KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo breaks ground on its new Student Activities and Events Center — 55 years to the day since construction began for the Main Building, the first on campus.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie led the groundbreaking for the $8.5 million Student Activities and Events Center, in a ceremony in Kresge Auditorium Thursday — and announced a matching gift from the Community Foundation of Howard County.
The Student Activities and Events Center is a splendid addition to IU Kokomo that will not only enhance the vitality and functionality of the campus, it will also provide students with countless opportunities for engagement and leadership,” McRobbie said. “This facility is also representative of Indiana University’s ongoing effort to provide all of our students with environments that build community.”
Nearly 400 people attended the celebration, including IU’s Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff, student athletes, alumni, donors, and local government leaders.
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke called the center “a sign of continued growth and a symbol of the possibilities to come,” and said the future is bright for IU Kokomo.
She noted that when the Main Building first opened, the campus had 11 faculty, 311 students, six two-year certificates, and courses that would transfer elsewhere for a degree. Today, it has 130 faculty and 3,100 students.
So here we are again on December 6, 2018, breaking ground for the 13th building on this campus,” she said. “The campus is now truly a mature baccalaureate university, offering a full complement of degrees to serve our 14-county region. This building is the result of tremendous support from the communities we serve, our donors, and our alumni. Thank you all for being here to celebrate with us.”
McRobbie noted that IU exists to benefit all people of the state, and the regional campuses, including IU Kokomo, have a central mission of engaging in the civic, cultural, social, and economic lives of their regions.
The wonderful and impressive level of support we are seeing for the construction of the Student Activities and Events Center in Kokomo is testament to the degree to which IU Kokomo continues to succeed in this important mission,” he said. “It is also a measure of the level of pride community members take in the IU Kokomo campus and its successes.”
He joined Sciame-Giesecke in thanking those who have given thus far to the capital campaign to raise the campus’s $3 million share of the construction.
Dana Davis, chair of the Community Foundation’s board of directors, noted that matching gifts encourage others to contribute.
We are pleased to support the growth of IU Kokomo in our community, and the addition of the new Student Activities and Events Center,” she said. “I also know, appreciate, and have benefitted from the generosity of the campus in sharing their space with other local organizations. The synergy created when all of our local organizations work together for the betterment of the community is essential to not only our survival, but to our growth.”
The 23,500 gross square foot center will serve students as a venue for meetings, campus events, and co-curricular activities, and also will be home to Cougar athletic teams. With a few minor adjustments — curtains, carpet squares, and lighting — it can be transformed into an elegant gathering space, for dinners, galas, and other events.
Completion is expected in fall 2020, to celebrate IU’s Bicentennial, and IU Kokomo’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Student Activities and Events Center is funded in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Howard County.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.