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Tina VanSteenbergen ’09

I was involved with the Master Planning Committee and the University Center Task Force (UCTF) as a part of my job responsibilities as President of HUSC (Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress). I was in no way expecting either of those roles to be ones I would come to be invested in, as I largely expected that the work of either committee would be over my head, and of the logistical nature. However, I very quickly found quite the opposite to be true.

Working with the UCTF was one of the most rewarding experiences I had as student body president. Engaging with dedicated faculty, staff, and administration in conversations about the needs of the Hamline community yielded what I believe is a plan for a University Center that we can be proud of. Prospective students, current students, faculty and staff, and alumni can all be proud to be a part of a community that is building a University Center that truly speaks to the character, innovation, and pride of Hamline. While it may be difficult to see the necessity of this building at this point, especially for those not involved in the committee work from the beginning, I do believe that each and every member of the Hamline Community will see the benefits when we have one common space on this campus that we may each call “home.”


The first University Center Road Show was held on Tuesday, March 15 in the GLC Lobby and Sorin Lobby. Students, faculty and staff stopped by to view pictures, renderings and floorplans of the University Center.

Also, sustainability features were discussed, such as permeable pavers, green roof, high performance glass, and photovalic panels. The next University Center Road Show will be held Wednesday, April 6.

If you have questions or just want to learn more about the University Center visit the road show in Sorin or GLC Lobbies.

From David McCarthy ’10

David McCarthy '10

David McCarthy '10

Background Info:

I had the opportunity to be a member of the University Center Task Force during the 2009-2010 school year. In my role, I attended meetings with the architects and design teams, met as a committee and discussed how to make the University Center reflect Hamline and its values. In my tenure, I saw the design process start with “the services, offices, and functions, we want this building to have.” It started at this conceptual point, and we worked with the architects to make those visions a reality. Additionally, the architects worked with focus groups of students on aspects such as meeting and organizational space. One particular discussion I remember was with the Hamline Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) group about what kind of dining space would best serve students. We talked about the age-old problem of all-you-can-eat buffets coexisting with ala carte options. Student emphasized that they wanted the freedom of both options as well as the freedom to sit and enjoy a common dining area. I know the design and dining services team got some great input in tackling the issue.

My reasons for supporting the University Center:

In so many respects, Hamline is such a magnificent campus. We have many dedicated faculty and staff that continually build a great academic experience. Additionally, there are always student-planned events put on by more than 40 student organizations. My time in student activities was a learning experience that went along with and crossed over into my work in the classroom. The great thing about Hamline is that there is always an opportunity to lead and learn, and I am very excited that the University Center will reflect both of these principles. As a former president of HUSC, I know this building will be a much needed addition for student organizations. The campus also needs a central gathering space. Not only will the building provide new space, it will repurpose current spaces. I was able to serve on the Campus Planning Committee during the discussions about how to use the Sorin dining space and the current student center.

We are a growing campus and a growing community. During my time, Hamline started a School of Business and the School of Education, both of which are providing new opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students alike. Even now the Graduate School of Liberal Studies is offering opportunities for undergrads. It is time for Hamline to underscore its continued commitment to higher education by building the University Center. One of my favorite things about Hamline is that learning involves the entire community. The University Center represents that commitment to learning within a community.