NEW STUDENT LOUNGE
President Matthew Whelan, Ed.D., and guests gathered May 4 for the celebration and ribbon cutting of the new state-of-the-art student lounge in the Mother Joseph Residence Hall on campus.
“A well-designed campus lounge serves important functions,” said President Whelan. “It offers students a comfortable space in which to study, socialize and enjoy activities.” It is a place, he said, where students can grow, learn and make important connections and memories.
“It is peaceful … whoever paid for this is definitely spoiling us,” said biology education major Carolynn Hidalgo.
The new space includes a common room with comfortable seating, a study area with a see-through glass wall with large monitors, charging stations for devices, a butler’s pantry, and two bathrooms–one newly renovated and the other new and ADA compliant. There are Wi-Fi access points and integrated modular stations to accommodate multiple events.
The lounge also has beautiful arched windows since the area had been a chapel for over five decades until it was formally decommissioned in accordance with canon law in April 2019. Much of the sacred art was moved to an elegant, newly constructed chapel, which is more centrally located on campus.
Dr. Whelan thanked all who were involved in the project. “Remember the beautiful people who helped us get here.”
Those people included executives of the NJM Insurance Group and Ann Masterson Larue from the Class of 1969 and her husband, John, for whom the inner Larue Lounge is named.
“Every time I come here there is something else going on. I wanted to be a part of it … we see this vibrant community,” said Mrs. Larue, who spent her career at IBM and retired as a senior program manager. She credited her successful career “to Caldwell and my Dominican education.”
NJM President and CEO Mitchell Livingston said the company was happy to partner with Caldwell. “To be successful, students need to dedicate time and attention to their studies,” and it helps to have a conducive environment in which to work. “The lounge’s bright and spacious design will help students achieve their goals in a comfortable environment.”
The project director was Caldwell Vice President of Administration and Operations Sheila O’Rourke. The contractor was Fuscon Enterprises, Inc. and the architecture firm was Comito Associates.