|Simon Usdan and
his father, John Usdan '80, took turns cutting the ribbon during the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan
University Center dedication Sept. 7.
Usdan Family Honored at Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center
With a snip of red and black Wesleyan ribbons,
the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center officially opened Sept. 7
following a dedication ceremony.
The three-story, triangular brick building houses airy dining facilities for
students, faculty and staff, Wesleyan Station post office, ample meeting
spaces, the box office, student organization offices, retail space and café.
A rear terrace provides a high-up view of Andrus Field, Olin Library, Foss
Hill and College Row.
“Today, after several years of planning and over two years of construction
we have the opportunity to share our appreciation to the entire Usdan family
and many of the other members of the Wesleyan community who made this center
possible,” said Rick Culliton, director of the university center and dean of
campus programs. ”It is hard to believe that we have officially opened our
The university center dedication ceremony took place on the back-yard
courtyard. The Usdan family attendees included John ’80 and Eva Usdan and
their boys, Simon, Sam and Joshua; Adam Usdan ’83 and Andrea Pollack, and their
daughter Hanna; and Esme Usdan and James Snyder. John, Adam
and Esme Usdan made a contribution to Wesleyan in honor of their mother, Suzanne Lemberg Usdan.
Culliton and President Michael Roth expressed their gratitude to the Usdan
“We are very thankful for their generosity, and their ability to envision
the role that that the center could play for the community,” Roth said.
Culliton also applauded the architects and contractors who made the Usdan
complex a reality. These include Boston-based architects Kallmann McKinnell
& Wood; Boston-based landscape architects Robert Olson and Associates;
Cheshire, Conn.-based FIP Construction who oversaw more than 70
subcontractors and 1,000 laborers.
From Wesleyan, he thanked Alan Rubacha, project coordinator and construction
services consultant; Peter Patton, vice president and secretary of the
university; the Wesleyan Student Assembly, the planning and design
committees; and the hundreds of people from the university community who
have contributed to the successful completion of the Usdan Center.
“Some of us have been working for months, and some of us for several years
on this project, and while most of us are tired by the long hours it has
taken to get to this point, we are enthused by the opportunities that this
hard work presents to Wesleyan moving forward,” Culliton said. “The Usdan
Center by virtue of what is here will draw members of the community
Already, the Usdan Center has become a gathering place for families and new
students during Arrival Day and New Student Orientation, and faculty have
already met informally with their advisees while other faculty and staff met
with colleagues in the Gregory family café and in the Daniel Family Commons.
Chris Goy ’09, who served on a university center planning committee, and Jim
Dresser ‘63, chair of the Board of Trustees, also spoke at the dedication,
which kicked off with West African Drum ensemble.
The Ring Family Lobby, Gregory Family Café, Huss Courtyard, Taylor Meeting
Room 108, Andersen meeting room 110, Hicks Meeting Room 136, Daniel Family
Commons, the Cavanagh and James Terrace, information desk, Wesleyan Student
Assembly Center, director’s office and box office also received private
dedication ceremonies with their donors in attendance on Sept. 7.
By Olivia Bartlett, Wesleyan Connection editor