Gunster Memorial Student Center
||Student Union Building
||Joseph F. Gunster '12, an early graduate of St. Thomas College (now the University of Scranton), who later in life became a generous benefactor of the University
||Bellante and Clauss
||Gerard & Pettinato Construction, North End Lumber Co.
As the University's Student Center, Gunster housed a cafeteria, bookstore, student activities offices, staff and student lounges, a snack bar, game room, and a large ballroom/auditorium. Gunster's cafeteria was designed to seat 600 and to provide between 1200 and 1500 lunches each day (for a full-time student body of 1,358), along with 400 to 600 breakfasts and dinners for resident students (then numbering less than 250). The three-story brick, steel, and concrete building was constructed at a cost of approximately $1,030,000.
A 1993 expansion of Gunster by architects Leung, Hemmler, and Camayd created a 19,000 sq. ft. addition for dining services, increasing the seating capacity from 630 to 1,000. In summer 2004, the outstairs staircase and brick patio were replaced due to safety concerns, and the second floor dining room was renovated. By 2001, with the realization that Gunster could not be effectively renovated or expanded any further, the University initiated plans for a new student center, which culminated in the construction of the DeNaples Center in 2008.
On December 6, 2007, the University community held a "Goodbye Gunster" event to honor the building before its demolition in early 2008. Six stained glass panels, designed by Pennsylvania artist Hank Fells, were removed from Gunster and are now preserved in the DeNaples Center. The site is now a green space known as the Dionne Green.
"U of S to Erect Student Hall," 10 December 1958.
"Rector Offers Plans For Structure
16 January 1959: 1.
"Student Union Target Date... June 17
20 May 1960: 1.
"University of Scranton to Dedicate New Buildings," Catholic Light
8 September 1960: 1, 12.
"Library and Student Center dedicated by Bishop
23 September 1960: 2.
"Gunster center renovations include a modernized Archives
6 September 1989: 3.
"Gunster shows new look with second floor changes
20 January 1994: 1.
"Student Government says Goodbye to Gunster
29 November 2007: 1.
"University Says Goodbye to Gunster Student Center
," Scranton Record
February 2008: 12.