Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 14, 2018

Michael Dixon at Groundbreaking of Intercultural Center

Director of Intercultural Services and chief diversity officer Michael Dixon speaks during the groundbreaking of the Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center on Feb. 1. This space welcomes all Manchester University students to  come together and is intended to be a space for student relation and community outreach and connection. 

Photo provided 

UN Ambassador Young to Cut Ribbon at Intercultural Center

Marcus Zwiebel

United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young will perform the preliminary ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Intercultural Center named for his late wife Jean Childs Young on Saturday, Sept. 29.

The Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center, which honors the alumna who was an education and civil rights activist, will be open for university and community use following the ribbon-cutting. The facility will replace the current Intercultural Center (located on College Avenue across from the Administration Building) and, according to Michael Dixon, director of Intercultural Services and chief diversity officer, is going to be a replication of previous services, plus more.

The Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center will house more namespaces, an open layout, a larger kitchen, larger meeting areas, featured artwork and a rounded meeting space with a distinctive dome ceiling (to emphasize a “nosides” perspective), which groups from every discipline and organization on campus may utilize. The Intercultural Center will also employ a new Assistant Director of Intercultural Services.

The Center’s exterior will showcase a memorial garden, patio and Peace Pole (which has, due to construction, been temporarily moved) to remember the tragic passing of several international Manchester students in 2016.

The Intercultural Center—located at the intersection of College Avenue and East Street—is intended to be a location for improving student relation, as well as promoting community outreach and connection to a variety of area audiences. With the new facility, Dixon hopes that Manchester will become a cultural focal point for northeast Indiana, and a new capital of diversity for all students. Manchester University president Dave McFadden also acknowledged that groups outside of the old Intercultural Center did not always feel invited to utilize the space and hope that won’t be the case with the new Center.

The Center has already presented its potential for impact well beyond Manchester through the involvement of the Youngs. Jean Childs Young, the Center’s namesake, was a Manchester alumna (and first non-white May Day Queen) who held a federally appointed position as the chair of the U.S. Commission of the International Year of the Child, and worked closely with President Carter and civil rights leaders, Rev. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King.

Jean Childs Young was a Manchester trustee for four years and received an honorary doctorate from Manchester in 1980. Andrew Young is, formerly, a United Nations ambassador, U.S. congressman, mayor of Atlanta, and recipient of over 60 honorary doctorates. Ambassador Young will also welcome in a VIA event after the initial ribbon-cutting before leaving the university. “The Meeting,” a one-act play by Jeff Stetson, will last from 7:30–9 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium and will portray a fictional meeting between civil rights leaders and activists, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Prior to the ribbon-cutting and formal unveiling of the Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center, there will be an internal tour of the facility on Sept. 14, with premier access to faculty, staff and students.