FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Students returning from summer break have probably noticed some exciting changes on campus, particularly in the student center. Southwestern renovated its Naylor Student Center this summer in an attempt to make it a hotspot for social, intellectual and spiritual growth.

“I am excited to see the student center become what it has always intended to be, which is a place to foster growth and community among students,” Ben Watson, assistant director of the student center, says. According to Watson, Southwestern revamped The Café, the Outfitters store, and Student Center West (the seating area to the west of The Café).

The Café received a “total remodel, so from floor to ceiling everything is replaced,” Watson says. This includes leather chairs and new tables located near electrical outlets, as well as new granite counter tops, a new open air cooler, brew bar, espresso machine and grinder.

“What we were going for was classy Texas,” Watson says. “We have the homage to the Stockyards, the homage to old Texas, but we also have a classier form of it.”

Along with these renovations, The Café has also begun to serve sushi, which Watson says has “been really well received,” as well as “a whole legion of new pastries.” The pastry chef has created new cookies to go alongside the famous chocolate chip cookies, as well as other pastries, including gluten-free products.

The pastries have also been matched with The Café’s drinks, which include coffee blends from Africa and South America and loose-leaf teas from India and Sri Lanka. Watson hopes students who drink these blends will also remember the coffee farmers around the world who need to hear the Gospel.

At the new Southwestern Outfitters store, Watson says, students can find resources for their studies—resources that will benefit them for a lifetime of ministry. These include Moleskin notebooks, quality pens, and books on reading and writing—including Roy Peter Clark’s Writing Tools, William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, and Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book.

These renovations at the student center are “more than a paint job and new furniture,” Watson says. These changes show that the administration cares about the intellectual, spiritual and social growth of the students.

“The real beauty of the new student center,” Watson says, “is that it is student oriented.”