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TCU Magazine "Alma Matters"

The last days of the student center

It's hosted talent shows and chancellor's symposiums and freshmen orientations and a couple hundred pep rallies. It's the Brown-Lupton Student Center, the hub of student life for more than five decades. Its halls are empty now. Its last offices closed in May, and this weekend, it will become rubble.

By Rick Waters '95

It's hosted sock hops and student government meetings, talent shows and chancellor's symposiums, freshmen orientations and a couple hundred pep rallies.

It's the Brown-Lupton Student Center, the hub of student life for five decades. Since 1955, it’s been home to The Main, The Pit, the campus bookstore, a Pizza Hut and more.

From study dates to stolen kisses to marriage proposals, it’s been a venue for memories personal and academic.

Last month, the last offices closed, and this weekend, a crane will demolish it, paving the way for a new facility – Clarence and Kerry Scharbauer Hall – for AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Honors Program.

But not before the proud, old hall could offer up one last set of gifts.

In late May, Dean Posey, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Azle, is leading a team of young people, ex-offenders and victims of domestic violence in carefully prying up individual wood planks of the second story ballroom floor.

The group is a part of Green Light Ministries started by Posey's church and others in the Azle area to reach out to those needing shelter, counseling or a safe place to hang out and have fun.

The group has pulled up hundreds of slats and they'll all go to Green Light's 10,000-square-foot warehouse. The wood will become the new flooring for the building’s game room and dancefloor.

So the sock hops may continue.

Green Light and other groups are also cannibalizing the ballroom's antique chandeliers, lounge furniture and all the bathroom fixtures. Call it a green initiative. The university wants as little thrown away as possible.

Some of the most recent furniture will go into the new University Union in August. Other pieces are going into residence halls.

"We're just grateful that TCU let us be on the list to receive donations," Posey said. "I think it's a blessing for TCU, and it’s certainly a blessing for us."

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