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Interior design students give Alumni Center new look

20130912comic con (tyler brown)
(Photo by Tyler Brown) The John and Telitha E. Lindquist Alumni Center is decorated for a wedding. Yesterday’s wedding was the first event held since the center has been redesigned.

The John and Telitha E. Lindquist Alumni Center at Weber State University is undergoing renovations and redecorating, and the center commissioned WSU’s department of interior design for the decorations.

The center, founded in 1983, serves as a meeting place to bring together Wildcats past and present. The Alumni Center is primarily used to host events and meetings for alumni and other campus groups, as well as community events.

Nancy Collinwood, executive director of the Alumni Center, said working with the interior design students has been fantastic.

“This is just great, professional quality that the students have produced,” she said.

The Alumni Center is undergoing three phases of renovations over the course of three years. The first phase is nearly complete, with the next phases focusing on redesigning the center’s boardroom, bathrooms and kitchen area.

The center began working with WSU interior design students last fall. Three different groups of students came up with separate ideas and presented them to alumni staff and board members. The design students received feedback, and then came together with a design of all the pieces liked.

Collinwood said it was important to have WSU students involved in the redecorating process for the Alumni Center because they are WSU — they’re on campus, part of the community and represent the interior design talent at WSU.

“They’re our experts,” she said. “They will eventually be our alumni, and so we wanted them to feel that connection and pride in our university.”

Yesterday the center hosted its first event since undergoing the renovations, a wedding. Collinwood said she was excited to have the event and that the center hosts events weekly for campus and community groups.

The design the students came up with was intended to highlight the architecture of the building and include WSU’s signature color scheme. The redecorating updates and modernizes aspects of the center, and the designers wanted to focus on giving the building a sense of WSU pride.

“They were really trying to go with the history and kind of the vintage feel of what the Alumni (Center) embodies,” Collinwood said, “just to make it a place where everyone feels welcome.”

Arrakis Rasmussen, a senior at WSU studying interior design, was voted the lead designer for the project. She supervised the design team on coming up with a cohesive look from the different pieces. Rasmussen said this was the first real project she’s worked on, and it was a beneficial learning experience.

“Being able to help redesign the Alumni Center was just a really awesome experience for me,” she said. “I’ll be an alumni, and then to be able to walk in there and say, ‘I was a huge part of the way this building looks as an interior design student here at Weber State’, that’s just a really nice thing to say.”

Jacie Johnson, interior design department faculty member at WSU, said redesigning the center has been a great opportunity for the students to get more real-world experience with a design project.

“This gives them the opportunity to really delve into real-life situations and problems — work within a budget, deal with different personalities, assess things. That’s the biggest advantage, them having that experience.”

Collinwood said she thought the new design was beautiful and in line with the elegance and heritage the center wanted to portray.

“The Lindquist Alumni Center is really a showcase of campus,” she said. “This is where we’d like to invite everyone to come home and be a part of campus.”

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