New men’s dorm opening in August to be named Baumer Hall
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, March 6, 2019
The new men’s dorm that will open in August will be called Baumer Hall after its donors, according to a Wednesday University press release. The construction of the new residence hall was made possible by a $20 million donation from alumnus John Baumer and his wife, Mollie, a Saint Mary’s alumna.
“Residential life is a distinctive hallmark of a Notre Dame undergraduate education, central to our mission to educate both minds and hearts,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “We could not be more proud that generations of students will call Baumer Hall home, and we are deeply grateful to John and Mollie for their extraordinary generosity.”
Vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said this gift is particularly important to Notre Dame in light of the six-semester housing policy it announced in fall of 2017.
“The Baumer family’s commitment to this new facility supports our ability to form the communities our students call home and for that, we are extremely thankful,” she said in the release. “Baumer Hall will help the University meet the need of housing undergraduate students through at least their junior year, as we continue to sustain and enhance the unique character of residential life for all students.”
A native of South Bend, John Baumer graduated from Notre Dame in 1990 with an undergraduate degree in finance, according to the press release. He later earned his master’s in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. His father, Fred Baumer, worked as comptroller at the University for 21 years.
John Baumer is a senior partner at private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners and has held seats on the boards of several companies and organizations, including Rite Aid Corp., Petco Animal Supplies, FTD Group and Equinox Fitness, the release said. He also serves on Notre Dame’s Wall Street Committee and Campaign Cabinet.
Mollie Baumer played varsity soccer as an undergraduate at Saint Mary’s. According to the release, she currently holds a seat on Notre Dame’s Advisory Council for the Student-Athlete.
Residents of Manhattan Beach, California, the Baumers donated to the Notre Dame men’s head lacrosse coaching position in 2015 and serve on the University’s President’s Circle.
“This University has been part of our family story for three generations,” John Baumer said in the release. “The residence hall experience I had at Notre Dame was the backdrop for the best and most lasting friendships and memories I have made. Sharing every aspect of life with your residence hall community creates a foundation of friendship and support you will build on for the rest of your life. I am deeply grateful for my time in Zahm [House], and we as a family are delighted that we have the opportunity, through Baumer Hall, to ensure this tradition remains strong and meaningful for future generations.”
The dorm, currently under construction, is located near Ryan and Keough Halls on the southwest side of campus. It will be four stories tall and 78,000 square feet, and is projected to house up to 251 men. Baumer Hall will also feature a two-story lounge, study and reading rooms and built-in amenities such as laundry, vending, storage, exercise room, a communal kitchen and an area for food sales in the basement, the release said.