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EDUCATION NEWS
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Chapman University looks to the future

The 150-year-old institution plans to add a new 'historic' building, continue renovations on Argyros Forum.

By OC METRO staffPublished: February 28, 2011 02:41 PM

This year marks Chapman University's 150th anniversary, and the school has a number of milestones planned for the future, including continued renovations of the Argyros Forum and the addition of a new "historic" building.

Those projects were among the highlights of Chapman President Jim Doti's 20th State of the University speech, which he delivered on Friday at Memorial Hall.

Chapman was founded in 1861 and currently boasts programs in film and media arts, performing arts, educational studies, business, law, humanities and the sciences – and 2010 marked a banner year for the institution.

Case in point: Freshman enrollment is "through the roof," said Doti. The number jumped 33 percent last year and this year. And, Chapman landed at No. 2 in student selectivity in the U.S. News & World Report rankings – it's a key measure of the school's success. Additionally, Chapman physics professor Yakir Aharonov, Ph.D., garnered the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama, a student team from the university won the National Student Advertising Championship, and the school's experimental economics program moved up to No. 6 in the world – all in 2010.

Currently, the university's Argyros Forum is undergoing updates aimed at turning the space into a "true student union." The first floor is scheduled for completion in August and will include a great room with a fireplace, as well as a dining area, program spaces, a stage, and Einstein's Bagels and Jamba Juice. The second floor, which will be finished in the fall, will boast office space for the admissions department and a boardroom. And when the third floor is completed by February of next year, the area will offer a faculty club and a rooftop garden.

In the future? Chapman is moving forward with plans for a new building southwest of Memorial Hall that will complete the "historic vision" of the structures facing the Bert Williams Mall, which currently include the Memorial, Smith, Reeves and Roosevelt halls, said Doti. The new project – currently dubbed the Historic Core Classroom Building – will be built to complement the surrounding structures and will include nine classrooms, two seminar areas and 14 offices. The city of Orange is reviewing the plan.

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