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Gateway to excellence

Heilman Welcome Center is now open
Hailey Shank
The E. Bruce Heilman Welcome Center is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The E. Bruce Heilman Welcome Center finally opened its doors to students, faculty and the public on Jan. 15.

The facility, which operates from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, was built in memory of Dr. E. Bruce Heilman. It’s the final piece of a three-building project inspired by him, with the remaining two buildings being the Davenport Student Commons and Winters Dining Hall.

Dr. Heilman was a highly respected 1949 alumnus of Campbellsville Junior College, and a 25-year member of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees. Dr. Heilman, along with his family, were significant contributors to the project.

According to Dr. Benji Kelly, vice president for development, Dr. Heilman envisioned a multi-purpose space conducive to learning, meaningful conversations and community-building.

“To hear his rich story is to stand in awe of this great man,” Kelly said. “His vision to create a multi-purpose area that will house an array of gathering spots to learn, have valued conversations and pour into others was of great importance to him.”

The construction of the new facility began more than four years ago, with its groundbreaking on July 16, 2019. More than 90 donors contributed to the construction and furnishing of the Heilman Welcome Center, which is estimated to have cost $10 million. Each room is labeled with the names of the donors who supported its creation and furnished it.

The Heilman Welcome Center is approximately 23,000 square feet, and features plenty of space for students to gather around to study and do course work, conduct meetings and collaborate with one another.

“I think this building is very beautiful, clean and unique,” CU student Chelsea Pierce said. “I absolutely love spending time here.”

Starbucks has also relocated to the new facility, which is a bonus.

“I always come for Starbucks, to talk to friends and to study,” said CU student Yingsha Zhu.

Andy Woods, associate vice president of operations, said he’s thrilled to offer this space to CU’s students, faculty and staff.

“They truly deserve nothing but the best, and I firmly believe that this project, along with future buildings, will elevate their experience at CU,” Woods said. “By providing top-tier facilities and resources through remodeling existing space and constructing new spaces, we aim to cultivate an environment that promotes growth, innovation and excellence for all members of our campus community.”

The second floor features the heritage room, displaying historical artifacts dating back to the university’s early years as an academy in 1906.

The primary aim of the Heilman Welcome Center is to provide a welcoming space for guests, family members of students, alumni and business leaders. The building houses classrooms for courses in accounting, business, criminology and social work on the first floor. The first floor also features a stage, theater and Starbucks. The second floor includes the Campus Information Specialist (MaryAnn Goble) and the heritage room, displaying historical artifacts dating back to the university’s early years as an academy in 1906. The third floor accommodates offices for student services and admissions, the Blevins-Degrez Board Room, an admissions conference room and an admissions community room.

Woods said the most challenging aspect of the project was managing supply chain issues and labor shortages created by the pandemic.

In addition to the completion of the Heilman Welcome Center, Woods said there are several other projects in the works, including the construction of a new education center at Clay Hill Forest, building new residences in the men’s village phase, remodeling Chick-Fil-A (scheduled to open in early March), updating the Russ Mobley Theatre and renovating the basement of Druien Hall.

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About the Contributor
Hailey Shank

Hailey Shank is a writer and photographer for The Campus Times. This is her second semester working for the student-led newspaper. She’s also worked one semester with 88.7 FM The Tiger.

Shank, who is from Indian River, Michigan, will be graduating in May as a fifth-year senior. She is double majoring in art and mass communication, with an emphasis in photojournalism. She’s attending Campbellsville University on a full ride athletic scholarship for cross country and track. She currently holds several school records, including the record for the fastest indoor 5K and 1K.

Shank also plays for an intramural volleyball team at CU, and is a member of Tuesday Night Live, a ministry of Campus Ministries.

Shank completed a journalism internship during the summer of 2023, working as a writer and photographer for the Monroe County Press in Michigan. She is currently completing an art internship as a social media assistant for the art program. In her free time, Shank manages her photography business and works on her art skills whenever she can.

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