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New dorm gets a name: Ryan Hall

Kaitlynn Riely | Thursday, September 18, 2008

The new women’s residence hall under construction between Welsh Family Hall and the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore will be named Ryan Hall, University President Father John Jenkins said in his annual address to the faculty Tuesday.

Jenkins revealed the name of the new dorm as he described the University’s continued commitment to excellence in undergraduate education.

“Both Duncan Hall, the men’s dorm that opened this fall, and Ryan Hall, the women’s dorm currently under construction, are the first dormitories at Notre Dame to include classrooms, which will help deepen this integration of academic and residential life,” Jenkins said, according to his prepared remarks.

Assistant Vice President for News and Information Dennis Brown said Wednesday that, to his knowledge, the benefactors have asked the University to disclose no further details beyond the name of the dorm.

“At this time, there is nothing to announce,” he said.

Construction on Ryan Hall began last spring and is on schedule to be completed in time for students to move into the hall next August, Office of Residence Life and Housing Director Jeff Shoup said Wednesday.

Crews are currently constructing the third floor, Shoup said, with the goal of getting the roof on the building before bad winter weather hits South Bend.

The new hall will house 246 students and will be 74,600 square feet.

Ryan Hall will be similar in layout and look to Duncan Hall, Shoup said, with a few key differences. Ryan will have similar size rooms to Duncan, including “super quads”- two doubles connected by a common area, complete with bay windows, a bathroom and a shower. But there will be more singles in Ryan and fewer triples.

“When we talked with students when we first looked at this building a number of years ago, the thing we heard loud and clear was that women didn’t like being in triples,” Shoup said.

Duncan’s chapel is on its second floor, a featured shared by only one other Notre Dame residence, St. Edward’s Hall. Ryan’s chapel will be on its first floor, down a long corridor from the lobby, Shoup said.

Ryan Hall, like Duncan, will have an exercise room in the basement and a study and social lounge on each wing.

The process of filling Ryan Hall with female students will be very similar to the lottery system male students could enter last year for Duncan Hall.

In January, students can apply online to live in Ryan Hall, Shoup said. The lottery system for Duncan was supposed to be binding last year, but the University relaxed that rule, recognizing that people might want to back out if their friends were not admitted to the dorm. The lottery for Ryan will not be binding, Shoup said, so if people decline the offer to live in Ryan, the University will hold a second lottery.

Shoup said he expects the number of applicants to live in Ryan to be akin to the number that applied to live in Duncan – 350 students. But now that many have seen Duncan Hall, more female students might apply to Ryan.

“[Duncan] will be a little bit of an advertisement in itself,” Shoup said.

About 100 spots in Ryan Hall have been reserved for freshmen, he said.

Notre Dame has long-term plans to build one more men’s and one more women’s hall.