University of District of Columbia Celebrates Student Center Grand Opening

Facility on Target to be Country’s Second LEED Platinum Student Center

Before the snow began falling yesterday, hundreds of students, faculty, and community members joined UDC President Ronald Mason, Jr. for a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the school’s new Student Center. Mayor Muriel Bowser was also on hand to participate in the festivities.  She spoke with pride about her mother, who attended UDC while raising five children and working full time, eventually earning her nursing degree. The Mayor’s focus on a strong public education system in the District, from pre-K through to higher education, is a critical priority in her administration. “The best is yet to come,” she proclaimed.

In addition to the Mayor, President Mason spoke about the importance of the new building to the UDC community. “This building is a symbol of where we want to be. It’s state-of-the-art. It’s attractive. It’s sustainable. And it’s in a location that gives us a face into the broader community.” UDC students, past and present, introduced all the speakers. Marshall Moya Design’s own Lana Oudat introduced the design team of Michael Marshall and Roland Lemke.

The design goal of the Student Center was to create a building that serves as a figural place-maker to identify the university as well as adhere to high sustainability standards. The building is positioned to be the first LEED Platinum university building in D.C, the first LEED Platinum Student Union on the east coast, and one of only two in the country.  Roland Lemke, of CannonDesign, spoke about the importance of this building to “campus life experiences” which are proven to impact student academic success. Michael Marshall, who began his studies at UDC in 1975, spoke with pride about his passion for this project.  “When I began attending UDC, it was the first time I met and interacted with professional people of color. I am so grateful for the opportunity to help shape the future of this important institution in our nation’s capital for today’s students and for future generations who deserve a public university of the highest caliber.”

Watch video featured at the grand opening, including interviews with architects Michael Marshall and Roland Lemke  here.