Robert G. Bottoms Alumni and Development Center Opens

RGBCenterA crowd of alumni, friends and community members gathered on campus Oct. 12 to dedicate the Robert G. Bottoms Alumni and Development Center at 201 E. Seminary St. The 22,700-square-foot, circa 1925 building originally housed Sigma Nu fraternity and later Delta Zeta sorority. An extensive renovation was made possible by an unsolicited gift from Tim and Sharon Ubben, both Class of 1958.

“Together, your legacy, Dr. Bottoms, and your generosity, Mr. and Mrs. Ubben, have transformed this building, just as you transformed DePauw, and we’re forever grateful,” said Steven J. Setchell ’96, vice president for development and alumni engagement, who served as master of ceremonies.

Bottoms, who worked at DePauw for 32 years – first as its chief fundraiser and for 22 years as its president – described “how fortunate I think I was to work at DePauw” in his remarks and received a surprise from the current president, D. Mark McCoy, at the end of the program: DePauw’s Old Gold Medal, which is awarded by the Board of Trustees to individuals who have served DePauw in a devoted, exemplary and meritorious way.

During Bottoms’ tenure at the helm of DePauw, the university more than quadrupled its percentages of minority students and faculty members and became a partner with the Posse Foundation; its faculty grew from 154 to 241 and student-faculty ratio decreased by a third; about $190 million was invested in buildings and grounds; and the university’s endowment, grew from $83.2 million to $544 million, fueled by two record-setting campaigns and a $128 million scholarship endowment gift from Philip Forbes Holton ’29 and Ruth Clark Holton ’29, which was, at the time, 1998, the largest gift ever received by a liberal arts college in America.

The dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by an open house that highlighted an oil portrait of Bottoms by artist Jamie McMahan and a high-tech display table featuring videos, photos and an interactive map for visitors seeking to locate memorial plaques, benches and philanthropic gifts on campus.

“If you are a graduate of DePauw, this is your home,” McCoy, the university’s 20th president, told the standing-room-only audience. “This place is here to gather together, share memories, reestablish connections and make plans for the future.”

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