Originally named South Hall and given its current name in 1986, Gerig is a four-story hall for about 100 students. Gerig adjoins Taylor’s newest residence hall, Breuninger Hall. Constructed in 1971 as a women’s residence hall, the now co-ed hall remains two-thirds female. The first floor features a lounge and office area, the women are housed on the second and third floors, and men on the fourth floor. Gerig’s small and close-knit community is enhanced by the hall’s open suite layout, with five living areas on each floor that are surrounded by three to four rooms.
The unique design of the hall results in a large, winding, central stairwell. The students have found this to be a great location for all hall worship—students enjoy being able to see one another, and the stairwell blends and magnifies students’ voices in a special acoustic experience. Because of Gerig’s family-style atmosphere, family-dinner type events are common. They include Chai Chats, where students enjoy authentic Kenyan Chai and conversation. A group of Gerig students also meet weekly for dinner discussion in the “Socrates Café.” The rule of the Café is it’s a discussion, not a debate, so it has become a free place to question, analyze, and express ideas.
Namesake: Les Gerig
Fort Wayne community leader Dr. Lester C. Gerig ’69 was president of his city’s Mutual Security Life Insurance Company and a longtime Taylor trustee, serving as a board member from 1955-1989 and as chairman from 1964-1981. Gerig was a servant leader in his church, serving as a Sunday school teacher and church elder. In 1973, he received the Religious Heritage Award, and in 1975 the National Association of Evangelicals named him Layman of the Year.
Like many Taylor trustees, Gerig was generous in offering his time, abilities and resources to the University’s service—for example, his organizational skills as a board member were highly valued, and he was well-known for his frequent presence on campus. Gerig and his wife, Mildred, were members of the Council of 100, and the couple established a Taylor scholarship that continues to impact students today. Gerig was deeply involved in the life of Taylor and its students, and his investment is an inspiring testament to the beauty and value of using leadership in service to others.