Burgett Intercultural Center dedicated
Burgett Intercultural Center dedicated at refurbished Douglass Building
The Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center was dedicated Friday in a ceremony at the newly renovated Frederick Douglass Building. The man it was named for called it “a momentous occasion, unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life.” “Good things come to those who wait,” Burgett said. “I thank the University for this honor, and for the dawning of this day.”
Established in 2013, the center is named for Burgett, a vice president and senior advisor to University President and CEO Joel Seligman. Burgett has been a member of the University community since joining the Eastman School of Music as a freshman in 1964.
The center had been working out of a small office in Wilson Commons before relocating to the third floor of the renovated Douglass Building, which opened in September. Administered by the Office of the Dean of Students and the David T. Kearns Center, the Burgett Center promotes cultural awareness and engagement, educates on issues of identity, culture, and diversity, and provides opportunities for collaboration among students, staff, and faculty.
“One of the great strengths of our University is our diversity,” said Richard Feldman, dean of the College. “We now have a physical space for those students, something we’ve wanted for a long time.”
Seligman said Burgett exemplifies all that the center stands for.
“I don’t know anyone who has traveled as much or learned as much as Paul,” he said. “He never ceases to see the best in everyone.”
The Burgett Center will share space with the new Language Center. That center’s vision is to work with students, faculty, and staff to promote the current 18 languages offered on campus and raise intercultural awareness.
—Jim Mandelaro, September 2016