campus news and events

Students Play Key Role in Celebration of Colby-Sawyer College's Expanded Student Center

NEW LONDON, N.H., April 18, 2013 - Hors d'oeuvres and high spirits circulated among the Colby-Sawyer College community, alumni and local residents on March 5 as they celebrated the grand reopening of the Ware Student Center. The event, organized by students enrolled in the college's Event Management course, commemorated the building's $7 million renovation and expansion, which began in May 2012.

The celebration kicked off with speeches delivered by Colby-Sawyer President Tom Galligan, Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Dave Sauerwein, and Sodexo Dining Services General Manager Mike Heffernan. President Galligan thanked the many people involved in the center's transformation and called on the community to invigorate the new space with their ideas and energy.

Dean Sauerwein echoed this sentiment, referencing the building's name change from the Ware Campus Center to the Ware Student Center, and expressed his hope that students will bring life to their new hub by taking full advantage of its offerings. Heffernan then took the audience on a trip through the building's history, recalling the space as it was in 1986, when he arrived at Colby-Sawyer, and the monumental difference in the dining hall's space, lighting, ventilation and equipment after 27 years.

Following the speeches, guides escorted students and community members through the new center, touring the expanded multi-level dining area and showing off the new mailroom and office spaces, seminar rooms for events and classes, and meeting rooms for student clubs. After the tours, attendees reunited to enjoy a designer cake in the shape of the Ware Student Center. The celebrations came to a close with an open mic session featuring student performers.

Particularly remarkable about the event was that it was conceived, planned and carried out by 25 Colby-Sawyer students enrolled in the Event Management course. The course, new to the curriculum this semester, explores the event management process from defining objectives, planning, budgeting and contract management to arranging resources, promotion and implementation. In addition to this event, students in the course are planning a fund-raising event for their Relay For Life team.

Each student took on a unique role in the process, including event coordination, treasury, media coordination, food management, publicity, technology coordination, program creation, volunteer coordination, entertainment, room arrangement and security.

“I was both excited and apprehensive about the process,” said Assistant Media Coordinator Carly Stevens '14 of the complexity of organizing an event from beginning to end. “I was shocked by all the tiny details we had to pay attention to.”

Media Coordinator Amigo Khadka '15 explains how the course guided the students in managing such intricacies. “Whether it was learning the exact way to shake hands, email etiquette or budgeting, we could see the importance of each element in the organizing process, or even beyond that, in our daily life,” he said.

Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Planning Lisa Tedeschi, the course instructor, oversaw the students' delegation of responsibilities and decision making.

“I hope that planning these events will benefit students in several areas by giving them an opportunity to actively participate in their learning and apply the principles learned in class to actual event planning situations, as well as in the job market, because employers look for flexible, creative, well-rounded, problem-solvers who are able to handle a variety of situations with grace and professionalism,” said Tedeschi.

Student organizers and attendees alike found the event a great success. “We hoped that at least some people would show up, but we were pleasantly surprised by the turnout and the positive feedback,” said Khadka. “This was when we felt that we had, as a team, done a wonderful job. It was great to be a part of such a grand, successful event, and we believe that our hard work paid off.”

Tedeschi concurred that the event was a success, and said, “I am extremely proud of my class and honored that we were able to play a role in welcoming the addition of a fabulous student center to Colby-Sawyer College.”

-David Hart '13

David Hart is a Media Studies major at Colby-Sawyer College and a student writer for College Communications.

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000