The Saint Anselm College community will gain a dynamic new gathering place in the very center of campus, with a lead unrestricted gift making the expansion and renovation of the Student Center possible. The gift was announced by President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D. during a groundbreaking ceremony. Read more »
The renovation and expansion of our Student Center truly represents a transformative moment for Saint Anselm College. Since it’s completion in 1960, this building has provided space for a rich tapestry of campus life, fostering the spiritual, academic and social development of our students.
However, the time has come to reimagine this integral facility. Thanks to the thoughtful work of countless individuals (including representatives from the monastic community, the faculty, the student body and staff), the new Student Center will create a functional, beautiful, and central hub for all members of our community to come together and experience Anselmian life to the fullest. A thematic floorplan will unite offices and programs for a collaborative fusion of projects, ideas and resources.
The top floor will be devoted to academic success including the Academic Resource Center, while the lower level will become a hub of student engagement, with dedicated space for student clubs and organizations as well as the Student Government Association.
However, the most compelling and exciting portion of this project is what will become of the main floor. The main floor will be dedicated to programs at the core of the college’s mission. The offices of Campus Ministry, the Meelia Center for Community Engagement, the Father Jonathan DeFelice Multicultural Center and the Career Development Center will come together in this space, providing new and exciting opportunities to incorporate our Catholic, Benedictine values and ethos into the life of our student body.
Thanks to a substantial additional gift, we will be able to relocate the Bookstore here, as well as adding a new cafe, which will be managed by our in-house Dining Services staff. Stoutenburgh Gymnasium will be connected via a walkway to the Student Center, making this a true complex in the heart of our campus.
This is a significant project that is already years in the making, and I want to thank our incredible partners who are helping to bring it to fruition. The college has worked with BHDP Architecture, known for its designs in higher education for over 75 years, as well as Derck & Edson, a renowned land planning, site design and civil engineering firm, for the architecture and landscape design of the complex. Eckman Construction, a long-time partner of the college, which has built many of the buildings on campus, will once again serve as the Construction Management Company.
The hard work of the design and planning teams has made it possible for us to break ground here today; so too has the remarkable dedication of those who have been unsparing of both time and resources to bring us to this point. I want to acknowledge in particular Rich Meelia, for his continued and excellent leadership as campaign chair, and also for his extremely generous leadership gift to the campaign. Rich has been instrumental on every level to making this project a success, and we are privileged to have him to guide us on the path forward.
And now the time has come to acknowledge a couple without whose extraordinary commitment and support we would not be here today.
It is fitting that our lead donor was a student of Saint Anselm College himself. A native of Manchester, he was raised by working class parents – and helped finance his education by working 30 hours a week in a retail job he acquired at age 16.
A member of the Class of 1970, his life has been guided by uncompromising ethical standards that have seen him through multi-million-dollar decisions and complex corporate mergers.
He retired in 2006 as Executive Vice President at Liberty Mutual and as President of its Regional Agency Markets, after a 35-plus year career in the insurance industry. A trustee of the college since 1998, his contributions to Saint Anselm were already immeasurable long before committing to this project.
He found a spiritual home in the Abbey Church, and a wife who also embodies the characteristics of the best Anselmians among us. Together, they travel the world, but return frequently to the Hilltop, where their distinguished legacy of giving is founded on the basis that no qualified student should be denied a Saint Anselm education because of financial need.
It should be no surprise that the couple have established an endowed scholarship, and their continued stewardship at the college has supported numerous annual scholarships and endowed funds.
They describe the Student Center as a “catalyst for the college to challenge itself,” and it is with great faith in the future that we commit today to doing so. This gift will transform the center of our campus, and our deepest thanks and appreciation go out to those who have made it possible.
By committing six million dollars to the capital campaign, the largest individual gift in the history of the college, they have provided us with the unrestricted resources that made it possible to launch this project, which will forever enrich the landscape of our campus and the experience of our students.
It is my distinct honor and privilege to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Roger and Francine Jean, and welcome you to the future Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex.