JOHNSON CITY (March 6, 2020) – Standing in front of a crowd gathered to celebrate the reopening of the D.P. Culp Student Center, Aamir Shaikh said he knew this would be one of the highlights of his tenure as president of the Student Government Association at East Tennessee State University.
In 2013, students began talking about their dream to improve the “living room” of campus. Small conversations within the SGA grew to student surveys and visits to similar spaces on other college campuses. Former student leaders created a proposal to “increase engagement in student life and the student experience at ETSU” and later passed legislation calling for a major update to the Culp Center.
“Our students have been dedicated to seeing this happen, even though many of them knew they would never be here to enjoy it,” said Dr. Jeff Howard, associate vice president for Student Life and Enrollment, and SGA advisor. “I am so proud of our students who choose to serve in leadership positions and have a positive impact on the future of ETSU.”
When renovations began in April 2018, many offices housed in the Culp Center were relocated to other buildings across campus. These vital student support services have now returned to the Culp, many in the new Carrier Center for Student Success and Engagement (2nd floor), which houses University Advisement, Student Activities and Organizations, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Leadership and Civic Engagement. ID Services has also returned to the 2nd floor beside the new Student Media Center that brings together student media from theEdge Radio and the East Tennessean to create academic support for media and communications students. A new Pride Resource Center is also located on the 2nd floor.
“This building will continue to play a transformative role in the lives of our students and those who work in the Culp and dedicate their careers to ETSU,” said ETSU President Brian Noland. “These individuals are planting seeds daily that will be realized for years to come.”
The renovated Culp Student Center connects the east and west sides of campus and features 20,000 additional square feet of space, plus an outdoor plaza. Renovations to the dining hall (3rd floor) were completed last summer and the space remained open while the rest of the building was under construction.
The bookstore has a new look and location on the 1st floor where several new dining options have opened - Starbucks, Mein Bowl, Roger’s BucMart, Chick-fil-A and Steak n’ Shake. The Cave, which is still under construction, will debut a new stage and video wall for ETSU’s Esports teams.
Numerous meeting spaces, including a modernized East Tennessee Room on the 2nd floor, are available for reservation for campus and community events and meetings.
“I hope students feel like this building is their home,” said Leah Adinolfi, associate dean of students. “We encourage alumni to visit this space and we hope to see community members at the Culp for future events and celebrations.”
For more information about the D.P. Culp Student Center, visit www.etsu.edu/culp.