For nearly 22 months, students and employees watched patiently as the building they’d heard so much about slowly materialized. Today, they finally had the chance to walk the Christine E. Lynn University Center hallways, lounge together on comfy couches and cool chairs, take in views from all five terraces, and even test the sound-proofing of soon-to-be-favorite conference rooms.
“For so long, our university has needed a central place for all of us—students, faculty and staff—to come together to work and play; a place for collaboration and camaraderie, where we can have access to academic, social, support and dining spaces all in one spot,” said Lynn University President Kevin M. Ross. “Today, that wait is over.”
At approximately 11:30 a.m., he and Mrs. Christine E. Lynn, benefactor, namesake and board of trustees chairwoman, cut the ceremonial blue ribbon, officially dedicating the building and welcoming guests into its halls.
The event was a true open house, with activity everywhere, including live music piped indoors and outdoors from Elaine’s, a multipurpose space perfect for parties like today’s. Staff members introduced students and guests to their new offices and collaboration spaces. A fully stocked and fashion-forward Schmidt Family Campus Store featured sustainable products crafted by alumni entrepreneurs, and the latest incarnation of Christine’s, a high-end sports pub with 10 TV screens, offered gourmet popcorn.
“This building is the beginning of the best of times and college experiences,” said senior Natalia Narvaez, a fashion and retail major and Knights of the Roundtable (KOR) member. “The programming and meeting spaces, social and learning areas, and new dining options are magnets for residential, commuter, undergraduate and graduate, day and evening students. They will encourage students to stay on campus and help everyone be more involved in student life.”
She continued to describe how the building supports retention goals through engagement and inclusion opportunities, and she acknowledged her excitement for the KOR’s dedicated conference space, which she said will help make student government more productive and approachable.
"... A heartfelt thank you to Mrs. Lynn and donors whose generosity and passion for our university made this dream a reality.”
Natalia Narvaez, senior and fashion and retail major
Mrs. Lynn also took a moment to address the crowd.
“This building fulfills a critical need and the wishes and hopes of students and staff,” she said. “I can hardly express how excited I am to stand in front of you and deliver this building that will indeed transform life on campus. Sources of people have had an enormous impact on making sure the project stays on schedule, and even more have shared the vision and joined the mission to make this building possible.”
Ross described the over $30 million project, the largest ever undertaken on campus, as a labor of love. He shared that in response to Mrs. Lynn’s generous leading match gift, 100 donors gave $10,000 or more to help make the dream that began in 2005 a reality. Donors are recognized by name on the first and second floor donor walls.
As Narvaez said perfectly, the entire Lynn community extends “a heartfelt thank you to Mrs. Lynn and all donors whose generosity and passion for our university made this dream a reality.”