The openings of the two newest buildings on campus—a $12 million residence hall in August and the $18 million Gallagher Student Center in January— are still on schedule, but there’s more to the planned openings than unlocking a few doors. The openings will be met with much celebration and push the University into a high-tech era.
“We’ve started talking about a grand opening celebration for the Gallagher Center, although nothing’s set yet,” says Ron Slepitza, vice president for student development. “It could be an all-nighter, where we have multiple events happening at various times and at different locations—a jazz group in the atrium, a play in the theater, a euchre tournament in the coffee shop. We could also have a series of firsts. The department of theater is talking about having its spring production there, and maybe inviting back former students or having John Grissmer direct a play.”
One thing is already known for sure: The buildings will usher the University into a new high-tech era. Each room in the new residence hall—located on Herald Avenue on the site of the former Rainbo Building—is hardwired for Internet access, and the building’s common areas are hooked up for wireless Internet connections. The Gallagher Center is the same way. The center’s bell tower houses an antenna that picks up signals from laptop-lugging students. The signal covers the entire center, and stretches into the residential and academic malls.
1831 Society Chair
Bill Kelley, a 1963 graduate and president of Chicago’s Goelitz Confectionery Co.—maker of Jelly Belly jelly beans—is the new chairman of the 1831 Society. The 1831 Society is the University’s top donor recognition club. Members donate at least $1,000 a year.