Newton Hall is the largest of the men’s residence halls and houses the main men’s residence office, open 24 hours a day and processing all new, transfer, and international male students.
There are 140 two-person rooms in Newton Hall, with community bathrooms and showers. The 250 to 280 residents who live in Newton each year have access to the hall’s lobby, three kitchens, laundry room (with washers, dryers and ironing boards), sauna, and the recreation and fitness room—which includes fitness equipment, ping pong, billiards, and a large television with satellite dish. Drink and snack machines are also available. To accommodate the needs of all students, Newton has two areas that are set aside for people who are quiet and prefer to go to bed early. There is also an area set aside for people who spend extensive time studying.
Residents also have access to a fiber optic computer network that links each room, providing students with convenient access to the library, their professors, and the Internet. The residents of Newton Hall are also encouraged to maintain a noise policy that will allow students to study or sleep any time of the day or night.
If you are interested in living in Newton Hall or want more information about residence hall life at PUC, contact Newton Hall at (707) 965-6487 or Dean Hernan Granados at (707) 965-7409.
It’s impossible to miss the enthusiasm radiating from Hernan Granados, Newton Hall’s assistant dean. He smiles as he talks about the men in his dorm: “Ministry with them is just awesome!”
That enthusiasm shapes his approach to deaning. He prefers to build close relationships with his residents, in order to be in a position to them the best support through their college experience. “I like to befriend them first,” he says. “I don’t like to be just the enforcer. I like to walk the halls, sometimes do room check myself, and open my door and have them just hang out and talk.” But he also tries to be fair. “What’s the just thing to do? That’s my phrase here at the dorm, I always try to do the just thing.”
After graduating from PUC with a B.A. in theology, Granados earned an M.Div. and ministerial ordination at Andrews University. He spent seven years pastoring at the historic Central Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Los Angeles before returning to his alma mater as a dean.
Having been a resident of Newton Hall himself, Granados was excited to return to his old dorm because of the great experience he had as an RA and the influence of his own dean. “Dean [Lanier] Watson and I had the best relationship ever,” he says. “When I got the call here I said, ‘Oh, definitely!’ Because I knew the impact that he had, and I wanted to give back what he had given me.”
Perhaps no other dean in the history of collegiate residential life has had as diverse a career as Newton Hall’s Robert Kurtz. The PUC alum, who graduated in 1984 with a B.A. in theology and then earned a Master’s of Divinity at Andrews University, has been the dean of his old dorm since 2005. In between he has served as pastor for several California and Arizona Adventist congregations, a high school math teacher, a financial services advisor, a volunteer firefighter, a professor of religion and philosophy at PUC, and a deputy and corporal for the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department.
With his buzzed hair, mustache, and penchant for bodybuilding and ju-jitsu, Kurtz looks like a cop. But the biggest part of his career experience that he brings to his position as dean is his passion for ministering to people who’s lives are in transition. “I like that the people I’m working with are at a point in their lives where they’re still deciding,” he says. “It’s rare that you find such a high percentage of people who are really trying to craft what kind of life they’re going to live — more so than pastoring, more so than law enforcement or financial services or anything else I’ve done.”
For his variety of careers, Kurtz has been in and out of school for the better part of 25 years, and is currently writing books on philosophy and theology. He hopes to instill a sense of well-roundedness in the lives of his residents. “I’d like to model for them an intellectual and physical life where they’re fit,” he says. “I’d like them to feel challenged to have lives that are on purpose instead of just sort of waiting to see what happens, to do their lives like a masterpiece.”
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