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Rockhurst University Breaks Ground for Arrupe HallMarch 3, 2014
Rockhurst University marked a new campus milestone Friday, March 7, by breaking ground on its new academic building, Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Hall.
Construction of Arrupe Hall, located south of the University’s signature bell tower, is expected to take 15 months, with the building scheduled to be open for the fall 2015 semester. Once completed, Arrupe Hall will house many of the University’s undergraduate and graduate-level classes, along with faculty offices. A second phase will see the addition of a 500-seat auditorium.
University President Thomas B. Curran invoked the Jesuit motto ADMG, which stands for ad majorem Dei gloriam, or “for the greater glory of God,” in describing the underlying philosophy guiding the project. In comments made before the ceremony, Curran said the Jesuit mission lies at the heart of the building and is reflected in its namesake.
“The name of the building represents our Jesuit roots,” Curran said. “Father Arrupe served as the 28th superior general of the Society of Jesus. He called the society to the service of faith and the promotion of justice. His call clearly resonates with the message from Pope Francis.”
Arrupe Hall was made possible by a $25 million fundraising campaign. The completion of that campaign qualified the University for a $500,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Okla.
The facility will reflect the Jesuit core value of “wisdom,” featuring a commissioned large-scale artwork and the McMeel Family Gallery, a collection of original comic art reflecting the concepts of leadership, learning and service. The gallery is named for John McMeel, one of the founders of the Andrews McMeel Universal newspaper syndication company. McMeel and his family were honored on Thursday, March 6, during a presentation on leadership and humor by Pulitzer Prize-winning “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau, one of the artists whose work will be featured in the McMeel Family Gallery.
In addition to its reflection of Jesuit themes and values, Arrupe Hall is also expected to be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and be built to take advantage of the latest teaching and learning methods. Denny Thum, ’74, chairman of the Rockhurst University Board of Trustees, said although those technologies and methods have changed since his time as a student, he hoped the future generations of Rockhurst students entering Arrupe Hall are left with a similar sense of pride and personal growth.
“I have many fond memories of my time at Rockhurst. Some of those memories include classrooms where professors helped me to learn and grow and envision my future,” he said. “That is my wish for all of you —that Arrupe Hall will become the newest setting where leaders learn, and that it will one day hold many fond memories for you.”