More than 300 students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) recently gathered on the Newark, NJ campus to celebrate the official ribbon-cutting of the school’s new Wellness and Events Center (WEC). The iconic, state-of-the-art and multipurpose building provides large-scale space for professional conferencing, training and career fairs, as well as social settings for NJIT students, faculty, and staff.
“This building is the latest and largest component of a $400 million campus transformation that has been taking place in recent years and has included the renovation of the Central King Building, the new Life Sciences and Engineering Center, and several other facilities projects,” said NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. “This transformation would not have been possible without the leadership of our trustees, the generosity of our donors, the support of state and local government, the work of Vice President Andrew Christ and his team, and the input of the campus community.”
The ceremony featured a roster of speakers that included several political dignitaries and student-athletes both past and present.
“This is a great day for the city of Newark just as it’s a great day for NJIT,” said Senator Paul A. Sarlo ’92, ’95, a former student-athlete who now serves as chairman of the State Budget and Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Higher Education Committee, the Joint Budget Oversight Committee and the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. “What is exciting are that our engineering students are much more well-rounded and want to be engaged. That’s why NJIT will continue to attract well-rounded students from across the country.”
The design of the three-story, 220,000-square-foot building features a number of flexible spaces that can be quickly configured to support the numerous and varied missions of the university community. Designed and engineered by AECOM and built by Torcon, the exterior design reinforces the university’s position as a leader in engineering and technology education, featuring a 52-foot-high glass wall on the north facade that offers an excellent view of the adjacent athletic field as well as NJIT’s academic campus.
“It is often said that success has many parents and there are many parents here today,” said Stephen P. DePalma ’72, chairman of the NJIT Board of Trustees. “The WEC will be a critical component of our efforts to engage and partner with business, industry and government to spur economic development and create opportunities for our graduates.”
Lucie Thibeaud Tchouassi ’94, a former member of the women’s basketball team who currently serves as a coordinator and adviser of undergraduate programs in NJIT’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, emphasized the support of the coaching staff who demonstrated inner strength and courage.
“This is a dream that grew into a clear vision,” she said. “Many generations for years to come will appreciate this center.”
“Nobody is more excited than me to see it come to fruition,” said NJIT Athletics Director Lenny Kaplan. “Make no mistake: This building represents one of the most exciting times in NJIT history.”