Students join president at Watch Factory

The Watch Factory is home to both students and President Lawrence

Faced with an unexpectedly large number of arriving students this fall, the university has found a creative solution to meet their housing needs: move in with the president. Well, not quite. But eight graduate students from the International Business School have taken up residence in the historic Watch Factory building for one semester, claiming the same address as their university’s president in the heart of Waltham.

It is the first time Brandeis has had to find additional housing space off campus to meet the needs of eager arrivals. Preference for on-campus housing was given to undergraduates.

“The feeling was that if we could come up with a reasonable alternative, we would prefer not to turn down these students on the wait list who had very strong reasons for wanting to be on campus,” said Andrew Flagel, senior vice president for students and enrollment.

Once it recognized the challenge, the administration spent time over the summer looking at a number of potential facilities. In the end, the Watch Factory offered a degree of flexibility that made it the preferred choice, both in terms of cost and in the length of commitment that was required. As a result, Brandeis is able to make the space available without a significant budgetary impact.

In view of Brandeis’s growing popularity, student housing is one of the many topics that will be looked at as part of the university’s strategic planning process, which began last year.

“I’m very excited about the ideas that are developing through that process and the potential for where we will take our community over the next couple of years,” says Flagel.

How does President Lawrence feel about his newest neighbors?

“Fred’s excitement really has been about the whole dynamism of bringing the residents so close to campus and into the heart of Waltham,” says Flagel. “It seems fitting to also have some of our students living not just in the community, but in that building itself.”

Categories: Student Life

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