Illinois Wesleyan Launches Campaign for Myers Welcome Center

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan has launched a campaign to  complete funding of the Minor Myers jr. Welcome Center. In July, the Executive Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees  voted to accept a recommendation to construct a new two-story, 19,000 square-foot facility on the site of the former United Methodist Conference Center at the corner of Park Street and University Avenue once all the funds necessary for the $5-million project have been secured.

The Indianapolis architecture firm CSO Schenkel Schultz has developed plans for the new building, which will house the Office of Admissions and the Career Center. The building will be named in honor of the late Illinois Wesleyan president, Minor Myers jr., who died in 2003.

“As we explored various alternatives that we might pursue, it was clear that new construction would be a far better alternative to renovating the existing structure,” said Illinois Wesleyan President Richard F. Wilson. “This is an important project on several different levels. On the one hand, I think there is no better way to recognize President Myers’ visionary leadership than this. In addition, the Center will be one of the first facilities that prospective students and families see, and we want that initial interaction to reflect the quality that permeates the institution. Finally, the facility will serve students as they complete their undergraduate programs and make decisions about graduate school and careers. In effect, the building is dedicated to two key transitions in the life of a student.

The Office of Admissions will occupy the first floor of the building, which will feature offices for admissions officers as well as a spacious waiting room and a 75-seat auditorium for group presentations.

The Career Center will be on the second floor with offices, a resource center, and conference rooms where employers can hold interviews with students.

A lower level will be used for administrative support, work areas, and storage.The exterior of the building has been designed to complement existing architecture on the campus. The Myers Welcome Center will face Park Street and the Alice Millar Center for the Fine Arts, including Presser Hall, and is across University Avenue from Evelyn Chapel.

“The architects have worked hard to create a design that will fit seamlessly into the campus aesthetic,” said Wilson. “ We are excited about what this will add to the overall look and feel of the campus.”

According to Benjamin Rhodes, director of development, the University has received more than $4.07 million in gifts and pledges for the Center, including a $500,000 leadership gift from Kent ’68 and Sue Wallace of Dallas, Tex.

“We are currently developing materials to support the campaign to complete funding of this important addition to the campus,” said Rhodes. “Our goal is to be in a position to break ground on the building by mid-2006.”

Gifts to the Minor Myers jr. Welcome Center may be made by contacting the Office of Development.