Case Western Reserve to celebrate opening of Tinkham Veale University Center with reception, tours, OK GO concert on Aug. 24


Case Western Reserve will celebrate the opening of the Tinkham Veale University Center, a striking steel-and-glass structure in the heart of campus, on Sunday, Aug. 24, the evening before the start of the 2014-2015 academic year.

The 89,000 square foot, “green roof” building houses student organizations, major programs like the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, and a wide variety of dining options. It also includes a 7,300 square-foot ballroom, a large interactive media wall, and extensive spaces for people to sit, study or simply talk with friends.

“One of the aspects of this project that most appealed to Tinkham Veale was its potential to draw people together from across the campus,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “Now that it is complete, I am more convinced than ever that this space will achieve exactly what he hoped.”

Veale, who died two years ago at age 97, graduated in 1937. One of the university’s most generous alumni, his foundation’s $20 million commitment allowed construction to begin on the building. Funded entirely by donations, he project drew gifts of $100 and up from more than 240 donors; in all nearly 1,000 people donated amounts $1 and up. Among other major contributors were: the Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust, the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, the Inamori Foundation, Frank and Jocelyne Linsalata, Charles “Bud” and Katie Koch and a special gift from the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association to provide space for the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women.

Perkins + Will designed the center, which appears decidedly modern and sleek from the outside. Within the structure, a more playful spirit is evident, with rich colors, inviting open-air decks and walls of windows offering breathtaking views of the campus and University Circle neighbors.

“Our aim was to deliver an architecturally significant and environmentally sensitive university center,” said Mark Jolicoeur, the firm’s managing principal on the project, “[one] that provides a 24-hour, welcoming gathering place for Case Western Reserve students and others.”

Part of the building directly faces Freiberger Field, where the musical group OK GO, recently featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live, will perform an exciting show shortly after 7 p.m. A Chicago quartet since relocated to Los Angeles, the band is as well known for its Internet innovation as its acoustic appeal. The intricate choreography of its 2006 music video for “Here It Goes Again,” quickly went viral, drawing millions of views. It’s most recent video, “The Writing’s on the Wall,” has drawn more than 9.9 million clicks since its June release.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with a dessert reception; the first 200 people to arrive will receive a commemorative T-shirt. Members of the university community also can tour the new building that evening; those who plan to attend are asked to register for the event online.