UW faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends joined the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D) to commemorate the opening of the new Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center (ECC), Jan. 10-11.
Originally constructed in 1972, the center underwent an extensive 1.5-year renovation at its location on the corner of Brooklyn Ave. NE and NE 40th Street and in 2012, was named in honor of the late Dr. Sam Kelly, the founding vice president for minority affairs at UW. The two-day celebration included a special reception with the Kelly family on Jan. 10, and a campus and community-wide “Light Up the Night” party on Jan. 11.
Over 300 invited guests attended the reception that commemorated the naming of the center in honor of Dr. Kelly. A special program included remarks from UW president Michael K. Young, UW vice president for minority affairs and vice provost for diversity Sheila Edwards Lange, Kelly ECC director Marisa Herrera, student Tyler Adamson and members of the Kelly family. Two of the architects who designed the building and used the ECC as students, Alex Rolluda, ’89, and Sam Cameron, ’75, of Rolluda and Associates, were also recognized.
The following evening, the campus community joined OMA&D for the “Light Up the Night” event that featured a ribbon-cutting, building tours, food, music, raffle prizes, performances and a visit from the UW mascot, Dubs.
The Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center serves nearly 90 student organizations and has been a home-away-from home for students of color at UW since its inception. It is the largest and oldest college cultural center in the country and the first UW building to be named for an African-American.
The new center boasts three stories and 25,000 square feet, and is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. It also features 22 of the historical murals from the original building and includes a dance studio, wellness room, library, computer lab, leadership lab and several meeting rooms.
Photos by Emile Pitre