You walk through the doors of Hinderlie Residence Hall for the first time. A harmonious chorus of friendly voices and laughter greets you. As you pass open dorm rooms, you notice collections of handmade sculptures and ceramics, half finished easels surrounded by pencils and paintbrushes, instruments and sheet music and scripts accompanied by costumes and set pieces.
Every person you see welcomes you with a big smile or strikes up conversation. Walking out the doors, your soul cannot help but feel at home during your visit.
Pacific Lutheran University offers many different and unique communities to students. Today’s community focus highlights Hinderlie Residence Hall. Located in the heart of campus, Hinderlie is best described as the “perfect place for the creative soul” (plu.edu). Approximately 130 creative souls have discovered their perfect place. The hall encourages its residents to express creative outlets in a community of like-minded students. Its residents find mutual appreciation in diverse and worldly art forms.
Built in 1954, Hinderlie was one of the first residence halls on campus. Its original name, South Hall, changed in 1966. The current name derives from long time staff members Mr. and Mrs. Berent and Ragna Hinderlie. Mr. Hinderlie worked as a custodian for 31 years and Mrs. Hinderlie in the campus laundry room for 5 years. PLU renamed Hinderlie Hall in honor of the well-loved members of the PLU community.
Hinderlie houses one of the two gender-neutral wings on campus. junior Anthony Aguilaras Resident Assistant for Hinderlie’s gender-neutral wing, discusses how in the community, “Everyone is usually an art kid and we all have very similar interests so it makes it fun to go do things because we are usually interested in the same stuff. You’ll hear people practicing music everyday and it’s so cool to hear everyone’s talents and go support them when they have an event.”
When asked the strangest thing he’s ever seen happen in Hinderlie he responded, “one time my residents made a three story couch and all watched a movie together.”
Often a first impression is the best impression. Sophomore and Technical Theatre major Nicolai Roycroft knew from the beginning that this hall would provide more than just a place to live. When asked if any particular memories or eccentric experiences stand out, Roycroft reflects his pre-Lute life.
“I don’t really have any weird experiences that I personally recall, but when I came here for Passport Weekend -now known as Overknight I believe- I was wandering around Hinderlie at 1a.m., unable to sleep. I encountered people in the ground floor lounge who were playing music on a few various instruments. They ended up inviting me to jam with them, which was completely unexpected. They didn’t even know who I was and yet they were allowing me to join them. That experience was the final push in me deciding to come to PLU.”
The encounter left a lasting impact on Roycroft. Now returning to live in Hinderlie for his second year, he serves as Vice President for Finance Administration of Hinderlie’s Residence Hall Council. Hinderlie can be seen as a community, but Nicolai sees it as much more. To him, Hinderlie is home.
While this residence hall throws the wildest toga parties and hosts the spookiest haunted houses, a deep community of innovative students thrives. The next time you walk through the halls of Hinderlie, there’s a chance you may very well see the next Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso, Ludwig van Beethoven, or Barbara Streisand. And with the ambition often associated with PLU graduates, those chances are fairly high.