By Dr. Elizabeth Christian
Pineville, LA (LCU News) – Except for the fewer number of trees, one would never know – driving on Louisiana Christian University’s campus—that the school had been hard hit by a tornado and a hurricane in the last two years. The grounds—and the residence halls—have received major upgrades, thanks to generous donor funds and some major elbow grease.
Recently, major renovations in Cottingham women’s residence hall, Tudor Hall and English Village, men’s residence halls, have been completed.
English Village has had a complete makeover, inside and out over the last year. One of the most noticeable improvements has been the new siding on the exterior of all of English Village. We just finished sprucing up the Commons Area where students gather for studying, television or visiting. New furniture and wall hangings have been added along with tables and chairs where students can charge up their computers or phones while studying or watching TV together.
Cottingham underwent multifold renovations. In 2016, roofing was repaired, some interior repairs took place, new furniture was added, and televisions were purchased for the common areas. Additionally, the first-floor common kitchen was remodeled with a new countertop, sink, tile backsplash and appliances. Each dorm room has been redone with new flooring, and walls have been painted. White Parlor also received new flooring, paint, artwork, wall hangings and furniture.
Tudor Hall required major structural repairs, and bathrooms were all remodeled. The lobby and common spaces were remodeled in 2016-2017, and a movie/theatre viewing room with new furnishings was added.
One of the unsung designers of these projects—and throughout her husband’s tenure—has been LCU First Lady Cathy Brewer.
“Students and faculty and staff deserve a nice space to work, study and live,” Cathy Brewer said. “We have top-notch faculty and academic programs that provide for an outstanding education in a Christ-centered environment. In order to attract quality students and faculty we need to provide pleasing spaces, and it’s important to us that we provide a home-like environment for students while they are with us.”
Mrs. Brewer is well-known among the student body for hosting student groups at the Brewer home and serving up some delicious homemade delicacies for her Wildcat family. Several times a year she also makes treats and sends to faculty and staff and classrooms often with scriptures and inspirational messages attached.
So, it’s no surprise she wanted to lend a helping hand to nurture the living and learning areas of LCU, as well.
“It has been my pleasure to make small contributions and assist in some of the renovation and remodeling projects in the Residence Halls and on the grounds at Louisiana Christian University,” she said. “When Dr. Brewer and I first visited the LCU Campus in 2015, it quickly became evident that many areas of the campus were in dire need of facility maintenance and repairs.
It hasn’t been just internal changes to the buildings—but also the grounds that became a major project of Mrs. Brewer.
“It has been a major goal to enhance the physical environment in order to provide safe, clean, and inviting spaces for students, faculty, and staff—a place where students and faculty are able to live, work, and study in a pleasing space,” she said.
Mrs. Brewer also believes it is important to take care of all the Lord has given her family.
“It remains important to be faithful stewards of the institution and its assets—that the monetary and in-kind gifts donated to Louisiana’s only Baptist College, be cared for to the best of our ability and that we leave it in better shape than it was when we found it.”
And students universally agree the facilities and grounds are looking great.
Anna Matherne, a senior business major, has called Cottingham Hall home for nearly four years.
“I was so excited when I found out about the renovations of the dorms, especially since I got to experience them for my final year of college,” Matherne said. “Walking into my newly painted and furnished dorm room was like Christmas morning. I was so eager to see all that had been done. One of my favorite things is to spend time in White Parlor. I love walking through and knowing the countless hours that went into making this a special home for us girls. I have spent many late nights in our lobby studying, watching movies, sharing a midnight pizza, or just hanging out with friends. I love having such a beautiful, comfortable and charming place to do this.”
Gracee Bryant, a junior accounting major and Cottingham resident, echoed Matherne’s comments about the excitement of all the changes around campus.
“They give a more modern and weLCUoming atmosphere,” she said.
Not to be outdone, the men saw major changes to English Village and Tudor, as well.
“EV’s upgraded lobby and living conditions are brand new and in way better condition,” said senior psychology major Jason Rodriguez. “The renovations are really nice.”
Not taking any credit for herself, Mrs. Brewer is quick to express gratitude for the generosity of LCU alumni and friends of the college who have provided funds to allow for the completion of these projects. She also said she is grateful for the faculty and staff—and she named each one individually—who have been of help in accomplishing all the upgrades.
“I am thankful that I have been able to play a small part in putting some of my own touches on these projects so that we can provide comfortable spaces for our students, faculty, and staff at Louisiana Christian University,” Mrs. Brewer said. “It’s personally important to me that we care for and create spaces that can provide a ’home away from home.’”
Mrs. Brewer said she believes the facilities should match the “first-class academic programs provided by top-notch faculty, staff and coaches.”
She said there are many other projects to be accomplished, and she plans to continue assisting wherever she is needed.
“If we are unable to attract new students due to run-down facilities, then we are unable to teach and reach young people with an excellent academic experience in a Christ-centered environment,” Cathy Brewer said. “I have always thought that we should approach everything we do at Louisiana Christian University as if we were sending our own children or grandchildren to attend.”
President Rick Brewer said he is grateful for all the people who have been involved in making the campus look better—both monetary and sweat equity.
“Curb appeal remains in the Top 5 compelling reasons for a student selecting a specific college to attend,” said Brewer, who is grateful for his wife’s time and attention given in these efforts to beautify the campus. “This fact is not lost on Louisiana Christian University as we have made the addition and care of landscaping an esthetic and security matter. Cathy and I are grateful for alums such as Don Hill who have provided significant funding for campus beautification initiatives.”