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Activites to celebrate Center's 20th birthday

Several student groups are planning to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Julius A. Stratton '23 Student Center, according to Barbara M. Fienman, campus activities advisor.

"We really should have a birthday party of some kind," Fienman said. "The Student Center deserves a chance to promote itself. This is a special occasion where we can heighten awareness of the building as a center of campus life."

Although Fienman conceived the original idea for the celebration, she will not be coordinating the event. Instead, she said, she will delegate planning and management of the function to a small committee of interested students.

The celebration probably would be spearheaded by the Student Center Committee (SCC), in conjunction with the Undergraduate Association (UA) and the Association of Student Activities, Fienman said.

Fienman suggested several events for the celebration, including midways in which student activities could highlight their events, live performances by acting and musical groups and art displays. Fienman has already reserved five lounges in the Student Center for Oct. 9 to provide room for displays and performances.

"If the students are interested, there might even be ice cream, streamers, balloons and a giant birthday cake," Fienman said.

Several activities have already shown interest in the idea, including the Lecture Series Committee, Fienman said. She added that she will be approaching other student activities for assistance and ideas during the next few weeks.

The Student Center was opened on Oct. 9, 1965, as an alternative to the Walker Memorial, which was overcrowded in its function as a dining hall and center for student activities.

It was named after Stratton, who was president of MIT at the time of the opening and had made the construction of a new center for student activities one of his concerns in his 1959 inaugural address.

Funding for its construction was provided by the Second Century Fund, a $66 million capital program designed to provide new educational and community facilities, endowment and basic research and student aid funds for MIT.