On October 13, 2004, North Central University of Minneapolis, Minnesota, held the grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Center for Youth and Leadership, and in addition building tours were scheduled throughout the day.
Dr. Gordon Anderson, the president of North Central, was among those attending the ceremony along with NCU’s vice presidents, alumni, staff, students, and the Minnesota’s district youth director Mark Dean. The center, located at the corner of Chicago Avenue and 14th street, will serve as a place of learning and youth ministry resources for youth leaders, ministers, counselors and youth studies students.
Nate Ruch, a specialist in youth ministries and the co-director of the new center, gave the comment that the center will exist for the reason “to prepare, serve, and connect emerging and existing leaders to make a difference in the lives of the youth.” Ruch is anticipating for the Center to become a place that may invest and connect the youths and emerging leaders of today to a world of resource. Ruch is joined as co-director with other specialists Tracy Paino and Paul Hurckman.
The Center's resources are also available to youth leaders and groups whom are not affiliated with the university, and its rooms provide the necessary equipment to perform multimedia presentations. The Center also contains conference rooms and classrooms for meetings and workshops.
On the lower level of the building, there is a remodeled and refurbished coffee bar and meeting area and a library of resources on youth ministry and leadership. Also, a bank of computers is available for youths to find Internet resources. There are also two LCD projectors for presentations to large groups.
“We want to thank President Anderson and the officers for believing in our vision for the Center and what can happen with it in the future," says Paino.
Ruch said that the Center will eventually host nationally-known speakers on youth leadership in the near future, and there will be plans drafted in regards as to how to use the Center as a place of gathering and a resource hub.