Jul 18th, 2016 @ 9:58 am | Author: Tisa Mason, Ed.D., CAE
VCSU alumnus Allen Pedersen had a vision: an open door inviting community members and guests to enjoy the beauty of the VCSU campus, celebrate special times, and reminisce fondly of days gone by. Allan Pedersen hoped to create a space that would capture the essence of my favorite saying: “It is a great day to be a Viking!”

That metaphorical open door, constructed as a gazebo, was built last week and sits proudly on the campus green near Graichen Gym. Along with the vision, Mr. Pedersen, a graduate of the class of 1940 and a member of the EBC fraternity, provided the lead gift. Our very own Hulda Pearce, longtime member of the community and VCSU librarian from 1963–64, bought into the vision, providing a significant gift both financially and emotionally. Hulda understood the power of community and memory-making, and she especially loved the idea of students sitting in the gazebo reading and studying.

That vision was not only embraced by alumni and former staff members but also by today’s students. Inspired by the opportunities the new facility would provide, the VCSU Student Senate supported the gazebo with a $6,000 gift! “We were excited that the opportunity was brought to us because it was something that would make our campus even more beautiful and memorable than it already is,” said Brittany Roney, student senator. “We knew that it would be something that not only students would utilize, but also community members, past students, and the university’s generous alumni. As a whole, Valley City State University’s Student Senate knew that this investment would be one that would be worthwhile and enjoyed.”

“One aspect that I am personally excited about is the fact that it will be wired with campus Wi-Fi,” added Roney. “This is a huge bonus for not only me, but the entire student body. The gazebo will open up another area on campus where students can go to study and enjoy the beautiful, sunshiny days.”

The gazebo was built in Arthur, Ill., by an Amish construction firm. (There are about 900 Amish households in the Arthur area.) The prefabricated components, built from cedar, were then disassembled and transported to Valley City and reassembled on site.

The gazebo is 28 feet in diameter and 23 feet high, with a 9-foot ceiling. The crew completed the reassembly of the gazebo on campus in about two days.

I hope each of you will take the time to walk through our “open door” by visiting the gazebo. Please join us in using this special site to enjoy the beauty of our campus, celebrate special times, reminisce fondly of days gone by, dream about the future, and smile as you think “What a great place to be a Viking!”