In September 1954 the Wesley Foundation Student Center opened in a brick and concrete building funded by the United Methodist Church and private donors. Like Myers Hall immediately to the west, it was organized to provide religious, educational and cultural support to university students. It had an auditorium and stage; a chapel; meeting and recreation rooms; lounges; a kitchen; offices; and a three-bedroom apartment for a resident director. In the late 1960s it was also used for design studios, art classes, and faculty and staff offices.
In 1972 the building and grounds were renovated and opened in August as the Hilltop Child Development Center; this day-care center was a direct response to demands by activists for better support services for women faculty, staff and students. To help regularize the center’s finances, the university bought the Wesley Building in 1977. Hilltop moved to a new, larger building near the Burge Union in August 2000.
University Relations had been housed next door to the south in the former Faculty Club/Oread Training High School since January 1976, when the Endowment Association moved from that building to Youngberg Hall in west campus. In 2001, University Relations took over the Wesley Building after Hilltop vacated it. The former Faculty Club building was razed in 2013.
University Relations was created in 1974 by merging the public-relations/speechwriting division of the chancellor's staff; the News Bureau, established in 1899 and until the 1940s overseen by the Department of Journalism,; and the Photo and Graphic Arts Bureau. Now Marketing Communications, it is part of the Office of Public Affairs, established in 2011. Its editorial, creative, digital media and interactive media services provide viewbooks, brochures and newsletters; faculty/staff publications; the university calendar; and university Web design and features.
News & Media Relations, also part of Public Affairs, provides news and feature stories, photographs, and video and audio reports to newspapers, radio and TV stations, and students’ hometown newspapers.