The Christine E. Lynn University Center groundbreaking ceremony on April 20, 2017 was one for the record books. As the golden shovels dug into the earth, Lynn University commenced the largest construction project ever undertaken on campus. The move symbolized the early completion of the university’s strategic plan. It also represented the beginning of a new era—one that would be centered on engaging, expanding and elevating the Lynn experience.
“Christine believes in investing in people, like our students who will make meaningful contributions to the future."
President Kevin M. Ross
The project was first envisioned as part of the university planning process led by the late George Keller, an education planner and strategist who wrote Lynn2020. He proposed building a student center that would support enrollment goals by enhancing undergraduate accommodations and services. He believed it should include innovations to complement technological advancements in the classroom.
In 2015, Mrs. Christine E. Lynn, benefactor and the board of trustees chairwoman, offered a $15 million leadership gift that inspired over 100 additional donors to help make the building a reality. To those who know her, the gift was befitting of her pioneering spirit.
“We are very grateful to Christine,” said Lynn President Kevin M. Ross. “She believes in investing in people, like our students, who will make meaningful contributions to the future. Her guidance, leadership and support have been invaluable in the advancement of our university.”
The heart of campus
According to the Campus Master Plan developed in 2009 with high-profile design firm Gensler, the university center is literally and figuratively the “heart of campus.” Its design makes it the first building to combine social, academic and dining spaces into one facility where students can work and play—night and day.
Built at the center of Lynn’s 115-acre campus, the building is conveniently located between student housing and academic buildings and campus services. It is easily accessible from all entrances. To the north, Christine's Park, an inviting green space outfitted with amphitheater-style seating, encourages outdoor learning. To the south, a new roundabout improves traffic flow.
The building is a magnificent, modern marvel made of concrete, steel and glass. Floor-to-ceiling windows encase the building. In the day, the sun’s rays bounce off the glass, beckoning students to explore inside. In the evening, magnificent sunsets illuminate west-facing offices and conference rooms, while indoor lighting invites students to mingle with friends or study for a while.
Anticipated to be Lynn’s third LEED certified building, the center was built with U.S. Green Building Council’s sustainability rating system in mind. Over 75 percent of construction waste was recycled; more than a quarter of building materials were made from recycled content; more than half of wood used was harvested from a responsibly managed forest, and it incorporates water and energy efficiencies.
The building's main purpose is to become the social hub of student life. Students can find everything from personalized services and areas for self-exploration, to idea incubators that challenge Lynn’s international student body to innovate and address global challenges.
A grand tour
From the main entrance in the northeast, visitors enter the Irving and Barbara Gutin Living Room, where a resource hub helps students and visitors find campus information with ease. Nearby Elaine’s, a multipurpose space, invites students to enjoy on-stage entertainment and group activities. Students can gather in Bobby Campbell Dining Commons and enjoy delicious, fresh dining options 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in Mary's Kitchen. Students also can enjoy their meals on the east-facing terrace just outside the commons, with serene lake views.
On the second floor overlooking the park, Christine’s resembles an upscale pub with TVs tuned in to the Lynn Sports Network. Serving comfort food specialties and everything from lattes to lagers, its vibe is completed with cozy booths, counter seating, dining tables and a north-facing terrace.
The second floor includes alumni, career, study abroad and flexible conference spaces. It's home to student organizations and offices for the Center for Student Involvement and the Division of Student Affairs. Another terrace adorns the west side of the second floor.
The third floor is home to coworking spaces complemented by Lynn’s Social Impact Lab and Watson Institute at Lynn University. The mostly open floor plan inspires creativity, curiosity and originality and is designed to attract young entrepreneurs and changemakers from the campus and the community.
Fabricated for the future
The Christine E. Lynn University Center inspires students, alumni, employees and the entire Lynn community to feel at home in the heart of campus. This landmark building is the university’s latest— and perhaps greatest—way of leaving a lasting impression on all who study at, work at or visit Lynn.
Lead gift: Mrs. Christine E. Lynn
Design firm: Gensler
Groundbreaking: April 20, 2017
Grand opening: Feb. 8, 2019
Square footage: 65,000
For our partners
A special thank you to:
Thomas Engineering Group
Dunsky, Miskel and Backman, LLC
Traffic Tech, Inc.
Reliance Engineering, Inc.
JGR Construction Inc.
Horton/Jones Electrical Contractors, Inc.
William R. Nash, Inc.
Siemens Industry, Inc.
HI-Tech Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.
J.B. Painting & Waterproofing Inc.
Terracon Services, Inc.
... and all of our other collaborators.
You helped make our vision a beautiful reality.