Posted by President Rebecca L. Sherrick on August 16, 2019
It won’t be long till all of us are back on campus together after a busy summer. One of the first things you will notice is how really big the new parking garage is going to be when completed. The schedule calls for AU to take occupancy of the new structure just before Thanksgiving break. All of us are looking forward to experiencing a dramatic decrease in traffic and congestion around the campus. This $12 million investment will serve the university community and our neighbors well for decades to come.
This summer, we made a number of additional improvements to the campus. The Parolini Music Building was gutted and renovated and now will boast state-of-the-art practice and studio spaces, including a new multi-story rehearsal hall for the choir and band. And a new drop-in advising and career center is ready to open in Dunham and we are midway through a project to air condition Thornton Gymnasium. Several of these projects will extend past the beginning of the fall semester, so be prepared for some construction activity.
At this year’s orientation program, freshman parents asked me about all of this activity. They wanted to know how we pay these bills and if they should expect to see a significant increase in tuition levels. It was a great question. Last summer the university expended over $18 million on renovation of the dining hall and other projects. This summer’s projects will total almost $20 million. We are covering these costs out of the university’s savings account and fundraising efforts.
At AU, we think that your college should continue to get better each year and so we plan for the necessary expenditures carefully. I am excited about the good things happening at AU and know you will be too. The best thing? Soon we will all be together again for a new academic year!
Rebecca L. Sherrick, PhD