MU Announces new Chinworth Center

By David Fenker

NORTH MANCHESTER -- Manchester University recently announced the planned construction of a new student-centered facility, beginning in May

The 36,000-square-foot Lockie and Augustus Chinworth Center, named for MU alumnus Herb Chinworth’s parents, will be home to the College of Business, Student Financial Services and the Office of the Registrar, as well as a commuter lounge coffee bar and offices for study abroad, honors, student activities and other programs.

The $8.5 million center is anticipated to open in autumn 2019, and will be located just north of the Jo Young Switzer Center on East Street.

Funding for the facility primarily comes from a $5.1 million donation from Herb Chinworth, who attended MU from 1938-1940 and passed away in May 2017.

“We are forever grateful to alumnus Herb Chinworth, who gave Manchester more than $5 million to name the facility in honor of his parents, Augustus and Lockie Chinworth,” MU President Dave McFadden said in a press release.

According to information provided by MU's Office of Strategic Communications, some of the programs that will call the Chinworth Center home currently reside in the Academic Center, built in 2012.

“The purpose of the Chinworth Center is twofold. It provides more academic space for classrooms and faculty offices, and it allows us to centralize a number of student services,” Anne Gregory, MU assistant director for media relations, said.
“We have already outgrown the Academic Center that was completed in 2012. We’ve added some new programs, such as health communication and professional sales, and we are exploring more.”

According to the release, College of Business programs include accounting, professional sales, business management, sport management, finance, entrepreneurship and marketing, and serve 330 business majors and many non-business major students pursuing business minors.

“The second-floor College of Business gives us more classrooms and faculty offices, freeing up space in the Academic Center,” Gregory said.

According to College of Business Dean Tim Ogden, the new facility will provided several benefits to the college, including centralizing classrooms and faculty and staff offices, providing additional classroom space and giving business students dedicated work spaces.

“In addition to more traditional classrooms, it will include a simulation room that will accommodate a variety of teaching/learning approaches, and the centerpiece will be a tiered, u-shaped case classroom designed to facilitate the use of the case-method of teaching and learning,” he said.

“ It will also include a significant amount of work space for the students, including conference rooms where students can work on group projects and more informal, comfortable work areas where students can work individually or in groups.  All of the space is designed to foster interaction between faculty, staff, and students, which is so critical to the learning experience at Manchester.”

Ogden added that the new facility will also include space for the Executive Cabinet of the College of Business Club.
“The Club provides significant co-curricular learning opportunities for the students, and providing this dedicated space highlights its importance,” he said.

Ogden noted that the college has 11 full-time faculty positions and two full-time staff positions.

The Chinworth Center will also centralize several university offices focused on student experiences.
“This new building also gives us an opportunity to cluster a number of student services together on the first floor to better serve our students,” Gregory said.

She noted that students must travel to several different buildings to access various student-centered offices: Student Financial Services and the Office of the Registrar are in the basement of the Administration Building, and the study abroad and honors programs are in the Otho Winger Memorial Hall, and others are spread throughout campus.

“The goal of the first-floor hub is to make those and other programs and services easy for students to find and use. A one-stop shop, if you will,” Gregory said.

Additionally, the first floor will be home to a lounge for commuter students, and a coffee bar.

“Because most of our students live in residential halls and have a place they call home, we also wanted to offer a home base – the commuter lounge – to serve students who live in area communities and drive to school,” Gregory said.

As of publication, no plans have been made for the spaces to be vacated by the programs moving into the Chinworth Center.
According to the press release, Chinworth donated the funds in 2014 to MU’s “Students First!” campaign, which raised more than $100 million for student-centered projects.

According to the Office of Strategic Communications, Chinworth and his wife, Arlene, provided support to the university in a variety of ways.

A 2014 press release about Chinworth, a Warsaw native, noted that he began his college career at Manchester College, and transferred to Purdue University to finish a degree in chemical engineering. He then worked for The Dow Chemical Co. in Michigan for several years after serving in the military during World War II.

The release noted that Chinworth contributed his successful transfer to Purdue to Manchester's reputation, particularly in the sciences.

“They prepared me well,” he said in an interview for the 2014 press release.

The release also said that Chinworth's brother, Gus, graduated from Manchester in 1941, served in the war, then successfully applied to the Indiana University School of Law.

Per the release: When IU learned Gus had a Manchester degree, they said, “No problem. You’re in,” remembered Chinworth. ”That’s a good record for Manchester.”

According to the press release announcing the new facility, MU has $6.5 million in hand or in pledges for the $8.5 million Chinworth project.

“Many alumni give sacrificially because they trace their personal growth and professional success to the transformative time they spent here,” McFadden said in 2014. “They give back so that current and future Manchester students can have the same powerful experiences they had.”

Donations for the new buildings may be made at

Posted on 2018 Jan 09