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Sep 16, 2015

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On Campus: Four Texas Tech Event Venues to Consider

Lubbock, Texas has a lot to offer as a meetings destination. An abundance of business-class lodging, proximity to Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, a variety of venues, plus a Texas-sized portion of good food and great music have made Lubbock a favorite among savvy meeting planners.  There are plenty of venues available in Lubbock, but the ones at Texas Tech University are certainly worth considering—often hidden from obvious view because of location on the sprawling campus.

Kym Ruiz, event planner for the Texas Tech University Alumni Association, favors the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center, Frazier Alumni Pavilion and the Kent R. Hance Chapel for event spaces. In addition to their indoor space, they feature outdoor reception areas. The Museum of Texas Tech University is another noteworthy campus destination to host a meeting or event. Read on for a more detailed look at these four campus venues.

McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center

In 1925, guests arrived at the newly provisioned President’s House, inadvertently kicking off a party that has lasted (on and off) for more than 90 years. Over time, the President’s House blossomed into the world-class McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center, where thousands of events have brought a steady stream of visitors to the historic venue. The center’s classic architecture works great for upscale with elegant ice sculptures and string quartets, but neon lights on a dance floor and a DJ booth seem equally right at home.Merket Alumni Center-3 Lightened

This dynamic space has a lot to offer, with à la carte rental options scalable to your guest list. A grand ballroom, outdoor courtyard kitchen and reception areas provide ample space that is truly customizable. Turn the courtyard into a silent auction hall for your benefit, transform a reception area into a happy hour cocktail lounge or talk to the planning staff at the Alumni Association for additional ideas. Reserve the entire center and enjoy the plush Grand Ballroom, with seats for 550 guests or standing room for 700.  For smaller events, the ballroom can easily be divided into more intimate rooms, ensuring a space that is perfectly tailored to the size of your event. If you want to reserve time for networking outdoors, the Anders East Lawn and Gazebo is the perfect setting underneath the picturesque West Texas sky.

The Alumni Association spaces host upwards of 3,500 events annually—many of these at the McKenzie-Merket. So booking early is important. This popular space is best reserved months in advance, but rest-assured it’s worth the waitlist.

Frazier Alumni Pavilion

If you’re looking for a space with traditional Western hospitality and state-of-the-art facilities, consider the Frazier Alumni Pavilion, which allows planners the freedom to customize and decorate a beautiful, unique venue.


The pavilion has some outstanding features: lots of natural light pours across bright wood grain from floor-to-ceiling windows, and fire dances in an oversized hearth. The pavilion hosts numerous weddings, but it’s also a memorable spot for a conference, retreat, brainstorming meeting or networking event.

With room for 325 guests to sit and enjoy a banquet or 550 to mingle standing up, it’s ideal for small and mid-sized crowds. Dance floors, stages and spaces for bands or other performers are just a few of the fun additions that can make your smaller event sizzle. You can also expand the venue with outdoor tents often used to boost capacity by five or six tables—and they can be air-conditioned.

Kent R. Hance Chapel

The Kent R. Hance Chapel is a wonderful option for smaller groups of up to 250. If it seems like an unconventional choice, keep in mind this multipurpose, nondenominational chapel, named after former Chancellor of Texas Tech University, Kent Hance, isn’t a conventional church. It opened a few years ago and has become a popular option for weddings, community meetings, student organizations and more. The perfectly engineered acoustics, geometric stained glass windows, and striking Spanish architecture make an impression. The chapel is an ideal size for small company retreats and special guest speakers. It features small gardens with seasonal plantings and a notable red-tiled roof. If you need more space, you can combine several alumni association spaces for a multi-location event all within close proximity.

Quick note: You can rent the Adler East Lawn and Gazebo as a stand-alone space for an event or added at a discount to the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center, the Frazier Alumni Pavilion or the Kent R. Hance Chapel.

Museum of Texas Tech University

With more than 5 million antiquities, pieces and works, the Museum of Texas Tech University  is a jaw-dropping addition to any visitor itinerary in Lubbock. Permanent collections of 21st-century Southwestern art, artifacts dating back to World War II and the Ice Age and rotating exhibits that have included the photography of Ansel Adams attract art aficionados from around the world. The museum is also another option for events with abundant possibilities for seating arrangements, performers, music, technical set-ups and receptions. Its Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court makes a great ballroom, and the Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium is ideal for lectures. The artwork on display and by-request piano performers can give an event a decidedly highbrow feel. The catch: An organization must be a Texas Tech affiliate organization or a nonprofit to use the space.


Why Texas Tech?

Many of the buildings, art installations, programs and scholarships that are the lifeblood of Texas Tech are possible due to donations from alumni. By using an alumni association space, you are indirectly helping the university. Texas Tech is also incredibly photo-worthy, and some of the best work trips and meetings are the ones with social media bragging rights. Just take a look at a few of the many pieces of art that is part of the university’s public art collection. Now those are some social media photos screaming to be posted!

Philosophy and fountainttu art walk

For more details about Lubbock’s event spaces beyond the Texas Tech campus, check out the five reasons that Lubbock is a perfect meetings destination. Want to learn more about hosting a meeting or event in Lubbock, or have some questions for our team? Be sure to check out our website at We’re here to lend a helping hand!