The Sound of Progress

Although my office on the second floor of Owens Hall faces 11th Street, the site of the MSUM Foundation’s future Alumni Center is just beyond the view from my windows. I can’t see it, but I can certainly hear it: This week, construction has started in earnest—beginning with the demolition of the former Newman Center, which is currently on the site.

Despite the noise, dust and traffic disruptions, I know what will eventually follow, and I’m thrilled to finally reach this stage in the project. The Alumni Center has been decades in the making and its construction is the culmination of years of dreaming, visioning, planning, and fundraising. To me, the noise emanating from the construction site today is the sound of progress. That the progress hasn’t occurred in a straight line only makes this moment sweeter.

By late summer in 2024, the Alumni Center will be complete. I’m already planning to return to campus for the ribbon cutting and the celebration that will ensue. I know I’ll feel tremendous pride—and tremendous gratitude for all those who made the building a reality. The Center will be a monument to their foresight, perseverance, and generosity.

Just outside the campus gates, the Alumni Center will welcome our tens of thousands of alumni home and invite them to engage with our campus. When they do, I’m betting our alumni will see themselves in our current students and be reminded of the transformative power of higher education. I know our students will be inspired by witnessing first-hand what’s possible because of their MSUM experience.

Yes, the noise outside my windows is much more than the sound of a building under construction. It’s the sound of lifelong memories and relationships in the making. And I couldn’t be more pleased.

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