Grand openings mark completion of cultural center rebuild project
This spring, Oregon State completed a project to build new facilities for four of its cultural centers, helping them serve their communities more effectively, promote diversity on campus and create a place of belonging, open discussions and learning for all.
Both the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center and the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center celebrated their grand openings in April. They join the Centro Cultural César Chávez, which opened last spring, and the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws, which opened in 2013.
Construction for the four cultural centers was made possible by a combination of university funds and private donations through The Campaign for OSU. A lead gift of $500,000 from the late Portland philanthropist and 1965 alumna Joyce Collin Furman created the OSU President’s Fund for Cultural Centers.
“Increasing diversity and a sense of community at OSU is a cornerstone of the university’s values and aspirations, as well as a critical element of our strategic plan, and this resonated deeply with Joyce,” says Oregon State President Ed Ray. “She knew how important it is that everyone has a place on campus to call home, and that the centers help all our students learn how to cross cultural divides in their communities and workplaces.”
Just like their unique cultures, both of the new buildings include architectural features that aren’t found anywhere else on campus. The Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, named after the first director of Oregon State’s Educational Opportunities Program, features exterior brick patterns based on Yoruba textiles known as Aso Oke from Nigeria. The design of the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center was inspired by nature. It includes an unpainted wood exterior, landscaping with bamboo and exposed beams throughout the interior and exterior, along with Pacific Islander-focused
artwork from the Oregon Art Commission.
All of Oregon State’s cultural centers host events throughout the year that are open to the public. More information is available at dce.oregonstate.edu/culture.