WKU breaks ground on new alumni center

Tessa Duvall

Nearly 100,000 WKU alumni are one step closer to having a new home on the Hill.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Augenstein Alumni Center took place at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon on the corner of Center Street and E. 14th Avenue.

Dale Augenstein, current president of the WKU Alumni Association National Board of Directors and the main donor for the project, made a $1 million donation to the center.

“Your gift made it possible,” President Gary Ransdell told Augenstein.

The three-story center will have two grand ballrooms, a WKU Museum, a library that features works about WKU and by university alumni and space for alumni to have meetings.

The project still needs to raise about $1.5 million more before the $5 million goal is reached.

Augenstein said the alumni center will be “truly a blessing” for the university. Of WKU’s 97,000 alumni, 40 percent have graduated in the last decade, he said.

Ransdell said WKU alumni are an important part of the WKU family, adding that being a Hilltopper is a lifelong commitment.

“We’ve not had a real place our alumni could call home,” he said.

Currently WKU’s alumni center, the Craig Alumni Center, is located in the old president’s house, which is not large enough to accommodate alumni needs, Ransdell said.

Donald Smith, executive director of the WKU Alumni Association, said the center will be a means to an end to engage alumni.

“They say good things come to those who wait,” he said. “And if that’s so, then this will be a great building.”