The building that the Pacific community used to simply call the Abbott Center has undergone a name change to the Abbott Alumni Center. The change is timely, considering that the building celebrates its tenth anniversary March 7.

The building, which was dedicated on March 7, 2003, will be celebrating its tenth anniversary by holding an open house at 4 p.m. March 7, 2013.

“Over the ten years that it’s been there, it’s been a gathering place for all types of campus groups to share food and time with each other,” said Martha Calus-McLain, Pacific’s Director of Alumni Relations. “In celebration of that, we’re doing a cookie competition, so members of the staff are bringing in their favorite cookie recipe. It’s a way for us to celebrate the spirit of the building and what it’ been to people over the years.”

Calus-McLain mentioned that this celebration would be open to all members of the Pacific community, provided they RSVP.

“We’re inviting alumni and other members of the university community to join us for this competition,” said Calus-McLain. “We’ll also have a scavenger hunt so people can explore the space and see the guestrooms and offices.”

The origins of the Abbott Alumni Center are in the donation of alumnus Ambassador Shirley Abbott ’52. With this, the University was able to undergo extensive renovations on a house it owned, which became the Abbott Center in 2003.

“She really felt that it was important that there be a physical space on campus where alumni could gather, and where other members of the university could gather as well,” said Calus-McLain adding that many colleges have alumni centers on their campuses for this purpose.

With ten years now under it’s belt, the Abbott Alumni Center has had the experience of maintaining a stable presence on campus. That doesn’t mean that those involved don’t see room to grow, however.

“I think it’s been reasonably successful,” said Calus-McLain, who then added, “I think we have a lot of room to grow, that has been something we have put a lot of emphasis on in the past year. We would love for alumni to make it a stop when they’re on campus.”

Calus-McLain said that many in the Pacific community don’t know that the center also operates as a guest house for those alumni who want to visit campus. The service is free for up to three nights.

People can find out more information about the Abbott Alumni Center and about  using it as a guest house at pacificu.edu/alumni/abbottcenter/index.cfm.

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