The New Millennium

(2000-2009)

The new millennium began with a salute to the progress made in the 1990s and continued into the next decade with growth and diversity in mind. The Union saw major renovations as a result of the Union Enhancement Project and strengthened its presence south of the building with the newly constructed South Union Plaza. In the spirit of progress, the Union added the Union Computer Store, a hair care center, the Cats' Den convenience store and Panda Express. Services were also expanded and upgraded across campus and the community in Hale Library, the Engineering Complex and at Colbert Hills Golf Course. Fundraising opportunities became available with the establishment of the Friends of the Union program, allowing individuals and other organizations to contribute to the Union's mission of serving students. Campus entities, such as Greek Affairs, the Wildcat 91.9 studio and the Multicultural Student Organizations office could now call the Union their home. Amazing works of art became a part of the Union's permanent collection each year. While keeping pace with the needs of current students, the Union also celebrated its impact on the student body with a 50th-anniversary celebration. 

Highlights

  • Friends of the Union established
  • Union Enhancement and Plaza dedicated
  • Union Expo started
  • First Friday created
  • Starbucks brews

 January 2000

Pepsi-Cola was awarded exclusive pouring rights and vending responsibilities, including Union vending, at K-State.

 February 2000 Cats' Den convenience store opened for business. 
 Spring 2000 "Rock'it Bowl" began in the Union Bowling Center. 
 April 2000 The renovation to the bookstore was completed. 
 Summer 2000 The Union began operating the snack bar and beverage cart service at Colbert Hills Golf Course. 
 June 2000 Union Computer Store opened for business. 
 July 2000 Union HairCare, a hair salon, opened in the Union bowling center. 
 October 2000 The Friends of the Union was established as the Union fund raising program. The first contribution, made by Alpha Delta Pi, purchased a plaza bench. The Kansas City-based Kemper Foundation donated to the Friends to renovate the Art Lounge and it was renamed the William T. Kemper Foundation Art Gallery. Little Theatre is renamed the Dane G. Hansen Little Theatre after the Hansen Foundation donated to the Friends. The Hansen Little Theatre, a multi-purpose room, had the latest technological advances. 
 October 2000 The Union Enhancement Project was dedicated. Student leaders who helped with the Project from inception to completion assisted with the ceremony. 
 January 2001 The Duval Group, bookstore consultants, were hired. 
 Spring 2001 Bosco Student Plaza construction was completed. 
 January 2002 The Chinese Warrior exhibit was unveiled as a new addition to the Union permanent art collection. The piece was donated by the Brandeberry family. 
 February 2002 Crimpers Too assumed responsibility for the hair care location in the bowling center. 
 Spring 2002 The Union Governing Board (UGB) approved the Union to become a benefactor at Colbert Hills Golf Course, providing discounted green fees, golf clinics and an annual tournament for K-State students. 
 April 2002 The Union hosted the National Association College Union (ACU) College Bowl Tournament Championship. 
 June 2002 University Book Store, Inc., doing business as Varney's Book Store of Manhattan, was awarded the management contract for the Union bookstore. 
 July 2002 A studio of the Wildcat 91.9, the K-State student radio station, moved into the Union. 
 July 2002 Partnering with the new K-State Alumni Center, the Union began providing catering, custodial and maintenance services. 
 August 2002 The First Friday program, a substance-free alternative to a Friday night, was started. This program is now known as K-State After Hours. This event is the result of a specific student privilege fee. 
 September 2002 Three Allee Chinese Elm trees planted on the Union Plaza were dedicated "in memory of the human lives that were lost on September 11, 2001 in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania; and to honor the courage, spirit and strength of the people of the United States of America." 
 Fall 2002 Union Food Service was awarded the contract for servicing the skyboxes at home football games. 
 2003 Forum Hall was renovated to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. 
 2003 Synthetic bowling lanes were installed. 
 October 2003 The Union outsourced a coffee shop, Grounds Espresso, L.C., in the Engineering Complex. 
 Spring 2004 The Greek Affairs office moved to the Union. 
 July 2004 The Union Copy Center was outsourced to K-State Printing Services. 
 February 2005 Union Program Council's (UPC) K-State V-Day 2005 and "The Vagina Monologues" were named one of the top five V-Day programs nationally and raised $9,500 for charity. 
 July 2005 UPC partnered with the Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department and the International Association of Jazz Educators to produce the first annual Little Apple Jazz Festival. Prior to this, UPC sponsored smaller jazz concerts on the Plaza and at Colbert Hills Golf Course. 
 August 2005 Panda Express restaurant opened. 
 October 2005 Alison Carmichael and Sun Cha Felix are selected as the first K-State Student Union Ambassadors. 
 December 2005 The Union is one of the co-sponsors for the third annual Little Apple Ball Drop in Aggieville with Varney's Book Store. 
 2006 The Union celebrates its 50th anniversary with a week of diverse events and a banquet honoring the history and memories made throughout the years. 
 2006 Union Governing Board (UGB) established a part-time scholarship. 
 April 2007  Caribou Coffee opened for business. 
 September 2007 Bookend Cafe opened in Hale Library. 
 Fall 2008 Cafe Q opened in Durland Hall in the Engineering Complex. 
 Fall 2008 Salsarita's Fresh Cantina opened in Union Station. 
 2009 The Union website was redesigned. 
 November 2009 A new sound system was installed in Forum Hall and the Grand Ballroom.