Student Senate, Kansas Memorial Unions inaugurate newly renovated Alderson Auditorium

LAWRENCE – A ceremonial ribbon cutting and door opening took place Feb. 1 to inaugurate the newly renovated Alderson Auditorium at the Kansas Union.

The event preceded the Senate's first regular meeting of 2012.

Alderson Auditorium was last updated in the mid-'80s, and Senate felt this space was a priority among the many renovation projects within the Unions. The newly renovated space will serve as a multifunctional venue as well as the official Student Senate chambers and legislative meeting space. The renovation created a more contemporary look by removing fixed seating and replacing it with a flexible furniture set-up, which in turn would improve event use in the space.

Student Body Vice President Gabe Bliss was instrumental in the planning process; the intent was to create a legislative chamber while at the same time update a space utilized by many different organizations across campus. Design and construction support was provided by KU Design and Construction Management, Sabatini Architects and KES Construction Company.

Bliss said, “I am excited that the Student Senate was able to again partner with the Kansas Memorial Unions to bring this project to fruition.”

Embedded in the facility will be columns dated with references honoring the four student governmental organizations that have served the institution and students over 112 years. The entry bronze quotes the Jayhawker’s assessment of Senate when established in its latest form in 1969: “The new senate…is a recognition that students are responsible and mature citizens in the academic community, capable of making significant contributions to, and accepting responsibility for, the goals of the University.”

KU tradition is also reflected in the limestone signature backdrop inscribed with “The University of Kansas." The stone was a generous gift from KU Athletics from saved pieces from the recent Allen Fieldhouse renovation.

Beyond containing tributes to its legislative legacy, the new space also provides updated technology. Meeting content can be shared in the room and be transmitted online through the Adobe Connect platform.