Multicultural center groundbreaking Sept. 19

Sep 18th, 2008 | By | Category: Campus News, September 18, 2008
Gaughan Center
GAUGHAN CENTER – An artist’s rendering of the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Juan N. Franco, Dean of Undergraduate Studies Rita Kean and ASUN president Emily Zimmer and other student representatives will gather for a ground-breaking event to celebrate the start of construction of the new Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center.

The celebration is 11:30 a.m. Sept. 19 on the Nebraska Union Plaza.

Construction of the new $8.7 million center, to adjoin the east side of the Nebraska Union, is slated to begin this month. Tentative plans call for the center to open in early 2010, with three floors and 30,000 square feet of space, to include student lounges, computer lab, meeting rooms and a large multi-use area. It will also include student offices, tutoring rooms and space for faculty, staff and students dedicated to diversity and multicultural programming, such as the staff of the Office of Academic Support and Intercultural Services.

Half of the cost for the new center is being provided by students, who voted in March 2006 to move forward with the project and to increase student fees by $12 per semester beginning in 2009 to assist with the funding.

The new multicultural center is a stated priority of the chancellor as an important step in securing and expanding the progress we have made in our diversity efforts as a campus.

An Omaha native, Jackie Gaughan is known in the hotel and entertainment industry for being one of the first employers in Las Vegas to encourage diverse hiring practices. Gaughan has expressed his hope that the new center will provide students a place where they can come together and with many unique individuals.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Franco said students have been involved in the planning for the building, and he senses great excitement about the project campuswide.

“Students will be excited about offices for them and their diverse activities there but more importantly there will be meeting space, and our hope is that this becomes the center of cultural activities,” Franco said. “With the Union adjacent, there will be more student programming in and outside of the buildings, to take advantage of the area around the fountain. This area will become even more the hub of campus life and activities.”

“This project is very much student driven but in particular we want a place where everyone will be welcome and express the sentiment of the campus that we are a welcoming campus. In many ways we are setting the standard, nationwide, on multicultural programming and inclusiveness and that’s what we’re really proud of. This ground-breaking is a celebration of that core value and for our appreciation to the Gaughan family and our students.”

— University Communications

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