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Saint Mary’s University recently rejuvenated one of its older buildings and has transformed it into a modern learning facility, now named Aquinas Hall after the patron saint of students.
The building formerly was known as the Adducci Science Center’s Hoffman and Brother Charles Halls and the Science and Learning Center.
The building connects directly with the recently built Science and Learning Center.
In total, the renovations to Aquinas Hall took about $17 million, which was possible with the help of donations from local individuals, organizations and businesses — many of whom are honored in the building with rooms being named after them.
Aquinas Hall, which was dedicated in a ceremony Friday, will be used by students in programs such as business, psychology and nursing — some of whom are already making use of its many amenities.
Senior Jordan Modjeski, a marketing and sport management double major, is one of the many students enjoying the benefits of the new space.
During Friday’s dedication ceremony, she said about the new renovations, “I was excited about the opportunities I and other students now have. I already have been doing some 3D printing in the makerspace. And I appreciate the finance lab and all its resources, the additions of the multimedia lab’s green screens and cameras, and all the new technology.
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“These additions make a big difference in how we learn, and, combined with Saint Mary’s reputation for a strong business department, will attract students interested in innovation and interdisciplinary learning,” she said.
The instructors are seeing the benefits of Aquinas Hall already too, with faculty member and associate director of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Matthew Klosky sharing that he has really enjoyed the makerspace and the tools that it contains.
Klosky shared that a few students already use the hall’s 3D printer to run a small business, which is focused on the creation and selling of keychains.
The newly renovated building is highly equipped for these students, with features including multiple labs, a makerspace and a nursing suite — where people can see a setup designed like a hospital room.
SMU president Father James P. Burns said, while praising the community and the collaboration that was needed to finish this project, “Within these walls, Saint Mary’s business, science, technology, psychology and nursing students will collaborate on long standing societal issues and challenges that we have yet to understand or imagine.
“The complex problems that exist today will need their combined expertise, skills and talents to arrive at solutions that utilize all that they have for scientific discovery to marketing to data analysis to behavioral trends. And as important as those technical skills are, I would say that our special sauce or special ingredient here at Saint Mary’s is that we are Lasallian Catholic University. And because of that, character and virtue is infused into the very heart blood of what we seek to promote. It’s always in the forefront of what we do. So we provide our students with both cutting edge relevant skills, as well as the ethical foundation necessary to truly change the world,” Burns said.
Burns said that the building was planned with the needs of students, businesses and organizations, along with society as a whole, in mind.
To learn more about Aquinas Hall and the programs housed there, visit SMU’s website at smumn.edu.