01/31/13 3:00pm
01/31/2013 3:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Demitri Hampton's sister Jennifer Davis (left), brother Jamal Davis and first cousin Latisha Diego with photos of Demitri, who appeared on the cover of a Suffolk Community College campus magazine in 2012, during a meeting with reporters in Polish Town Tuesday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Demitri Hampton’s sister Jennifer Davis (left), brother Jamal Davis and first cousin Latisha Diego with photos of Demitri, who appeared on the cover of a Suffolk Community College campus magazine in 2012, during a meeting with reporters in Polish Town Tuesday.

Latisha Diego said the masked men who burst into her home on Priscilla Avenue in Flanders never demanded her money or possessions. At one point, they pointed a gun at her in her bedroom and ordered her not to move. Most of her family was asleep when the men broke in. But her younger cousin, Demitri Hampton, was awake playing video games, she said.

When Demitri confronted the intruders, they shot him.

“The next thing I know he’s running in and he’s telling me to call the police,” she said. “And he’s shot and he’s bleeding.”

Ms. Diego says the men could have taken anything they wanted in the house. Instead, they took her cousin.

“The only thing they took out of the house that night was his life, and that was the most valuable thing in there,” Ms. Diego said, holding back tears.

Friends and family are in mourning after the killing of 21-year-old Demitri Hampton, a Riverhead High School graduate and outgoing college student gunned down in a home invasion early Sunday.

RELATED: Candlelight vigil scheduled for Thursday night

RELATED: Demitri Hampton was the best type of person

The break-in occurred about 3 a.m. when two armed masked men broke through the front door of Ms. Diego’s house, family members said. A struggle ensued near the kitchen after Mr. Hampton confronted the intruders.

“There was a struggle and he was shot during the struggle,” said Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk County Homicide Squad.

The men quickly fled the scene. Mr. Hampton had been shot in the chest and was rushed to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Detectives said they are investigating the killing and have made no arrests in the case. Police have asked anyone with information on the crime to call 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential, police said.

Family members said Mr. Hampton was a “good, good kid,” a jokester who always tried to get a laugh and cheer others up.

COURTESY PHOTO  |  Juanita Trent with Demitri Hampton this past Mother's Day.

COURTESY PHOTO | Juanita Trent with Demitri Hampton this past Mother’s Day.

Just before the attack, Ms. Diego, Mr. Hampton and his girlfriend, Frances Acevedo, had spent Saturday afternoon and evening watching movies together on Ms. Diego’s bed, quoting lines from a comedy flick while joking and talking about their futures.

They talked about the lottery and what they’d do with the millions of dollars if they won. Mr. Hampton had a list of people he’d give money to if he won the lottery to help them “make it.”

“We had a lot of good times,” Ms. Diego said. “A lot of good times.”

Mr. Hampton was the “baby” of the family, the youngest of his siblings and cousins for quite some time. Ms. Diego said he was a determined young man whose family was always there to help.

Mr. Hampton was there for them, too, she said. He’d make jokes and dance around to cheer them up or offer words of encouragement when they needed comfort.

“He’d always say ‘It’s gonna be OK. I know you’re going to do it,’” Ms. Diego said.

During a meeting with reporters Tuesday, family members recalled how much he loved lima beans — he would eat the home-cooked beans for a week straight — and how he adored his 1992 Lincoln Town Car, which he dubbed Felicia.

The windows didn’t work on the car, the grill was missing and the key was stuck in the ignition, they said. But that didn’t stop Mr. Hampton and his closest friend Jason Sims from spray painting the rims to “touch up” the car, Ms. Diego said. He would often crack that if he ever made it rich, Felicia was coming with him.

It’s that sense of humor that friends and family said they’ll miss the most.

“Demitri was the kind of person who would make you laugh when you were in a bad mood,” said his friend Edwin Perry. “He always joked around and had something funny to say. I never really saw him a bad mood.”

At his former high school, classmates and teachers were stunned by the news of his death.

“He was only three years out,” said Riverhead High School principal David Wicks. “I’m still in shock.”

The high school will host a candlelight vigil for Mr. Hampton, a 2010 graduate, at 6 p.m. Thursday. The vigil is open to all and mourners are asked to bring candles to light.

Suffolk County Community College, where Mr. Hampton was studying criminal justice, will also hold a memorial for him at 11 a.m. next Monday morning, Feb. 3.

This spring was supposed to be Mr. Hampton’s last semester at Suffolk County Community College, Ms. Acevedo said. He was thinking of joining the Air Force or applying to Mercy College to further his education.

Now, his family is left to ponder what could have been for a life that long held so much promise.

“I won’t ever get to see him get married someday,” said his sister, Jennifer Davis, tears streaming down her face. “It was senseless to take his life … They took his future from him, and that’s not fair.”

A wake and funeral services for Mr. Hampton will be held Saturday morning, according to Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton.

The services will be held at Galiee First Church of God in Christ, 87 Old Quogue Road, in Riverhead. The wake is set for 10 a.m., with a funeral mass at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Southampton Cemetery. His family plans to establish a scholarship in his name.

Mr. Hampton, who always had a positive attitude, wouldn’t want others to be upset, one of his cousins said.

“Demitri always said that he wanted [us] to have a party [if he died],” said Neko Gettling. “ ‘I don’t want nobody crying, I don’t want none of that. I want to have a party.’ ”

But for a close-knit family that lost a brother, a cousin and a son — and now a hero who fought to protect his family — that wish is hard to grant.

“Demitri, that was our baby,” Ms. Davis said, sobbing. “I didn’t have him, but that was my baby, that was my baby.”

psquire@timesreview.com

01/29/13 5:23pm
01/29/2013 5:23 PM

TRACEY CRUMP COURTESY PHOTO | Demitri Hampton celebrates receiving his diploma from Riverhead High School during the school’s 2010 graduation ceremony. Mr. Hampton was killed Sunday after confronting burglars in his home.

As friends mourn the loss of the outgoing 21-year-old college student killed Sunday morning in a Flanders home invasion, a candlelight vigil and memorial services have been planned to honor the young man.

And the victim’s family members say they plan to set up a scholarship in his honor in the coming days.

Riverhead High School will host a candlelight vigil for Demitri Hampton, a 2010 graduate of the school, at 6 p.m. Thursday. The vigil is open to all, said Theresa Drozd, one of Mr. Hampton’s former teachers at the school.

The memorial will be held in front of the high school and mourners are asked to bring their own candles. A deacon from Demitri’s church will speak at the vigil, and a member of the church will sing, said district superintendent Nancy Carney.

“Any death is a tragedy, particularly one that is as untimely and premature as that of Demitri Hampton,” Ms. Carney said. “My heart goes out to his family and his friends for their loss.”

Mr. Hampton was very involved with Council for Unity at the school, Ms. Drozd said, and was a member of the basketball and track teams. Ms. Drozd said Mr. Hampton always made those around him laugh.

“Whenever you were around him you couldn’t be angry because he always put a smile on your face,” she said. “Everybody loved him. You had to love him.”

Mr. Hampton was a student at Suffolk County Community College, his family said. He was majoring in criminal justice and was planning to graduate in the spring, then pursue more studies or join the air force.

School officials say Mr. Hampton was involved on campus as well, serving as a mentor and role model to young men through the Black Male Network, a student group devoted to encouraging high schoolers to go to college.

His service and dedication made him a perfect example of what school administrators wanted in a student, said Evon Walters, executive dean and campus CEO for the eastern campus.

“Demitri was a reflection of what we try to articulate on a day-to-day basis,” Mr. Walters said.

The college will hold a memorial service for Mr. Hampton at 11 a.m. Monday at the Eastern Campus. The ceremony will include video and photo collages of Mr. Hampton and will let students mourn and share their memories of the young man, officials said.

At the same time, Mr. Hampton’s family is planning to use savings to start a scholarship fund in his name.

Jamal Davis, Mr. Hampton’s older brother, said the family is working on the scholarship this week, adding that he hopes to have the program finalized in the next few days.

Read more about  Demitri Hampton’s life in this week’s Riverhead News-Review.

12/28/12 2:00pm
12/28/2012 2:00 PM

SUFFOLK COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE PHOTO | The proposed pool and fitness center at Suffolk County Community College’s eastern campus would be similar to this one at the Brentwood campus.

Suffolk County Community College’s proposed “Health and Wellness Center” at the Eastern Campus in Northampton, a project that would include an indoor swimming pool, will need to get an exemption from the state’s Central Pine Barrens Commission before it can move forward.

The Eastern Campus, which was built in 1977, is located within the core of the Central Pine Barrens, an area where the state’s 1993 Pine Barrens Protection Act places strict limits on new development.

But the college argues that the health and wellness center was part of a 1973 college master plan for the Eastern Campus, and that many other components of that plan have been allowed to be built by the Pine Barrens Commission.

The fitness center project, which would be similar to what the college has at its Brentwood campus, would include an eight lane indoor swimming pool, fitness center, meeting space and nursing laboratory, according to George Gatta, an executive vice president at the college.

The fitness center would include a strength training room, aerobic room, gymnasium, classroom space, office space, locker rooms and lobby, according to the county.

The Suffok County Legislature has included $17.75 million for the project in its capital budget.

The college plans to make the fitness center and pool opened for use by the general public when not being used by the college. At Brentwood, the fitness center and pool have more than 1,440 members, who pay a membership fee, and the pool is also used by local high schools and swim clubs that rent it for meets, according to Mary Lou Araneo, the college’s vice president for institutional advancement.

Mr. Gatta argued at a Dec. 21 meeting of the Pine Barrens Commission that the college’s 1973 master plan for the Eastern Campus included six buildings that the Pine Barrens Commission has allowed to be built on the campus since 1995, including the 40,000 square foot Montauk Learning Resource Center, which was formally opened last year.

In order to get an exemption to build in the Pine Barrens Core, a development must qualify as “non-development” under the guidelines of the 1993 law.

One category that the Pine Barrens law does not define as “development” is “public improvements undertaken for the health, safety and welfare of the public.”

The college is arguing that the health and fitness center falls under that category.

In 1995, the college submitted its 1993 master plan for the Eastern Campus, which included the health and wellness center in a “phase two,” and which included the Montaukett building in Phase One, to the Pine Barrens Commission.

The commission, on Jan. 3, 1995, ruled that Phase One of the master plan “constitutes non-development” under the Pine Barrens Act, but it made no mention of phase two or three of the college master plan.

“We never got an explanation why phase two and three were not included,” said Louis Petrizzo, the college’s general counsel.

“The college continued to inform the commission of its plans to implement the remaining elements of the 1973-76 and 1993 master plans, as well as the 2001 master plan update,” Mr. Gatta said. They sent letters to the commission in 2005 and 2006 and have received no response or explanation why the second and third phases of their master plan didn’t receive approval.

He said the college, “receiving no response to either communication, moved forward with the planning and contraction of the Learning Resource Center and continued to plan for the implementation of the Health and Wellness Center.”

The Pine Barrens Commission is made up of the supervisors of Riverhead, Southampton and Brookhaven towns, along with one representative each from Suffolk County and New York State.

“We’ve already passed judgment that this is non-development,” said Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, alluding to the 1995 Pine Barrens ruling.

John Milazzo, the attorney for the commission, reminded him that the master plan was in three phases, and only the first one received commission approval in 1995.

“So, if the first phase was non-development, couldn’t we just pass a resolution at the next meeting saying this is non-development too?” Mr. Walter asked.

Richard Amper, the executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society (which is not part of the pine barrens commission, although Mr. Amper was instrumental in developing the Pine Barrens Act), pointed that there were amendments to the Pine Barrens Act in 2005, and that there may be different criteria now than there was in 1995.

Mr. Milazzo concurred. He also said that the presentation at the Dec. 21 meeting was just for informational purposes, and that there is currently no formal application before the commission for the college’s plans, so they couldn’t approve them yet.

Mr. Amper later criticized commissioner members during a hearing that same day on Kent Animal Shelter’s proposal for a new shelter building at its River Road location, which needs an exception to build in the Pine Barrens core.

During that hearing, Mr. Walter praised Kent, saying they are “our defacto municipal shelter” and handle 50 percent of the dog needs for the town.

Mr. Amper said that “Kent’s providing a great public service is entirely irrelevant to the application.”

He said he’s been complaining lately that the commission members are judging applications based on whether they are a good use or provide a public service, rather then whether they meet the criteria set forth of the Pine Barrens legislation.

“Even if it were a place to honor saints, that doesn’t mean it qualifies for a hardship exemption,” Mr. Amper said.

tgannon@timesreview.com

08/20/12 11:15am
08/20/2012 11:15 AM

SHAUN MCKAY

Shaun McKay, get comfortable.

Dr. McKay, president of Suffolk County Community College, just had his employment contract extended to 2020.

The school’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Thursday to adopt a resolution extending the contract, school officials said.

“We know Dr. McKay will continue to strengthen the college’s reputation for excellence and that he is committed to ensuring its operations are focused upon enhancing student success,” board chairwoman Dafny Irizarry said in a statement. “The board would like to publicly acknowledge its satisfaction with the broad range of accomplishments achieved to date under Dr. McKay’s leadership.”

“We are confident that we will all see many additional, noteworthy gains as Dr. McKay continues his tenure as president, she added.”

The move comes at a time when Dr. McKay and school officials are trying to grow the college’s Eastern Campus in Northampton.

Just last year, the school began construction on a new, $14.5 million learning center at the campus, commonly referred to as the school’s Riverhead campus. The project is now complete.

Officials also plan to build a fitness center at the campus, complete with an indoor pool.

The plan took a step forward in June, when the county Legislature voted to include the $17.75 million for the project in the county’s capital budget.

The proposed gymnasium and health/fitness center would include an indoor pool, a strength training room, an aerobic room, a gymnasium, classroom space, office space, locker rooms and a lobby, according county officials.

Currently, Eastern Campus students have to trek to the Brentwood campus to complete physical education requirements.

Dr. McKay, of Manorville, was appointed president in 2010 at a salary of $230,000, according to a State University of New York officials.

The extension doesn’t make any salary changes, college officials said, adding that Dr. McKay “surrendered” an annual cost of living adjustment both this year and last.

With some 26,000 students at three campuses, Suffolk Community is the largest community college in the SUNY system, officials said.

Read about Dr. McKay on the Suffolk County Community College website.

mwhite@timesreview.com

08/31/11 1:15pm
08/31/2011 1:15 PM
Suffolk Community College Culinary School

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Kellyann Zito, 25, of Riverhead, in the Baker's Workshop kitchen earlier this summer. She was working on a 'Baking and Pastries Certificate' to improve her skills for her job at 'Sweet Jenni's Bakery' in Center Moriches.

It could be crusty loaves of semolina one week and slices of apple-pecan layer cake the next — and after that, a variety of hand-decorated sugar cookies.

Those are among baked goods that could pop up on the shelves of The Baker’s Workshop on East Main Street in Riverhead, depending on what culinary arts students at Suffolk County Community College are learning that week.

The bakery, set to open Tuesday is a transformation of the former Baker’s Workshop Café and Bistro. It will be a bakery only and will be run almost entirely by students.

Students previously contributed cooking to the café, but now they’ll take the reins on all aspects of food preparation and management.

“This will give them a good opportunity to see what it’s like working at a bakery,” said Christina DeLustro, professor and manager of The Baker’s Workshop.

Dave Bergen, associate dean of the culinary arts and hospitality center, said portions of the former café’s operations were curriculum-driven, but school officials wanted to focus on baking only, infusing education into every aspect.

That means no more sandwiches or burgers. But it does mean sweets — and lots of them.

The bakery won’t have a regular menu, as offerings will coincide with a changing curriculum. But treats likely to make appearances include scones, muffins, cupcakes, mousses, cakes and puff pastries.

Each culinary arts student must complete an internship, and working at the bakery will fill that requirement, Ms. DeLustro said. In addition to gaining management and customer service experience, students will learn a variety of baking techniques, including glazing, decorating, folding, creaming and mixing.

“We want to make sure they’re capable of making cookies, cakes and other staples in the industry,” Ms. DeLustro said.

Prices have not yet been set, but Ms. DeLustro said they’ll be comparable to those of other area bakeries. The bakery will operate as a nonprofit, as did the former café, and she expects it to break even.

The shop will offer much more than scones and muffins during October and November. That’s when students will serve “fine dining” dinners and lunches offering multiple courses that connected to the curriculum. But college officials say they don’t see The Baker’s Workshop as competition for other downtown eateries, since it won’t offer hot food most of the time.

“We think it’s going to be well-received by other eating establishments in downtown Riverhead,” Ms. DeLustro said.

The Baker’s Workshop will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

samantha@northshoresun.com

08/16/11 5:54am
08/16/2011 5:54 AM

COURTESY PHOTO | Edward Stever, a former postal service employee who didn't write a thing until he was 30, was recently appointed Suffolk County Poet Laureate.

Edward Stever has published two collections of poetry. He has written and performed in dozens of plays, many of which he also directed. He has won a number of prestigious awards and recognitions for his writing.

And the Rocky Point resident never wrote a thing until he was 30 years old.

“I was kind of a late bloomer,” said Mr. Stever, a one-time postal worker, who later became a poet and professor.

Now Mr. Stever, 56, has been appointed Suffolk County Poet Laureate, a two-year position that began June 1 and may require him to write poems for government occasions.

Poet Laureate wasn’t something Mr. Stever, who dreamed when he was little of becoming a police officer, planned to tack on to his résumé. He realized he had a gift when he enrolled in his first college course, a writing class, at Suffolk County Community College and his professor told him he was the best in the class.

Now he calls writing “something I have to do.”

Each morning, he’ll read poems from other writers, gaining inspiration and becoming mesmerized with the rhythm of the words.

“It gets you in the right mood,” he said.

And then he’ll write.

Many of his poems contain an element of humor, a mechanism for him to reach a wide audience who can find something in his lines to relate to.

He says he’s inspired by his college professors and by acclaimed poets Charles Simic and William Stafford. Mr. Stafford once told Mr. Stever that his writing allowed him to get on a “deeper wavelength,” a compliment that overcame Mr. Stever.

For his first endeavor as Poet Laureate, Mr. Stever, an adjunct professor of English at SCCC’s Eastern Campus, is currently selecting works from Suffolk County poets which to be performed by actors.

“It’s an attempt to bring poems to a wide audience in a palatable form,” he explained. He strives to “get poetry out there in a way people have not seen it.”

Mr. Stever, who is married and has three daughters, said he was especially pleased to receive the title since he was nominated by former Poet Laureate Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan.

“It’s a great honor,” he said. “I’m extremely flattered and extremely happy.”

samantha@northshoresun.com

07/07/11 5:16am
07/07/2011 5:16 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Suffolk County Community College nursing students Carol Markland of Manorville (left) Krystle Murnane of West Babylon (center) and Gerard Connolly perform on a patient mannequin.

A nursing shortage on the East End spurred Suffolk County Community College to launch a licensed practical nursing program at its downtown Riverhead center in 2008. And the program is about to gain accreditation from the National League of Nursing.

“It has been a long journey,” said program director Doreen Biondolillo. At the same time, she admits that gaining accreditation is usually a much longer process, and she’s pleased that the school’s program has been 100 percent recommended.

The college accepts 30 students into its 11-month program each year — 10 from St. Catherine of Siena Nursing Home in Smithtown and 20 general applicants. The students from St. Catherine’s are nurses’ assistants whose $4,026 tuition is paid by the institution in return for their commitment to serve there for three years after graduation.

This year’s students were selected from among 256 applicants based on grades and recommendations, Ms. Biondolillo said.

“The students are so responsible and the professors are so respectful that there’s a mutual admiration between them,” said Mary Feder, director of college relations and publications.

Students learn about the history of nursing and are steeped in the responsibility they are assuming in learning to properly dispense medications and administer fundamental patient care. They practice in the school lab and receive on-site clinical training at various institutions.

“It’s really a struggle,” Ms. Biondolillo said of the rigors of the program and the challenge of juggling jobs, family life and studies.

“You find a balance if you want it enough,” said 28-yeard-old Krystle Murnane of West Babylon. She still works at St. Catherine’s as a certified nurse’s assistant while raising a 6-year-old daughter and pursuing full-time studies.
“It’s a great opportunity to better myself,” Ms. Murnane said. “I enjoy taking care of people.”

It’s worth sacrificing other activities, according to Carol Markand of Manorville, 42, because nursing enables you to have “an impact on the ill.” It’s why she abandoned her industrial engineering degree to pursue nursing, she said.

“Health is a really big burden on society and it’s very rewarding to look in patients’ eyes and see you’re having a great impact,” Ms. Markand said. “Everybody complains about society, but we are doing the right thing to have an impact. Learning is power.”

While her children are grown, she still has to balance her studies with a full-time job at Island Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Holtsville. She also does private duty nursing in the few free hours she can find in her busy week.

For Gerard Connolly, 29, of Babylon, leaving work as a chef to become a CNA at St. Catherine’s was a real transition. While his former job was high stress, he said, “If you overcook a steak, you just make another one.” Medical errors can have far more serious consequences, he said.

While learning about Florence Nightingale, the English nurse considered to have been a pioneer in the field, Mr. Connolly said he wondered what she’d make of the advances in technology and procedures today.
“But human needs have never changed,” he said.

As a man in what has often been seen as a woman’s field, Mr. Connolly said some patients assume he’s a doctor or plans to be one. But older patients with whom he works simply accept that he’s a nurse.

Despite the program’s rigors of the program, Ms. Biondolillo said there haven’t been any dropouts. She recalls one program participant who was “petrified” the first time she went out to do a clinical assignment with a real patient.
By the time she completed her studies, however, patients were asking for her, Ms. Biondolillo said.

Before taking over the program, Ms. Biondolillo was a nurse for 40 years. She now describes her job as nursing educator as that of a “facilitator,” charged with guiding students.

“These people come with a thirst for knowledge,” she said. “You need to instill your love of nursing and the art and science of nursing. We want them to be the best nurses they can be.”

While Mr. Connolly said he misses the income from a second job and the time he doesn’t have with his wife and child because of his studies, “It’s the only way I’m not going to have to be working two jobs for the rest of my life.”

“This is like a baby I have here that’s growing up and I’m so proud of it,” Ms. Biondolillo said of the program.

An application is pending in Albany to enable SCCC to expand the program to accept more students in the future, she said. Beyond that, the next step will be to develop “a seamless transition” that would educate practical nurses and put them on track to earn credentials as registered nurses.

But a tight economy will likely keep that from galloping forward immediately, Ms. Biondolillo said.

jlane@timesreview.com

03/12/11 10:08am
03/12/2011 10:08 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Elected offcials and SCCC president Shaun McKay cheer during the unveiling of the colleges new Montaukett Learning Center.

For some students at Suffolk County Community College’s Eastern Campus, finding a spot in the computer lab, until recently, meant getting there very early, very late or when classes were in session.

“I actually had to cut a few classes during finals [to use a computer],” said student government vice president Nathaniel Raffloer of Mastic. Mr. Raffloer said he’s had little choice when writing papers, because he does not own a computer himself.

Finding a computer to use should be much less of a problem with the opening of the $14.5 million Montaukett Learning Resource Center on the Northampton campus.

Construction on the 40,000-square-foot library, which features a lecture hall, study rooms for small groups and twice as many computers as the old library, began last April and was recently completed.

It is the first new building at the college’s Eastern Campus in 34 years.

The structure received a silver certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which ensures that buildings adhere to strict environmental standards. Officials hope it will be upgraded to the highest gold certification.

Elected officials, Eastern Campus executive dean Evon Walters and college president Shaun McKay spoke about the project during a ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the library Friday afternoon. Members of the Montaukett tribe also gave the building a Native American blessing.

“Yes, it’s a beautiful building,” Legislator Ed Romaine said during the ceremony. “But I look even further at the students who will use it and I see Suffolk’s future.”

The county split the project’s cost with New York State, officials said.

SCCC alumnus Brian Linnen of Riverhead noted that the expansion was especially needed at the campus, since enrollment there has swelled from about 3,200 to 4,000 students in the poor economy.

Student space was sparse at the school, he said, forcing many students to study in the noisy cafeteria.

Mr. Linnen is also hoping the new learning center will encourage more students to want to stay on campus, instead of heading straight home after class, and get involved in extracurricular activities. He said he’s happy that the library’s services will be available for younger generations, including his younger brother, Christopher, who is an Eastern Campus student.

“It’s not a luxury,” Mr. Linnen said of the new center. “It’s a necessity.”

vchinese@timesreview.com