MCLA expands downtown presence


 Last summer, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Foundation, Inc. closed on the purchase of a 4,000-square-foot building on East Main Street from the City of North Adams. In the months that followed, this property, which once served as the rectory of the former Notre Dame church, was renovated and transformed into MCLA's institutional advancement center.

 Bringing the advancement team into the heart of North Adams builds on the downtown presence the College established with the opening of MCLA Gallery 51 in 2005. The new building reflects the growing importance of the advancement office to the future of MCLA-through alumni relations, fundraising, and the stewardship of college resources -and presents a new opportunity to raise the profile of the institution.

 On Dec. 1, the advancement staff moved out of their previous headquarters at Shapiro House and into the building. By moving to a new and larger space, the College also provides MCLA alumni a valuable resource when they visit. Alumni are welcome to visit the center to meet, network or just informally catch up with one another.

 The main floor includes a mix of staff offices and public spaces, including two large conference and meeting spaces, a full service kitchen, and a comfortable living room space that includes dedicated computer workspace for alumni and other visitors. Academic departments and other campus groups will have the opportunity to use the center as a venue for meetings, events, receptions and other public functions. The second floor of the building includes offices for the College's advancement staff.

 The Advancement staff has already hosted several gatherings and is now the heart of the alumni office where the alumni board and the alumni association coordinate their efforts.