Speakers at the Events Center groundbreaking ceremony:Kathleen Wilbur, Central Michigan University Interim President
"What a great day at CMU. We are very excited to be throwing the dirt today on such an innovate and long-time coming project on this campus. This really is, as we view it, a new gateway onto the campus. This will be a very different look and feel for the southern part of campus. We want a gateway where visitors come in, they are welcomed to the campus, and finally when it comes time to graduate they finish right here as well, at the Events Center."
"This Events Center is going to dramatically transform not only what we look like on this part of campus, but also what we represent to the mid-Michigan area and the surrounding areas. We have at least half a million visitors to campus every year. This will be a great place for them to enter campus and work their way north, and work east and west as well. Especially, we want them to take advantage of the new Education and Human Services building."
"When Rose Center opened in 1973, on-campus enrollment was about 14,000. This year we are at a record-enrollment 20,444 students right here in Mount Pleasant, Mich. And these are pretty sophisticated students. These are students who have shopped thoroughly for what their next academic step will be. We are very pleased that that many students have selected CMU and we hope they keep coming. But there are a lot of challenges out there. There is a lot of competition. And that is why we need to make strategic investments, buildings such as the Events Center, the Education and Human Services building, the addition to the College of Health Professions, which will house our school of medicine, renovations to Ronan, renovations to the UC. All are part of strategic investments that former boards and current boards understand are very, very important to pull in the very sophisticated student who is out there searching for their next academic home. We want it always to be CMU."
Brian Fannon, Central Michigan University Board of Trustees, Facilities Committee Chair
The board of trustees realizes we need an attractive and comfortable living and learning environment for the students of CMU. Things have changed over the years. This $21 million dollar project is going to upgrade a facility that built more than 35 years ago. This project will transform the Rose Center into a showcase facility that will benefit our students with a state of the art building for commencement ceremonies, cultural events, speakers, athletic competitions, and a variety of other uses that the current center cannot accommodate. The board of trustees is very excited about what this will contribute to the overall experience of our students, student-athletes and our community in general."
John Kulhavi, Events Center Steering Committee Chair
"This Events Center will demonstrate the university's committment to its growing success in both athletics and academics by building on its proud past with this bold plan for the future. The Events Center will offer a first-class modern facility in the heart of central Michigan where no similar venue currently exists. It will help bolster the regional economy, adding jobs and increasing the university's economic impact beyond the $830 million already generated every year. It will enable us to effectively compete for state basketball, volleyball and wrestling championships, bringing thousands of spectators to CMU and to Mount Pleasant. It will give us a first-class, state of the art venue for concerts and shows."
"The Events Center will build on the university's proud athletic and academic past. These include CMU winning the (Mid-American Conference) Institutional Academic Achievement Award for the highest student-athlete grade point average for 10 of the last 12 years. Chippewa teams have captured 34 MAC titles in 13 of 15 sports in the last decade. The wrestling team has won the MAC championship for 10 of the last 11 years. CMU football teams have won back-to-back MAC championships in 2006 and 2007 and scored a win in the 2006 Motor City Bowl, and defeated Michigan State University for the third time just two weeks ago."
"The Events Center represents an exciting new chapter in a championship culture, a culture now poised for even greater success. And best of all, a majority of the costs will come from gifts and contributions."
Dave Heeke, Central Michigan University Athletics Director
"This is a special day for athletics, but clearly it is an extremely important day for our entire university. Today we begin to write a new chapter. Not only in the life of Chippewa Athletics, but of our entire university and the greater mid-Michigan area. It truly will be a multipurpse Events Center. This is a tremendous new addition to this campus, consistent with the great new building projects that have occurred with our education building, the residence halls, the library, the health professions building; this campus has been transformed, and this will be a dynamic new building that will add to that."
"We are creating those Michigan jobs and keeping money in the state of Michigan in these times that are so critical."
"This new Events Center will be a dynamic beacon of energy on our campus, an actual front door... certainly everything you expect from a first-class facility. It will provide us with ultimate flexibility so we can host a multitude of events that will enhance campus life."
"From an athletics standpoint, this gives our teams and our coaches a facility to compete in and recruit to that is a legitimate Division I facility," said Heeke. "This will be a value to all of our athletics programs. From a university perspective, this truly illustrates an incredible investment and commitment to enhancing the overall student experience and student life at CMU. In a time for intense competition for incoming students, we want this to be a destination point for future students. This addition will have a tremendous impact on the living, learning environment that is our central focus as administration here at CMU."
"On behalf of our athletics program and our entire university, I want to thank the board of trustees for their committment and their energy behind this project."
Jason Nichol, Central Michigan University Student Government Association President
"The leaders of this institution always make a conscious effort to make students feel involved and participate in these processes. Thank you to everyone here for making sure that the students are heard in this respect."
"Being a home-grown student here, I have really been able to see the campus grow and prosper, and this campus does not look like it did at all 10 years ago, 15 years ago, even five years ago. We are not only fortunate to have all of these beautiful facilities, but we are fortunate to continue to grow in this direction, and to continue to have world-class facilities that match our world-class academics, our world-class athletics and our world-class faculty."
Jim Holton, Mayor of Mount Pleasant
"We are going to invest our way into a better community. This year we undertook some of the biggest projects ever for the city of Mount Pleasant for infrastructure upgrades. We know that is our future."
"I have to commend the leaders of this group, to come forward like they did and have this vision in these trying times to find a way to make this work, to find the donors to make this happen. It is going to be great for our community, for our city."