Augenstein Alumni Center dedicated Friday

Mitchell Grogg

WKU alumni have a new place to celebrate their school with fellow Hilltoppers.

And that includes Dale Augenstein, for whom the the Augenstein Alumni Center is named.

“It’s really a pleasure today to see hundreds, literally hundreds upon hundreds of alumni come from all over the country,” Augenstein said.

“It’s certainly very exciting to see the building,” he said. “And to be honest with you, it’s a little challenging emotionally to see your name on a building that’s going to be there forever.”

Hundreds of alumni, along with past presidents of the Alumni Association, came for a ribbon cutting and dedication of the new building on Friday, located near the campus’ new apartments.

The new facility features a theater, living room, library, dining hall and other facilities, many of which are named for donors and alumni.

President Gary Ransdell said days like this are special for universities.

“It defines our personality,” he said. “It nurtures our traditions and allows our alumni to be a part of this university family—and they are, and they’ve come together to fund this project.”

The building will offer students and the community meeting and events space.

It is also where campus tours will begin starting in the summer. One of the reasons is the view of campus the front steps of the center offers. That view includes buildings such as Cherry and Van Meter Halls.

For alumna Heather Rogers, of Bowling Green, the building is an opportunity for her as an employee of a local non-profit organization.

“I think it would be a great facility to host events and meetings and bring the community here,” she said.

It is also the completion of a dream.

“It’s amazing. I was speechless, really, to walk in and see this beautiful facility,” she said. “I was on the alumni board several years ago when this was just a dream and now to actually see it come to fruition is absolutely awesome.”

Ransdell reflected on the significance of the building in his role not only as president, but also as a WKU alumnus, along with his wife, Julie.

“It’s so rare to be in this job, be an alumnus and to be in this job at your university,” he said. “And that’s what we feel very fortunate, Julie and I, to be able to do, so yeah it’s a proud day as an alumnus, and I’d be here celebrating and high-fiving even if I wasn’t president.”