On October 17th, a ceremony was held celebrating the Wesley Foundations Student Center—more commonly known as the United Campus Ministries Building—and its inauguration as a national historic landmark. The building, built in 1965, is now on the National Register of Historic Places, an official list of cultural sources worth preserving. The national program is part of a united effort to support both public and private methods of identifying, evaluating and protecting our historical heritage. Administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Interior, the Wesley Foundations Student Center joins 85,013 other historical places currently listed at the time of this article.
The ceremony was initiated by a song played on the piano by a member of the congregation, Karen Sagraves, and afterwards Reverend Dawn Black gave an introductory word. Citing the profound impact United Campus Ministries has had on students, Rev. Black referred to the fact that “so many people have stories to share” about how the events held inside the building have had positive effects on their lives. United Campus Ministries contributes heavily to the community around Indiana State University, providing a home for students of diverse religious backgrounds.
Tommy Kleckner led the official presentation of the historic landmark plaque to be installed onto the building, which he ceremoniously handed over to a member of the clergy. Kleckner praised the architectural care the Wesley Foundation Student Center was built with, stating how excited he was to be able to present the plaque to United Campus Ministries. He was then followed by Mayor Duke Bennett, who gave the mayoral proclamation, saying that despite it being his first time inside the building, that he “could see it was built with care.”
Dr. Deborah J. Curtis also gave a short word. She cited the Wesley Foundation Student Center as a place near and dear to her heart, because “[She] too was also a mid-century creation.”
This was in reference to the buildings relatively young age in comparison to other buildings registered as National Historic landmarks, but Kleckner heavily insinuated that the building was more than deserving of listing.
The ceremony was capped off by a prayer of dedication and blessing, given by Timothy Ghogle and Rev. Sharon Samsell.
United Campus Ministries is a Christian organization dedicated to providing space and support to students and the community. Part of their efforts to provide support to the community is the student food pantry run by their organization, which seeks to assist students by providing a food pantry and hygiene closet to meet their urgent needs. The student food pantry is always in need of donations, which are accepted during business hours.
All information about United Campus Ministries can be found on their website at https://thunitedcampusministries.org. United Campus Ministries remains a staple of the Terre Haute community, and Rev. Black says that it is a place “where all the worries can go away.”