The heart of our campus

Namesake donor Christine E. Lynn enjoys a heartfelt celebration with 1,500 at university center groundbreaking.

Mrs. Lynn pose with students
I feel great honor and pride to break ground on this university center.

Christine Lynn

Construction is officially under way on the new Christine E. Lynn University Center! 

Lynn’s student body turned out in happy multitudes April 20 for the groundbreaking ceremony, wearing festive red “We  you” T-shirts.

“I love every T-shirt you’re wearing,” Mrs. Lynn said to the students, faculty and staff who crowded into a massive white tent to witness the ceremonial shovel photo op, their shirts a bright red embrace against her “Lynn blue” dress.

“I feel great honor and pride,” she said, “to break ground on this university center.”

The benefactor and board of trustees chairwoman told the audience she never could have imagined such a day. “If anyone had told me 37 years ago when I was an RN in Oslo, Norway, that my husband and I would have a university named after us, I would have told them, ‘You’re crazy,’” she said.

Her $15 million grant for the university center—the largest in the school’s history—is one of many bestowed by the Lynn family. The library, two residence halls, the salon at the Wold Performing Arts Center, the eatery Christine’s, the Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn College of International Communication, all were funded by gifts from Mrs. Lynn and her late husband, Eugene. 

Public relations junior Cassidy Kruse, speaking for the student body as president of the Student Activities Board, said the university center will be much more than just a new building. Its collaborative spaces will allow 33 campus clubs and organizations to finally have a shared home.

“It will stand at the heart of our campus as a symbol of the university’s heartbeat—its students,” Kruse said. After her speech, she presented Mrs. Lynn with an engraved vase.

President Kevin Ross said it simply, “Christine, you inspire us all with your big heart.”

Dozens of donors to the project joined students in congratulating Mrs. Lynn. And then they enjoyed a delicious cookout on the grounds.


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