Alumni mark 30th reunion year with a half-million dollar gift to renovate the campus pub in the new University Center.

The Class of 1980 marked its 30th reunion year with an unprecedented half-million dollar gift to Drew, which will support the transformation of the campus pub as part of the upcoming University Center renovation project. The room will be named “The C’80 Pub” in recognition of the generosity of the members of that class. This is the largest reunion gift ever to be received by the university.

“The need to completely renovate the University Center and create an essentially new hub for campus activity is a top priority for Drew,” said University President Robert Weisbuch. “The very name ‘University Center’ implies that this building represents the entire Drew community. Our students, faculty, staff and visitors will all benefit from significantly upgraded community space right in the heart of our campus. This extraordinary gift from the Class of 1980 is a crucial part of making that vision a reality.”

The C’80 Pub will move from its current location at the southern end of the building to the center of the UC. Plans are for it to be open 18-24 hours a day, but for large blocks of time each day it will function as an alcohol-free gathering and study space.

“I was really impressed by the plan to make it a flexible space that could be used for a variety of activities,” said Drew Trustee Tony Ehinger C’80, a member of the Reunion Committee.  “It was important to me that The C’80 Pub be inclusive so that the community can come together over a pint, or get to know each other while studying in the booths when the bar is closed.   Everyone will be able to make use of it.”

Michael Ravensbergen C’80, member of the Reunion Committee, was similarly enthused about the effort.  “I had a lot of good times in the pub – many of the people I got to know there remain my closest friends.  It’s great to be part of an effort that will preserve the pub’s legacy, such as the original wooden bar handmade by Drew students in the 70s, while also benefiting generations of future students.”

Reflecting on her early support of this project, Laura Bund C’80 explained: “I hope that current and future students will look around the room at the names of the C’80 alumni who made this gift possible and be both proud and inspired.  Maybe someday one of them will want to make as meaningful a contribution at their 30th.  Being part of that continuum of giving back is what really appealed to me.”

The C’80 Pub will feature the members of the class who contributed to the fundraising effort.  Their names will be highlighted around the room as a reminder to all visitors that they are part of an alumni community that believes strongly in Drew and gives back generously to ensure its continued excellence.

“We hope that this gift sets a new bar on class giving and inspires other alumni to celebrate their legacy with a visible campus presence,” said Chris Walsh C’80.  “Drew doesn’t end when you graduate.  It’s a lifelong connection.  I love the idea of the Class of 1980 having a permanent campus home in the pub that reflects our continued devotion to each other and to Drew even now, nearly 35 years after we first arrived at the University in the Forest.”

The new UC will offer extended hours for studying and socializing, attractive gathering spaces, brightly lit lounges, and permanent homes for many campus groups. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring after commencement and be completed in time for the start of the fall 2012 semester.

Re-inventing the University Center: Learn more about the University Center renovation project!