New Millennium

Turn of the Millennium 
LSC Enters a New Era

Two tragedies — one local, one national/international — marked Colorado State University’s passage into the 21st century: the devastating July 1997 flood that inundated CSU’s main campus, and the Sept. 11, 2001, bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City. Both had profound influences on how the campus currently looks, operates, and functions as an increasingly diverse and complex community, addressing the challenges of today and ahead.

CSU President Albert C. Yates (1990-2003) used the flood to motivate, as well as, to console the University by defining the crisis as,  “an opportunity for CSU to become a better place than it had been before.”  The campus post-flood emerged with a renewed sense of community and confidence. Its two major touchstone buildings — Morgan Library and Lory Student Center — grew more beautiful and functional than ever before.

As it did for the nation, 9/11 brought the campus community together to mourn and tackle the complex issues of living in a global society. 

Throughout the decade, the LSC literally has become a laboratory for student learning. By 2007, student-centered leadership, volunteer and special interest organizations came together under the umbrella: Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE).     

Student Affairs professionals, academic programs and private enterprise came together to create a student center environment where students could become engaged and prepared to move into the realities of the 21st century.  Along the way, as it has for 50 years, the LSC continues in the strong tradition of its original mission to provide programs, services, and facilities to help create a campus of inclusion, access, opportunity, and optimism. 


A New Century, A Global Perspective 

During the 2000s, the LSC has continued to expand its support programs and services designed to provide all students opportunities to successfully participate in, and contribute to, the diverse campus environment. For example, in 2007, Diversity and Social Justice Programs was created as part of Campus Activities to facilitate collaborative opportunities between the Student Diversity Programs and Services (SDPS) offices, student organizations, and other groups or individuals on campus.

 In addition, to more fully integrate multiculturalism into the life of the LSC, Campus Activities, Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE), and the LSC Governing Board collaborate to administer the LSC Diversity Grant. Grants are awarded to registered student organizations to encourage active participation and input in developing programs and services that enhance the educational and cultural aspects of the University community, and raise the awareness of differing perspectives.

Reaching out across similarities and differences. During the fall of 2003, Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Student Services (now Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, or GLBTRC), now got a boost in visibility when it moved its offices to the main level of the LSC. In fact, that move from the LSC’s lower level to its current office in LSC Room 174 led to a 175 percent increase in contacts over a one-year period. Since then, GLBTRC has provided support services to increasing numbers of students each year.

GLBTRC got its start in fall 1997, when the Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU) and the Student Organization for Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals (SOGLB) proposed that the University establish a GLBTRC Student Services office. Student Affairs personnel, working closely with the student organizations, and with the support of private donors, created GLBTRC Student Services, which officially opened Aug, 1, 1998, in the LSC.

Today, GLBTRC offers education, support, leadership, and social programs and resources to all students, including the Coming Out Group (COG), founded in 2008 to offer participants opportunities to develop deeper self-awareness and deeper awareness of their community.

One-Stop Shop

Throughout the decade, the LSC has expanded its conveniences by becoming a one-stop shop for campus on the go. Need cash, a hair cut, food, a RamCard “key,” new bike/old bike, tech support, books? Got it. Whether it’s retail businesses or campus services, the LSC serves as “Main Street,” where errands on the fly are easy as pie.

Let’s not stop there. The Lory Student Center also has set up shop with satellite locations in the library with Morgan’s Grind, on one of the busiest corners on south campus with Lake Street Market, and in support of the University’s diversity efforts with INTO Café in Alder Hall. And, don’t forget Sweet Temptations in the Behavioral Sciences Building, which is a sister location to Sweet Sinsations on LSC’s main floor.

Go Rams! Transit Center at CSU

Wheels were turning in the heads of campus, LSC, and the City of Fort Collins leaders when the idea and design for the CSU Transit Center got going. How to make campus and community more accessible, less vehicle heavy, and “go, Big Green?” Outcome: The fall 2006 opening of the CSU transit center in a completely transformed north entrance to the LSC. 

Star Trek? Not Quite…but Majorly Out There. When completed in autumn 2006, the transit center construction project added more than 14,000 square-feet of new space to the LSC and renovated more than 7,000 square-feet of existing space. 

Anybody — from students, to visitors, to George Jetson, and his wife Judy — can relax inside while waiting for takeoff.  Need to check transit times? Check the Transfort customer counter or view flat screen monitors around the LSC. Follow breaking news? Talk to your fellow traveler or check the big screen. Bored and need a pick-me-up? Grab a bagel, cuppa Joe or buy a t-shirt.

The transit center’s new and renovated spaces stretched the LSC’s reach for continued customer service. It opened the way for satellite conveniences, including a mini-Campus Information desk (iBox Too), Cam’s Lobby Shop, Bagel Place 2, the Adult Learner and Veteran Services, and new meeting rooms at the building’s north end.

Students Didn’t Pay a Buck. Thank you, Federal Transit Administration (FTA). No student fees or tuition were used for the student center’s transit center addition. The FTA covered all funding for the project — thanks to several years of visionary work by the City of Fort Collins and leadership at CSU.  

And, the Transit Center Is Gold. LEED Gold* As a LEED Gold-certified building, the transit center addition holds a huge distinction in building design. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System® is based on state-of-the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.  LEED criteria are established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Go forth Rams! And LEED!!

* Rip off on the 1966 TV theme some, The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-’71)


The Will of the Students: LSC of the Future

As its first distinctive architectural design was coming to life on paper in 1955, the Lory Student Center already was alive in the hearts and minds of those CSU administrators and student affairs professionals who understood the importance of creating a campus gathering place for students. 

With its nod to Italian Renaissance architecture (theatre roof and plaza), the LSC, opened in 1962, continues to maintain its physical beauty while improving its functionality — all with a specific purpose in mind: how best to serve the approximately 20,000 - 25,000 people who pass through its doors each day.

Planning for the revitalized LSC has been as inclusive as its mission. Students, staff, faculty, and outside consultants  worked together to help create the master plan for a 21st century building. ASCSU, Conference Services, Admissions, and other key campus groups and colleagues from peer institutions all provided thoughts on what the LSC can bring to campus today and in the future.

Revitalization with Purpose. The CSU System Board of Governors approved the LSC’s revitalization in October 2011. The focus of the project is to create a sustainable building — one that is more energy efficient, organized to support a more diverse student body, and anticipates the growth aspirations of CSU’s land grant mission.

The project includes renovation of 160,000 gross-square-feet of the existing student center and adds approximately 69,600 gross square feet of new space. Updates to LSC’s exterior and the half-century-old mechanical systems will provide substantial improvement in energy performance and efficiency. In addition, life safety and accessibility deficiencies will be corrected. The project also will integrate the LSC with exterior program spaces (lagoon, west lawn, amphitheater, and sculpture garden). 

The LSC interior also gets a facelift with co-location of the offices of Student Diversity Programs and Services (SDPS) and the addition of 6,000 gross square feet  to the Ballroom and expansions of dining and food service areas, meeting rooms, and student lounge spaces. 

Preservation for Continuity. While change is necessary and good, preserving parts of the past is key to maintaining the character of the LSC. Certain touchstones of the building lend texture to the history of the LSC and will remain. At this point, these include:  the main staircase, with its hand-inlaid mosaic; the Rams head fountains in the Sutherland Sculpture Garden, which will be moved to the front of the building; much of the artwork currently on display; the Longs Peak Room, Curfman Gallery, Duhesa Lounge, and ASCSU Senate Chambers.

Beginning in 2013 the LSC will provide updates regarding our upcoming revitalization and how we’ll move forward for the next 50 years. For the latest information visit,