Center for the Dominican Experience

The new Center for the Dominican Experience will be housed in a renovated and revitalized Archbishop Alemany Library, which will be transformed into a Learning Commons for the entire community to enjoy.

Future Center for the Dominican Experience, Alemany Library Outdoor Learning rendering, Dominican University of California Campus

More than 130 years since its founding in 1890, we invite you to play an important role in that transformation–and help sustain the university for years to come.

With the rise of the Dominican Experience comes the recognition that portions of the program will require dedicated collaborative space: gathering areas for students to collaborate on projects together; rooms for mentors and advisors to meet with their students; and an environment outfitted with cutting-edge technology.

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Designed by award-winning architects Howard Friedman and Henry Schubart in 1962, the Archbishop Alemany Library was ahead of its time, with its use of natural light, clerestory windows that provide passive solar, and radiant floor heating.

As with any building over 50 years old, the structure has evolved, and some of those design advantages have been lost. This project aims to restore many of those elements, and reimagine the use of the space to best support student learning today.

A new entrance on the south side of the building will improve flow to the rest of campus; interior walls will be glass, allowing light to pour into the center of the building; and the new outdoor learning plaza allows the campus community to take full advantage of our beautiful surroundings.

Infrastructure is another area requiring an upgrade. With an increasing reliance on technology (by both students and professors), the ability to plug in and power up has become critical. HVAC, new restrooms, wired and wireless connections will make this building a destination designed to foster academic success.

Recognizing that students use libraries very differently now than they did 50 years ago, our vision includes quiet spaces, as well as group study zones and flexible seminar rooms – available for students to reserve for their projects. The Center for the Dominican Experience, located on the first and second floors, will house spaces for mentoring and coaching, a digital portfolio lab, and more formal gathering areas

Engagement, on the first floor, will have meeting spaces available to community nonprofits. The Learning Commons, both indoors and out, will be a flexible environment with soft seating areas for informal gathering, and access to the outdoor café.

Our beloved reading room will remain – because a library will always be a place for books – and the art gallery will be relocated to the eastern side of the first floor. The gallery will take full advantage of the floor-to-ceiling windows, and be updated with movable walls and lighting.

Integrative coach helping Dominican student

The Dominican Experience

With the innovative Dominican Experience you’ll work with a coach, complete signature work, build a digital portfolio and engage with the community.

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For more information, or to make a gift, please contact the Advancement Office.