By Gideon Strauss and Stephanie Struck

Every place has a history. How do we honor the people who occupied the space we work in before we did? How do the traces of their work affect our work?

Before the De Pree Center began its move into 493 Walnut Street, the building was used by Fuller Theological Seminary’s Copy Services, Purchasing department, and Chapel staff. Of these, only the Chapel staff remain in the space.

Closed for business.

Closed for business.

Fuller students who used Copy Services say that, “the location was fantastic for being able to have your copy and print needs serviced right on campus, even between classes.” “The Copy Services staff understood the needs of Fuller students. They were patient when students were stressed, helpful when students did not know the resources available, and creative when students were working on events or unique projects.” “The staff members in Copy Services were kind, gentle, professional, and knowledgable. They were eager to serve the campus in their work, and there is certainly a loss felt on campus. This loss is not only a loss of the services that the department provided, but a loss of beloved staff members.”

Fuller staff who worked with both the Copy Services and the Purchasing departments say that, “the closure of these two departments has sent Fuller employees searching the community for business who do the job, do it well, and do it within the budget that we have,” and, “the closures require Fuller employees to start new relationships with local business, and to help those businesses understand our unique needs and constraints.”


Awnings with Copy Services signage remain in place, for the time being. Regularly, hopeful patrons attempt to come to Copy Services as they once did. We at the De Pree Center, along with our neighbors in the 493 Walnut building, have before us the challenge of demonstrating to the public the change that has taken place inside the institution.

We are also discovering that though we are now in an established Fuller campus building, we do not yet have the insider knowledge of an established residential department of the Pasadena campus. We are finding ourselves looking for answers to “the way things are done around here,” and for help to learn our way inside this new social ecosystem.



The 493 Walnut building has historically, at least during the years it housed Copy Services, served the needs of a Fuller Seminary campus community. This building represented services to students, staff and faculty. These services were accessible and important to the work flow of the community. This building held important “organs” in the “body” of the campus. The De Pree Center is now challenged to continue this legacy of service, but the De Pree Center is a very different entity, even though we inherit one of the Copy Services machines.

We are contemplating several questions as we plan for the future design of the building, including: How will we serve the campus community? How will our presence in this building change the campus? And how will this building change us?

Gideon Strauss is the executive director at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership and also editor of Fieldnotes Magazine. Stephanie Struck is an executive assistant at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership and copy editor at Fieldnotes Magazine.

Editor’s note:This article is part of an ongoing series related to the De Pree Center’s relocation. Read the rest of the related articles: Moving Out Loud 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Fieldnotes Magazine is a publication of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. We would love to hear from you about people, businesses, or other organizations we can interview or feature. Please email The Editor at Fieldnotes Magazine.


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