May 29, 2024

GCSA Celebrates Gillie’s Renovation with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Kate Walker '22

Hundreds of students and alumni gathered this weekend to celebrate old times and new changes at Gordon, including the renovation of Gillie’s Café. Amidst Homecoming festivities, GCSA officially celebrated the renovation with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, acknowledging the years of planning that went into this project. Student Body Vice President TeddyMax Talanoa opened the ceremony with a prayer of dedication for the newly renovated student space.

Although the first conversations about the Gillie’s project started in the spring of 2019, the past four student body presidents had heard feedback from students that a better student space was necessary on campus. The health restrictions of the past year prevented many clubs from using their full budget, allowing residual GCSA funds to kick-start construction. What started from $114,000 has become Gordon’s largest student government-led capital project, as well as the only student-government-led fundraiser in recent history.

The addition of a dividing wall and more furniture has given new purpose to the entirety of the space. Photo Credit: Bec Harper

Student Body President Cam Grinnell spoke about the vision behind the project.

“Space is very connected to spiritual formation, to rest, to development as a Gordon community. And in as much as we can, we wanted to facilitate that, come alongside that vision, and create a space that really brings people together.”

The renovation included a complete reflooring, construction of a dividing wall between the café and lounge, and a new coat of dark purple paint, a stark contrast from the café’s previous neutral color. Several new TVs streaming sports games and news add a casual backdrop to the rest of the lounge, where new tables, couches, and a pool table fill once empty space.

During the ceremony, Cam acknowledged the help of Vice President for Finance and CFO Stephen Lacorazza, Executive Vice President for Campus Life Dan Tymann, Associate Vice President for Student and Global Engagement Dr. Nick Rowe, and Director of Student Activities Jacqueline Broberg for the formation of this project and their guidance throughout the process.

The renovations to Gillie’s have provided a casual space for students to play pool, watch sports, and spend time. Photo Credit: Bec Harper

Tymann commented on the work that went into the renovation.

“I really feel like this is such an example of student leadership through GCSA, but also collaboration across the college. It’s a big project, so there are a lot of moving parts, and it’s not easy to coordinate. But when you think of where we are in terms of Covid, some fiscal realities, and what it takes even to get construction and people like that involved, the work that Cam and Teddy and GCSA have done is really remarkable. And this is really a space that is needed on campus and many more as well—so students have places to relax, to study, to have fun, and to just be together. And this whole theme of rest is really key.”

Although Covid changed the way students gather together on campus, it did not affect the need for fellowship among the student body. Through this ongoing Gillies renovation, GCSA hopes to provide a welcoming space for students to gather together safely for much-needed rest. The Student Venues Council is expected to begin events in the following weeks. As stated by Cam, “We’re not done. We’re not done planning and executing events; we’re not done finishing this space…We’re really excited about what’s yet to come.”

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