Facility Focus (Campus Welcome Centers)

Valparaiso University: Duesenberg Welcome Center

Valparaiso University: Duesenberg Welcome Center


The first college or university visit is critically important for students and families. This is guiding many institutions to create campus centers reflecting the identity that makes each unique. The goal for Indiana’s Valparaiso University was to create a new campus gateway and welcoming experience for prospective students, their families, alumni and guests.

The Valparaiso University Duesenberg Welcome Center designed by Shive-Hattery is located on a prominent meadow at the main campus entrance graced with panoramic views.

A gently sloping roof forms a connection with the surrounding campus Prairie Style architecture and frames a glimpse of the iconic Chapel of the Resurrection, which represents Valparaiso University’s foundation as a faith-based institution. The lobby is a transparent welcoming beacon of activity day and night, and is a first stop in this light-filled facility.

The 14,800-square-foot Welcome Center is home to the Office of Admission, as well as meeting and presentation spaces. Warm finishes provide settings for diverse activities from contemplation, to meetings and social gatherings, while providing a gallery backdrop for telling the story of the university.

Exhibits are displayed in the lobby and along the main street of the building, and include an interactive campus map, and a 60-foot-long timeline highlighting over 125 years of university history, including artifacts representing significant moments. When they return to campus, it has become the first stop for alumni who appreciate the Welcome Center as a place to reconnect with their alma mater.

A highlight of the facility is a 16-foottall by 31-foot-long lobby mosaic named “Lightfall,” inspired by the Valparaiso University motto “In luce tua, videmus lucem” (In your light, we see light).

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of College Planning & Management.

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