IU East Student Events and Activities Center dedication

Vivian Auditorium in Whitewater Hall
IU East
Richmond, Indiana

Friday, August 19, 2016

The social and recreational hub of the wheel of campus life

After conducting a study of student centers across the country in 1956, James Van Zwoll, then a faculty member at the University of Maryland, wrote: “There is general acceptance of the place of the college center—variously also known as the college union, the student union, and the student center—as the social and recreational hub of the wheel of campus life.”1

Today, in dedicating the Student Events and Activities Center, we celebrate a splendid addition to the campus of Indiana University East that will, without question, serve as the social and recreational hub of the wheel of campus life.

Moreover, this much-needed and very welcome center will serve a hub of the wheel of academic life at IU East. It will foster education in—and beyond—the classroom, and it will further strengthen the already vigorous spirit of community, scholarship, and fellowship at IU East.

The regional campuses: an integral part of the people’s university

The Student Events and Activities Center—and, more broadly, the IU East campus—reflect the fact that Indiana University has served—and continues to serve—as the people’s university. As a public university committed to the well-being of all the people of Indiana, IU has, for nearly two centuries, been educating Hoosiers—and students from across the nation and around—at the highest level of quality. Over the course of the 20th century, IU’s educational reach expanded to every part of the state, through prospering medical education centers and vibrant regional campuses like IU East. Today, IU’s regional campuses enroll about one-third of all IU students. They provide an excellent education to more than 35,000 students a year, the vast majority of whom are Hoosiers, and many of whom are non-traditional or first-generation students.

Because Indiana University exists to benefit all the people of the state—and the world beyond—it also has a charge to continue its long tradition of engagement in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural life of all Hoosiers. For IU East and the other regional campuses of Indiana University, this charge is especially relevant. The communities and regions in which these campuses are located rely on their respective campuses for undergraduate and professional education that addresses regional needs. Engagement in the civic, cultural, social, and economic lives of their regions is a central mission of the regional campuses.

The wonderful and impressive level of support for the construction of the Student Events and Activities Center in the Richmond community is testament to the degree to which IU East continues to succeed in this important mission. It is also a measure of the level of pride community members take in the IU East campus and its successes. 

The Student Events and Activities Center

In dedicating the Student Events and Activities Center this afternoon, we celebrate the newest facility that is part of Indiana University’s ongoing effort to provide all of our students with environments that foster learning and build community.

It will serve IU East students as a venue for classes, student meetings, lectures, campus ceremonies, and a wide variety of other events, as well as co-curricular activities that help students prepare themselves to succeed in the many roles they will undertake in the future.

As an athletics venue, and as a venue for intramural sports, the center will provide a sense of excitement and pride for the extended university community. And the programs and courses in health, physical education, and recreation that will be offered in the center will also make important contributions to the improvement of health and wellness.

IU East’s newest building not only enhances the vitality and functionality of this campus, it also provides students with countless opportunities for engagement and leadership.

It will also help Indiana University’s fastest growing campus to continue to attract and retain outstanding students.  

Special thanks

The Student Events and Activities Center has grown out of the cooperative efforts of dedicated and generous alumni, enthusiastic faculty and students, committed trustees, and countless other friends of Indiana University and IU East.

On behalf of the entire university, I want to extend our most sincere gratitude to a number of people whose generosity and dedicated efforts have made the project we celebrate today possible.

I want to begin by thanking the co-chairs of the “Bold Aspirations” Campaign, Dan and Angie Dickman and Bill and Felicia Quigg, which raised more than $1.7 million toward the center’s construction, for their leadership and dedication. We will hear from Angie and Felicia in a few moments, but would you join me now in recognizing all four of the Campaign co-chairs with a round of applause?

I also want to express thanks on behalf of Indiana University to all of the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends who contributed to the campaign.  

In recognition of Paul and Pat Lingle’s generous support for the center, the court that will host basketball and volleyball games will be known as Lingle Court. Paul and Pat are steadfast friends of IU and IU East. They support the Lingle Scholars program, which encourages Wayne County students to attend IU East. Paul, of course, serves on the IU East Board of Advisors and, in 2012, I had the pleasure of conferring on him an honorary IU doctorate. Would you please join me in thanking Paul and Pat Lingle for their generous support? 

I also want to express our thanks to the Quigg Family Foundation, which has generously supported the Nasser Paydar Classroom in the new building. Rob Quigg, who is treasurer of the family-owned Richmond Baking Company, is a member of the IU Foundation Board of Directors and the chair of the IU East Bicentennial Campaign. Bill Quigg, president of Richmond Baking Company, and his wife, Felicia, who is a vice president with the company, as I mentioned, co-chaired the campaign that raised funds for the Student Events and Activities Center. The Quigg Family Foundation also supports the IU School of Medicine’s clinical clerkship here in Richmond. Would you join me in thanking the Quigg family?

A number of Richmond area businesses have also provided generous support for the new center, including:

  • Belden, the global telecommunications company that has had a long presence in Richmond;
  • First Bank Richmond, a wonderful community partner that has contributed to this campus over many years—including a matching gift this past year to celebrate our first IU Day;
  • Reid Health, whose extensive ties to this campus include their support for this center, support for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences Program, and IU East Athletics; and
  • West End Bank, which continues a long tradition of supporting IU East through a generous gift to this center that is the largest gift in the West End Bank Foundation’s history.

Executives from each of these businesses are with us today. Many of them are IU East alumni, and a number of them are members of the IU East Board of Advisors—a group whose wise counsel remains integral to the growth and development of this campus. Would the Lingles, the Quigg family, and the executives of the companies that have generously partnered with IU East in support of the new center please stand for our recognition and thanks?

And finally, I want to commend Chancellor Kathy Cruz-Uribe, who continues and builds upon the excellent leadership of her predecessors, David Fulton, who could not join us this afternoon; Nasser Paydar, under whose leadership the “Bold Aspirations” Campaign began; and Larry Richards. In honor of their support for the “Bold Aspirations” Campaign, a classroom in Springwood Hall is being named in honor of Chancellor Cruz Uribe and her husband, Gene. Would you join me in expressing our appreciation to Kathy and Gene for their leadership?


IU East has seen remarkable success in recent years, with increased enrollment, an increasingly academically qualified student body, and record numbers of graduates.

The splendid new Student Events and Activities Center that we dedicate today is part of the same tradition of cooperation and generosity that led to the establishment of IU East as a regional campus of the university 45 years ago.

It will further strengthen the bonds between the campus and the broader community.

It will serve as the social and recreational hub of the wheel of campus life at IU East.

It will be an integral part of the educational mission of the campus.

And, for many years to come, it will represent the spirit of exploration and adventure that is at the heart of the very best education.

Source notes

  1. James A. Van Zwoll, “What Goes On in the College Center,” College and University Business, Volume 20, Issue 6, (McGraw-Hill, 1956), 28.