Kluge-Moses: Feng shui gets scientific at PVCC building
Students already taking classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College's new Kluge-Moses Science Building, which opened in the spring, had to pass through a throng of more than hundred people who'd gathered in the building's atrium for the official opening ceremony on September 16, attended by Patricia Kluge and her husband William Moses, the couple whose $1.2 million gift for the project was the largest in school history.
As PVCC president Frank Friedman pointed out, the Kluge-Moses gift, while only a small part of the $11.5 million price tag, made up of mostly state funds, allowed the college to add cutting-edge technology that it might have had to eliminate, such as classroom whiteboards that copy anything written on them as PDF computer files, and two-way video systems that allow students and faculty to consult with colleagues around the world.
Friedman also proudly noted that enrollment at the college had increased 30 percent since 2002, to 5,600 students this fall, and that many of those new students were studying in science-related fields, a trend he hoped the new building would nurture.
As for Kluge and Moses, Friedman called them "good friends" and "visionaries in the wine industry" who'd helped establish the study of viticulture at the college.
"I'm a real believer in Feng-shui," said Kluge in a quiet, aristocratic British accent, gesturing toward the large windows of the atrium. "And I have felt it in this building."
Indeed, the interior of the 34,000 square-foot building, designed by The Lukmire Partnership in Arlington, with much faculty input, features lots of glass, winding stairways, and lovely natural light everywhere. It felt more like a hotel than school building.
Kluge, too, had a certain feng-shui about her, wearing a dignified pin-striped black skirt and jacket, gold earrings, and a three-tiered gold and pink necklace. In her black heels, and holding a small clutch, she towered over her husband and most of the crowd.
Kluge referred to herself and Moses as "farmers" and self-deprecatingly credit her husband for doing "all the work."
Moses, admitting to feeling nervous as he entered the building (having not been a stellar college chemistry student), was quick to remind folks how hard his wife worked, and that while they appreciated having their name on the building, the "real honor belongs to the architects, builders, faculty, and students that will come through here."
Kluge made no mention of her ex-husband, billionaire philanthropist John Kluge, who died September 7 at the age of 95, and whose divorce from the former British-Iraqi socialite and sex columnist cost him an unstated cache of cash and a 17,865 square-foot house (the contents of which Kluge and Moses auctioned off this year).
Later, the Kluge-Moses entourage toured the building, which included visits to state-of-the-art chemistry and biology classrooms that were in session. The building also houses classrooms and labs for microbiology and biotech, nursing, emergency medical services, surgical technology, gross anatomy, and anatomy and physiology.