By Jennifer Lew
The Grad Club will celebrate its 30th anniversary this Saturday with a bash.
The Grad Club began as the "Happy Hour" in 1968 at Somerville Place and opened for a few hours on Fridays, said Michael Watson, assistant manager at the Grad Club.
"At first they served coffee and donuts and it was a place to chat," said manager Bruce Fyfe. The club was later licensed and became a popular place for students.
In 1979, the Grad Club, owned and operated by the Society of Graduate Students, moved to its present location in the lower level of Middlesex College.
Fyfe added because of its popularity, the Grad Club and SOGS will be introducing Project 2K, a bursary for graduate students, which will be available for application through the faculty of graduate studies this March. This announcement will be made at Saturday night's party.
The project, which consists of four $500 renewable bursaries, is to be awarded to two masters students and two students in doctorate programs who display financial need, but who are also involved with the Western community, Fyfe said.
"All funding comes from [Grad Club] operations," said Fyfe, who added there will be special events planned to increase funding for future bursaries, including this Saturday's Mahones concert at 10 p.m..
According to Fyfe, a number of speakers will also be in attendance Saturday including the keynote speaker, English professor Alan Gedalof and Ken Runge, a former SOGS president and the original Grad Club manager.
Alan Weedon, dean of graduate studies and a member of the Western community for 20 of the 30 years the Grad Club has been in business, said he will comment on the history of the club as well as the positive atmosphere it provides.
"It's a great place to meet people across campus," Weedon said. There are 54 graduate programs offered at Western and the Grad Club is a central place for students, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to meet, he added.
Grad students are in agreement. "It's handy, it's open late at night," said Katie Andrews, a journalism student.