It’s going to be great

Barbara R. Snyder, President

Four years ago, we celebrated a remarkable act by an extraordinary man, Tinkham “Tink” Veale II. Through his foundation, this 1937 graduate of Case Institute of Technology committed $20 million, an amount that allowed us to begin construction of an 89,000-square-foot university center in the heart of our campus. He saw the building as a space where people from all fields could come together in conversation, forge friendships and deepen understanding.

“You’re going to help everybody,” Tink said back then. “It doesn’t matter if they’re doctors or lawyers, dentists or engineers. They’ll all get together and get to know each other.”

Tink passed away two years ago, and he is much on our minds now as we prepare to open the Tinkham Veale University Center in August. Excitement has grown as the structure emerged from the ground amidst the Kelvin Smith Library, Thwing Center, Guilford House and Mather Dance Center. Its sleek, modern lines, extended glass walls, and state-of-the-art technology all are designed to welcome visitors to dine, study, talk and simply be with one another.

Like Tink, we see the center as a place of community. We have witnessed the profound effects of physical spaces before, from the innovative thinking encouraged by Frank Gehry’s ingenious design of the Peter B. Lewis Building, to the interactions nurtured by the living-and-learning houses within the Village at 115. This spring, we began construction on another landmark project, the $64 million Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple – Tifereth Israel (story, pp. 6-7), and launched a 14-month master-planning effort with renowned planning firm Sasaki Associates of Massachusetts. Sasaki’s goal is to identify ways that physical improvements within our campus can help us achieve the aspirations of our 2013-2018 academic strategic plan, Think Beyond the Possible. As Sasaki project leader Ricardo Dumont explained, the team will seek to answer a question fundamental to us all: “How do we enable better results for an educational environment?”

Just as we anticipate seeing the aspirations of the university center come to life this August and the promise of the performing arts center begin to be realized in 2015, so too do we welcome the opportunity to look beyond our immediate projects and consider questions about what we hope to be in 10, 20, even 30 years hence. We look forward to engaging you as well in this imagining. No one knows us better than the people who have lived, worked and studied within our halls—and no one else is better positioned to help us envision and achieve a remarkable future.

As Tink said of the impact of the university center on our community: “It’s going to be great.”

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