President David Angel speaking - Clark University

President's Office


Alumni and Student Engagement Center


February 11, 2015

To the Clark community,

I am pleased to announce that work on the new Alumni and Student Engagement Center on Main Street is scheduled to begin Feb. 23.

The building will be a valuable asset to Clark University’s mission of providing a transformative liberal education. Just as crucially, the center also will be vital to the collaborative efforts of Clark, the City of Worcester and community partners to raise the profile of Main Street and the Main South neighborhood.

The four-story, 35,000-square-foot Alumni and Student Engagement Center designed by Architerra will be located across Main Street on what is now the parking lot serving both Clark and St. Peter’s parish. It will provide the new home for the LEEP Center, allowing us to dramatically increase programming and administrative space to support our pioneering educational model. We anticipate the building to open in summer 2016.

The Alumni and Student Engagement Center also will be the site for the campus store, the registrar, the dean of students, financial aid, human resources, and some other administrative offices currently located in the building at 151-155 Woodland Street. These relocations are critical to improving service to students and other constituents, since the center will be fully handicap-accessible, whereas the Woodland Street building is not. The new building will include dedicated spaces for alumni to reconnect with each other and their alma mater, as well as seminar rooms and classrooms for academic exploration. Photovoltaic panels on the roof will help bring the facility as close as possible toward zero net energy use.

Our construction schedule is ambitious, but achievable. Some key points:

  • Excavation and demolition work will begin Feb. 23 and continue throughout the spring. During the peak period of site preparation and excavation, we estimate as many as 30 dump trucks a day will go in and out of the site, but this intensive level of activity will only be for a short time. It is difficult to predict how long this will be, but we will provide updates as they become available. Every effort will be made to minimize noise and nuisance levels.
  • Trucks will enter the site via Gates Street and exit via Grand Street, using Illinois and Cambridge Streets as well. The intention is to avoid using Main Street as much as possible.
  • Typical work hours on the site will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We are not anticipating working Saturdays, but sometimes circumstances arise in which Saturday work may be necessary. Advance notice will be given to all parties if any Saturday work is planned and the construction team can be flexible for certain occasions (i.e., funerals, weddings, Clark events, etc.) to modify work hours around these events.
  • The Main Street parking lot will no longer be accessible starting Feb. 23 because of construction.

Learn more about the project here.

As its name suggests, the Alumni and Student Engagement Center will become a hub for mission-driven work that encourages the participation of the entire Clark University community — faculty, staff, alumni, students, business and government leaders, and experts in a wide range of fields. Here we will host panel discussions, lectures and other events.

We seek now to advance and deepen our impact on the pressing issues of the day by forming even more ambitious partnerships with organizations and visionary practitioners beyond Clark — whether they are other research universities and centers, foundations, or community and government entities. To accomplish this we must also heighten awareness of the influential work underway at Clark in areas where we demonstrate clear leadership, such as urban education, public health, climate change, and business innovation. The Alumni and Student Engagement Center will supply the space for these connections and partnerships to be cultivated and celebrated, enhanced and empowered.

Extending our tradition of engaged scholarship means we will act on the strong conviction that all Clark University students must be offered the resources and opportunities to carry their education beyond the classroom. This means linking students and faculty with alumni and other University supporters on team and self-initiated projects, internships and research collaborations. It also means mobilizing alumni and others as mentors, working alongside faculty and staff to promote student achievement. We have set this effort underway through the LEEP Center, and now is the time to amplify these opportunities for our students. The Alumni and Student Engagement Center gives us the physical space to make this important stride.

Our building is one of four major projects benefiting and reinforcing the Main South neighborhood over the next several years. The construction coincides with $1.5 million in improvements to University Park, partly funded by Clark’s “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILOT) agreement with the city. The park project has been ongoing and will be complemented by $2 million in federally funded streetscaping along Main Street, from about Hawthorne to Beaver Street, which is expected to commence before the building’s completion. Community Builders also is developing 94 units of housing on Grand Street that will add vitality to an area where more Clark students are choosing to live.

The Alumni and Student Engagement Center, in combination with these projects, will create a Worcester gateway that elevates the profile of Main Street and Clark University’s presence on it. The well-lighted area will attract more foot traffic to Clark and the surrounding community, and the new parking lot behind the center will expand the number of available spaces for Clark and St. Peter’s from 80 to 120.

As always, I appreciate your interest, your enthusiasm and your patience as we launch this exciting new endeavor for Clark University.


David P. Angel