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The Summit Builds Bond With Community From Historic South Side Location

Courtesy/The Summit
A fixture on The Summit campus, built in 1903 as the Calvin H. English Library, is now called "The Learning Center."
Credit Courtesy/The Summit
The Summit's Melissa Dessaigne believes that collaboration, innovation and community involvement are the key components in developing community vibrancy.

Since 1904, the 1000 block of Rudisill Boulevard, on the city's south side, has been home to a variety of colleges and universities, and thousands of local graduates.

In 2011, Ambassador Enterprises purchased the campus and created The Summit, with the purpose of creating a space for like-minded partner organizations to honor that past, while embracing the whole community, and its future.

Credit Courtesy/The Summit
Anna Ross feels creative collaboration and shared resources allows members to achieve and expand their goals.

Situated east of Foster Park, three buildings remain on the "old north campus," a 3.5 acre site in the 46807 neighborhood. The building pictured below is Schultz Hall, built in 1904 as the Fort Wayne Bible College administration building.  

It remains a familiar landmark on the boulevard, despite an arson fire there in 2005, and has been found to still be structurally sound. As The Summit's partnerships continue to develop and expand, it is hoped that a new use will be found for the hall.

You can find a detailed timeline of the campus history here

Credit Courtesy/The Summit
Schultz Hall, as it looked in 1904.

In its present day incarnation, campus activity has grown to include 19 "intentional partnerships" with a combined passion for helping individuals, families and organizations to reach their full potential.

WBOI's Julia Meek met with executive director, Melissa Dessaigne, and Anna Ross, executive director of Audiences Unlimited, one of The Summit's 19 members, to discuss what impact such a creative collaboration can make.

Find more information on the campus, and a full listing of its 19 partner members at The Summit website.

A Fort Wayne native, Julia is a radio host, graphic artist, and community volunteer, who has contributed to NIPR both on- and off-air for forty years. Besides being WBOI's arts & culture reporter, she currently co-produces and hosts Folktales and Meet the Music.
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