Alumni center seeks funding

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Aug 312006
 
Authors: KEVIN JOHNSON The Rocky Mountain Collegian

As Chris McCoy cruised by industrial buildings on College Avenue on his way to visit CSU as a high school senior, he noticed something missing.

“I just remember it didn’t have a very open and welcoming feel,” the senior marketing major recalls.

“I think if there would have been a building like this back in 2003, it would have made my decision a lot easier and would have made me want to encourage my friends to come with me.”

The building McCoy had hoped for is now a reality, as the future Alumni/Welcome Center is set to be located just north of Green Hall, at the intersection of Laurel Street and Meridian Avenue.

The 40,000-square foot complex will cost from $18 million to $20 million, and all of it will be privately funded, said Marc Shkolnick, executive director of Alumni Relations.

“A lot of my friends went out of state,” said McCoy, addressing the alumni committee members at the Hilton Thursday morning. “If you can focus on the rich tradition of CSU, maybe students will come just because they feel proud of living in Colorado and proud that they are from Colorado.

“If we can make future students feel like this is the place to be on campus, then they will remember that long after they graduate.”

According to Shkolnick, the aim of the Alumni/Welcome building is to bring alumni and students together in a “world-class center that will represent the university.”

“I want first time students to have a ‘wow’ experience when they come here,” he said. “I want people to know, without question, that they are at CSU.”

One thing that Shkolnick and the other committee members made clear is that the Alumni/Welcome center will be just another building if students aren’t involved.

Part of the goal is to engage students as the project moves forward.

Senior marketing major Lisa Witt, whose business marketing class will be involved with spreading awareness about the center, said her class is part of the “public phase.”

“We’re promoting awareness of this project but as far as funding goes, I don’t know what involvement we will have,” she said.

And funding seems to be the last step toward getting the ball rolling on a project that, according to Shkolnick, is at least three years away from completion.

“The Alumni Board is 100 percent committed to this project,” said Bob Hix, alumni director of development. “We’ve captured the character, the essence, of the building. Now we need the donors to commit.”

Staff writer Kevin Johnson can be reached at news@collegian.com

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