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The mission of the University Center is to provide a welcoming and inclusive self-directed learning laboratory outside of the classroom that complements the academic experience by providing programs and services that represent the core values of our community; human development, integrity, collaboration, and community. 

The University Center will provide programs and services that are culturally engaging, diverse in nature and support the educational mission of the institution in an environment that is conducive to learning and personal growth. By providing these programs and services we hope to impact student recruitment, satisfaction and retention/progression.

In order to accomplish this mission, the University Center will:

Goal 1.  Establish and promote the University Center as the center of campus community-building
Goal 2.  Create and maintain exemplary facilities for student and community use
Goal 3.  Provide intentional and sought-after programming for students grounded in student development and students’ social agenda
Goal 4.  Build a student employment program that serves the mission of the University Center as well as our student staff’s developmental needs
Goal 5.  Insure that the University Center’s services are executed efficiently and in a customer-service oriented way
Goal 6.  Assess the University Center’s efforts in order to continue to provide for students’ needs and stay current on trends in student union programs and facilities

History of the University Center

The University Center is tasked with supporting programming and building operations for the university center, as well as the Meeting Services office. The original union at Emory University, the Alumni Memorial Building, was built in 1950 in honor of members of the community that the university lost at war.  In 1971, the building was renovated and renamed the Alumni Memorial University Center.  This addition of the name University Center reflected a paradigm shift toward a community concept and the idea of bridging what was seen as a gap between faculty, staff and students.

Throughout the next decade, Emory’s student population continued to grow and the university saw a need for a new college union.  The R. Howard Dobbs University Center was opened in 1986.  Then Dean of Students Bill Fox described this building as the center for university life outside the classroom.  He stated: “Academic and community needs are hardly separate and building a sense of community enhances the educational experience in a central way and also helps us to continue to attract good students.”

A university union provides the services, conveniences, and amenities members of the university community need outside the classroom.  The union is part of the educational program of the college.  As the center of the college community life, it serves as a laboratory of citizenship, training students in social responsibility and leadership.  The historical implications of unions reflect the changing perceptions of the functions and services an institution of higher learning should provide to their students. As such, the Emory community advanced over the next 30 years, ushering in a new era for the center of community. 

In May 2017, construction began on the new Campus Life Center, and the first step was to demolish the 1986 addition, or the Dobbs University Center.  The Alumni Memorial University Center returned to its original status as a stand alone facility and will continue to remain so.  The University Center operates four premier Campus Life facilities, the Alumni Memorial University Center, Cox Hall, Campus Life Pavilion, and the Campus Life Center (opening Summer 2019).