The West Virginia University Alumni Association will officially welcome alumni, friends and the WVU community to its new home this week.

The association will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 23) at the entrance of the new 48,000-square-foot Erickson Alumni Center on 57 Alumni Drive, near Ruby Memorial Hospital and Milan Puskar Stadium. Alumni and University officials will offer brief remarks, followed by the ribbon-cutting and firing of the musket by Mountaineer mascot Michael Squires.

This new facility evokes the true Mountaineer spirit and pride that we all share,said Stephen L. Douglas, president and chief executive officer of the WVU Alumni Association.Alumni support for this project has been wonderful. Not only have our graduates provided private contributions for our building campaign, they also were instrumental in offering their thoughts and input on how this facility should look and feel. We look forward to welcoming our alumni and friends into our new home and showcasing this magnificent facility.

A public grand opening will take place from 1:30-5 p.m. Friday (Oct. 24). Alumni staff and volunteers will be on hand to lead visitors through the new center, and there will be refreshments. In addition, the association will host a special donor event for those individuals who have been part of theA New Home for Mountaineersbuilding campaign.

The Erickson Alumni Center, reminiscent of Woodburn Hall, brings with it new traditions and special stories, making it a memorable place for those who return to their alma mater, Douglas said.

Through some special memorial gifts, personal stories make our new home very unique,he added.Legendary Mountaineer sportscaster Jack Fleming; Louis Corson, author of theWVU Alma Mater; Jim Samuel, a WVU alumnus who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks; and loyal Mountaineer and Logan County native George Kovach are just a few of the alumni whose names and memories will live on in this new center.

The center also features a bell tower that is programmed to play numerous songs, includingTake Me Home, Country Roads,theAlma Mater,Wedding Marchand more. The Ware Family Alumni Walk will be lined with names and personal messages created by WVU alumni and carved into the bricks along the main entrance of the facility. The outdoor terrace and fireplace provide unique settings for special events.

In addition to the traditional architecture and landscape, the center also showcases state-of-the-art technology, including video/audio conferencing, webcasting, information stations and other multimedia equipment.

For more information about the WVU Alumni Association and the Erickson Alumni Center, visit .