Topping Out Ceremony Celebrates Academic and Welcome Center

October 27, 2017


On Friday, September 29, the College Community gathered in front of the MacPháidín Library to mark a milestone in the construction of the Academic and Welcome Center with a Topping Out ceremony.

Making History

A longstanding construction industry tradition with ancient roots, a “Topping Out” or “Topping Off” ceremony celebrates the raising of a building’s highest beam or structure and recognizes the shift in focus from exterior to interior work. As is the custom, an evergreen tree was placed on the ceremonial beam to symbolize that the project is proceeding well and as a token of “good luck” for its future occupants.

Ahead of the ceremony, the ceremonial beam was painted white and placed in front of the MacPháidín Library with a bevy of Sharpie Markers. And throughout the day, students, faculty, staff, and alumni visited the site to sign the beam and stake their place in history.

The Ceremony

The Topping Out ceremony featured remarks from Peter Ubertaccio, dean of Arts & Sciences and Catherine Capolupo, vice president for Enrollment Management. You can read them here and here, respectively.

Additionally, Fr. John Denning and Nicole Casper, director of Archives and Historical Collections, recognized the history of the Old Student Union, which was torn down to make way for the Academic and Welcome Center, by opening a time capsule from the building’s dedication ceremony.

About the Academic and Welcome Center

A Georgian style brick and steel building, the Academic and Welcome Center is on schedule to open for the 2018-2019 academic year. Home to the Religious Studies, Philosophy and History departments and the Dean of Arts & Sciences, the building will have a bookstore, a 363-seat auditorium, a café, four classrooms, three seminar rooms and about 30 faculty offices. Central to our Admission outreach, the Welcome Center will be the first stop for greeting visitors to campus, especially prospective students and their families visiting the College for the first time.