8:08am

Fri August 24, 2012
Arts & Culture

MTSU Unveils New Student Union

MTSU Unveils New Student UnionUnveiling of the new $65 million MTSU Student Union and the “I am true Blue” branding effort will be at the forefront of the University’s start to the fall semester and 2012-13 academic year.


The opening of the nearly 211,000-square-foot Student Union, whose length is said to be one-and-a-half football fields (150 yards), is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 24, with doors opening at 7 a.m. The Student Union is located on the east side of campus near the University Honors College and the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.


The building features Phillips Bookstore; a 640-seat food court and 102-seat casual dining restaurant; an 840-seat ballroom; student government, Student Involvement and Leadership and other offices; a Parliamentary Room; theater; collaborative computer center; and much more. (See a video tour of the building here: .)


And, as a spinoff of the True Blue pledge revealed at Convocation 2011, this year’s “I am true Blue” branding effort will be a key central theme as students, faculty, staff and administrators initiate the new year.


Once again, it will be a busy semester and year that begins this week and weekend with a full schedule of activities, including:


• today’s military science swearing-in ceremony, starting at 1:30 p.m. outside Forrest Hall;


• The Fall Faculty Meeting and MTSU Foundation Awards will start at 10 a.m. Friday in Tucker Theatre. The faculty meeting features an address by President Sidney A. McPhee;


• We-Haul move in from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. New and returning students are assisted as they move in to campus residence hall. The effort is once again led by the Center for Student Leadership and Life staff, students, other administrators and community volunteers;


• Week of Welcome activities begin with the We-Haul move in. For a full list, visit the New Student and Family Programs website: http://www.mtsu.edu/nsfp/welcome_nsfp.php;


• Saturday, Aug. 25, marks the first official day of classes, as set by the Tennessee Board of Regents;


• Convocation will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, in Murphy Center. This year's Summer Reading Program (www.mtsu.edu/summerreading) selection for guest speaker is Tori Murden McClure, author of "A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean." She is the first woman to row alone across the ocean. Convocation is open to the public; and


• the annual President’s Picnic, which follows Convocation and is held in Walnut Grove, located between the Cope Administration Building and Peck Hall, and across from the James Union Building.


The first full day of classes will be Monday, Aug. 27.


Among the highlights of the first week and Week of Welcome will be the Thursday, Aug. 30, home football opener as the MT Blue Raiders meet McNeese State at 6:30 p.m. in Floyd Stadium. Other Blue Raider athletic teams also have their fall seasons getting under way.


“I am looking forward to the 2012-2013 academic year,” University Provost Brad Bartel said. “MTSU begins the year with new deans, department chairs and distinguished new faculty all adding to the mix, with established individuals providing our students with an unparalleled education. In addition, we have new degree programs and exceptional new buildings, adding to the richness of the environment.  It will be a great year.”


Student Affairs, the recipient of the long-awaited Student Union, also looks for a tremendous year.


“We’re looking forward to a very exciting new year for 2012-13,” said Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for Student Affairs and vice provost for Enrollment and Academic Services. “Obviously, the new Student Union is going to have enormous impact on the quality of student life on the campus.”


Sells said she anticipates an extremely eventful year.  


“We’ll be busy, especially helping students become acquainted with the programs, services, and many activities available in the new union,” she said. “Additionally, we will be rolling out a new suite of recruitment activities as we work to attract additional students to the Blue Raider family.”


MTSU plans special recruiting trips to Johnson City (Sept. 25), Knoxville (Sept.26), Chattanooga (Oct. 2), Nashville (Oct. 8), Memphis (Oct. 24) and Jackson (Oct. 25).


Along with athletics, this fall there will be special music, theatre and dance opportunities open to the public; homecoming is scheduled for the weekend of Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7; the Honors Lecture Series features various faculty takes on “The City” and there will be additional guest lecturers visiting campus; and more.