Aurora University

AU's 20 places to visit in 2020

By Christina Young | January 23, 2020

AU's 20 places to visit in 2020

It’s the start of a new decade. And we love lists! So what better time to take a look at all the places to visit at Aurora University. Whether you’re new to campus or looking to discover more, there are plenty of sights to see. Here are 20 that we recommend checking out this year:

  1. The Quad

    The Quad
    The Quad is the heart of the AU campus. You can hang out in the grass, throw a ball or Frisbee around, or study at one of the bright blue tables. It’s also the place for movie nights, art walks, homecoming activities, commencement, and student involvement fairs.

  2. Spartan Spot

    If you’re looking for a place to meet friends and unwind between classes, the Spot is the place for you. You can play air hockey, foosball, or pool, use the computer stations, watch the large flat screen TV, and grab a quick bite to eat.

  3. Office of Student Activities

    Do you want to get involved on campus? While you’re at the Spot, stop by the Office of Student Activities to learn about the more than 60 student clubs and organizations you can join. From professional organizations and service clubs to hobbies and Greek life, there's something for everyone. And if you don’t find what you are looking for, Student Activities can help you start your own club!

  4. Eckhart Hall

    Eckhart Hall
    Eckhart Hall is AU’s oldest campus building and is located on the east end of the Quad. The building originally served as the sole academic building when Aurora College (now AU) was opened in the spring of 1912. Today, Eckhart is home to the Office of Admission and Financial Aid, the Registrar, Student Accounts, Office of Residence Life, and a Center for Student Success location. It also houses the campus’s carillon bell, whose chimes you can hear at the top of the hour while walking across campus. Kentucky Fried Chicken Founder Col. Harland Sanders donated the funds to purchase the chimes after visiting the campus in 1967.

  5. Center for Student Success

    Need help registering for classes, choosing a major, searching for jobs, or figuring out how to apply for graduate school? The Center for Student Success has advisors dedicated to helping you with academic advising, vocational exploration, and career development. The Center for Student Success has four offices around campus in Dunham Hall 103, Eckhart Hall 310, and Institute for Collaboration 106 and 118 where you can make an appointment or visit during drop-in hours.

  6. Phillips Library

    On the Northeast corner of the campus, you’ll find Phillips Library, a popular place for studying on your own or with classmates. Research librarians can help you navigate AU’s 40,000 unique journal titles, 160,000 ebooks, and an interlibrary loan network of hundreds of libraries. You will also find AU’s historical archives, a computer lab, the Academic Support Center, and the Disability Resource Office.

  7. Academic Support Center

    Did you know there are free tutoring services at AU? The Academic Support Center in Phillips Library offers content-specific tutoring, including a drop-in math lab four days a week to assist you with completing homework and preparing for exams. There are also writing specialists who can work with you in-person or online to help you through the entire writing process. Learn more and schedule an appointment at aurora.mywconline.com.

  8. Dining Hall and Upper Terrace Patio

    Dining Hall
    The Dining Hall was recently renovated to include an upper terrace patio overlooking the Quad. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy your food and spend time between classes on a warm, sunny day. The Dining Hall also has a plant-based station featuring vegetarian and vegan options, and if you have a dietary restriction, the staff will ensure that you have meal options that meet your needs.

  9. Thornton Gymnasium

    Want to cheer on the Spartans? Check out a game in Thornton Gymnasium, located next to the Dining Hall. Not only can you find student-athletes from our 22 NCAA Division III sports practicing and competing, but you can also catch an intramurals game or join a team yourself.

  10. Vago Field

    Across the Spartan Terrace from the gym is Vago Field. The artificial turf facility is used by student-athletes for competitive games, individual or team practice, and performance work with our strength and conditioning coaches.

  11. Spartan Athletic Park

    Spartan Athletic Park
    Did you know AU also has a state-of-the-art, 80-acre athletics facility located less than a mile away from campus? Spartan Athletic Park is home to championship-quality venues for football, lacrosse, soccer, and softball. The park is equipped with modern athletic training facilities, expansive locker rooms, and ample seating for fans.

  12. Fitness Spaces

    Are you into fitness but not a student-athlete? Don’t worry, you can workout on campus, too! The weight room in Alumni Hall and the cardio fitness center in Jenks Hall are open to all AU students. You can participate in a free group exercise class, like yoga or Zumba, in the Activity Room in Alumni Hall, and you can even register to take a variety of classes for credit!

  13. Wellness Center

    The Wellness Center houses Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services. Here you’ll find a variety of resources and services to help you be the healthiest version of you. Check out the stress relief stations stocked with materials for meditative coloring or origami, or the instructional software on relaxation techniques. You will also find individual counseling, group therapy, and mental health and well-being workshops.

  14. Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action

    Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action
    Are you looking for a place to explore your meaning and purpose? The Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action offers service learning opportunities, leadership development programming, and campus ministry to help you discover your vocation through serving, leading, and believing.

  15. Labyrinth

    Nestled near the trees in the yard of the Wackerlin Center, you will find a 40-foot labyrinth made of thousands of brown and red concrete bricks. The labyrinth was built at AU in 2017—a gift from the Class of 1967—and is modeled on the classical pattern of seven circles. It is a place for the AU community to come for meditation, reflection, and vocational exploration. You can walk the labyrinth at any point throughout your AU journey as you discover what matters and build your life around it. Each fall, the Wackerlin Center also hosts “Labyrinth-palooza,” an event designed for students to learn more about this ancient form of meditation.

  16. Libby's Place and Spartan Attic

    The Wackerlin Center is also home to Libby’s Place and Spartan Attic, the on-campus food pantry and professional clothing closet. Both of these resources are free and available to students.

  17. Perry Theatre

    Perry Theatre
    If you’re looking for cultural enrichment opportunities, Perry Theatre is the place for you. The 200-seat theatre has a state-of-the-art stage with impressive lighting and sound systems. Our theatre department stages two productions in Perry Theatre, as well as a student-led production each year. It also hosts free film screenings, lectures, and discussions throughout the year as part of AU’s Celebrating Arts and Ideas series.

  18. Crimi Auditorium

    Through the Celebrating Arts and Ideas series, you can also attend events in Crimi Auditorium. This beautiful venue is used for cultural events, musical performances, guest lectures, and convocations, and can accommodate approximately 500 guests, making it the largest auditorium on campus. In 2010, an Opus 119 pipe organ was installed to embody the importance of the arts at AU. It’s played to provide music for silent films and for students to learn how to play for academic credit.

  19. Spartan Hideaway

    Need a quick pick-me-up before one of your classes? Stop by the coffee shop and lounge in Spartan Hideaway! While you grab a drink, you can watch the large screen TV, use the computer stations, or find a spot to study or chat with your friends.

  20. Schingoethe Center

    Schingoethe Center
    If you are looking for some creative inspiration, head to the Schingoethe Center, attached to the welcome center near the entrance to campus. The museum is best known for its Native American art, artifacts, and rare books collections. It also hosts a wide variety of artists in solo and group shows, and was named a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2017—one of only eight museums in Illinois with the designation. In addition to seeing the artwork, the museum hosts authors, artists, and cultural experts. It also provides first-hand learning experiences for students in AU’s museum studies minor program, giving students the opportunity to create an exhibit that is on display for up to two years, plan an opening reception, and learn how to coordinate publicity for exhibits.