It was a big day on campus at the University of Regina.

More than 100 people gathered for the grand opening of a new Aboriginal students’ centre.

It is located in Innovation Place in the heart of the campus and features work areas, computer rooms, and lounging areas for socializing.

University of Regina President Vianne Timmons took special pride in the event.

“Well, I am of Mi’kmaq descent.  My great grandmother had 11 children, none of which went to university — so it means a lot to me to see First Nations and Métis students be successful in university.”

Students who will use the new facility were also very excited.

Daphne Kay is the chair of the Indigenous students’ association.

She says she remembers how intimidating the university was when she first started.

Kay says things like the Aboriginal students’ centre helped make her feel welcome.

“This opening means expansion, growth and opportunity for many people from many walks of life, so I am extremely happy to have this.”

About 1,400 students — or 11% of the student population — at the University of Regina is Aboriginal and that number is growing every year.