California University of Pennsylvania’s president, Angelo Armenti, affectionately refers to the Michael and Julia Kara Alumni House as the campus “crown jewel.” It connects alumni, students and faculty, and provides important space for a multitude of activities, while reflecting the importance of alumni involvement.
The Kara Alumni House serves as a “front door” for COST PER SQ FT$249.22FEATURED IN2003 Architectural Portfolio campus. The red-brick house features architecture similar to the style and design of the university’s core buildings. From Second Street, one enters through a port cochere. The first floor houses the Alumni Relations Department. Comfortable offices welcome visiting alumni and friends. A warm and inviting drawing room that features a fireplace provides an ideal area to entertain guests. A breakout conference room provides additional meeting space. A warming kitchen facilitates numerous dinners and receptions in the “great room,” which is a multipurpose garden-style room with enough space to host 72 for dinner or a lecture with 100 guests. A porch off the great room leads to the Alumni Garden, a beautiful outdoor space with meandering walkways and charming benches that welcomes visitors before they venture inside the house for a cocktail party or sit-down dinner.
A grand staircase and elevator provide access to the second floor. A sitting area is at the top of the grand stair, adjacent to a wide balcony overlooking the great room. The second floor, richly surrounded in wood details, provides private accommodations for overnight visitors. Also on this floor are the university’s Foundation and Advancement Services offices.
The multipurpose nature of the house will assist with various university advancement efforts. The recent opening of the Kara Alumni House in September 2002 coincided with the university’s sesquicentennial, celebrating 150 years of educational service.