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.
“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.