August 25, 2010

Student Center celebrating 50 years of service

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Student Center at Southern Illinois University is celebrating 50 years of service in a yearlong celebration that kicks off with this week’s annual Welcome Back Open House.

The Student Center’s dedication was June 10, 1961, and it has been a landmark on the campus ever since. A major project in the early 1970s expanded the facility and its service to the SIUC community. The golden anniversary celebration will feature a variety of events highlighting the programs and services through the last 50 years, as well as the changes within the building itself.

“The Student Center has evolved and changed over the years as each generation of Salukis have made their way through our halls. As the living room of the campus, we continue to find ways to embrace each decade, building on a solid foundation of programs, services and facilities that enhance the quality of campus life for all students, faculty and staff,” said Lori Stettler, director of the Student Center.

The Open House, set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26, kicks off the anniversary celebration. The event includes a Noon Tunes concert in the Roman Room with music by The Swamp Tigers, lunch specials and free anniversary cake. Madame Bling will tell fortunes in the Big Muddy Room at 1 p.m. and Saluki Spokes is hosting a free bicycle workshop at the north entrance at 11:30 a.m.

Visit the Craft Shop to participate in a wide assortment of crafts and activities, play Scavenger Hunt Bingo to win prizes, enjoy reduced pricing for bowling and billiards, and come to the annual Fall RSO and Volunteerism Fair from 5 to 7 p.m. in the ballrooms. Watch the film “Shrek Forever After” at 7 p.m. You can also buy the popular 25-cent refill cup, good for quarter refills at some of the center’s eateries all year long. University students can also get freebies and win T-shirts, bicycle, gift cards and much more.

Next up on the 50th birthday celebration calendar is a homecoming tailgate party set for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, in front of the Student Center. Stop by for free pre-game food and music and check out the photo displays. Everyone is welcome at the celebration, including the “Class of 1960” that didn’t get the opportunity to enjoy the new facility. Building tours and anniversary memorabilia displays are on tap, too.

Throughout the coming year, the center’s anniversary committee will be working with organizations throughout campus to celebrate the successful partnerships forged in the last half-century. Anniversary activities are in the works in conjunction with Family Weekend, the International Festival and other upcoming events.

There will be a re-dedication ceremony on June 10, 2011. Organizers encourage current and former employees, students and community members to mark their calendars now and plan to attend this special commemoration.

Keep an eye on the Student Center’s display cases on the first floor near the north entrance in coming months too. They will highlight the past decades and special programs of the Student Center. For more information about the SIUC Student Center’s 50th anniversary celebration, visit the website at or became a Facebook friend of SIUC Student Center.