The dedication of Taylor University’s $20 million LaRita Boren Campus Center will be the featured event of this weekend’s Heritage Weekend. The ceremony will take place Saturday, at 3 pm, in the Rediger Chapel/Auditorium.
At 49,000 sq. ft., the new Campus Center is nearly triple the size of Taylor’s former student union and is now home to Taylor’s Student Development offices, including Intercultural Programs, Calling and Career, Taylor World Outreach, Taylor Student Organization, Counseling Center, Campus Pastor, Honors Program, and Spencer Centre for Global Engagement.
Also located in the Center is a food area that includes a Chick-fil-A Express, pizza, salad and noodles offerings, as well as the Jumping Bean coffee shop and campus store.
The Center was constructed around the 40-year-old Rediger Chapel/Auditorium, which also underwent an extensive renovation, receiving new seating and flooring, upgraded lighting and sound systems, and a two-level foyer. The facility also includes a tiered auditorium that accommodates more than 280 additional students, faculty, and staff, and allows for concerts and events, film screenings, all-hall meetings, as well as high-quality overflow seating for chapel.
The Campus Center’s namesake, LaRita Boren, was a longtime Taylor trustee, honorary alumna and friend and was instrumental in the creation of several international student scholarships that allowed more than 100 students to experience a Taylor University education. She also served as Executive Vice President of Avis Industrial Corporation and was a board member of numerous civic organizations. Boren died after a brief illness in 2011.
“Many universities reference ‘community’ as being a hallmark of their experience. At Taylor University, our discipleship-focused, living and serving together model of community is one that is transformative and unique,” said Taylor President, Dr. Eugene B. Habecker. “We believe the LaRita R. Boren Campus Center will fulfill two lasting purposes. First, this center will serve as the hub from which our vital, life-changing community originates. Second, it is our wish that for years to come this wonderful facility will honor the legacy and memory of a godly, beloved member of our Taylor community, LaRita Boren.”
Also on the schedule for this weekend are Friday events including Grandparents Day, a 10 am chapel service featuring civil rights leader Dr. William Pannell, concerts and a reception with Habecker and his wife, Marylou. On Saturday, special events include a baseball doubleheader at Winterholter Field and the Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (tickets required).