As 2023 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on the cover stories of the past year. One common theme has been change. Campus rec as a whole is transforming its approach to serving students, and buildings, departments and staff are following suit. So, here is Part One of the 2023 Cover Story Reflections that looks at this year’s past features and their themes.
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University of Memphis
January/February 2023 Cover Story
A puzzle is being solved at the University of Memphis (UofM). With Campus Recreation now falling under the College of Health Sciences, and a new Student Wellness Center to serve the campus population, the pieces are falling into place.
At 78,000 square feet, the two-story facility moved campus recreation closer to the heart of campus. Designed by ANF Architects and CannonDesign, the $31 million center sits adjacent to the Hunter Harrison pedestrian cable bridge and a 1,140-space parking garage. In fact, its position alone has created more traffic for the building, piquing the interest of students.
In addition, the new building has allowed for flexibility in the types and programs offered. As such, it’s added a lot of fun to Campus Recreation
March/April 2023 Cover Story
When Felicia Tittle arrived at Duke University in 2009, the campus rec facilities had little to no space for students to hang out.
Over the years, Tittle, the executive director of Duke Recreation & Physical Education, has seen the center go from transactional to transformational spaces.
Beyond physically changing the space, this has also happened in terms of inclusion and accessibility. The Unified Sports program has been drawing in student volunteers and athletes in the local Durham, North Carolina, community for almost a decade. “Our partnership with Durham County Parks & Recreation and Special Olympics North Carolina has been instrumental in the success of our Unified Sports,” said Brittany Burriss, the coordinator of Intramural Sports.
University of Wisconsin–Madison
May/June 2023 Cover Story
In 2014, a $236 million referendum was passed to improve recreation and well-being at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW–Madison).
The plan was for two outdoor projects to flank two large indoor facility projects. So, the campus first saw the completion of the Near West Fields, the department’s first synthetic turf field.
The Nicholas Recreation Center (Nick) opened in September 2020. Boasting 30,000 square feet of fitness space, students can access:
- Eight full-size, multipurpose courts
- Five multipurpose studios
- A competition pool and diving well
- Turf movement areas
- And more
Then in April 2023, the Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center opened.
However, the physical changes of the department and the excitement that surrounds those is just a further effect of the internal change that took place in 2018. That year, Recreational Sports rebranded to Recreation & Wellbeing.