WPI's New Campus Center Celebrates Grand Opening March 26-31

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - Worcester Polytechnic Institute will find itself a new heart this month. On March 26, the grand opening of the WPI Campus Center kicks off six days of events designed to introduce the building and its resources.

The dream of a central place for community and social life at WPI has been alive for nearly a century. WPI began to realize that goal in the fall of 1999 when it broke ground for the new 71,000-square-foot structure.

Designed by the Boston firm of Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott, the Campus Center sits at the geographic center of the WPI campus and at the crossroads of several highly traveled pathways. The location will ensure that the building is the physical and social link to the university's academic, residential and recreational components.

Construction of the $17 million center was made possible by gifts from alumni, corporations, foundations, faculty, staff and students that included an $850,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation. The support of many alumni and friends raised $3.8 million by June 1, 2000, securing the challenge grant. The Grand Opening Celebration, free unless otherwise noted and open to the public, is as follows:

Monday, March 26:
  • Noon, WPI Jazz Ensemble, Campus Center Lobby
  • 8:00 p.m. Mentalist Craig Karges, Campus Center Odeum. Enjoy an evening of ESP with the winner of the National Association of Campus Activities Campus Center Entertainer of the Year award

  • Tuesday, March 27:
  • Noon, Woodwind Ensemble, Campus Center Lobby
  • 8 p.m., singer/songwriter Meghan Toohey, Campus Center Odeum

  • Wednesday, March 28:
  • Noon, Simple Harmonic Motion, Campus Center Lobby
  • 8 p.m., debate by Cambridge Union Society of the United Kingdom and the WPI Legal and Social Issues Group. Topic: "This House Believes that Britain Should Be the 51st State," Campus Center Odeum

  • Thursday, March 29:
  • Noon, music by Interstate 8, Campus Center Lobby

  • Friday, March 30:
  • 11 a.m., ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication of the Campus Center
  • Noon: Enjoy the celebration with Victorian portraits, snow globes, spin art Frisbees, caricatures, balloon clown, WPI Jazz Ensemble, free food and more
  • 8:30 p.m., Guerilla Improv in the Forkey Commons/Food Court Area
  • 10 p.m., disk jockey, Food Court

  • Saturday, March 31:
  • 8 p.m., Hip Hop concert with Talib Kweli, Campus Center Odeum. WPI students, $3, Consortium students, $5, general public, $8.
  • For more information on these events, contact James McLaughlin, director of the Campus Center, at 508-831-5291. For more information about the Campus Center, visit the Campus Center website.