as my floor in the Walsh tower has rat infestations and bathrooms with drainage issues,” said Ziara Pichardo, a freshman architectural engineering major. “I do not wish that the next generation of students have to live in these older dorms, and I think that a new housing complex like Centennial Village will be a great replacement.”

Freshman computer science major Miguel Blas had a similar opinion.

“Stanford will forever have my love, but it’s time we look into the future and continue expanding our beautiful campus,” Blas said.

The event drew a diverse crowd, comprising both current and former residents, gathering to reminisce on their experiences in the iconic Stanford Residential College towers.

“Coming together to celebrate a monumental moment in UM campus history and a big step toward the future of the development of campus made my heart warm,” said Kennedy Benjamin, a junior psychology major. “I met a lot of other students from various years who lived in one of the towers and learned more about the history of Stanford,” said Benjamin.

The event was an emotional time for many, and the Stanford towers will always hold a special place in the hearts of many current and past residents.

“Stanford has been a place where I’ve formed lasting friendships, meeting so many wonderful people who will always be part of my life. I cherish the vibrant community that’s grown from the events and experiences Stanford has provided. Today, we celebrate a flame that embodies the spirit of Stanford, a flame that will never be extinguished,” said Benjamin.