About the John E. Jaqua Academic Center
Jaqua at a Glance
- 1615 East 13th Ave. Eugene, OR
- Purpose: Student-athlete tutoring and academic center.
- Opened: January 5, 2010
- Named in Honor of: John E. Jaqua
Trivia: The facade of the Jaqua Center is designed to let in light but repels heat and noise.
The John E. Jaqua Center for Student Athletes at the University of Oregon provides the UO's student-athletes a place to gather as a community focused on study and learning. The challenge of creating a tranquil environment where students feel connected to natural landscape elements and daylight was heightened by the chosen location: a busy intersection between campus and the city of Eugene.The Jaqua Center, as it has become known, uses a series of creative innovations in the design of the building envelope and the surrounding landscaping in support of resolving the challenges of the site.
The facility is a generous gift from Phil and Penny Knight to encourage academic achievement along with athletic performance. The building is named after John E. Jaqua, who was a varsity athlete at Pomona College, war hero, adored father and grandfather and longtime supporter of the University of Oregon and Oregon athletics. Jaqua's legacy is meant to awaken every generation to look itself in the mirror and be the best it can be, and his namesake represents a challenge to student-athletes to fulfill their promise. Donor recognition in the facility is subtly treated, as names are etched into glass on an entry wall panel.
Authenticity to the University of Oregon student experience was a key design driver. An atrium forms the “heart” of the building. The atrium walls are infused with graphic displays that relay the heritage of athletics at the UO. It also includes a scoreboard-inspired wall listing upcoming tutorial appointments for student-athletes.
Through the seamless integration of art, environmental graphics and architecture, the facility serves as a pantheon of student athletic achievements. For example, the “A Few Who Just Did It” wall celebrates the post-graduate academic achievements of notable former student-athletes, including the faces of author Ken Kesey, Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Ann Bancroft (the first woman to cross both the North and South Poles), engraved in 8x8 square oak blocks.
On another atrium wall, a three-story mural is constructed of 10,000 small 3x3 photos of student-athletes acid-etched onto stainless steel and assembled in a large-scale pixilated pattern such that Albert Einstein’s face emerges when viewed from a distance. This mural depicts the life of student athletes at the University, dating the building from 2009 when the photos were captured. Other elements include floor engravings of Academic All-American honorees, a color and sandblasted glass wall celebrating Pac-12 all-academic recipients and stair wells that contains the names of more than 4,000 lettermen who graduated from the UO between 1945 and 2009.
Directly off the entrance to the atrium is the café, which features a four-sided gas fireplace surrounded by a leather lounge seat suggesting the shape of the University’s signature “O.” The café welcomes the public seven days a week and serves coffee, sodas, pastries, pizzas and sandwiches (with many named in honor of former Oregon athletes). On the far side of the atrium is the auditorium which contains 114 leather chairs, in Oregon’s signature yellow, each individually wired for power and Internet capabilities.
A student lounge area on the second floor is set on axis with the katsura maple tree in the garden below. This axial move was carefully planned in order to provide a sense of being at the tree top while in the space. Several sofas are arranged throughout the room for rest and relaxation. A custom rug covers the floor with a large graphic of a traditional UO slogan used as part of its rivalry with the Oregon State Beavers, “When ducks fly beavers….” The image across the rug depicts several ducks flying through the air as a beaver scurries away on the ground. Walls are covered in white oak and a TV is placed within a band of black glass that makes a graphic ‘stripe’ along one edge of the room.
This new 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art academic learning center accommodates the NCAA-mandated academic services for the tutoring of 520 student-athletes. It contributes to the retention and success of these athletes as well as the recruitment of new athletes, replacing the 8,000 square foot Mac Court Annex, where these services were previously housed. The first floor of the building is open to the public with a café, auditorium, and atrium for public events and heritage space that recognizes past, present and future student athletes at the UO. The first floor also includes staff offices and shared tutor areas for student-athlete and general student body group sessions. The two floors above are for the use of Oregon’s student-athletes and staff. The facility includes a 114-seat auditorium, 35 tutor rooms, 25 faculty and advising offices, conference room, flexible classroom, computer lab with 54 computer stations, graphics lab, three teaching labs, library, separate lounges for students, tutors and staff, and 40 study carrels configured to accommodate two student-athletes per carrel. The site also includes reservered and metered parking spots for building visitors.
Directions to the John E. Jaqua Academic Center For Student Athletes
From the North
- Take exit 194B to merge onto I-105 W/OR-126 W toward Eugene
- Take exit 2 for Coburg Rd toward Downtown
- Keep left at the fork, follow signs for University of Oregon and merge onto Coburg Rd
- Keep left at the fork, follow signs for OR-99 S/University of Oregon/8th Ave
- Keep left at the fork, follow signs for OR-126 BUS and merge onto OR-126 BUS E/OR-99 S/Coburg Rd
- Continue to follow OR-126 BUS E/OR-99 S
- Turn right onto Agate St
- Turn right onto Agate St. Destination will be on the right.
From the South
- Take exit 191 for Glenwood Blvd toward Springfield
- Turn right onto Glenwood Blvd
- Turn left onto OR-126 BUS W/Franklin Blvd
- Slight left onto E 13th Ave
- Turn right onto Agate St
- Destination will be on the right
The Jaqua Center parking lot is located next to the building on 13th Ave. The lot is limited to Hang Tag parking for student-athletes and staff plus nine 60 minute metered parking spaces. Payment for these spaces is available at the paystation located next to the lot. Metered parking is available along 13th Ave. near the facility with restrictions in effect Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., and some 24-hour restricted spots in posted areas nearby.