The "UConn 2000 Initiative" was a $2-billion effort to reshape University of Connecticut campuses and return to the traditional New England image the University once enjoyed. New buildings and remodeled older buildings contributed to establishing an academic aesthetic rooted in the institution's East Coast tradition.
Missing in the campus plan was an easily identifiable “front door.” Thanks to a generous donation in 1999, the University of Connecticut now has that warm, approachable entry for students and visitors. The Visitors’ Center is the first impression students, parents, and visitors have of the campus.
The center was planned and designed as the principal destination for prospective students, parents, alumni, and other visitors to the campus. Campus tours originate in the Center following an audio/visual orientation presentation given inside. Campus exhibits are displayed throughout the Center’s main floor. Staff offices, smaller meeting rooms, and a catering kitchen are included.
Searching for the right university to attend is a major decision, and leaving home and familiar surroundings for the first time can be unsettling for many first-year students. The University of Connecticut Visitors’ Center helps ease the transition by welcoming students with a warm, inviting environment.
The University of Connecticut's Visitors' Center is the recipient of the AIA Connecticut Design Award 2001 and the AIA Wisconsin Merit Award 2002.