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Tennessee Wesleyan University breaks ground on new Colloms Campus Center

TWU_CollomsCenter-89Tennessee Wesleyan University students, faculty, staff and honored guests gathered on the Wesley Commons lawn on Friday, August 26 to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Colloms Campus Center. Construction will begin on the new facility later this fall, with the building expected to be completed by December 2017.

“A new campus center is no longer a wish and a dream; it is soon to be a reality,” TWU Vice President for Student Life Scott Mashburn said. “Thanks to the generosity of many, especially Judge Colloms’ lead gift, we are here today breaking ground. The Colloms Center will have a profound impact on TWU, our students, our faculty and staff, and the greater community.”

The Colloms Campus Center is named in honor of the family of the Honorable Judge Carl Colloms, whose lead gift of $2 million helped construction begin this year. Judge Colloms is an alumus of Tennessee Wesleyan and previously served as the child support magistrate for the 10th Judicial District of Tennessee, a county judge, a city judge and a county attorney.

“Judge Colloms is the epitome of a servant leader: a man willing to share his riches, his time, and his vision to create a facility that will serve thousands of students, many of which he will never meet,” TWU President Harley Knowles said. “I must confess we attempted to name the campus center after Carl Colloms, but he insisted we name the center after his family. This is what you would expect. He’s the type of person to push the focus onto others and relinquish the limelight so others can shine.”

The Colloms Campus Center is the flagship project of the $16 million Proud Heritage, Strong Future Campaign, which also raises funds for scholarships, the TWU annual fund and faculty support. The new building will feature several new resources to ensure every student has easy access to the support and resources needed to have a successful college experience. Featuring a new grill, game room, the student life offices, the Office of Career Development, meeting spaces and a banquet room, the Colloms Campus Center will provide gathering space for students and community members.

“This is such a monumental occasion for this community, and we are just so proud of what Tennessee Wesleyan University is doing,” Athens City Mayor Ann Davis said. “This college has been an integral part of this community for over 150 years. The college reaches into many areas, including providing a place for community events. That’s the exciting part about us having this Colloms Center is the fact that they will reach even deeper into our community. They will be able to provide even more space for events and exciting things going on here.”

TWU Student Government Association President Emily Green spoke about the importance of such a building to students and alumni, discussing the benefits and appeal the building will provide to new and prospective students. Calling TWU home, Green talked about the strong community of students, faculty and staff present on the Tennessee Wesleyan campus and showed how the Colloms Campus Center will help enhance that sense of community.

“Wesleyan is home. Wesleyan is community. Wesleyan is family,” Green said. “No matter our backgrounds, the moment we step foot on this campus we fell in love with the place, we found our home. With the completion of the Colloms Campus Center, the community that we experience on this campus will only grow stronger. This campus center will give us the ability to have our own space to form study groups, for student organizations to meet, and another place to call home.”