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Polnick, others help dedicate new ACU education building

A new era began for Abilene Christian University’s College of Education and Human Services with the official dedication Saturday of the new Education Building.

"This building is evidence of ACU’s commitment to the preparation of exemplary Christian educators at a time when our nation has never been more in need of such a commitment," said Dr. Malesa Breeding, dean of the College of Education and  Human Services.

Along with Breeding, speakers at the event included Dr. Royce Money, ACU president; Colleen Durrington, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Emily Culp, senior education major from Austin; Dr. David Polnick, superintendent of the Abilene Independent School District; and Dr. Dwayne VanRheenen, provost of the university.

"Today, we fulfill a long-time dream of providing an excellent home for one of our largest programs on campus," said Dr. Royce Money, president, during the dedication.  "This department has a long history of preparing leaders in both public and private education, and at all educational levels.  Through the years, ACU-educated teachers and administrators have touched more than a million students for Christ in places throughout the world."

ACU’s education program has had a tremendous impact locally as well, with more than one-third of  the teachers in the Abilene Independent School District holding a degree from ACU, Polnick said.

"I am proud that ACU realizes the importance of teacher education for the future of our students and our nation, " Polnick said. "I applaud your efforts – both for what you have done in the past and what you are planning for the future."

A facility with newly-renovated exterior entrances, several classrooms, two lobby areas, offices and about 18,500 square feet will help continue ACU’s tradition of educating excellent teachers.

"This building is much like a phoenix," Money said. "It now enters its third ‘reincarnation,’ breathing new life into something that had lost its usefulness."

The facility was originally built in 1955 and served as  Catchings Cafeteria until 1968, when the McGlothlin Campus Center opened, and it was converted into a home for the music department, the Leonard Burford Music Center.  Following completion of the Williams Performing Arts Center in January 2003, the building sat mostly empty until Saturday, when it officially became the newly-renovated home for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Department of Graduate Studies in Education, and the offices for the Dean of the new College of Education and Human Services.

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