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Petra Roter

The five-story, 340-bed residence hall, set to open for University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students in fall 2012, has recently been named “Horizon Village.”

A formed group of students and student leaders created a list of recommended names by following the UW Oshkosh “Facility Naming Procedure.” This group conducted research on the facilities, campus history and the meanings of proposed names. The committee consulted with alumni and former residents of Nelson, Breese and Clemans halls.

“The committee wanted to ensure that the hall has a positive, forward-thinking feel, and it is a place our students will be proud to call home,” said Petra Roter, vice chancellor of student affairs.

The new building, located in the heart of campus, is the first residence hall to be constructed at UW Oshkosh in 40 years and the first of its kind on campus. It is funded through student fees and will provide apartment-style housing, which will include two- and four-bedroom suites, shared living rooms, kitchenettes, private bathrooms and storage space in each suite.

Six names along with the rationale of each choice were submitted to UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard H. Wells, Chancellor’s administrative staff and UPlan. They also solicited feedback from the campus community and governance bodies.

“I am proud that our collaborative process produced such an energetic, forward-looking name for our new residence hall,” Wells said. “Horizon Village captures the spirit and direction of UW Oshkosh, Wisconsin’s third-largest and second-fastest-growing university. It is remarkable to think about all the diverse, educational careers and accomplishments that this innovative home for students will nurture in the decades to come.”

The student committee also came up with options using the names of the former residence halls that occupied the site. Roter said the University is going to find ways to honor and incorporate the three former faculty members whose names were used in the former residence halls  in the new building.

“It is important to us that the history and significance of these three faculty members be honored in the new building,” said Roter.

Other name choices included “Algoma,” “Chancellor,” “Forward,” and one option of naming the residence hall after a College of Business faculty member. The students also recommended that the name of the building not be limited to include “hall” but to feature other possibilities, such as “community,” “house” or “suites.”

Roter said that both “Horizon” and “Village” also were included with the names presented to Chancellor Wells, but they rose to the top of the list in capturing different meanings.

“‘Horizon’ captures the newness of both the building and the thinking that informed the design. It suggests a sunrise or a newness that sends a positive message,” Roter said. “Village suggests a small community, and the intent is to develop and build community in our residence life program and in this new building.”

In support of UW Oshkosh’s commitment to sustainability, the Horizon Village is planned to meet platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and feature eco-friendly elements, including a green roof, trash enclosure, geothermal ground-source heat pump for heating and cooling, heat recovery from Residence Life data center, geothermal hot water production and specialized bicycle storage. Limestone facade from the former Clemans Hall is being recycled for the exterior seating area and surrounding the fireplace inside.

Watch the progress of the construction via campus webcam or learn more about campus construction projects at

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