Below are the remarks from Peter Ubertaccio, dean of Arts & Sciences, at the recent Topping Out ceremony for the Academic and Welcome Center.
Let me begin by thanking our President, Fr. John Denning and members of our Board of Trustees for their dedication in seeing this project through.
This new building rises on the site of one of our oldest buildings where earlier generations of Stonehill students, faculty, and staff come together in common pursuits. I think we honor their memory by creating a new state of the art Academic and Welcome Center on this site.
This building will be a 21st-century facility but one dedicated to some of the oldest of academic disciplines. In this building, we reaffirm that we are committed to educating the whole person and that the study of the humanities is fundamental to creating lifelong learners. We already know that the study of ethics, religion, history, theology, and philosophy is inextricably linked to successful outcomes for our students, outcomes measured not merely in quantity but in lives that make a difference to our communities, families, our nation, and our world.
I want to also extend my deepest thanks to our team here at Stonehill responsible for this magnificent building, Craig Binney and his team, and to our faculty shepherd, Professor Nate DesRosiers of our Religious Studies Department. Dr. DesRosiers is a scholar of the New Testament and history of ancient Mediterranean religions. It is fitting that a scholar and teacher pursuing humanistic inquiry would serve as the faculty’s voice for this new facility.
Finally, to our colleagues and friends in Enrollment Management and Admission who will also call this building home. I am so grateful that the centerpiece of the new and forward-looking Stonehill will be a building that is home to our humanities departments. When future generations of Stonehill families come to campus, they will find what a young immigrant found here in 1954. That young immigrant, Bartley MacPháidín, would become one of Stonehill’s transformational leaders. “I encountered, he would later write, “a community of teacher-scholars devoted to nurturing a love of learning, an appreciation for culture, and a commitment to serving others. I found classmates and colleagues whose hunger for knowledge spurred plenty of intellectual debate and discussion.”
That is what I hope we will all encounter starting less than one year from now. Thank you.