TU officially opens Union expansion
Ribbon-cutting event a chance to showcase updated central campus hub
By Kyle Hobstetter on Friday, April 8
On Thursday, April 7, Towson University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the grand opening of the “Brand New U,” an 85,000-square-foot addition to the University Union.
Initially built 50 years ago, the union was designed for a university population of 9,000. Now, it embodies TU’s continued growth and expansion.
As President Kim Schatzel stood at the podium welcoming students, faculty, staff and special guests to the event, she marveled at the latest addition to campus.
“Towson University now has a university union that fits the Towson University of 2022,” she said to applause. “Places really matter on a university campus, and one of the most important places is a university union. Especially [for] a campus like ours that puts the student experience as a top priority.”
The newly renovated University Union was on full display at the grand opening. Special guests from the Board of Visitors, Board of Regents and the TU Foundation were given a tour that showcased the new additions, including:
- Double the space for student activities and organizations.
- A 300-seat auditorium/movie theater.
- A relocated and expanded Career Center.
- New, state-of-the-art meeting spaces, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom.
- New spaces for Student Affairs, Design & Graphic Services and other departments on campus.
- A new food market, featuring seven dining venues, including Chick-Fil-A and Dunkin’.
- The first fully accessible Tiger statue on campus.
“The expanded University Union will now serve as the hub for community building, co-curricular learning, student leadership growth, engagement and programming, dining excellence and, equally important, a lot of fun and excitement for our campus community,” said Vernon Hurte, vice president of student affairs.
Those attending the grand opening were treated to an ice cream social as well as giveaways of prizes and free food from the Union Food Market.
Student organizations also displayed the leadership opportunities offered on campus.
“Student leadership plays a key role in shaping our community and culture, and this union expansion is a visual representation of the university’s acknowledgment of that,” said Jordan Colquitt, who represented the Student Government Association (SGA) at the event.
“Student programming has taken new forms and will continue to rise to new heights as the result of this commitment,” Colquitt continued. “As a student, I’m proud to attend a university that prides itself on committing to a better campus life [for its] students.”
TU will now move on to phase two, which is the renovation of the existing portions of the union and is expected to be completed later this year. This will include a new home for campus life, civic engagement & social responsibility, the SGA, Student Success Programs and the Center for Student Diversity as well as the renovation to the PAWS cafe.
“Unions are the heart and should be the soul of a campus, and they connect the entire university community,” Schatzel said. “Unions are the places that bring students together, where they can be seen, where they can be themselves and where they can feel welcomed.”