On Wednesday Sept. 5, faculty, professors and students gathered in the Quad to witness the official opening of Fairfield University’s newest building, 42 Langguth Hall, which is slowly becoming known as “the Guth” among the undergraduate students. This most recent addition to Fairfield campus houses sophomore students participating in the Ignatian Leadership Residential College program, formerly located in Loyola Hall.
People gathered in front of the building for the ceremony, which started with a blessing given by Fr. Michael Tunney, S.J., who began by posing the question, “How shall we live?” He continued to explain that questions like this live in the walls of 42 Langguth Hall, and will inspire its residents to ask themselves and reflect on the Residential College’s three key questions: “Who am I?”, “Whose am I” and “How am I called to lead?”
Following Fr. Tunney’s blessing of the building, President Mark R. Nemec, Ph.D., addressed the crowd. He commented that the Ignatian Leadership Residential College is a milestone for the Fairfield community and the essence of education. He encouraged students at Fairfield to be stewards, “to be individuals who recognize that we are not here simply for ourselves.”
Alumni mentors for the Ignatian Leadership Residential College reflect what it means to be a student at Fairfield in the hope of being present for others.
“I’m an alumni mentor, so I wanted to come to the opening to see perspective students I may have in my small group,” said Nicholas Rucco ‘20. “Hopefully we as alumni mentors will allow them [Ignatian Leadership residents] to see those core parts of their identity that I was able to get out of the program.”
Previous resident of the Ignatian Leadership Residential College Emmy Scott ‘20 explained, “I wanted to support my RA [Castelli] from last year and my friend who is an RA this year. I wanted to attend the opening ceremony because, as a previous member of the Ignatian ResCollege, I wanted to see how the program will evolve this year under a new building and new leadership.”
Senior Resident Assistant of 42 Langguth Hall, Elisa Castelli ‘19 also spoke at the ceremony. Castelli explained that she initially entered the Ignatian Residential College Program without knowing what to expect, but soon discovered that the program allows students to find themselves and where they fit. She explained that the Residential College Program gives students the support they need, and that the Residential Hall’s staff believes that, together, they can set the precedent for this new building for years to come.
“I think the opening ceremony was very successful, in regards to both attendance and content. I really enjoyed Dr. Nemec’s speech and I think the audience appreciated having a student who has been part of the program for so long speak on behalf of the community,” said Castelli. “With this new building in addition to the quality and strength of the residential college program itself, I think that the concept of Ignatian leadership will be carried out through the Sophomore class of Fairfield in greater numbers than previously. I’m excited to see where this takes us as a community.”
The ceremony made sure to honor the Vice President of Facilities Management, David Frasinelli, and associate dean of Residence Life, Ophelie Rowe-Allen for their efforts with ensuring the success of the new building. Dr. Mary Frances Malone, associate vice president for academic affairs, was also recognized for her stewardship to the creation of the Ignatian Residential College.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, people were able to split up and enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers and other treats, or go on student-led tours inside the Residential Hall. Throughout the building, golden tickets were hidden which, once redeemed, earned the finder a prize.
Ignatian Program alumni were excited to witness the unveiling of the new building, as were professors and University faculty members. Due to the high-temperatures, each speaker kept their speech concise so that the community could enjoy food in the quad, ice cream in the 42 Langguth parking lot or an air-conditioned tour around the building.