Light Up Eau Claire
W.R. Davies Student Center is the center for social and cultural interaction on the lower campus. Offering a number of meeting and program spaces, dining facilities and service areas, Davies Center is the administrative core of the University Centers. Davies Center occupies a site that was the historic meeting grounds of the Dakota and Ojibwe people, who made peace in the 1850s after a bitter war that spanned 150 years. The treaty line is thought to be at the mouth of the Little Niagara Creek on the Chippewa River. Names of meeting spaces in the original and the present Davies Center honor the Ojibwe and Dakota and other native people of Wisconsin, including the Ho-Chunk, Menominee and Potawatomi tribal members who used the Council Oak tree and its surroundings as a shelter and gathering place. Davies Center was planned as an expression of the role of the Council Oak, a beacon and symbol of community, gathering and a safe space for all. In keeping with UW-Eau Claire’s strategic goals of stewardship and sustainability, the new Davies Center incorporates eco-friendly elements including a green roof and sustainability standards designed to consume 30 percent less energy than current codes require. The approximately 170,000-square-foot student center was inspired by the nature surrounding the Eau Claire campus — the Chippewa River, the woods, the stone formations, the Little Niagara Creek — the canoe shaped building points towards the river.