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The Cougar Den, or more colloquially known as "The Den," is greatly valued by the campus community of Mount Vernon Nazarene University. It is one of the only original farm buildings on campus from the Lakeholm Farm and the early founding days of the university in the 1960s. During its life as a farm building, the barn stored equipment and housed farm animals.
After it was acquired by the the university in the 1960s, however, the Den was renovated for many other uses. When no other campus buildings existed that were this versatile and beloved, the building has been utilized variously as a gymnasium, event center, student union, classroom, chapel, dining hall, and general "hang out" area. Recent changes have led the Den to include a small cafe, a performance space, a place for aerobics, as well as offices for student publications. Soon after its transformation for use by the university, its first student inhabitants often joked about watching out for "unwanted seasoning" in their meals from the birds perching overhead in the rafters!
In a more serious vein, this humble structure represents the life and evolution of the university. Although it has been updated and improved in many ways over the years, it remains true to its heritage. It has been always recognizable as a simple barn structure, but strengthened and solidified as it brings new purpose to the space and people who pass through it. Currently the first floor houses faculty offices and the tenants of the main floor space have yet to be determined. This latter space was remodeled in early 2007.