Observatory Lodge Grand Opening
April 3, 2008
I want to welcome everyone to this very special day for the Division of Kinesiology and the entire University community. We are ready to throw open the doors of Observatory Lodge and showcase both a historic building and a forward-looking academic unit.
If we explore the history of this beautiful structure, its legacy really is perfect for its newest residents.
When Observatory Lodge opened in 1930, it was as housing for faculty and staff working down the street at University Hospital. So its foundation rests in a sense of community, a place for both intellectual and social exchange.
Observatory Lodge’s neighbors were the Detroit Observatory, of course, and Couzens and Mosher-Jordan halls. Stockwell, Mary Markley, Alice Lloyd, Public Health—all were years away. So Observatory Lodge stood out, in many ways. And no other building in the neighborhood appeared quite as distinct as the one we stand before.
Over the years, Observatory Lodge saw its use, and while it stood vacant for some time, we knew it held great promise because it had good bones. With Kinesiology outgrowing its surroundings in the Central Campus Rec Building, and this exceptional location between the Medical School, School of Public Health, and CCRB, Observatory Lodge seemed the perfect setting for Kinesiology’s expansion.
If any academic unit on campus understands the importance of community, good bones, stretching and growing, it is Kinesiology. Movement is essential for growth and momentum, and we are seeing both from the Division of Kinesiology.
We cannot officially open the doors of Observatory Lodge today without acknowledging the leadership of Dean Bev Ulrich. Her guidance and advocacy over the years have led to impressive gains in research funding, a growth in students and faculty, and critical donor support, including the Division’s first-ever endowed chair.
Bev, thank you.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to Michigan taxpayers, whose support played a major role in the renovation of Observatory Lodge. Capital outlay money is a real commodity these days, and I’m thrilled we were able to secure it for Kinesiology’s future.
In a moment, we’re going to hear how this new building is changing the ways that Kinesiology students, faculty and staff carry out their important work. I’m sure every member of the Kinesiology family can tell you about the impact of this new facility, and that is what makes today so exciting and so important.
Thank you again for being here. I look forward to cutting the ribbon and exploring this newest addition to our campus.