Fred B. Wenn Student Center
- Completed: 1970
- Dedicated: 1976
- Square feet: 112,342
- Total Construction Cost: $2,358,000
The Fred B. Wenn Student Center first opened its doors in 1970 as a “state‐of‐the‐art building, just under 100,000 square feet in size, beautifully appointed with molded plastic lime‐green furniture and hot pink butterfly chairs, met the needs of the nearly 7,000 students enrolled at that time.” Six years after the Student Center was opened, it was named the Fred B. Wenn Student Center in honor of a longtime industrial management professor who spent years overseeing 17 students committees efforts to raise money for the building. A bronze relief of Wenn, who died in 1972, was unveiled at a dedication ceremony May 4, 1976, and It now hangs on a wall on the second floor of the center. During the course of its first 20 years, the Student Center saw the creation of many notable student programs such as Campus Leadership Initiative, FASET, ORGT, and OPTIONS.
During the 1996 Olympics, the Student Center ballrooms were turned into weight gyms, the food court became VIP dining for multiple Heads of State, and video feeds were placed in the Theatre for athletes to stay updated with the games.
The building has undergone significant upgrades to the facility, and the Center’s post office, theatre, and food courts were all expanded while the bookstore and health center were removed to other locations. In the early 2000s, Burdell’s, the optometrist, a hair salon, and multiple fast food items were added.
After his service in World War I, Wenn worked for GE in Schenectady, N.Y., while completing his bachelor’s degree at NYU. He later received a master’s degree from Emory, then Wenn began teaching finance and investments courses through Tech’s commerce department in 1923. After 35 years at Tech, Wenn retired as professor emeritus and was named an honorary member of the senior class, receiving the dedication of that year’s Blueprint. He was named an honorary alumnus of the Institute by the National Alumni Association board of trustees that same year.