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Jordan Hall officially dedicated

Adrienne Ruffner | Friday, September 15, 2006

An official dedication of the Jordan Hall of Science drew members of the University community Thursday in a celebration of Notre Dame’s commitment to scientific inquiry.

“May it become a center where our students discover the truth,” University President Father John Jenkins said as he blessed the building with holy water before a crowd of benefactors and officials.

He prayed that students would use their scientific knowledge to strengthen their faith.

The private dedication ceremonies began with a Mass in the Basilica at 3:45, followed by Jenkins’ blessing of Jordan Hall. For the remainder of the evening, benefactors, University Trustees and officers and the Advisory Councils for the colleges of Science, Engineering and Architecture had the opportunity to meet with one another and explore the facilities.

The event was held to coincide with the Notre Dame Forum in the Joyce Center, where scholars and students met to discuss the world health crisis.

“This is where we’re going to train students to be the scientific leaders of tomorrow,” said Bill O’Hayer, business manager for the College of Science. “The dedication was planned with the forum because this is a scientific facility.”

Jordan Hall cost approximately $70 million to build, but construction was funded by private gifts and a large donation from Notre Dame alum John W. Jordan, who attended the dedication with his family.

Those who enter Jordan Hall come face-to-face with a breathtaking view. The hall’s atrium extends four stories to the ceiling, surrounded by hallways lined with 200,000 square feet of research space, 40 classroom laboratories and a state-of-the-art planetarium. Jordan Hall impressed students, faculty and administrators when it opened for class this fall.

“I love the building,” sophomore Chantalle Saucier said. “The lab materials, the classrooms – everything is so nice.”

The building was under construction for about two years, and the dedication marked an arrival at a long-anticipated destination. O’Hayer said workers had to scramble to complete the building over the summer.

“It took some extraordinary work to finish, but everything went smoothly,” he said.

Sophomore Rob Plasschaert worked for the Chemistry Department over the summer and spent many hours moving material from the old chemistry labs in Nieuwland into the new labs in Jordan.

“There’s considerably more space in here than there was in Nieuwland or Galvin,” he said. “It’s much more open.”