Graduate Life Center celebrates five years

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 3, 2010 – On Friday, Nov. 5, Virginia Tech’s Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown celebrates five years of service to the Virginia Tech graduate student community with a series of activities from 2 to 4 p.m.

“The [center] is beyond inclusive, it’s inviting,”  said Michelle McLeese, doctoral student and president of the Graduate Student Assembly. “I’ve watched the [center] evolve into a successful, unique, and very busy graduate community,” she said.

Fifth year celebrations will include a “Dream Wall” for students, faculty, and staff to write their hopes and goals for the future of the Graduate Life Center, and video stories of graduate student experiences during their tenure at Virginia Tech. A graduate student photo and art exhibit will be displayed throughout the building as well as the center’s history in pictures and words. Awards will be given to students and departments who make unique contributions to graduate life and the center.

“The success of the [center] is a unique collaborative effort between university leadership, graduate students, and our partners,” says Karen P. DePauw, vice president and dean of graduate education.

Partners include University Unions and Student Activities, and Residence Life, Housing, and Dining. Contributors include Career Services, the Cook Counseling Center, the Writing Center, and University Libraries.

Plans for the center began in 2002 when DePauw submitted a vision statement to university administration for the renovation of the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center. Administration approved the development of a graduate student space in 2004. The center opened its doors to students in August 2005.

The Graduate Life Center houses administrative offices of the Graduate School, as well as offices for the Graduate Student Assembly, the Graduate Honor System, the Black Graduate Student Organization, Alpha Epsilon Lambda graduate honor society, the Indian Student Association, Graduate Life Center Fellows, the graduate student representative to the board of visitors, and graduate assistants. The facility also includes a computer lab, meeting rooms, study and TV lounges, and an Au Bon Pain coffee shop. More than 110 graduate students reside in the center.

According to Monika Gibson, director of student services for the Graduate School, the opening of the Graduate Life Center coincided with a growing list of opportunities and services for students.  

Find more information about the facility, the five-year anniversary, and test your knowledge about the Graduate Life Center online.

The Graduate School at Virginia Tech promotes graduate education as a critical component in the transmission of new knowledge, research, ideas, and scholarship. It is responsible for the development, administration, and evaluation of graduate education throughout the university, providing support to faculty, staff, and more than 6,000 graduate students. The Graduate School is committed to building a diverse graduate community and vibrant intellectual environment to help prepare graduates to lead. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

Written by T. Lynn Caldwell.