DECATUR– When Millikin students return to campus this fall, they will have a new welcome court inviting them in.
The university unveiled the redesigned welcome court, located between the Richard’s Treat University Center and Schilling Hall, during a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.
With several students and faculty in attendance, President Dr. Patrick White said it was a big day for the university, “This isn’t just a new piece of art or a new walkway, this is a new welcome center, it’s a place that everyone on campus can see and will be able to enjoy.”
Work on the 10,000 foot space began in May of this year, right after students graduated. The work was done by Custom Landscapes, a local company, and includes new brick and masonry work, a series of LED lights that change hues throughout the day, as well as a stone fountain.
White said the circular design is more inviting to students than the previous look was, “This was meant to be a spot that students and teachers could gather and sit and talk and enjoy one another, but the way it was set up it never was that way. This circular design will encourage students to stop and sit and take in one another’s company.”
Per tradition at Millikin, the most recent graduating class used their class gift to pay for part of the welcome center. White said the giving tradition is an important part of Millikin’s legacy, “If Millikin is just a place where you go for four years and never return to or never give back to, and we would be a more impoverished campus than we need to be. There is a sense of pride that I think every student feels after they graduate and in a way compels them to give back.”
With the welcome court completed, White says it is on to the next project for the university. In the fall he says they will begin construction on the new student center that is to be located through Staley Library.