University Center officially opened
April 8, 2002
"We shape our buildings; then our buildings shape us." The quote, attributed to Winston Churchill and shared by Dr. Sherry Hoppe, seemed a fitting opening for a ceremony marking the official dedication of the new Morgan University Center, held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 5.
Around 150 people-including TBR Chancellor Charles Manning, Mayor Johnny Piper, County Executive Doug Weiland, architect Lane Lyle, former Vice President for Student Affairs Phil Weast, former APSU president Dr. Sal Rinella, as well as Mary Morgan and John Morgan, children of the late Dr. Joe Morgan- gathered under the bright April sun as Hoppe and other University officials and students dedicated the building and recognized some of the people who made the new center a reality.
Hoppe revealed a plaque honoring Weast, who is now vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Ashville. Weast was instrumental in convincing students to fund the building through their fees, though they themselves would never enjoy it. The plaque bearing Weast's name will grace the Student Government Association Office.
A second plaque honors Don and Sandy Jenkins, who were unable to attend the event. The Jenkins donated $100,000 for furnishings. The plaque bearing their name will be posted in the pre-function area outside the ballroom.
SGA president Louise Morales praised the building as students' "home away from home," a building they would "treasure and enjoy for years to come."
Calling the building the "living room" of the campus, Dr. Jennifer Meningall recalled from her childhood the "off-limits" living room in the home of her grandmother, a place reserved only for "special people."