Since the opening of Walsh Library in 1994, Seton Hall’s campus has grown increasingly modern and more beautiful. New buildings have been added to the landscape and several historic structures have undergone renovations to meet the needs of current and future students.
Our efforts to create a first-class living and learning environment have borne fruit. Students cite Seton Hall’s facilities and picturesque setting among the many reasons they decided to enroll at the University. Likewise, alumni who come back to campus tell us they are astonished by the improvements we have made, and by those we hope to make in the future.
Against that backdrop, I am excited to introduce Bethany Hall, the latest addition to our campus. Standing near the main entrance to campus just inside the Farinella Gate, this new architectural icon provides elegant solutions to many of the University’s infrastructure needs.
By serving as a welcome center for visitors and a new home for Undergraduate Admissions, Bethany Hall transforms the first impression of Seton Hall for prospective students and their families. It is here that high-school students and their parents meet admissions personnel, learn about the University and depart for campus tours.
Since opening in January, the building has freed up space on campus that was formerly occupied by Undergraduate Admissions. And Bethany Hall’s location — highly visible from South Orange Avenue and Centre Street — improves the external perception of Seton Hall as well.
For current students and Pirate alumni, Bethany Hall features a flexible event space that can host get-togethers of any size, from intimate luncheons to gala dinners. We eagerly anticipate hosting many alumni events in this facility, including this year’s Many Are One Alumni Awards Gala on June 8. So Bethany Hall is truly a place of welcome for the entire Seton Hall community — from future students to Golden Pirates.
The addition of Bethany Hall to our South Orange campus was made even more meaningful by the University’s decision to dedicate the building to President Emeritus Monsignor Robert Sheeran ’67, S.T.D. in recognition of his 30 years of priestly service to Seton Hall.
Monsignor Sheeran, who was the University president from 1995 to 2010, is regarded as one of the most significant Seton Hall leaders in the modern era. His vision is largely responsible for the University’s emergence as an eminent institution of Catholic higher education with a national and international scope. He requested that the building be named Bethany Hall, after the Biblical village where Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus received Jesus into their home, as a place of friendship and community.
A driving force behind the effort to dedicate Bethany Hall in Monsignor Sheeran’s honor was Seton Hall Regent James O’Brien ’82, senior managing partner at Napier Park Global Capital, who made the lead gift with his wife, Judy, and encouraged other alumni to recognize our president emeritus by making meaningful contributions. My great thanks go to the O’Briens and everyone who expressed their love for Monsignor Sheeran in this special way.
I hope you have a moment to visit Bethany Hall the next time you are on campus. Please consider taking advantage of the many events we are planning for our new space, or just stop by if you are in the area. Your alma mater is always eager to welcome you home.
HELP US ‘GET TO 10’
As a member of the Seton Hall community for five decades, I can think of many times when the Pirate community came together to achieve something spectacular. I know I can count on my fellow alumni to show their solidarity with Seton Hall and with our current students.
Since I became interim president last year, I’ve placed a major emphasis on increasing the percentage of undergraduate alumni who make a yearly gift to Seton Hall. There are many good reasons for graduates like you and me to support our alma mater. I can say without a doubt that Seton Hall gave me an excellent foundation — intellectual, moral and spiritual — upon which I created the rest of my life. I am sure that the University has had a similar positive impact on you.
Making a small gift is not a small gesture. It is a recognition of the critical role that Seton Hall has played in our lives. Yet for the past few years, only about 8.5 percent of undergraduate alumni show their appreciation to the University in this way. I know we as a Pirate community can do better, which is why I am asking all of you to help us reach a new goal this year: 10 percent giving from undergraduate alumni.
Reaching this very achievable benchmark will not only improve the educational experience for today’s Seton Hall students, it will help the University rise in prominent collegiate rankings, many of which use the alumni giving rate as a metric by which to rate each institution. In this instance, the actual amount of the gift is secondary to the gift itself.
Under my direction, the Seton Hall Fund is reaching out like never before to ensure that our “Get to 10”campaign is a success. Our fiscal year ends on June 30, which is when we expect to have received gifts from 5,114 graduates. If you haven’t already shown your support to the University during this year, please visit www.shu.edu/giving to learn more about how you can help. Please make a gift today.