The Ron Burton Academic Advising Center is the centerpiece of the rebuilt Harold Anderson Hall, home of Northwestern’s Department of Athletics and Recreation as well as the new Ken Kraft Wrestling Complex. Situated northeast of Ryan Field, the $9 million state-of-the-art building is 18,000 square feet larger than the previous structure. It acts as a school away from school for Northwestern’s 450 student-athletes, who work to maintain academic excellence while juggling rigorous athletic schedules.
“This new facility will help Northwestern maintain and improve our high academic standards,” says University President Henry S. Bienen. “Not only do we have wonderfully competitive teams but also the highest-quality students.”
The new center has more than three times the number of computers as its predecessor. “It’s a quiet atmosphere where I can study, but the part I use most is the computer lab,” says softball pitcher Courtnay Foster, a School of Communication senior. “It’s really convenient because I’m at the stadium all the time.”
But as important as technology is to academic advising, it is the advisers themselves who are essential to the athletes’ academic performance. The Ron Burton Academic Advising Center creates a more efficient space for them.
“The increase in space has been phenomenal for our advising,” says Betsi Burns (GSESP97), director of student development for athletics and an academic adviser. “There’s space for students to study, for advisers to hold group sessions and even for us to hold sessions with job recruiters.
“The new space also allows for privacy,” Burns adds. “If a student wants to discuss a confidential matter with an adviser, they can do so without everyone in the building hearing about their issue.”
The rebuilt facility is still known as Harold Anderson Hall, named for a life trustee whose commitment to the University and Northwestern athletics spanned more than 50 years. But the Ron Burton Academic Advising Center is at the heart of the new building, helping Northwestern build on its tradition of academic and athletic excellence, honoring and embodying the spirit of Ron Burton, the student-athlete ideal. — G.P.