Feb 9, 2009

Muenster University Center to open Feb. 17 at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota is pleased to announce that the Theodore R. and Karen K. Muenster University Center will open at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17.
The 70,000 square foot facility, designed by Charles Rose Architects, Inc. out of Somerville, Mass., is overflowing with features from a multi-level campus dining area – with indoor and outdoor seating – to a 500-person capacity multipurpose room. Complete with state-of-the-art conference rooms, meeting areas, a multi-cultural center, and offices for The U's Student Government Association and Student Activities Center, the new facility also has a new Barnes and Noble Campus Bookstore that opened last month.

"You could say this new facility is, in fact, a learning laboratory," described Jeff Baylor, associate vice president for enrollment and student services at USD. "Linked to our library and at the heart of our campus, we know this building will attract students, faculty, administrators and guests."

The building, named in honor of former USD Foundation President Theodore (Ted) Muenster and his wife, Karen, is equipped to accommodate several student social events with an outdoor entertainment area, a second floor terrace for informal gatherings, and multiple commons and lounge areas. Additionally, more than a dozen high-definition TVs located throughout the building, including six, 63-inch televisions, will provide visitors with several entertainment options. If that isn’t enough, visitors can find their favorite snacks inside the center’s convenience store while they pore over an entire menu of coffee beverages at U. Brew.

"I think students, faculty and staff are going to be thrilled with the new building," added Genevieve Evans Taylor, director of the Muenster University Center. "It's a beautiful facility."

Financial support for the Muenster University Center was provided by student fees, donations from University partners Barnes and Noble Booksellers and Aramark (a professional services company), and private donations, including a $5 million gift from the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation. Campaign South Dakota, a decade-long USD Foundation endeavor that raised more than $133 million for scholarships, faculty support and campus improvement projects also contributed to the construction of the facility. Hours of operation for the Muenster University Center are: Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at www.usd.edu/press/news.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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