By Sarah Tweedale
Alumni, future Blugolds and other friends of UW-Eau Claire soon will begin their visits to campus in the newly opened Flesch Family Welcome Center.
The $5.5M Welcome Center — a privately-funded building project of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation made possible by a generous lead gift from alumni Tom and Jeannie Flesch — will house the university’s Admissions, Foundation and Alumni Association offices. With its location at the intersection of Park and Roosevelt avenues, the center will be accessible to all campus guests, including prospective students and their families who will make the center their first stop when visiting campus.
“We’re excited for the beautiful space that will allow us to welcome families and engage with them in new ways,” says Isabel Walters, interim director of Admissions. “The state-of-the-art technology in the presentation and event spaces in the building will allow us to be dynamic in sharing the best glimpses into Blugold life from the moment prospective students walk through the door and begin to visualize themselves on campus.”
Admissions staff will begin hosting campus visits for prospective students in the Flesch Family Welcome Center the week of July 5.
While it is the newest building on campus, the Welcome Center still will pay tribute to the long and wonderful history of UW-Eau Claire’s campus community. In the new building, visitors will find an array of digital displays featuring images and videos that highlight campus life through the years. These displays also will feature students and alumni from across generations sharing personal testimonies about what it means to be a Blugold.
The building and its furnishing were designed in a way to also reflect the campus’ history as “Wisconsin’s most beautiful campus.” For example, the table in the main conference room is made from reclaimed maple slabs taken from trees removed when Garfield Avenue was transformed into a pedestrian-friendly riverfront featuring walkways and outdoor venues. The wood paneling that sits beside the building’s fireplace features maple and ash reclaimed wood from campus trees. Both the table and wood panels were designed and built by craftsman Tim Brudnicki of Eau Claire Woodworks.
The La Belle Miller Southwestern Pottery Collection, which was donated to UW-Eau Claire by alumnus Richard La Belle and his partner, Al Miller, will be showcased in the Welcome Center. Featured pieces from the collection will line the walls of the main conference room and can be viewed from the building’s main corridor.
The Flesch Family Welcome Center will be dedicated Oct. 15 as a part of the 2021 Homecoming celebration.
Add your stamp to this beautiful new center
This tremendous new $5.5M Flesch Family Welcome Center was entirely funded with private gifts to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. Many opportunities remain to become part of this growing asset — add your name to a space or feature in the center and leave a legacy of dedication to UW-Eau Claire.
Watch a timelapse video of the build from the ground up — amazing stuff!