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New UW-Eau Claire student center to bear
familiar name

RELEASED: March 28, 2011

W.R. Davies Student CenterEAU CLAIRE — The new student center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, like the building it will replace, is to be named after the university's second president, William R. Davies, university officials announced today at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new building.

The new building's name, W.R. Davies Student Center, will continue to honor the memory of William R. Davies, who served as the second president of the university (then called the Eau Claire State Teachers College and later Wisconsin State College at Eau Claire) from 1941-59.

The original student center, formally named the W.R. Davies University Center, opened in 1959. It will be deconstructed to make way for a green space after construction of the new student center is complete. The anticipated completion date for the W.R. Davies Student Center is summer 2012; the old Davies Center deconstruction and campus green space construction are expected to be completed by May 2013.

In February, UW-Eau Claire students, faculty, staff, emeriti and alumni were invited to submit name recommendations for the student center. Their submissions were then reviewed by a committee representing students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni, which then made three name recommendations to Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich.

Of the more than 250 names submitted for consideration by the committee, the vast majority were variations on the current student center name, Levin-Stankevich said.

"There was overwhelming support for keeping the W.R. Davies name for the new student center, and it's most fitting that we continue to honor this former campus leader who played such a key role in our university's history," Levin-Stankevich said.

During Davies' term as president, the campus was expanded beyond Schofield Hall to include additional academic buildings and residence halls. Other accomplishments during Davies' tenure included the establishment of the Chippewa Valley Forum (now The Forum series), faculty and student governments, and the institution's first bachelor's and liberal arts degrees.

The slight change in the name for the new center, from the original "W.R. Davies University Center" to "W.R. Davies Student Center," reflects the fact that the project was initiated and is being funded entirely by UW-Eau Claire students, and that the facility will be the hub of student life on campus, said Dr. Beth Hellwig, vice chancellor for student affairs and chair of the University Student Center Steering Committee.

"It was important that the name be reflective of the students' role in making this wonderful new facility a reality for our campus," Hellwig said.

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JP/AH

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