Clare Myers, Staff Writer
A group of University of Dallas alumni has pledged to support the construction of a campus gateway, which will be named the “Alumni Gateway.” The gift of $100,000 was announced at the National Alumni Board’s monthly meeting in September.
Gateway D, as it is currently called, is one of five new entrances to the main campus. It is located on Tom Braniff Drive near Catherine Hall.
“We’re thrilled to be able to contribute to campus in a visible way,” said Mary Rossi Ritter, president of the National Alumni Board (NAB).
The building of the gateway is part of the Campus Transformation Project, an initiative to update the physical aspect of the university, which has often been criticized by students for looking ugly or outdated.
“We can always use a renovation,” said sophomore Chris Wagner. “I know [President] Keefe has put a focus on trying to increase alumni networking and donations since he took office.”
Ritter also emphasized the opportunity for undergraduate students to connect with former Crusaders.
“There’s a lot alumni can do for current students, and I encourage all of you to take advantage of it,” she said, adding that the new gateway will serve as a reminder to students that there is a large network of graduates who can help them after graduation.
According to Ritter, the NAB had wanted to contribute to campus development but was unsure how to make the most impact. She said Ben Hart, executive director of development and alumni relations, suggested the idea of a pledge to build the gateway.
While the university press release states that all five new entrances will be built to match the style of many buildings on campus, including the characteristic light-colored brick used, Ritter noted that each will have a certain distinguishing features that will set it apart from the others. She said that the names of the 24 men and women who contributed to the gift will be on the gateway.
“You’ll get the sense that this was designed by alumni for students,” she said.
There have already been several noticeable changes this year, including the renovation of Haggar University Center and its cafeteria and the addition of several “smart classrooms.” The efforts have focused on giving the school a more distinct identity while making it more aesthetically attractive.
Ritter, who graduated from UD in 1985, said that the campus has undergone huge changes since she attended school.
“You used to be able to look left from Lynch [Auditorium] and there was nothing there,” she said. “It looks a lot nicer.”