At Manhattan College’s annual President’s Dinner held at the Waldorf=Astoria last night, President Brennan O’Donnell unveiled plans for the new five-story, 67,400 square-foot student center, Student Commons, to more than 250 donors and guests. The $40 million facility will not only be the central hub linking Manhattan’s North and South campuses but also will provide much-needed space for student and faculty events and gatherings, especially as the resident population continues to rise.
“The building will provide a much-needed focal point and social hub for our students,” explained Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College. “It will help us to deepen the sense of community that has long been a hallmark of the College. It will provide spaces that will encourage student-faculty interaction, and it will be our 'front door' to the community, a place where we share the intellectual and cultural wealth of the College with our neighbors.”
By having the opportunity to converge in a central location, resident and commuter students, faculty, staff and campus groups will stay more closely connected. The new building features a multipurpose space able to accommodate dinners, lectures and seminars, and a 6,700 square-foot fitness center. Other highlights include: a wireless lounge with couches, bookstore, café, new cafeteria, student government office, staff offices, meeting rooms, faculty dining room, student activities office and much more.
In addition, renderings of the new Student Commons were displayed at the dinner to illustrate how the state-of-the-art building will incorporate the latest in technology, innovation and facilities. The building’s design and structure will follow environmentally responsible practices and meet the goals of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
“The building’s location and look are intended to make a bold statement: we are a complex and a multifaceted institution, but we are one school and one community, united in one common purpose,” added O’Donnell at last night’s event.
The President’s Dinner is an annual event that the College hosts to recognize and thank top donors. Thomas D. O’Malley, chairman for the board of trustees of Manhattan College, also said when thanking donors, “The people here tonight represent many others whose support allows us to continue the strong tradition of Lasallian education at Manhattan College.”
Thanks to donors’ help, Manhattan College has raised more than $15 million in contributions and plans to break ground on the new facility in 2012.