Volume 80 | Issue 3
May 2012

Richards Treat University Center, Millikin University


Millikin University
Four-year, private, urban
Full-time enrollment: 2,400
Location: Decatur, Ill.

Richards Treat University Center

Director or equivalent:
Beth Evans,
Director of Student Programs

38,000 sq. ft.


Year built:

Annual budget:

Student staff:
28 (part-time)

Nonstudent staff:
4 (full-time)


The Richards Treat University Center opened in 1960; the building was “made possible by benefactors Lenore Richards and Nola Treat, class of 1907,” said Assistant Director of Student Programs Paul Lidy. 

The building was renovated and expanded in 1979. Currently, Millikin University is fundraisingMilliken1 to build a brand new union. Lidy believes the project will be completed sometime in the next five years.  

Unique features

One interesting feature about the University Center is that the operation of the building is done by students with the direct supervision of one full-time staff member, according to Lidy.

The building houses numerous services, such as a video rental system, games room, Center for Multicultural Student Affairs, Center of International Education, a radio station, and eateries. Of these locations, the games room, Big Blue Bistro, and the dinning hall are where students can often be found. 

Students’ role

The 28 University Center student employees are “the primary source for operating and managing the building,” Lidy said. 

Student roles include setup and teardown crew, crew leader, University Information Desk assistant, games room attendant, building Milliken2manager, and campus scheduling assistant.  


The University Center is home to various programs. An annual event is the Cookie Party at the end of the first academic semester each year. Faculty and staff serve the students cookies. At the end of each semester, the University Center Board hosts a pancake breakfast; once again, faculty and staff serve food to the students. 

Milliken University annually hosts the Show Choir Camps of America. While at the university, the union is “a hub of activity” for the group, Lidy said. 

Additional past events include a safe trick-or-treat and a coffeehouse event with Javier Colon, first winner of “The Voice.”