WMU News

New Multicultural Center opens in Trimpe Building

Sept. 2, 2004

KALAMAZOO--A grand opening ceremony for Western Michigan University's new Multicultural Center will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, in Room 1110 of the Adrian Trimpe Building.

The center, or MCC as it's called, occupies a suite of four rooms in Trimpe. It was established primarily to meet the needs of ethnic minority and international students but will be available to all other WMU students as well. In addition, faculty and staff also may book space in the facility when providing programs and events that pertain to the MCC's multicultural focus.

The grand opening will feature a short program, starting at 3 p.m. with remarks from WMU President Judith I. Bailey. Representatives from a large group of students who participated in designing the center also will speak, and light refreshments will be served. Those interested may tour the MCC from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m.

"Over the years, multicultural students saw a need to have a comfortable and versatile space where they can gather for meetings, films, social events and other activities or just hang out together," says Martha Warfield, assistant vice president of the Division of Multicultural Affairs and director of the Presidential Initiative on Diversity and Multiculturalism.

"It is also envisioned that faculty will use the space when they would like an informal setting in which to hold seminars, discussions and talks on topics relative to diversity and multiculturalism."

Jesse Grant, a doctoral intern with the Division of Multicultural Affairs from Akron, Ohio, says the MCC evolved with input from students and students will help determine how the facility will be used and managed. Grant, who is pursuing a doctor of philosophy degree in higher education leadership, will provide staff support for the center.

The facility features two enclosed rooms that can accommodate small group meetings, another small room with six computer carrels and a large area that can simultaneously accommodate multiple activities. The MCC facility renovation and furnishings were financed through the use of unrestricted donor funds.

Grant says the small spaces are furnished with tables and chairs while the large room has modular furniture that is suitable for lounging yet can be configured for seminars and conferences. Eventually, he says, plans call for also equipping the center with a multimedia cart.

Those attending the opening event should plan on parking in one of the two lots immediately behind and to the west of Trimpe off of Knollwood Avenue. For more information about the MCC, contact Ronicka Hamilton in the Division of Multicultural Affairs at (269) 387-4421.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
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