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Academic building dedicated at college

Megan Loney | Friday, October 31, 2008

Students, faculty, benefactors and University officials gathered Thursday to dedicate Saint Mary’s new academic building Spes Unica.

“The whole building is filled with light,” vice president and the dean of faculty Patricia Fleming said. “There is real energy in this building. I hope you have had a chance to see it today.”

Visiting alumnue, benefactors and family viewed the results of their generous contributions during the open house and tours of Spes Unica. Current students and faculty members led tours around the building, leaving from the Atrium every 15 minutes beginning at 1:30.

After the open house, visitors received a taste of the academic programs and centers housed in Spes Unica through the academic presentations. There were 23 different presentations by professors and students and department open houses.

The official blessing of Spes Unica began at 5 p.m. with a welcome from Fleming. The ceremony continued with a Bible reading by Student Body President Michelle Gruscinski and a reflection the Most Reverend John M. D’Arcy, Bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese.

In his homily, D’Arcy discussed Saint Mary’s dedication to the growth of not only the minds of its students, but of their faith as well.

“What is being dedicated here is a place of learning,” he said. “It is a statement by Saint Mary’s that not only is there no contradiction between faith and reason – between faith and learning – but that education is only complete when both are nourished.”

After the official blessing was conducted, Saint Mary’s alumna Jennifer Mathilde Prikkel, a member of the Board of Trustees, thanked those involved with the development of the building and explained her personal interest in this project.

“Finally, we can show you how much you mean to us, and how much we value what you do,” Prikkel said to the faculty.

President Carol Ann Mooney closed the ceremony with a final word of thanks to those who made the building possible and especially the donors. Their contributions totaling $19.4 million paid for the entire building, so that no tuition fee is needed to be spent, said Mooney.

A Thanksgiving Mass was held in the Holy Spirit Chapel of Le Mans Hall following the reception held after the blessing of Spes Unica.