The Nineties

Union north exterior before Bosco Student Plaza


Knowing that students funded the Union construction and additions, and are the center of its activities, the name was officially changed to the "K-State Student Union" in 1995. The 1990s saw significant growth of services both inside and outside of the building. From serving as a Flood of '93 Red Cross refuge area and housing the K-State ID Center to opening several foodservice venues around campus and a full-service bank, the K-State Student Union steadily grew and continually enhanced student life. The Multicultural Committee was added to the Union Program Council (UPC), exposing students to cultures from around the world. Bernard J. Pitts was named the fifth director. Another group of visionary students led a campaign, starting in 1993, to improve the Union's structure. The hard hats returned in June 1998 after students funded the $11.5 million renovation. Infrastructure, aesthetics and new entities and services were added, as well as an outdoor plaza. Throughout the entire renovation, services did not cease; the doors remained open. 


  • UPC Multicultural Committee established
  • Program and renovation fees increased
  • Love Line comes to K-State
  • Stanley L. Winter Alpha Tau Omega K-State Student Union Leadership Scholarship created
  • Pitts named fifth director
January 1991 Union Station opened as an alcohol-free entertainment and food facility in the space formerly known as the Catskellar. The Catskellar coffee house was created with the 1970 addition and located in the space that housed the original eight lanes of bowling. 
August 1991 The Union became a tobacco-free building. 
April 1993 The first Stanley L. Winter Alpha Tau Omega K-State Student Union Leadership Scholarship was awarded. The scholarship was created in memory of Stanley Winter, who was active with UPC as a volunteer and as an advisor. He was also active in the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. 
Summer 1993 The Union served as a Red Cross refuge area during the Flood of '93. The Ballroom was set up with cots and meals prepared by Union Food Service. 
December 1993 The Union Enhancement Project planning began. 
March 1994 Student Senate Bill 93/94/56 established the $25 K-State Union Enhancement Fee and authorized a referendum to take place on April 12 and 13. 
April 1994 Students approved a $25 enhancement fee. 
1995 Union Food Service opened a food cart program in the Veterinary Medicine complex. 
February 1995 Subway opened in the Union Bowling Center. 
May 1995 The official name of the Union became the K-State Student Union. 
August 1995 Beer sales began in the Union Bowling Center and Union Station. 
October 1995 Bernard J. Pitts became the fifth director of the K-State Student Union. 
Fall 1995

Foodservice consultant Cornyn-Fasano Group was hired to evaluate Union Food Service. 

July 1996 Professional Food Management was contracted to operate Union Food Service.
Fall 1996 The K-State ID Center was moved to the Union with Union management providing the service. 
November 1996   A food cart concept, The Beach Arch Cafe, opened in the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art. 
August 1997 Commerce Bank opened in a temporary location and moved to the first floor in July 1998. 
Septemeber 1997 Bookplate Cafe, a food cart sponsored by Union Food Service, was opened in Hale Library. 
June 1998 The $11.5 million Union Enhancement Project construction began. Ken Ebert Design Group was selected as the architect for the project. McPherson Construction Co., Topeka, was named the general contractor. Francis Construction, Rossville, was named as general contractor for the Union Plaza, and Blueville Nursery, Manhattan, was named as the general contractor for landscape and irrigation.
Fall 1998 Automatic bowling scorers were added to the Union Bowling Center. 
November 1998 Union Food Service opened the "Treehouse," a food cart program in Throckmorton Hall. 
Fall 1999  The new Union Food Court opened and included Taco Bell, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Manchu Wok, Market Carvery, Slicer's Deli, Freshens and several beverage stations.