‘Beacon for unity’: New Morris Family Multicultural Student Center opens with virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony

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President Myers and lead donor Jim Bob Morris cut the ribbon to the new Morris Family Multicultural Student Center. (Sean Schaper | Collegian Media Group) Photo credit: Sean Schaper

The Morris Family Multicultural Student Center ribbon-cutting ceremony marked Nov. 20 as the opening for the new building on the Kansas State campus.

Jim Bob Morris, lead benefactor and K-State alumni, provided over $1 million towards the MSC and said the all-inclusive center will help make the university more dynamic.

“This center here is for everyone: all races, all creeds, ethnicity, gender, language, mental and physical abilities, class, immigration status, all cultures, all walks of life,” Morris said.

The MSC is just shy of 13,000 square-feet, making it the largest stand-alone multicultural center in the Big 12 Conference. It includes many study and storage spaces, gender-neutral bathrooms, prayer rooms, a dance studio, an ablution room and a kitchen for all students.

Adrian Rodriguez, associate vice president for student life of diversity and multicultural student affairs, said the program went from a space that holds 30 people to a building that can host over 360.

Construction for the new Morris Family Multicultural Student Center is complete and a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov 20. celebrated its opening. (Sean Schaper | Collegian Media Group)
Construction for the new Morris Family Multicultural Student Center is complete and a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov 20. celebrated its opening. (Sean Schaper | Collegian Media Group)

“With so much happening around us during this global pandemic, today is a bright light in the darkness,” Rodriguez said.

Over $6.4 million were raised for the completely privately funded building, and Rodriguez said there’s never been a better day to be a Wildcat.

“Today we celebrate the culmination of years of advocacy, visioning, planning and preparing for a center that will serve as a beacon for unity, cultural enrichment and celebration,” Rodriguez said.

Cara Bruce, junior in social sciences and president of the Black Student Union, spoke to the audience at the ribbon cutting on the importance this building means to her and to her organization.

“I want to thank and acknowledge the Black leaders before me that paved the way for this Multicultural Student Center to be created,” Bruce said. “Without you prior Black leaders, this center would not be in existence.”

As a junior, Bruce said she has spent her past three years on campus trying to find comfort for herself and her friends at K-State.

“This Multicultural Student Center is the first step to bringing comfort that many Black students needed on campus,” she said. “But the work does not stop here. In fact, it only begins here. So, let us march on until victory is won.”

The event concluded with a student-led virtual tour of the center on the university’s Instagram.

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Sean Schaper
My name is Sean Schaper, and I'm the assistant news editor for the Collegian. I’m a junior in journalism with a secondary focus in film studies. I grew up right outside of Kansas City in Leawood, Kansas. As a first-generation K-Stater, I look forward to leaving behind accurate coverage for the current and future Wildcat community.