Spring 2012Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/president/archived/columns/spring08.html
The Campus of the Future
The Minnesota State University, Mankato campus looks much different today than it did when I arrived here almost 10 years ago.
We have added new buildings, including the Julia A. Sears Residence Hall and Ford Hall. We have renovated important academic and student life spaces, including upgrades of Otto Recreation Center, Trafton Hall and the Ballroom in the Centennial Student Union. Our newest residence hall, the Margaret R. Preska Residence Community, will open in the fall, and we have two academic buildings that are pending funding—the Clinical Sciences building and the College of Business Global Solutions building. We’ve also made changes that are purely aesthetic in nature, from outdoor landscaping efforts to indoor artistic enhancements that make the campus a more inviting place for people to learn, teach, work and visit.
The next 10 years will bring even more exciting changes.
The changes on the horizon now have been planned with a specific goal in mind: to move this University forward as we continue to design the “campus of the future.” For Minnesota State Mankato, that equates to safe, welcoming and clean facilities with spaces that are energy efficient, easily accessible, highly technical and interactive and able to accommodate a growing and diverse population.
Our extensive master plan encompasses almost every corner of campus. In addition to several new buildings, which will all be designed with energy efficiencies, it seeks a stronger emphasis on pedestrian traffic and enhanced transportation options, including bicycling and buses. In designing a very green and beautiful pedestrian campus, we will be renovating the entire campus mall, turning it into a park-like gathering space that features more grass than concrete.
My vision is for Minnesota State Mankato to serve as the model for what university campuses across the country could become in the future. I believe this is possible because I know that our University community—including faculty and staff, students, alumni and friends—can come together in pursuit of such goals.
I’ve already seen progress in the commitment shown by the members of the Environmental Committee, featured in this issue. Their efforts will help unify the various sustainability initiatives taking place across campus and will further the University’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. I’m excited to see their Big Ideas take shape and to be part of the real-world thinking that helps put those ideas into action.
Please join me in celebrating the changes that have already taken place on campus and in anticipating those still to come. I invite you to visit us in person, or online at today.mnsu.edu. I’m proud to be part of such a dynamic, forward-thinking institution—and I hope you are, too.
President Richard Davenport