Yesterday morning, President Mauri Ditzler announced that Albion College will be receiving a donation from Chuck and Julie Frayer (‘77) to renovate the Bonta Admissions Center.
Ditzler delivered the news to over 300 Albion graduates during Albion’s Grand Getaway alumni gathering.
Vice President for Enrollment Steven Klein highlighted four central reasons as to why the renovations were advocated for.
First, since the admissions center moved from what is now Counseling Services to its current location two decades ago, admissions staff has increased and more room is needed. Klein’s office, for instance, was moved to the President’s suite in Ferguson to add additional office space.
Second, the financial aid office needs to have closer connections to the admissions process. Scholarships and financial aid, Klein said, play a large role in a prospective student’s visit. Moving the financial aid office from Ferguson to the new admissions building would create a “one-stop shop” for parents and students. Communication and collaboration between admissions and financial aid would be enhanced.
Third, admissions offices are currently too small to comfortably fit prospective students and their guardians. Interview room could be created and “decorated appropriately as a guest room as opposed to a personal office.” This would allow four to five individuals to be seated comfortably, Klein said. Personal offices would still be kept.
Fourth, because of limited space, there is only a makeshift conference room found in Bonta’s basement, where storage is kept. A new multi-purpose conference room could serve as a meeting space for prospectives, parents and high school counselors to meet.
“Steve’s vision for the space is that it’s collaborative, that it’s welcoming and that it really just embodies the opportunity that is on hand when you attend Albion College,” said Erik Braun, gift officer for Institutional Advancement. “It really captures that sentiment of what it means to be a remarkable liberal arts institution.”
Braun worked closely with the Frayers with the donation donation and was honored to help them through the process.
“I’ve never seen somebody jump at the opportunity to give back so quickly,” said Braun.
The Frayers took particular interest when they heard that Albion College was hoping to remodel the admissions center. It was named after Julie’s father, Frank Bonta (‘49). Bonta, who served for three years in the U.S. Navy before graduating from Albion, became an admissions counselor in 1951 and worked his way up to the director of admissions. He later became dean of students, where he stayed until his retirement in 1995.
In remembrance of Bonta’s time at Albion, whom Braun said had a “magnificent impact on this institution,” the Frayers donated money as a leadership gift, which is meant to encourage other alumni to contribute. An exact amount has not been given.
An architect will be hired next week to determine possible renovations, so no timeline has yet been established. Renovations, however, are a top priority for the college, said Braun.
The Grand Getaway is Albion’s largest off-campus alumni gathering and is hosted at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel. Its owner, Dan Musser III, is an Albion alumnus himself. The Frayers were in attendance for Ditzler’s announcement.