Although sometimes seen as intimidating, the Pinehurst house and organization welcome students of all majors and backgrounds to create a family atmosphere and community-building events.
The wide porch, peeling paint, and open windows make the building appear to have drifted onto our campus from a different time. Known as Pinehurst Cottage, the giant house is one of the few establishments to survive the fire that ravaged Rollins Campus in 1909 and now exists as a historical landmark. Pinehurst Cottage provides the college with a rich history and the students with an alternate living space.
Over its lifetime, Pinehurst has had many functions. It has operated as a female residence hall, a home to President Ward, a chemistry lab, an infirmary, and even a classroom. In recent years Pinehurst Cottage has been occupied by a student organization, named after the building itself. This organization, Pinehurst, consists of members with different majors, backgrounds, and interests whom all share the goal of community outreach. This year the Pinehurst organization’s purpose has become blurred and many incoming freshmen do not know the purpose of the historic landmark or of its residents.
The actual goal of the organization is summed up in their mission statement, which states “Pinehurst seeks to nurture individual passions imagining change through collaborative innovation that inspires social change in our community.” Adrienne Benso, the staff advisor to Pinehurst, believes that organization has thrived because it allows students to bring their personal interests forward and receive support from a group of peers. The organization functions like a family, providing support for individuals through both teamwork and genuine interest in one another. This community environment is the motivation behind the events that Pinehurst’s plans. These events allows individual organizational members to create programs based on what interests them and incorporate these interests into a campus wide event in order to educate others on the topic.
Beyond these individually planned events, the organization is in charge of planning and execution of various large events over the course of the year. These events include Christmas Carol, Halloween Howl, and Pancakes on the Porch.
Since Pinehurst is an organization composed of many majors, the events tend to cater to differing academic interests. Matt Hendry ‘15, the House Manager for Pinehurst Cottage, declared his favorite event to be Professors on the Porch. This program invites professors from different disciplines to come and discuss life experiences with students over an informal lunch. Passing students are welcome to take a seat on the porch and converse with the professors. Not all the events that Pinehurst puts on are academic at root however; one event, Pinehurst Porch Sessions, creates an Open Mic night like environment. Students from all over campus are welcomed to bring pieces of their own work and showpiece them to their peers.
Living in Pinehurst is not mandatory to be part of the organization. Amy Sullivan ‘14, an out of house member, says that she feels incredibly close to all members despite not living in the house and that the organization has taught her about social justice and created lasting friendships. These outside connections have yielded great opportunities, as members collaborate with other student organizations to create larger campus wide programs.
If you are interested in becoming a member of Pinehurst, the organization is open to all students. The training process is relatively simple consisting of just a single day training session. After the initial training there are twice monthly meetings that usually span an hour at most. The time commitment is not the focus of the organization but rather these meetings are hours in which creativity flourishes and new events are formed.
As the year progresses, students can look to the Pinehurst Organization in order to provide great events and celebrate the arts. Even if students cannot make all of the events they should feel welcome to come and sit on the porch. If you have passion for a topic and wish to educate others in the community, the Pinehurst Organization might be the perfect place to start.