Hegdekar is a PhD candidate in the University of Maryland Graduate School and also is getting her Master of Science in Law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. In addition to her academics, she is the president of the University Student Government Association.
“As a student leader, I use the Campus Center almost every single day,” Hegdekar said. “I have come to so many professional development events and extracurricular and social activities. These are events that, as a student, I have really benefited from.”
On Dec. 4, Hegdekar joined fellow students as well as UMB faculty and staff on the first floor of the SMC Campus Center for a ceremony celebrating its 10-year anniversary.
In September 2009, under the leadership of President David J. Ramsay, DM, DPhil, the five-story building officially opened its doors at 621 W. Lombard St. The center provides UMB with a number of amenities, including an array of dining, meeting, and conference spaces and a first-rate fitness facility with a swimming pool and sauna. However, the most important amenity is being a central hub for students, faculty, and staff to interact, share ideas, and relate to one another.
“I like to call it a space and place for student success and a place to build campus community,” said Bill Crockett, MS, RCRSP, the executive director of Campus Life Services. “That’s really important, and as I reflect back, I think that the completion of the Campus Center was a game-changer for UMB.”
The SMC Campus Center stands in place of the old student center, which, according to students, faculty, and staff, was small and insignificant to the UMB experience. This kick-started the effort to build a bigger and better campus center in its place.
“We have the students to thank for the SMC Campus Center,” said UMB president and soon-to-be University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Jay A. Perman, MD. “They had the desire and the will to have a proper campus center, and they recognized that it’s important for them to have a shared space where they can come together.”
During the anniversary ceremony, Crockett explained that the $61 million building project took more than 10 years to even get off the ground. A lot of the planning and consultation soccer streams for the building started as early as 1997. Construction efforts did not begin until the official groundbreaking ceremony in October 2006 after Southern Management Corporation CEO David Hillman and his wife, Suzanne, gifted the university $5 million for the project. That’s where the SMC Campus Center gets its name.
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