The first Alumni Board Thank You Breakfast was held on Friday at the Baker Building.

To show appreciation to the Alumni Board of Directors and the many alumni who have attributed to the university’s advancement, staff members in the office of advancement created the thank you breakfast, said Director of Alumni Relations DeAwna Wood.

“We created these types of opportunities to engage our alumni,” Wood said, “so that’s kinda how this breakfast came about and we appreciate that you [alumni members] are ambassadors to the university.”

President Frederick Slabach spoke about the advancements coming to Wesleyan and the funding preparations for the Nick and Lou Martin University Center.

“It’s more than just a student center,” Slabach said. “There is a lot of things we believe this university center will help us with, such as student engagement.”

The university center will host an indoor/outdoor amphitheater, ballroom, food court, offices to house student organizations, a lounge and game room and expanded bookstore and will start ground work by late 2018, Slabach said.

“Right now we have a lot of student engagement groups that are spread out and that are all over campus,” Slabach said, “so this will give us the chance to be able to gather . . . and as all the studies show students who are more engage outside the classroom are more likely to persist and  graduate on time.”

The “heart of the campus” will have a unique architectural design new to Wesleyan, Slabach said.

“We asked our architect to look at the different architectural style we have on campus and we asked that he sorta tries to tie in the different styles at Wesleyan,” Slabach said. “And we like to call it Wesleyan ecliptic.”

Slabach also introduced head football coach Joe Prud’homme, who talked about the program.

“The reason we are so excited about Joe and the reason we took such great care in identifying just the right coach is to focus on the student-athletes,” Slabach said. “The student part comes first.”

Slabach talked about the important mannerisms a student-athlete must have to be successful and the way Prud’homme is creating such players.

“The way I know they’re real football players is when I walk past them in they look me in the eye and say ‘Hello,’” Slabach said. “Their conduct is exemplary and they are great representatives for the school and it’s because of Joe.”

Prud’homme said he hopes to use the program to instill the importance of being a gentleman and a leader and to do great things for the community and school.

“It’s really important to have a program and team to be proud of,” Prud’homme said. “But our focus is on them. So I always ask them for three things, to be great in the classroom, field, and community.”

President Slabach and Coach Prud’homme speak with alumni members after presentations at the first Alumni Board Thank You Breakfast.
Photo by Shaydi Paramore