Homecoming weekend will have a hefty agenda this year, and one of the most anticipated events will be the dedication of the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center.
The Alumni Center has been in the works since 2006, and ground broke for the building in the fall of 2009.
“Alumni had come to us and requested this project, but originally it was much bigger than this,” Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna said. “We asked them to agree on something smaller that would work in this space, and plans moved from there.”
The space for the Alumni Center was ideal, Anna said, because it was not an appropriate place for other buildings.
“This building couldn’t be built any bigger for emergency vehicles to get through, so we could not build a new student center here, and it’s not big enough for an academic building,” he said.
Anna said the Alumni Center will be open seven days a week, and will be more than just an alumni gathering place.
“This building also functions as very limited office space and student work space for student ambassadors,” he said.
The $12 million project, which was funded entirely by alumni donations, was built to add to the architectural appeal of Bradley Hall, Anna said.
“There is no one who has any interest in Bradley who shouldn’t see the Hall of Pride,” he said. “We may bring prospective students through here because every student who enrolls with Bradley should expect to one day be an alum.”
Vice President for Advancement Pat Vickerman said this was the right time to build the Alumni Center.
“This was built because of the generosity of our alums, and they play a huge role in the future of our university,” he said. “In this way they can be a part of the institution after they leave.”
Vickerman said one of the most difficult aspects of this project was finding a place to house it.
“One of the challenges we had was space because we have a very limited footprint,” he said. “Sometimes when you put up new buildings, you run the risk of having building on top of building. So it’s great that we made space for a quad, it’s nice to see some green.”
Vickerman said students should also take advantage of the Alumni Center.
“From the student perspective, it’s really special for them to be in the Hall of Pride and to know that they’re making history right now,” he said. “That’s exactly what our alums will be doing in the next few weeks.”
The Hayden-Clark Alumni Center will be dedicated at 11 a.m. on Oct. 15.