Seton Hall University’s University Center has attracted a lot of notable speakers since it reopened to much fanfare last November, including tennis legend and women’s rights advocate Billie Jean King; Ambassador Csaba Kőrösi, president of the 77th session of the U.N.; and Archbishop Christophe Pierre.
It also has been attracting additional donations.
On Thursday, the school announced an anonymous donor had given $10 million to the project — a substantial offering, and just the latest gift toward the monumental project from alumni, friends and corporate benefactors.
The 48,000-square-foot student hub is one of the most eye-catching features on the school’s South Orange campus.
A desire to “reactivate” the 60-year-old building and deliver a 21st-century experience for the students was the primary motivator for the donor, according to school officials.
Several alumni and supporters have stepped up and invested in this resource for students who frequent the University Center to collaborate, create, inspire and innovate, school officials said. The building houses the main dining facilities, a theater, student-focused club rooms, a media studio, an art gallery, event space, lounge and study space, and the offices of inclusivity and student services. New outdoor amenities include an amphitheater, meditation garden, fire pit and sun-filled dining patio.
Monica Burnette, the vice president of student services, said the impact of the building has been immediate.
“Since the refurbished University Center has opened, students enthusiastically build community in the lounges, dining halls and activity rooms,” she said. “We are enormously grateful to all the donors who have made this space possible. The impact of their investments is visible and audible: The building is alive with learning, growing and simply having fun.”
The renovation of the University Center is one of several capital projects throughout the South Orange campus in recent years, including:
- Boland Hall, one of the university’s oldest residence halls, has undergone renovations and additions.
- Walsh Gymnasium, where the women’s basketball, volleyball and, at times, men’s basketball teams practice and play their games, has been completely renovated.
- The Stillman School of Business Trading Room in Jubilee Hall has been expanded and upgraded with state-of-the-art technology and additional Bloomberg terminals.
- In 2018, the university completed construction of Bethany Hall adjacent to Farinella Gate, which serves as a welcome center, event space and home of the admissions office. Muscarelle Hall (formerly Stafford Hall) was updated with larger, state-of-the-art classrooms, accessibility features and a new façade.
The next major project will be the creation of a new athletics practice facility as an extension of the Richie Regan Recreation and Athletic Center.
“We are forever grateful for this overwhelmingly generous gift, and for the many contributions to our ongoing efforts to enhance our campus infrastructure,” Jon Paparsenos, vice president for university advancement, said. “New and updated facilities enable us to provide a welcoming, productive and rewarding college experience for our students, which is what Seton Hall is all about.”