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Name Downing University Center (WKU)
Details Other Names - DUC 1969-2013
Downing Student Union, 2014-
Date Built - 1970
Dedicated - Oct. 10, 1970
Cost of Construction - $4.1 million
Gross Square Feet - 193,547 (1970)
Architects - Ben Johnson & Frederick St. Clair, Owensboro

Namesake:
Dero Downing was born September 10, 1921 at Fountain Run in Monroe County, Kentucky, and grew up at Horse Cave in Hart County. He enrolled at WKU in 1939 where he played basketball and earned both a bachelor's and master's degree. After serving in the Navy in World War II, he returned to Western as a mathematics teacher and coach at the College's Training School. He later became director of the Training School, college registrar, dean of admissions, dean of business affairs, and vice-president for administrative and business affairs. When Kelly Thompson resigned on May 21, 1969 Downing indicated his willingness to serve if asked. The WKU Board of Regents elected him president on August 22, 1969. He served until his retirement in 1979. Upon his resignation as president in 1979 Downing became president of the College Heights Foundation, a position he held until his death on April 4, 2011.

Selected education and honors:

AB degree from Western, 1943
MA degree from Western, 1947
Ed. S. degree from Peabody College, 1958
Downing University Center named, 1970
Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Kentucky Wesleyan, 1970
Honorary Doctor of Laws from Murray, 1972
Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Morehead, 1974
Honorary Doctor of Laws from Eastern, 1979
President emeritus from Western, 1979
WKU Sofia-Downing International Center named, 2002
WKU ROTC Hall of Fame, 2007

History:
Downing University Center aka DUC is a 172,000 square foot, air-conditioned building. "The first floor will contain student shops, mechanical rooms and storage areas. The main floor will include a cafeteria seating about 500 persons, a grill accommodating about 560, a 750-seat theater and the main entrance lobby. On the third floor will be a university store, browsing library and reading room, offices of the Associated Students, music and television rooms, a rehearsal room, meeting rooms, and classrooms. Bowling lanes, billiards, table tennis and shuffleboard facilities provided on the fourth floor. ["University Center Bids Due in Sept.," Park City Daily News] It replaced the Garrett Conference Center as the Student Union.

For more information regarding student union buildings see Cedar House and Garrett Conference Center.

Additions:
1997 - McDonald's, Chik-fil-A, Freshens, Topper Café were added

1999 - renovations on 4th floor due to major storm in 1998, also entire building received new lighting, a dance floor with a sound system, an expanded outdoor eating area, and a huge arcade. This was the first major renovation since 1970 when the building was completed.

2003 - enclosed walkway around south end of DUC with brick and glass, expanded dinning space by 400 seats, added second floor space

2005 - construction of Student Success Center which includes Academic Advising Center, Career Services Center, and Students with Disabilities Services

2012-2014 - renovation of entire building, building renamed Downing Student Center

College Heights Herald:
1968 September 19, p. 27
1969 March 20, p. 8
1970 October 10, p. 2; November 17, p. 1
1971 October 5, p. 4; October 16, p. 3B
1972 March 28 p. 1
1973 January 16, p. 1; January 19, p. 1, August 28, p. 15A
1974 August 27, p. 3A; October 1, p. 1
1975 August 26, p. 10B
1976 August 24, p. 11A
1977 February 11, p. 9; February 18, p. 6
1978 August 31, p. 12; October 12, p. 7
1979 February 20, p. 8
1981 October 13, p. 19
1984 October 16, p. 13
1985 August 27, p. 7B
1986 February 25, p. 11; October 14, p. 16
1987 February 5, p. 1; March 3, p. 5; Sept. 1, p. 11; Nov. 3, p. 7
1992 October 6, p. 1
1993 November 11, p. 1
1994 February 8, p. 8
1995 January 12, p. 12
1997 August 28, p. 6
1998 April 21 p. 1A; April 23, p. 1; September 1, p. 11
1999 February 4, p. 7; Feb. 23, p. 8; April 13, pp. 1 & 5; August 31, p. 5 2000 January 13, p. 10; August 31, p. 3 October 31, p. 5
2001 November 15, p. 6

Park City Daily News:
"$12.5 Million in Steel and Concrete," Aug. 4, 1968
"$3.98 Million Low Bid on WKU Center," Sept. 20, 1968
Mink, Jenna. "Dero Downing Dies at Age 89," April 5, 2011
"University Center Bids Due in Sept.," Aug. 4, 1968
"WKU Center Bids Total $1.2 Million," Sep. 13, 1968

Louisville Courier-Journal:
Brown, Mike. "New Western Center Draws Students," Nov. 23, 1970
"New Center in Western Kentucky's Future," Nov. 2, 1968
"Western to Build $4 Million Center," Aug. 4, 1968

Documents & Primary Sources:
UA1C11/31 Downing University Center Photograph Collection

UA2 Board of Regents Meeting Minutes

1967 - August 4
1968 - September 21
1969 - July 8 - building named
1982 - April 24

UA3/1/1 Kelly Thompson Correspondence / Subject File - inventory

UA30/1/1 Planning, Design & Construction - Blueprints, Drawings & Plans - inventory

UA56/3/3 Institutional Research SACS Reports - inventory
Archives Entries 67
Library Entries 3
Object Entries 0
Photograph Entries 201

Associated Records

Image of UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 1. Public Relations - Public Affairs (WKU)

UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 1. Public Relations - Public Affairs (WKU)

Photographs, negatives, slides and transparencies created by Public Affairs staff members of WKU faculty, staff, students, alumni and events. See container list for arrangement and description.

Image of UA30.1 Planning, Design & Construction Series 1. Blueprints, Drawings & Plans - Planning, Design & Construction (WKU)

UA30.1 Planning, Design & Construction Series 1. Blueprints, Drawings & Plans - Planning, Design & Construction (WKU)

Blueprints, drawings and plans of WKU buildings and campus created by the Department of Planning, Design & Construction.

Image of UA12 Student Affairs. Series 11 University Centers and Leadership Programs - University Centers & Leadership Programs (WKU)

UA12 Student Affairs. Series 11 University Centers and Leadership Programs - University Centers & Leadership Programs (WKU)

Records created by and about University Centers and Leadership Programs. Series 1. Downing University Center Series 2. Leadership & Volunteerism

Image of UA12 Student Affairs. Series 11 University Centers and Leadership Programs 1. Downing University Center Board - University Center Board (WKU)

UA12 Student Affairs. Series 11 University Centers and Leadership Programs 1. Downing University Center Board - University Center Board (WKU)

Records created by and about Downing University Center Board. Publications Constitution / Bylaws Meeting Minutes Reports Correspondence Events

Image of UA1B2/1/7 Gary Ransdell Oral History Interview - Western Kentucky University

UA1B2/1/7 Gary Ransdell Oral History Interview - Western Kentucky University

Interview conducted by Lydia Kullman with WKU President Gary Ransdell.

Image of College Heights Herald  - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 72, No. 36 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3029">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3029</a>. Issue is mis-numbered. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Just a Second Campus Line For the Record / Crime Reports People Poll Sports Diversions Movie Reviews Classifieds Articles in this issue: Brewer, Jerry. Thomas Meredith Reminisces Batcheldor, Matt. Provide-a-Ride Gets high Marks Back, Shannon. Marriott Food Service Still Has Dissatisfied Customers Batcheldor, Matt. Tax Preparation Help Available Re-educate Yourself

Image of UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 2. Buildings - WKU Archives

UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 2. Buildings - WKU Archives

Photographs, negatives, postcards, drawings, slides and digital images of Western Kentucky University buildings. Includes buildings of founding institutions. Subseries 1. Academic Athletic Performance Center / Diddle Arena Subseries 2. Academic Complex Subseries 3. Agricultural Exposition Center Subseries 4. Proposed Buildings Subseries 5. Barnes-Campbell Subseries 6. Barracks Subseries 7. Bates-Runner Subseries 8. Bemis Lawrence Subseries 9. Cabell Hall Subseries 10. Cedar House aka Faculty House Subseries 11. West Hall Subseries 12. Unidentified Subseries 13. Cherry Hall, 1937+ Subseries 14. Glasgow Normal School Subseries

Image of UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 70. Talisman Collection - Talisman

UA1C WKU Archives Photograph Collection Series 11. Collections. Subseries 70. Talisman Collection - Talisman

Transparencies created by Talisman photographers for publication in the yearbook.

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 81, No. 9 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3632">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3632</a> WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Articles in this issue: Coulter, Amber. Booze Ban Violations Reported Erd, Mackenzie. The Final Strike - Virgil Miller, Downing University Center Bowling Alley McNamara, Andrew. Freshman Dies in Traffic Accident - Samuel Monroe Stackhouse, A. Layne. Actors Perform Historic Play - Inherit the Wind Leslie, Joey. Katrina Benefit Concert Fontana, Alex. Student Helps Texas Town Rebuild - Josh Collins Fontana, Alex. Social Scientis

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 81, No. 21 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3671">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3671</a> issue is misnumbered. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Articles in this issue: Richardson, Kelly. Doctorate Optional for Many Advising Heads - Ingrid Woods Coulter, Amber, Fontana, Alex. Senate Wants Oversight on Reserve Fund Wimnatt, Alex. Centennial Celebration Begins with Dedications - Guthrie Overlook, Centennial Plaza, E.A.Diddle Statue Maines, Ashley. Magical Movie Shown on Three Screens - Harry Potter Hupman, Samantha. ABC News Segment Focuses on Campu

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 81, No. 24 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3676">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3676</a> issue is misnumbered. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Articles in this issue: Coulter, Amber. Budget Won't Cover Costs Paul, Corey. Fires Destroy Local Houses - Arson Harrell, Bobby. J-term Enrollment Higher than University of Kentucky's Bosken, Nina. Race Machine Brings Diversity to Downing University Center - Video Games Coulter, Amber. Study Finds Salary Equity Coulter, Amber. Donor Helps Scholarship Increase Governor Ernie Fletcher's Folly Watt, Wes

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 81, No. 30 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3678">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3678</a> issue is misnumbered. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Articles in this issue: Paul, Corey. Alpha Gamma Rhos Apologize for Unbecoming Activities McNamara, Andrew. Cards May Replace Keys on Campus McNamara, Andrew. Inspections Test Food Services Bosken, Nina. Gospel Music Fills Downing University Center Theater McNamara, Andrew. Parking Solution Unresolved New Program a Plus - Homeland Security Science Osborne, Jenni. Get Tough on Animal Abusers Newton, Pa

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 81, No. 43 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3691">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3691</a> issue is misnumbered. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Articles in this issue: Morgan, Nathan. Greeks Box for Charity McNamara, Andrew. Housing & Residence Life to Fix up Dorm Rooms, Baths, Roof Paul, Corey. Western Student Dies from Bacterial Heart Infection - Oksana Lee Paul, Corey. Memorial Service Held for 'Ali' - Allison Carter Harrell, Bobby. Dream Job Becomes Reality for President Gary Ransdell Troubled Athletes Students Worthless During Student Gove

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 81, No. 44 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3690">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/3690</a> issue is misnumbered. WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Articles in this issue: Coulter, Amber. Western to Get $15 Million Gift - Jerry Baker Keene, Stephanie. Speakers to Debate Pot Legalization McNamara, Andrew. Parking Issues Incite Crowd Harrell, Bobby. KEES May Not Complete Goals - Kentucky Education Excellence Scholarships Coulter, Amber. Ernie Fletcher to Veto Budget Items Brandenburg, Katie. University Senate May Vote on Several Bills Student Governm

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 83, No. 11 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4478">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4478</a> WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Clark, Tyler College Cost Reduction & Access Act Dewalt, Terrez Donahue, Claire Hilltopper Bass Club McClure, Brian Ramadan RedZone Up 'til Dawn Waldrop, Mike Ward, Brian

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 46, No. 16 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4709">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4709</a> WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Clubs Calendar WKU and Me Alumni News Coming Events Calendar Toppertalk West on Western Sports Activity Almanac Dear Mom This issue contains articles: More Than 500 Toppers Hit Top for Dean's List West, Dave. Over 5,000 Western Rooters to Travel to NCAA Tourney Lottery to Determine Ticket Distribution University High Closing Slated for June 1970 Glowacki, Joe. Short Circuit Sparks C

Image of College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald - Student Affairs (WKU)

College Heights Herald, Vol. 46, No. 21 available online at: <a href="http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4715">http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_records/4715</a> WKU campus newspaper reporting campus, athletic and Bowling Green, Kentucky news. Regular features include: Clubs Calendar WKU and Me Alumni News Coming Events Calendar Toppertalk West on Western Sports Activity Almanac Dear Mom This issue contains articles: Ledford, Perry & Rick Sitler. Proposed Revisions of Attendance Rules Adopted by Council Talisman Distribution to Climax Annual Ball New Christy Minstrels on Campus Tomorrow Student Needs to Influence Fall Courses Glass Menagerie Opens