University Center


  • University Center
    Fax: 202-885-1534
    Mary Graydon, Room 274

    Elmore, Michael
    Senior Director, University Center & Student Activities

Mailing Address

Frequently Asked Questions

What METRO stop is closest to American University?
The Tenleytown stop on the red line is where you want to get off. There is an AU shuttle bus that goes from the Tenleytown metro stop to the Tenley campus, Katzen Arts Center, and main campus. The shuttle normally runs every 10-15 minutes during the week.

Walking directions: Exit the Metro station using the escalator on your right. When you come up the escalator you will be on Wisconsin Avenue. Take a right to walk down Wisconsin one block. Bear right at the Tenleytown Circle on Nebraska Avenue, you will see a Church on the corner of the circle. Walk up Nebraska Avenue. You will pass the American University Tenley Campus on your right. Continue walking on Nebraska Ave. for about 1/2 mile. Nebraska leads to Ward Circle. Walk around the circle to continue straight on Nebraska. You will immediately see American University directly to your right hand side following Ward Circle.

How can I get involved with the University Center?
There are numerous ways to get involved in the University Center. You can get involved as a University Center employee, with Student Activities in clubs and organizations, or represent your peers on a University Center committee.

Are there student work positions available at the University Center?

The University Center hires approximately 20-30 student staff members each year in the fields of event management, information consulting, and event production. We hire students eligible in the Federal Work Study program and students looking for part-time work. Students typically work between 8-15 hours per week and schedules are based on availability from their class schedule.

What restaurants are around the area?

There are all types of food options in Washington, DC. You won't go hungry! You can eat on campus or visit one the many eating establishments in the greater community.

Where is the Welcome Center?

The Welcome Center is currently located in Centennial Hall. Parking is available in the Nebraska Parking Lot for all visitors. For more information, please visit the Admissions website.

Where can I get a taxi from campus?

Taxis are generally available in the Asbury building parking lot. Taxi companies can also be contacted to come to campus for pick up as well.

Does the University Center have a lost and found?
The University Center has a temporary lost and found located at the Information Desk. At the end of each night, all lost items of value are turned into Public Safety.

Where is the campus store located?
The campus store is located on the 3rd floor of Butler Pavilion.

Is the University Center involved in any professional organizations?

Yes, we are involved with the Association of College Unions International as well as the National Association of College Activities.

What is the square footage of the University Center?

The University Center is three building floor plan comprising Mary Graydon center, Butler Pavilion and Bender Arena. The total square footage is 323,240. It is divided as: Mary Graydon Center 152,829 square feet, Butler 50,100 square feet, and Bender Arena 120,311 square feet.

How do I reserve a meeting room in the University Center?

There are several meeting and event spaces available for student organizations and faculty and staff departments. For more information, you can access the University Event Scheduling website.

How do I locate an office or a room in the University Center?

For general information about any of the services located within the University Center, contact the Information Desk at (202) 885-3387. The Information Desk is located on the first floor of the Mary Graydon Center. For the floor plans of the University Center footprint, please follow the University Center Floor Plans link.

What is happening on campus?
The AU master calendar provides a listing for Activities and Events happening on campus. In addition, the Today@AU link on the AU portal also provides more insight and detail on events occurring today and in the near future. You can log on to for general information or for the general portal link.

Where do I find information about programming policies?

The University Center and University Event Scheduling website contains information on programming policies and procedures. Policies such as the Event Scheduling Policy, General Policy on Space Usage, Food Service Policy, Amplified Sound Policy, and Film Viewing Policy can be found on the site. General practices and procedures for events can also be found in the Policies and Procedures page. Specific information for student organizations can be found on the Student Activities website. General information about University Policies can be found in the Student Handbook.

Who was Mary Graydon?
Mary Eliza Graydon (d. 1926) was the American University's most generous early benefactor. A devout Methodist, she was inspired by Bishop Hurst's plan for a national Methodist University and contributed funds over a period of fifty years. In honor of her grandfather, she established the Patrick Clendenen Endowment Fund intended to support teaching and to promote the higher education of women, rather than finance building projects. In recognition of Mary Graydon's continued support, the Mary Graydon Center was begun to be built in 1925 by the University and was named in her honor in 1945. She is quoted as saying, "I prefer to the money into brains rather than stone and mortar."

What was the Mary Graydon Center before it was the University Center?

The building was once a residence hall for women.

What years were Butler and Bender constructed?

Butler was constructed in 1987 and Bender Arena was constructed in 1988-91. Both facilities were created by architect Daniel F. Tulley and Associates and Blake Construction Company as the builder. They both were renovated in 1998.

Who were the architect and builder for the Mary Graydon Center?

The original architect was Col. Peter M. Anderson. The builder was Beauchamps and Associates. It was renovated in 2001 and again in 2007.