NEARL:.Y FOUR YEARS AFTER OPENING ITS DOORS,
GEORGE WATTS HILL ALUMNI CENTER HAS GRADUATED
INTO A DESTINATION POINT FOR ALUMNI, FACULTY AND STUDENTS.
WHETHER OFFERING PROGRAMS OR HELPING ALUMNI STAY IN TOUCH,
THE CENTER'S MESSAGE IS, 'WELCOME HOME.'
It could be called the Grand Central Station of Carolina- a crossroads where all roads keep doubling back. As it enters its fourth year, the George Watts Hill Alumni Center has come ofage, emerging as both a stopping-offplace and a
launching pad for students, faculty and alumni.
For English professor and novelist Doris Betts ' 54, the center
was the site for her daughter's wedding dinner and the lunch
location for the search committee she chaired in her department.
"It's the first time that faculty have had a place to entertain
visitors on campus," Betts noted.
For attorney Wade Smith ' 60, it is home to a weekly chscus-
sion group, which includes Betts and six other friends, as well
as a convenient and comfortable place to conduct business. The
Alumni Center "is extremely important to all of the alumni
because it is a headquarters for us," he said. "It is a refuge or a
haven if we have other business on the campus."
For Doug Dibbert ' 70, president of the UNC General Alumni
Association, the center affords the space, technology and location
to best serve the University's community-with room to grow.
"It has provided a focus for our programming and an oppor-
tunity for us to reach out to a diverse alwnni with a wide range
of program.s," he said. Beyond that, it has enhanced UNe's
image, he noted. The center is part ofthe itinerary ofevery
visiting dignitary, and it repeatedly has served as a recruiting
tool for new faculty and staff
A familiar path
At Carolina's geographical center, next door to Kenan Sta-
chum, the center straddles the original student footpath between
the North and South campuses. While the brick pathway
remains a key student thoroughfare, the students are no longer
alone: Every day their backpacks are mingled with briefcases,
their Carolina T-shirts meeting Oxford-cloth button downs
and tweed jackets. No other campus location comes closer to
bringing together students, faculty and alumni.
With its 63,000 square feet ofdining rooms, parlors, meeting
rooms, offices and a library, the Alumni Center was intended
to be the home to which alumni could always return. While
the center is the home base for alumni, it also is host to scores
of Carolina activities, the central office for the GAA and a
building replete with North Carolina history.
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