The L.A Pittenger Student Center is a common location for campus organizations, programs and services. Additionally, the center has a bowling alley, hotel, and food court with a Starbucks and Taco Bell. Rachel Ellis, DN
L.A. Pittenger Student Center: The on-campus activity hub
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Since 1952, the L.A. Pittenger Student Center has served as a meeting place for students, faculty and community members alike.
The center was first opened as part of the 1952 Homecoming celebration, where student hosts led tours around the facility, according to a Daily News article published Oct. 10, 1952.
While the main cafeteria area was not open at first due to a delay in kitchen equipment shipping, the center’s Tally-Ho student snack bar was open for use and a Homecoming dance was later held in the building’s ballroom.
The building also featured a bookstore, a post office, student mailboxes and a recreation room and smoking was permitted throughout most of the building. Smoking was not permitted in the ballroom, however, when dances were happening.
On Nov. 20, 1952, the building was dedicated to honor Lemuel A. Pittenger, a former president of Ball State Teachers College.
After the center was opened, then-director of the student center Judson Betts called for committees to be formed to help plan student activities.
Eventually, the University Program Board was started in 1953.
The building has seen additions and small renovations throughout its history and currently contains the Student Center Tally Food Court, Cardinal Lanes, Hot Heads Hair Salon and a hotel on the third floor for university guests.
Inside the Student Center Tally Food Court there are grab-and-go items as well as made-to-order meals from the chef’s station, a Taco Bell, salad bar, Starbucks, soups, comfort foods and “grill favorites.”
The Student Center also carries out its mission of creating “an environment which encourages out-of-classroom experiences” and providing “a gathering place for the campus” by hosting a number of events including Late Nite, according to Ball State’s website.