UO Opens Ford Alumni Center

Portland Business Journal – June 10, 2011 – By Gretchen Holzgang –

The University of Oregon Friday unveiled the new Cheryl Ramberg Ford and Allyn Ford Alumni Center.

The Ford Alumni Center, which will act as the new welcome center for campus visitors, is a virtual compilation of multimedia installations celebrating Oregon heritage.

“This facility breaks the mold,” said University of Oregon President Richard W. Lariviere. “Ducks are innovators, and the Ford Alumni Center reflects this creativity and leadership.”

The 60,000-square-foot facility includes the Tykeson Family Hall Interpretive Center, which features displays of more than 1,000 stories of alumni and an alumni table with a searchable database of 210,000 graduates by name, school, class, or activity.

Screens were designed by Portland’s Second Story Interactive Studio.

The center is also home to more than 30 objects honoring the history of the university and alumni accomplishments, such as the Nike waffle iron.

In addition, it houses the University of Oregon Foundation and the university’s alumni association, student orientation services and development department.

The four-story, $33.6 million center was funded by private gifts and state bonds. The project was originally estimated to cost some $32.5 million. The building is named in honor of lead donor Cheryle Ramberg Ford and her husband Allyn, who donated a total of $7 million.

The center’s interior was designed by Portland’s Opsis Architecture, founded by three UO alumni: Alec Holser, Jim Kalvelage and James Meyer.

The alumni center sits on the east entrance of campus next to the Matthew Knight Arena, which opened in January.

Like the arena, which has been lauded for its commitment to sustainability, the university kept sustainability a priority for the Ford Alumni Center. It expects to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED gold certification, in part, for its energy efficient design and low environmental impact.

The university expects to host more than 17,000 visitors at approximately 600 recruitment and information sessions at the alumni center in the coming year.

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