The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Donors join Hesburgh in building dedication

Bridget Keating | Monday, September 26, 2005

Friday’s dedication of Hammes Mowbray Hall marked the most recent addition to a campus already bearing the Hammes family name. Family, friends, University officials and members of the public gathered in a reflective ceremony presided over by University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh.

Benefactors Jerry and Dorene Hammes of South Bend, their nephew, Jerry Hammes Mowbray of Reno, Nev., and their son, Jeffrey Hammes of Kankakee, Ill., celebrated this occasion 50 years from the day that Romy and Dorothy Hammes, their parents and grandparents, dedicated the original bookstore located on South Quad in 1955 with the help of then-president Hesburgh.

The state-of-the-art building, which contains the headquarters of Notre Dame Security/Police and the United States Post Office, is “unbelievable and everything we could have dreamed and more,” said Rex Rakow, director of NDSP.

Close to one hundred staff members are based at this building, one of the most advanced campus security facilities in the country, he continued.

“We enjoy students coming in and out of the building at all times of the day on the way to classrooms that are located on the third floor,” Rakow said.

Lou Nanni, vice president of university relations, expressed that the University is “eternally grateful to the Hammes Mowbray family members.”

“This structure will serve as the new gateway to the North side of the continuously evolving campus,” Nanni said.

Hesburgh reflected on the benevolence of the donors.

“You cannot look around this campus without seeing the generosity of the Hammes family,” Hesburgh said.

He said he felt the new building looks less like a post office and security building and “more like a chateau in France.”

Jerry Hammes, a 1953 Notre Dame graduate, whose parents were shown in a displayed 1955 bookstore dedication picture with Hesburgh at the site of Friday’s ceremony, expressed his gratitude to Hesburgh.

“It means a great deal to our family that Father Hesburgh respects the University enough to perform this ceremony, which highlights three generations of our family during this busy time of [University President] Father [John] Jenkins’ inauguration,” Hammes said.

Kathlyn Hammes Mowbray, mother of four, including Jerry Mowbray, fondly recalled her frequent visits to campus while her sons attended.

“Notre Dame has done much more for us than we can ever do for Notre Dame,” Mowbray said. “While Notre Dame continues to physically progress, the same tremendous spirit is still present. It will always be the same and that is what makes Notre Dame so special.”