The Hill has a new focal point for alumni and visitors.
WKU officially opened the Augenstein Alumni Center, a $5 million home for alumni and friends, on April 12.
Donald Smith, executive director of the WKU Alumni Association and president of the College Heights Foundation, said the center opens a new era of alumni involvement at WKU.
“The Augenstein Alumni Center was made possible through a dedicated staff, loyal volunteers and generous Hilltoppers across the globe who provided the necessary support to build this beautiful home for all members of the WKU Family to celebrate the WKU Spirit,” he said.
The state-of-the-art center was financed by more than $5.6 million in gifts and pledges from more than 2,000 donors, including a $1 million lead gift from namesake Dale Augenstein. Augenstein, of Hilton Head Island, S.C., is past president of the WKU Alumni Association National Board of Directors.
“Every great university has a special place for alumni to gather when they return to campus,” Kathryn Costello, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, said. “This beautiful building will serve as that ‘home’ and in doing so will strengthen the alumni community for decades to come.”
Costello said the building will also serve as the welcome center for potential students and the starting point for campus tours.
“It is especially wonderful that students and families will experience the ‘Spirit of WKU’ in this building which reflects the past and the future of WKU,” she said. “The names of the many donors who made this building possible will be known to future generations and will be role models for future alumni.”
Augenstein also chaired the fundraising program that raised more than $5.6 million toward a $5 million goal.
“We’ve now set the building both structurally and financially for the future,” he said.
While the planning and fundraising were important steps, Augenstein said the rewarding part is yet to come: “seeing the building come to life. My favorite part of the building is the building itself and having the ability for over 100,000 alumni of Western Kentucky University to come back to campus and gravitate right to the alumni center.”
The AAC provides much-needed space for visiting alumni and the WKU community to hold meetings, social events and educational programs. It will also house the offices of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, of Advancement Services and the WKU Foundation, which will move in next week.
Other features of the three-story center include:
- Jimmy Feix and Lee Robertson ballrooms to accommodate large social gatherings
- A WKU museum to highlight the history and traditions of the institution
- The Ann and Rick Guillaume Executive Board Room with multimedia capacity
- The Mutchler Family Living Room for smaller gatherings, receptions and social events
- The Bob and Martha Jean Owsley Library to showcase work by WKU alumni, faculty, staff and students as well as display Heralds, Talismans, and BU Towers from the past
- The Hays T. and Berry J. Watkins Auditorium for lectures, workshops, presentations and campus orientations
- The Anne and Dan Greenwell Executive Dining Room for small luncheons and events
- The Calvin M. and Rosella S. Isbell Atrium for public space and donor recognition areas
- The State Farm Courtyard, which will house a life-size statue of Big Red, sculpted in bronze by Russ Faxon
- A 300-square-foot mosaic comprised of more than 200,000 tiles that whimsically depicts various campus locations and events.
More: Additional photos are available on the WKU Facebook page.
Contact: Alumni Relations, (270) 745-4395.