Alumni Relations gets a new home

By The Beacon | October 6, 2010 9:00pm

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The Office of Alumni Relations is moving out of Waldschimdt and into a house

The Office of Alumni Relations is moving into a house on N. Portsmout Avenue, next to University Events. The living room has a fireplace, Wii and TV. (Alissa White -- The Beacon)

By Luke Riela, Staff Writer -- riela14@up.edu

There aren't many UP offices where you can gather to watch a new "Glee" episode complemented by firelight and coffee. But you can at the new alumni house.

The house will be fully operational Oct. 11, offering a place for alumni to gather, a new home for the Office of Alumni Relations staff, and a spot for students to hang out.

"Students are welcome" Carmen Gaston, a 1996 alumna and assistant vice president of Alumni Relations, said.

The new alumni house was planned by the Office of Alumni Relations. This department, made up of four full time employees, is looking forward to having a new home.

Gaston expressed her satisfaction with their current Waldschmidt offices, but also her excitement for the alumni house.

"We've simply grown out of our space here" she said.

The house is located on 6625 N. Portsmouth Ave. on the corner of N. Portsmouth Avenue and N. Willamette Boulevard.

It is three stories tall, with the bottom floor dedicated to storage and the top two holding staff offices, a conference room, and a living room. The living room is complete with a fireplace, television, and Nintendo Wii. It will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For special events, the hours will extend into the evenings and weekends. Gaston pointed out that these special events will be common in the alumni house.

"We want students to be engaged," Gaston said.

According to Gaston, students can come enjoy watch parties for their favorite shows like "Glee" and "The Big Bang Theory," or root on the Pilots for televised away games.

Gaston explained the new alumni house will also give students a place to meet alumni for dinner to learn about their professions and to give students the ability to get an idea of what it would be like to have a certain job and how one can get hired into such a profession.

According to Gaston, these meetings have been held in the past and have proved to be helpful, but students would sometimes run into difficulties with the meeting place being too small or too far away. With the opening of the new alumni house, the meetings will be only a short walk away.

The conference room won't be used only for these meetings, but also for "Life Beyond the Bluff" classes, which prepare seniors for life outside of college.

"It's a fun place to have all these things available," Kristin Bryant, special programs coordinator for The Office of Alumni Relations said.

Alumni are already very glad to see it open as well. Seamus O'Connor, who graduated in 2003, is "looking forward to it as a chance to meet some fellow alumni."

Summer Widmer, a 2001 graduate stated that she's "really glad to have a destination for alumni to go to."

Widmer was actually "pleasantly surprised to find out that this was being planned."

However, some alumni have been hoping for an alumni home base.

"Even for the last 30 years, people have wanted it," Gaston said.

The new alumni house is a gift to the alumni, who have given so much to the University in donations and support.

"It's our way of giving them a place to congregate," Gaston said.

With an alumni gathering on opening week, they will not have to wait long to do so.


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