Update: Watch this video to see how the Beitz Center for Student Life will provide a place on campus for students to find their career and calling. Architectural drawings of the new center are available here.
We have all of the $13 million available to build the Bietz Center for Student Life! Many of those gifts were from donors who gave unrestricted to the campaign. We will continue to offer naming opportunities for those areas not already designated. If additional funds are raised specifically for the Bietz Center, with donor approval, we will gratefully re-allocate funds for $13 million to other pressing campaign projects such as repurposing the old student center, increasing endowments, enhancing academic programs and improving the dorms... among other needs.
On April 28, 2016, university leadership broke ground on the Bietz Center for Student Life. The name for this new facility—to be located between McKee Library and Hickman Science Center—was chosen as one small way to honor the enormous legacy of Gordon Bietz, Southern’s 25th president (1997-2016). The announcement came as joyous and tearful surprise to both Gordon and his wife, Cynthia, another long-time university employee.
Increased enrollment means the campus has outgrown its current student center, built in the ’70s. A new plan is vital to ensure students have appropriate room for continued development. There is a desire to ensure a strong family feeling on our campus; this building is being designed with that focus in mind. It will become a student hub where networking and lifelong relationships are nurture as part of Southern’s living and learning environment.
“What I envision when the campaign is finished are spaces that engage the whole person.” - Christine Waldrop, ’92, Board of Trustees
Architectural renderings estimate the Bietz Center for Student Life at more than 40,000 square feet and costing approximately $13 million. Large open areas for study and recreation will be the hallmark of this building, while flexible spaces for spiritual activities are also a priority.
“Our student center will be the heartbeat of campus, connecting students and ministries” – Chris McKee '88 Board of Trustees
The new Bietz Center for Student Life is initially slated to include the Chaplain’s Office, Student Missions, Student Association, the Christian Service program, and student organizations. The campaign’s success is inescapably connected to student growth in these areas and Southern’s capacity to shape strong leaders capable of transforming tomorrow.
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