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Schine Student Center celebrates 20th anniversary with second annual Homecoming Showcase Nov. 12
Schine Student Center celebrates 20th anniversary with second annual Homecoming Showcase Nov. 12November 01, 2005Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
On Nov. 12, the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center will celebrate its 20th anniversary by hosting the 2005 Homecoming Showcase, an evening of performances by recognized student groups that have called Schine home for the last two decades. The showcase will feature dance performances by Ballroom Dance Organization, Black Reign, Creations, DanceWorks, Kalabash, Orange Pulse, RAICES, the SU Dance Team, T.A.P. and Virtuous Expressions. Also performing are singing groups Cabaret Performance Troupe, Groovestand, Main Squeeze, The Mandarins and Orange Appeal.
The showcase begins at 8 p.m. in the Schine Student Center’s Ann and Alfred Goldstein Auditorium. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for general admission, and are currently available at the Schine Box Office.
The evening will culminate in the unveiling of a mural by SU alumnus Brian Gaidry ’90. “Symphony in Spray” is located in the stairwell leading to the Schine Underground. Gaidry began the original work as a VPA student in 1988 and began updating the work this past summer. He will return for the unveiling that evening and a reception from 4-6 p.m. that day in the Jabberwocky Cafe, located on the Schine Student Center’s lower level.
Built in 1985, the building serves as a hub of student life and activity, providing valuable meeting and lecture rooms, performance space, a comfortable place forstudents to relax and a headquarters for numerous student groups and organizations. It also houses The Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service, University Bookstore, Schine Dining Center, Schine Copy Center, Jabberwocky Coffeehouse, Schine Underground, student computing cluster, student organization offices and a number of departments from the Division of Student Affairs.
Designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, the Schine Student Center is a three-level building with four wings that spread out in the shape of a pinwheel around a dramatic central atrium covered by a pyramid-shaped roof. The concept of the building was described as a reflection of the diverse intellectual, cultural and social interests of the Syracuse University community. The 192,410-square-foot facility cost $15.6 million and took about a year and a half to build.
“The Schine Student Center has been a tremendous success in enhancing the lives of students and other members of the Syracuse University community,” says Toby Peters, director of the Schine Student Center, 1985-92. “It has proven to be the campus community center and has served as a model for other universities. It was an honor to have joined the Syracuse team and opened the University’s first permanent student center. Before opening, Peter Baigent led his program planning team and captured the community’s expressed needs. They then successfully translated those needs to the architect’s plans. It was a joy working with Peter to bring the Schine to life. The Schine Student Center is clearly more than bricks and mortar; it is a program that contributes to the positive experience students have while at Syracuse University.”
Baigent served as assistant vice president of student programs from 1981-93. “The Schine Center created a great change at SU. It was the first time the University had a true community center, which had been a missing facet of campus life,” says Baigent. “The center struck a chord with students immediately-they literally flocked to it. Not only did it provide a focal point to campus, it was the first building at SU that was funded totally by gifts from alumni and family of students.”
Work on the Schine Center began in 1982 with a gift of $3 million from SU alumna and trustee Renee Schine Crown ’50, HON ’84, daughter of Hildegarde’27 and J. Myer Schine. Crown decided to make the gift to commemorate her parents’ longstanding association with the city of Syracuse and Syracuse University. J. Myer Schine opened his first movie house in Syracuse, and for many years, the city served as the heart of his movie chain. Mrs. Schine (the former Hildegarde Feldman) studied fine arts at SU.
A gift of $1.5 million from Ann and Alfred R. Goldstein followed shortly thereafter, giving a name to the center’s 1,800-seat auditorium. In 1984, Faye and Henry A. Panasci gave a naming gift of $750,000 to the center’s main student lounge on the top floor of the southwest building that, upon its opening, instantly became a quiet study lounge.
A national fundraising committee was formed for the center, and co-chairs Crown and former New York State Senator Tarky J. Lombardi Jr., led the campaign, which was completed in just three years. John Allen, executive director of development, managed the campaign.
The Schine Student Center was a major step in developing the landscape of the SU community. In 1911, the Daily Orange ran an editorial titled, “Student’s Union is Needed-University Must Wait for a Donor.” In the 74 years that followed, the University attempted to establish a central student union. The first of those attempts was called Club Sahara, which opened in the basement of Slocum Hall, so named because alcoholic beverages were not sold there. A number of temporary student centers opened and closed over the next four and a half decades until the Schine Center was constructed.
Today, the Schine Student Center hosts numerous programs and events, including nationally renowned artists and guest speakers. Over the last 20 years, the Schine Student Center has hosted guests ranging from speakers Sen. Hilary Clinton and author Isabel Allende to popular musical acts such as the Dave Matthews Band and Matchbox Twenty. The center receives an average of 13,000 visitors each day and is home to 43 recognized student organizations and 14 University administrative departments. During the 2004-05 academic year, the Schine Box Office sold 72,950 tickets for events at the center.