Feb 022005
Authors: Lila Hickey


A new alumni center is under consideration for CSU, but students shouldn't worry about footing the bill for the new facility. In a presentation at Wednesday's Associated Students of CSU senate meeting, Vice President for University Advancement Don Fry assured senators that student fees would not be used to fund the proposed building.

"It will not be student fee funded," said Marc Shkolnick, the executive director of alumni relations. "It will be funded through private support."

Fry, whose duties include private fundraising, said the new alumni center might eventually result in increased private donations to the university.

"This building that we want to build for our alumni center is going to be the springboard to raising more money," Fry said.

Of the $45 million donated to CSU in the past fiscal year, only 13 percent came from alumni, Fry said, while 59 percent came from corporations or foundations.

"Not a whole heck of a lot of the percentage came from alumni," Fry said. "That is a problem."

Fry attributed this problem, at least in part, to a "disconnect" between alumni and current university students, faculty and staff.

Part of the problem, Shkolnick said, is the current alumni center's location at the corner of Laurel and Shields streets, just west of the main campus. A preferred location for the new facility has been suggested but not approved.

The proposed location for the new building would be on Plum Street, across from Green Hall. Fry and Shkolnick assured one concerned senator that efforts would be made to preserve the trees at the corner of Meridian Avenue and Plum Street.

Shkolnick cited other reasons for a new alumni center, including problems caused by the age of the current center and a lack of adequate space.

"I've got staff that are in closets for offices," he said. "We need more space."

The proposed center would be designed to bring students and alumni together, and might feature event facilities, study facilities where students and alumni could interact, and even an outdoor stage to accommodate the outdoor concerts that sometimes occur at the corner of Meridian Avenue and Plum Street.

Fry and Shkolnick expressed a hope that by keeping alumni involved and interested in the campus, they can increase alumni donations to the university.

Katie Clausen, president of ASCSU, supported the proposed center and expressed enthusiasm about the potential donor-base and increased school spirit the center could generate.

"I think it will definitely bring new things for the university," she said.

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