The newest building on campus is already earning its keep. Last month, Event Solutions magazine named the Robert D. and Shirley Hunter Welcome Center as a finalist for the Event Site of the Year Spotlight Award; winners will be announced at the Spotlight Awards event next month.
Event Solutions called the 57,000-square-foot, $15.7 million Welcome Center one of Abilene’s “hottest event venues,” because of its “contemporary style and state-of-the-art interior.”
“We’re thrilled,” said Jennifer Ellison, ACU alumna and director of events for ACU. “It’s a huge honor to be nominated and recognized by event peers.”
Although the Welcome Center is less than a year old – the youngest venue in a category that boasts nominees such as the Hard Rock Cafe and Ellis Island – more than 200 events have been conducted in the facility, including the Men of Strength and Style fashion show and the World Polio Day Dinner.
“All of us at the university have been delighted that our University Events staff has done such a splendid job in reaching out to the campus, as well as our community, and utilizing the facilities that have come available to the ACU family,” said Dr. Bob Hunter, namesake of the venue and senior vice president emeritus.
Many notable guests have been invited to the Welcome Center, including James Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.; Lance Barrow, CBS sports producer; and Joe Shirley, president of the Navajo Nation.
“This will be one more way that people in the United States and abroad will learn about what ACU has to offer,” Hunter said.
Teena Kincaid, events coordinator for University Events, has served the ACU community for nearly 10 years. Kincaid and Ellison have enjoyed many years of planning events with students and other staff members.
“It’s not always easy, but it’s fun work,” Kincaid said.
The University Events staff will travel to the Event Solutions Conference and Trade Show for the awards presentation March 8 in Las Vegas.
“It’s been a team effort to come this far,” Ellison said.
For more information, visit www.event-solutions.com.