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Outlook - May 2005

Newly Renovated Student Center Opens

Linda Becker, vice president for Student Services; David Smith, president of Union College; Mindy Mekelburg, ASB president; Gina Jacob and Pauline Deeb, representing the GOLD alumni; LuAnn Davis, vice president for Advancement; Jerome and Ramona Lang, representing alumni major donors; and Raylene Jones, representing MAU, cut the ribbon to officially open the Student Center.

by Becky Dewey

        On March 29, Union students, faculty, staff and special guests entered the newly renovated Student Center for the first time. Collective ooohs and aaahs were followed by spontaneous clapping as the crowd saw the warm, yet modern décor.  At the celebration Jenny Mackey, a junior at Union, said, “I’m very impressed. This will enhance our school atmosphere.”
        After 10 months of anticipation, the 8,000-square-foot Student Center in the Don Love Building was officially re-opened. Linda Becker, vice president for Student Services, said the former Student Center had been well used. Built in the mid-1980s, the Student Center was the dining service area for a year during the construction of the Ortner Center in 2003. David Smith, Union College president, said students showed exceptional patience with the transition of Dining Services and the Student Center.
        The new Student Center has four private study rooms with video capabilities. Natural and artificial lighting gives the center a spacious and friendly atmosphere. The Golden Cords (yearbook) and Clocktower (student newspaper) editorial offices and student senate room are redesigned. A large multipurpose lounge boasts a big-screen television, while a game room supplies foosball, pingpong and pool tables. A mini-convenience store, Cooper’s Corner, provides students with snack items or decaffeinated coffee and other hot drinks at the cc:beans counter opening in the fall.           
        The Student Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and available for students to reserve rooms for special events. “It’s nice to have a Student Center that is just for students.” sophomore Alyssa Seltman said. “We were really missing that option on campus.”
        Funding for the $200,000 project came from the Mid-America Union Conference, Associated Student Body (ASB), Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) and other alumni and friends. A tribute wall in the Student Center features photos of past ASB officers who made a significant gift to the project. LuAnn Davis, vice president for Advancement, told the students gathered for the ribbon cutting, “The donors to this project are pleased to present this place as a special gift to you.”
        According to Becker, students use the center to “hang out, have fun, study and just relax.” Bible studies and Sabbath School groups also meet in the Student Center.
        “This is our living room, our house,” said Cale Prindle, a senior who helped lead the dedication of the new facility along with Michael Paradise, Union for Christ coordinator.     
        “Things are always getting better on this campus,” Paradise said. “God is in this place.”