Students and faculty gathered under a tent outside the new Marshall Student Center on Wednesday to reminisce about the old while embracing the new.
A ceremony was held to take one last glance at the Phyllis P. Marshall Center before its demolition, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
In addition to commemorative speeches by President Judy Genshaft and Student Body President Greg Morgan, other people who had ties to the old Marshall Center spoke about their experiences.
Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Meningall discussed the impact the old Marshall Center had on generations of students and how they will always have those memories even if the building is not there.
“As late as this morning, I was reminded of the significance that the Phyllis P. Marshall Center has made on people’s lives,” Meningall said. “Many have fond memories of how their lives have been impacted and changed in this very building.”
The gathered students listened to speeches and ate cake afterward to commemorate the event.
“I thought (the ceremony) was very nice,” sophomore psychology major Tania Paini said. “It was interesting to hear all the different experiences people have had and shared.”
Sophomore Mandy Torsey said she likes the Marshall Center’s history.
“I am sad because I feel it’s part of the foundation of the school, but the memories will still be there,” she said.
After the old Marshall Center is disassembled, a new plaza will be constructed that will include an outdoor stage for programming, seating areas, a grassy amphitheater for Movies on the Lawn, patio tables and a statue of three bulls in the center of a fountain in the front of the building.
“I think this ceremony is bittersweet for people that lived and had such fond memories in the Marshall Center,” President Judy Genshaft said. “(However), the new Marshall Student Center is so dynamic and is what Phyllis would like to see.”
Some students had mixed emotions regarding the transition.
“I have a lot of time spent here, I definitely understand the whole bittersweet thing,” sophomore marketing major Eddie Zaragoza said. “Even with the problems it had, watching it come down is going to be emotional for me.”
Morgan said he believes it is the people, not the building, that make the student union such an integral part of student life.
“I’m sure a lot of students share fond memories with the facility, but the same hardworking people and students using the facility will keep the spirit of the student union alive,” Morgan said.