Manhattan College Breaks Ground on Raymond W. Kelly '63 Student Commons

A crowd of more than 200 students, faculty, staff, media, politicians and special guests attended the groundbreaking ceremony to officially kick off the student commons construction project.


On Dec. 13, members of the Manhattan College community gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons. The 70,000-square-foot building, set to open in 2014, will significantly enhance the College’s ability to integrate academics and student life, and will provide space for fitness and wellness programming, cultural and community events, dining, student activities and student collaboration.

New York City Police Commissioner Kelly, Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College, and Thomas D. O’Malley ’63, former chairman of the College’s board of trustees and executive chairman of PBF Energy Company LLC, all spoke at the ceremony.

The Kelly Commons is a very tangible symbol of the school’s future as it transforms fully into a residential campus.

 “The Kelly Commons is a very tangible symbol of the school’s future as it transforms fully into a residential campus,” Kelly said. “I know that the students who congregate here will do so in a tradition of faith, service and community.”

An approximately $48 million project, the Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons will be the College’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building. 

“The building, of course, will proudly bear the name of a man who is an exemplary graduate of this proud tradition, and we are honored, Commissioner Kelly, to have you and your family, along with many friends and representatives of the NYPD, here today,” O’Donnell said.

“This great project, and this great moment in the College’s history, would not have been possible without the spirit of service — not to mention the vision and the enormous generosity — of Tom and Mary Alice O’Malley,” added O’Donnell.

Announced earlier this year, O’Malley contributed $10 million, the largest donation in the College’s history, toward the building of the student commons.

“If we want an example of service to the community, well [Ray] is the greatest example we could possibly think of,” O’Malley remarked. “So when the idea came up to the board of trustees that this building should be named in honor of Ray, it was the first and only thing I believe in my tenure as chairman of the board of trustees that got instantaneous universal approval.”

For more information about the building’s features, visit

View photos from the groundbreaking: