Tenzing House

Tenzing House is a unique community for transfer students. Even though everyone has previous college experience, transferring to a new institution can be intimidating. Tenzing House is designed to ease the transition with activities and social events to connect you with other students and Western Michigan University. Tenzing House is located in Davis Hall and French Hall.

House highlights

  • Residents a mixture of new transfer students and those with at least a semester’s experience at WMU.
  • Activity series to help you get acquainted with WMU’s services, athletics, cultural events, student involvement opportunities and more.
  • Networking with key faculty and administrators on campus.
  • Tools provided for continued academic success.
  • Monthly newsletters with upcoming events and campus services spotlights.
  • Student staff members were transfer students themselves.
  • Located in a complex for upper-class students near the Student Recreation CenterBernhard Center and Waldo Library.

Who was Tenzing?

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, right.

Tenzing grew up in poverty in the Himalayas. When explorers came to climb in the mountains, he got involved as a porter and quickly gained a positive reputation among the climbing community. After six failed attempts to climb Everest, he reached the summit with Sir Edmund Hillary’s expedition in 1953. Neither he or Sir Hillary ever confirmed which of the two reached the summit first, but it was enough to be among the first party to make a successful ascent. Tenzing House is named for Tenzing Norgay, one of the first men to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth.

After the successful climb, Tenzing became the first field director of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, a position he held for 22 years. Tenzing was a hero among the people of the Himalayas for his success and persistence. Although he spoke seven languages, he never learned to write. Peers described him as a simple man who liked and understood life on a simple, straightforward level. He continued his involvement in the mountaineering community until his death in 1986. So well loved and respected was he that the procession following his funeral bier was almost a mile long.