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Alumni Unite to Transform Space

Posted by Jenna Ray on Monday, Apr. 7, 2014


Philanthropic commitments by the families of Lily and Walter “Slim”
Hokanson ’30 and Hollis Dyer ’51, the West Central School of Agriculture (WCSA) Alumni Association, and Morris’s Class of 2013 have made possible a complete renovation of the Welcome Center’s (formerly the Engineering Building) north courtyard. This beautification project not only revitalizes an underutilized space, but also commemorates the WCSA era of campus and engages a new generation of philanthropists.

In the spring of 2013, Senior Legacy supporters elected to couple their contributions with funding from alumni of the WCSA, an institution previously housed on the 125-year-old campus. Their combined generosity, along with that of private donors, brought to life a communal vision for the space and forever united alumni from two distinct periods of campus history.

“This courtyard revitalization speaks to the past, present, and future legacy of the campus,” says Chancellor Jacqueline R. Johnson. “This beautifully energized space will honor the West Central School of Agriculture and support the twentyfirst century mission of the University of Minnesota, Morris.”

The renovated courtyard sports ample bench seating as well as a variety of native flowering plants, providing a space in which visitors and friends can relax and reminisce. Adjoining the courtyard is the Morris Legacy Walk, a personalized pathway inaugurated in 2007 as the first Senior Legacy project. As a result of the beautification effort, the walkway now extends into and beyond the courtyard. Both of these projects are part of an ongoing endeavor to enhance the Morris campus.

“This permanent addition to our campus will be seen by students, visitors, and alumni for years to come,” says former Morris Campus Student Association president Dillon McBrady ’13. “The project provided an opportunity to make a lasting impression at Morris and allowed graduates to celebrate their many achievements and memories here.”