The Fairfield Campus from 1965 to 1995

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The Fairfield Campus from 1965 to 1995

. . . taken from the book If These Stones Could Speak

1. The <em>Quad</em> buildings<br> 2. The Library and Science buildings<br> 3. The <em>Orient</em><br> 4. The rapid increase of buildings<br> 5. The <em>Eagan Chapel

1. The Quad buildings
Fairfield Campus

In 1965 another residence hall was built. Regis Hall housed 324 students. John Francis Regis died in 1640 after having worked in the home missions in France; he started homes for abandoned people and for prostitutes. Regis' name is used today for a variety of initiatives. Etched in a window of Regis IV is found another Bellarmine seal. Regis Hall houses WVOF-AM/FM, Fairfield University's student-run radio station.

Then in 1966 a much needed student center was built. It was later called the John Barone Campus Center to honor the former Provost of Fairfield University. John served the university many years as a chemist and later was responsible for the construction of many of the buildings. It is the center of many student activities. For example, in March of 1995, the Oak Room was set up by the Media Center to conduct a live interview of the Endeavor astronauts during their space flight. The event was telecast throughout Fairfield County. Outside the multipurpose Oak Room in the foyer there is a 7 foot whispering gallery which is small but operates on the same principle as the whispering galleries in Washington and the Vatican. On the North face of the building is the third Bellarmine seal in red marble near the top of the building. The Campus center houses the bookstore, the mailroom, game room, snack bar, lounges, student government offices and the main student dining room (the other one is in Dolan). It is a center for most student activities. There used to be a barber shop until 1972; even though his office was closed, the barber's name remained in the telephone book until 1993.

Fairfield Campus in 1989
The student body kept increasing and there was need for more residence halls. So in 1968 Jogues Hall was built for 296 students. On the ground floor of Jogues Hall aremusic classrooms. Igor Kipnis, the famous harpsichordist, taught in one of those classrooms when he was an adjunct in the Fine Arts department.

Isaac Jogues worked among the Iroquois and was martyred by them in 1646 in present-day New York State. Later work of the early Jesuit missionaries was carried on by Le Moyne who discovered salt leading to the start of Salt City , Syracuse; other early Jesuit missionaries such as the explorers Marquette and Kino are represented in Statuary Hall in the Capitol building in Washington. These Jesuits did many of the same things that were done in the Paraguay settlements which were established by earlier Jesuits to hinder the Spanish slave trade.

2. The Library and Science buildings

Our new Library was finished in 1968. It is named to honor the Swedish industrialist Gustav Nyselius and his wife Dagmar. Gustav founded Mt. Vernon Die Casting. The Library boasts of over 145,000 volumes, a networked collection of CD-ROM databases, a computerized catalogue and an extensive media department. Among its valuable collection is a copy of The Book of Kells.

Bellarmine Pond
The Central Utilities Facilities (CUF) was built in 1970. This houses the offices for energy services, the central electrical, air-conditioning and heating equipment and controls.

The Bannow Science Building, built in 1971, houses the computer center which is connected through fiber optics to all buildings on campus. The Computer Center is named to honor Fr. Frederick Kelly who through long hours, inspired and instructed many students for 20 years. It houses classrooms, laboratories and office space for the departments of mathematics, computers, physics, biology, chemistry and psychology. Donations for this $4.5 million Science building came from Rudolf Bannow and the building was named in his honor at the request of his wife and his daughter Mrs. Dorothy Larson. Rudolf Bannow, a Swedish industrialist who founded Bridgeport Machines, was very involved in community service and died in 1962.

Freshman orientation

3. The Orient

In 1971 a residence hall for 180 students called Kostka Hall was built. Stanislaus Kostka was a young Polish Jesuit who walked from Warsaw to Rome to enter the Society. He died in 1568 and is the Patron of novices. The building plan which Fairfield University purchased as a package has a very practical and functional organization with three spacious lounges for study and recreation, and the capacity to augment the wings by adding on six suite sections. The individual air-conditioned rooms also use space quite economically. Our students visiting their friends find this same structure on other campuses. Because of its location on campus it had been called Southeast until 1982. Recently Cablevision and fiber-optics cable for computer networking was installed in Kostka as well as all other residence halls on campus.

Bellarmine in 1989
In 1972 another residence hall was constructed - Claver Hall which houses 192 students. Peter Claver who died in 1654 was declared the patron saint of African missionaries. He labored for the hapless African slaves, captives kidnapped from their homes and brought to Columbia. He would go into the hold of the slave ships when they arrived to care for them and after the slaves were sold, he kept in contact with them and visited them. Cartegena stamps still honor him. Because it was east of "Southeast", Claver Hall had been called "Far East" until 1982.

4. The rapid increase of buildings

The Nursing Building was built in 1977. It has faculty offices, classrooms and laboratories.

Finally, in 1974 a Jesuit superior, Fr. Frederick Kelly, arrived on the scene, who listened to Rome's 25 year old admonition: "Build a residence for the Jesuit Community". He put aside enough money to construct what is now the St. Ignatius Jesuit Residence on Barlow Road. This was done in two stages: the first section was completed in 1977; the second section attached to the first in 1981.

In 1979 the Recreational Complex was built; it has a 25-meter pool and intramural courts, exercise rooms and offices for the intramural sports.

In 1979 came the Center for Financial Studies, built by the National Council of Savings Institutions to provide a learning environment for management training. Not yet part of the University, it was built on our land with the proviso that Fairfield University will inherit this complex after a few decades. There are 14 meeting rooms, 64 large guest rooms, a large amphitheater, a large elegant dining room and an art gallery for occasional displays. Conferences and continuing education for executive and management development are conducted for different corporations.

A badly needed classroom and office building came in 1981 which contains 93 private offices, a computer laboratory, a number of conference rooms and classrooms. It was called Faculty Office Building until 1992, then it was named Donnarumma Hall to honor

Carmen Donnarumma
Carmen Donnarumma, a beloved professor who taught history and politics since the school opened. Finally, the great stone steps which had been patiently waiting for an occupant for about a quarter of a century, had a purpose: they led to a real building.

The Townhouses came in three stages (#1-7 in 1982, #8-10 in 1984 and # 11-15 in 1987) Today there are 104 two story student units housing 469 students. The townhouses boast of three stories including a large basement for storage, a large living room, a full kitchen on the first floor and bedrooms on the second floor.

Thefirst seven townhouses were named after seven North American martyrs who died between the years 1642 to 1649. The names Brebeuf, Chabanel, Daniel, Garnier, Goupil, Lalande and Lalemant, all North American martyrs from France, are on the sides of the houses, but unfortunately students use the house numbers and do not become familiar with the men behind the names. Chabanel is an example of an interesting man who was a college professor before he came to work among the Hurons. He should be the patron saint of the Modern language Department since had a terrible time trying to learn the Huron language. Today more than one Jesuit language house of studies is named after him in sympathy with his predicament.

Thesecond group of townhouses is named for three other martyrs: Paul Mikithe first Japanese martyr who was put to death for the Faith just before his ordination. The Scottish scholar John Ogilviewho died at the age of 33 in the terrible persecutions of Queen Elizabeth. John deBrito, a Portuguese missionary in India told a prince he had to give up all his wives except one. This angered one of the wives who saw to it that John was beheaded.

The third group of townhousesare named for five Jesuit scientists. I suggested that Fr. Kelley name the last five townhouses after unpronounceable Jesuit scientists instead of unpronounceable Jesuit saints. He did. These scientists represent five of the thirty-five Jesuits who have lunar craters named in their honor. NASA sent me huge photos of these 5 craters, observing that they had never heard of naming college resident halls after craters - in spite of occasional lunatic behavior by students.

The townhouses
Roger Boscovichwas credited with being one of the first to develop an atomic theory.

Christopher Clavius was responsible for the Gregorian Calendar which we use today.

Athanasius Kircher was considered a world expert on hieroglyphics. In fact he was called the "master of 1000 arts" because of his varied skills. He was first to speak of germs and sea phosphorescence. Frequently on display at the Beineke Library of Rare Books at Yale is the Voynich manuscript, a book that for 500 years no one had been able to decipher. It was given to Kircher in 1670 because he was perceived as the only one in the world who would be able to interpret it. In fact he did not succeed, but it stayed in his museum for centuries.

Christopher Scheiner discovered sun-spots at the same time as Galileo. Matteo Ricci translated Euclid into Chinese, and was the subject of the best seller "Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci" by Jonathan Spence. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of Ricci: "No European of past centuries was as well known in China as Li-ma-teu (Ricci-Matteo)."

Pierre Teilhard de Chardinwas a Jesuit paleontologist. This is the oldest townhouse since it was there in the 1920's and served as a home for workman for the Jennings family. Later is was a faculty residence and now shares with Clavius the town house number 12.

Dramatic production in the Quick Center

In 1989 came the Regina Quick Center for the Arts which houses a large auditorium, an experimental theater and an art gallery. It was named to honor Regina Quick, wife of trustee Leslie Quick, who donated the initial major gift for it. The auditorium seats 750, has wonderful acoustics and was named to honor Fr. Aloysius Kelley, Fairfield's seventh president. The center has made an enormous difference in campus activities: many more special events in the arts as well as scholarly lectures are available to the students, faculty and staff inside the university and to the Fairfield County community. The experimental theater is called the Black Box with 150 seats. It is a classroom for theater and has a catwalk all around it. The lawyer and developer, Lawrence A Wien along with his wife and daughter, were the benefactors. The teaching and display gallery is named to honor Thomas J. Walsh of Woodbury, NY. All sections of the Center are available to the disabled. It has a 30'x40' main stage, a hugh carpenter shop and a scrim which, when closed, isolates 285 seats.
The Aloysius P. Kelley Theater in the Regina Quick Center

Nearby is the man-made Hopkins Pond, named after the great Jesuit poet Gerard Manly Hopkins (who died in 1889), known for his sprung rhythm, and father of modern poetry. He belonged to the Oxford Movement and was converted to Catholicism by John Henry Cardinal Newman. Among other poems he wrote the Wreck of Deuchland and Windhover whose theme is stated in his own words: "The World is Charged with the Glory of God."

In 1995, a locker facility was built near Alumni football field. It was needed because of the overcrowding in the gymnasium where the lockers had been. In the past several decades there has been an extraordinary increase in the number of varsity sports for both women and men.

In 1995, this student-run pavilion was built and given the peculiar name Levee because of the mistaken idea that the writer of the "down on the levee" song graduated from Fairfield University. He did not, but must be pleased at having such an attractive discotheque named in his honor.

5. The Eagan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola

Mrs. and Mr. William Egan
The crowning glory of Fairfield's campus came in 1990 with the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola which boasts 500 movable seats, a 76 foot spire, meeting rooms, and offices. It also has hand carved stations and a Galanto non-pipe organ. Its stained glass windows are now being installed in honor of Fr. Thomas McGrath. Very visible banners celebrate the martyrdom of the six Jesuits and their two companions in El Salvador.

This long-awaited chapel, something longed for since 1942, is called the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola after Ignatius Loyola and the family of William Egan who is the managing partner of Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. a venture capital firm in Boston. He graduated from Fairfield University in 1967 and has been for some years a university trustee.

The Egan Chapel
He donated the money for the chapel and named it after his parents; he said: "There are many business decisions I am proud of - but none more than building the chapel."

One of the most active places on campus is found on the floor below in the meeting rooms of the Arrupe Center, which honors that "other" Basque Jesuit, Pedro Arrupe, S.J. who served as the last Jesuit Superior General (1965-1983). He worked as Master of Novices in Hiroshima when the terrible bomb went off. He and his Jesuit novices spent much time and energy taking care of the suffering Japanese people and helping the dying. "Pedro" as he is affectionately called by Jesuits, introduced into Jesuit documents and Jesuit education the theme "Jesuits are meant to be MEN FOR OTHERS ".

In this Center are found offices, meeting rooms, a kitchen, a dining room and many students involved in the service of others. Apart from the usual Masses in the Chapel above there is continual daily activity in the Center and some 600 students actively participate in service projects. One of the meeting rooms honors a well-respected Fairfield University Jesuit psychology teacher of many years, Thomas McGrath .

The long anticipated Chapel realized on one of Fairfield's hills

Once, as the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola was being built, a colleague complained to me that we had no clearly visible religious symbols. Now on top of our chapel is a giant cross which stands 75 feet above the ground and which can be seen in New York. It is a clear symbol of the vision and determination of the early Jesuits and their lay-companions who labored for the past half century to make Fairfield what it is today. My friend's wish for a sign was granted.

The founders of Fairfield University were men of Faith in God. They also had confidence in themselves and were courageous dreamers who thought big and were buoyed up by a conviction similar to Edmund Campion's Brag : "It is of God, it cannot be withstood." Words used by the grateful 1958 graduates in dedicating their yearbook to one founder, Fr. Langguth - dean from 1947 to 1958 - are quite fitting for all our founders.

Spiritual Exercises window in the Egan Chapel

t has been said that behind every great accomplishment there has been a great dream lying latent and waiting to be brought to fruition. The growth of Fairfield University is no exception. But between the dream and its fulfillment lies an arduous and often thankless task, which calls for men of great strength and foresight. The buildings of Fairfield University stand in mute testimony to the tireless work of the man who made them possible. We, the graduating class of Fairfield, who have seen both the dream and its fulfillment, humbly and gratefully dedicate these our memories of Fairfield to the Reverend Laurence C. Langguth, S.J.


for the video and book If These Stones Could Speak

Allis, Marguerite Historic Connecticut. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1934
Burke, James, S.J. Jesuit Province of New England . Boston: The Society of Jesus of New England, 1986
DiGiovanni, Stephen The Catholic Church in Fairfield County . New Canan: Mulvey, 1987
Duggan, Thomas Msgr. The Catholic Church in Connecticut . New York: States History Company, 1930
Farnham, Thomas Fairfield 1639 -1939 . West Kennebunk: Phoenix, 1988
Fitzgerald, Paul The Governance of Jesuit Colleges in the United States, 1920-1970 . Notre Dame: Notre Dame, 1984
Justinus, Ivan History of Black Rock . Bridgeport: Black Rock Civic Club, 1927
Lathrop, Cornelia Black Rock Seaport of Old Fairfield; 1644 -1870. Fairfield: Tuttle, 1930
Lapomarda, Vincent The Jesuit Heritage in New England . Worcester: Holy Cross, 1977
Pratt, George Fairfield In Connecticut 1776-1976 , Fairfield : Fairfield Bicentennial Commission, 1976
Preville, Joseph Fairfield University: The Emergence of a Modern Catholic University . Chestnut Hill: Dissertation for Boston College Graduate School, 1985
Schenk, Elizabeth History of Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut. 2 vol. Fairfield: Self published, 1889
Taylor, Robert Colonial Connecticut . New York: KTO Press, 1979 Trumbull, Benjamin, DD.

A Complete History of Connecticut . New London: Utley, 1898

The story of these buildings, told in four instalments, is taken from the book If These Stones Could Speak

Fairfield University's Ur-history
Fairfield University's Early Struggles
Fairfield University's Growth from 1945-1965
Fairfield University's Growth from 1965-1995

Also more information about Fairfield University is found in the book:
Why are Fairfield University's Buildings named after Dead Jesuits?

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