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During the first week of Autumn Quarter 2023, graduate programs at The University of Chicago hosted a grand opening of an NBC Tower-based student lounge. The long-anticipated student space culminates creative collaboration between the Physical Sciences Division (PSD), and University of Chicago Professional Education (UCPE), Student Affairs, and Operations leaders.

DuJuan Smith (Director of Student Affairs, MS in Applied Data Science) stated, “We have wanted to create a space for students to connect between classes for quite some time. I am excited that we are piloting the Student Lounge this year.” Adding to Smith’s sentiment, Jarvis Purnell (Interim Director of Student Affairs UCPE) emphasized the significance of this joint venture by sharing, “The culmination of this effort underscores the significance of collaboration, student-centered support, and creating pathways for healthy community engagement within the learning continuum. I’m grateful to be a part of this effort and look forward to future opportunities to enhance our students’ experience.”

DuJuan Smith (left) and Jarvis Purnell (right) cut ribbon for grand opening of new student lounge at NBC Tower.

The student lounge, located on the same floor as students’ classrooms, features scenic views of the Chicago skyline, comfortable seating, charging stations, a microwave, a water cooler, and more. The overarching goal for the student lounge is to create a welcoming space for students to utilize while they are not in class. While downtown UChicago buildings do not have the same footprint or amenities as Hyde Park counterparts, this new student lounge results from ongoing efforts to deliver an excellent student experience for graduate students no matter the location.

Students waited outside of student lounge to be first in line for grand opening.

Several students attended the grand opening to enjoy a boxed lunch and conversation with their new classmates. When asked about the experience, one attendee commented:

A dedicated space to socialize and connect with fellow students is a great addition to any academic environment . . . Whether it’s casual hangouts, study sessions, or special events, it’s great to have a place to relax and connect with your peers. -Khushi R. (Current Student, PSD, MS in Applied Data Science)

Furthermore, Arushi M. (Current Student, PSD, MS in Applied Data Science) noted, “The introduction of the lounge was a brilliant idea, as it provides us with a nice space for collaborating, networking, and unwinding before or after our classes.”

Students enjoy socializing with their peers at the grand opening of the new student lounge at NBC Tower.
One feature of the new student lounge are device charging stations.

We look forward to this pilot year and wish all of our students a successful Autumn Quarter and 2023-24 academic year.