For release: March 5, 2010
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843
The University of Memphis will mark the opening of the long-anticipated new University
Center with special events on Monday, March 15, when the building officially opens.
Other celebratory events are scheduled throughout that week.
Monday’s activities will include a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting at the main entrance on
the west side of the building. Participants will include U of M President Shirley
Raines, Vice President for Student Affairs Rosie Phillips Bingham, and Student Government
Association President James Johnson. Music will be provided by the Graduate Brass
Quintet, and Pouncer, the U of M mascot, will mingle with guests in the atrium for
refreshments following the ribbon-cutting.
The rest of the day will feature the opening of Tiger Dining’s Union Food Court, plus
music and entertainment of various types, and from 4 to 6 p.m., the general public
is invited to tour the building.
Capping the day-long celebration will be “UnloCked,” a 6-10 p.m. presentation of music, food, games, comedy, and entertainment on
all three levels of the building, sponsored by the U of M Student Activities Council.
Tiger Dining will sponsor an appearance by The King of Burger King on Wednesday, March
For two weeks following the grand opening, students, faculty, and staff can play “UCopoly,”
a take-off on the popular board game of a similar name, with a map of the new UC as
the game board. When players visit sites within the UC, they will have their playing
pieces stamped. After completed forms are turned in, a drawing will award various
prizes, including free on-campus parking for a semester, a free meal plan for the
fall 2010 semester, and a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card.
Other events will include a “25 cent doughnut” special all day Tuesday at the UC’s
Dunkin Donut outlet, a “Tiger Ice Brain Freeze” contest on Thursday, “Free Fountain
Friday” for a free drink with any meal purchase, and faculty/staff appreciation throughout
the week, which will give out free Community Coffee mugs, good for a free cup of coffee.
The building’s importance to the campus was stressed by Dr. Rosie Phillips Bingham,
vice president for Student Affairs, who said, “We are very proud of this new University
Center. Its opening is the culmination of a labor of love from so many people who
love the students at the University, from Student Affairs to Business and Finance
to the Tennessee Board of Regents. They know that our students have been without a
student center for a long time, and the opening of this new building signifies a return
to the idea of students as the central element of our campus. With its completion,
our students take center stage, and the campus has a wonderful gathering place to
build community among students, faculty, staff, and the Memphis community.”
Quick Facts –
The New University Center at the University of Memphis
In March 2010, the University of Memphis celebrates the grand opening of the new University
Center (UC), a 169,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that is the central
gathering space for students, faculty and staff. Located in the heart of campus, on
the site of the U of M’s previous UC, the new $50,000,000 building was designed with
input from former and current students.
The new UC features a wide range of student, faculty and staff-centric amenities,
· An impressive Union Food Court with several ‘concept’ areas, such as a Burger King
Whopper Bar, Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts, Miso Sushi and Asian, Bistro 1912, Topio’s
classic pizza, specialty sandwiches, a ‘grab-and-go’ area and a stand-alone Tigers
of Memphis restaurant.
· Offices for student organizations and Greek chapters, as well as offices for Minority
Affairs, Dean of Students, Judicial and Ethical Programs, Student Government Association,
Student Leadership, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Dining and Catering Services, and
UC/Rose Theatre staff and administration.
· The Technology Hub, a 24-hour computer lab with work stations for 200 users, as
well as a United States Post Office and copy center.
· A Ballroom that will seat up to 1,000, a separate theater, and a variety of meeting
and conference rooms, all of which are available to the public for a fee.
· At three-story atrium and several lounge areas.
The new UC represents the largest capital project in the history of the University
of Memphis that did not require state funding. The UC is designated a ‘student recreational
building’ and was paid for by student fees only – no tax or tuition dollars were used.
Every full-time student is charged a $96 student debt fee per semester, which will
pay off 30-year bonds that financed construction. This funding structure is a common
practice among colleges and universities throughout the country, as well as with Tennessee
Board of Regents higher education institutions and the institutions that make up the
University of Tennessee system.
The designers of the facility were Haizlip Studio and Fisher & Arnold. The general
contractor for the project was Inman Construction.