Welcome to the first issue of Presidential Perspectives, a publication whose goal will be to keep you informed about significant developments at Marymount. I look forward to using this newsletter to provide you with concise, timely updates on some of the most important and interesting things happening at our university.
This issue’s focus is campus facilities – an area where a lot is happening! In coming issues I will update you on our strategic planning process, the many efforts we have underway to express and strengthen Marymount’s Catholic identity, and other initiatives as they develop.
Finally, I hope that Presidential Perspectives will be an impetus for two-way communication. If you have comments or questions on anything you read in this newsletter – or if there is a particular topic you would like to know more about – please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to hear your thoughts!
Improving Our Campus
The physical landscape at Marymount is changing rapidly, as we focus on improving and expanding our facilities to better serve our students.
Campus Facilities Master Plan Projects
In May 2010, Marymount’s Board of Trustees adopted a multi-phase Campus Facilities Master Plan, to map out the development of our campus over the next several years. Phase I of that plan called for renovations to Rowley, Butler, and Gailhac halls.
The Rowley Hall renovation was completed in summer 2012. The result: a new “one-stop-shop” for students seeking academic support and enrichment. Offices and functions that had previously been spread around campus – from tutoring services to the DISCOVER Center, the Center for Global Education, and the Career Center – are now located in one building. Rowley’s renovated lower floors also provide new classrooms, fully accessible computer labs, study areas, and faculty offices. The building’s upper floors continue to serve as a women’s residence hall; the renovations brought the dorm rooms a slight reconfiguration and brand-new furnishings.
The next project in line is the renovation of a lower floor in Butler Hall to provide additional, much-needed faculty offices. The building permit was approved by Arlington County on March 15, and construction will begin in the next few weeks with project completion scheduled for May.
Several floors of Gailhac Hall will also get a facelift in the coming months. Gailhac is home to Marymount’s School of Arts and Sciences. The planned renovation will separate several departments in that school by floors, providing each one with new classrooms, studio spaces, and offices. Marymount has engaged the architecture firm of Ayers Saint Gross to design the renovated spaces. This project – the final part of Phase I of the Campus Facilities Master Plan – is expected to be completed during the summer.
Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel
Another exciting project – and one that reflects the centrality of Marymount’s Catholic identity – is the planned renovation of our Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel. We have engaged Michael T. Foster Architects to create a redesign that preserves the chapel’s simplicity while enhancing its beauty and functionality. The planned improvements include an entry portico at the front of the building; new flooring, paint, lighting, and sound system; and a beautifully renovated sanctuary with a new altar, presider chairs, and statuary. In addition, Marymount has comissioned 22 custom stained-glass windows to replace the chapel’s current textured glass.
The permit application materials were submitted to Arlington County on March 14, and the work is scheduled to take place this summer. Unlike the Campus Facilities Master Plan projects discussed above, the chapel renovation relies heavily upon donor support. To learn more about this project and how you can be a part of it, please contact Marymount’s vice president for development, Joe Foster, at (703) 284-1647 or email@example.com.
Finally, I will mention our Ballston Center redevelopment project. Marymount’s Ballston Center (affectionately referred to as “The Blue Goose” by many in Arlington) is an extremely important part of our campus. It is home to the School of Business Administration, our Physical Therapy and Counseling programs, Graduate Admissions, and a number of other important departments. In addition, nearly one-half of Marymount’s classroom space is located in the Ballston building! The value of this property to our university is enhanced by its prime location: It is in the heart of the Ballston business district, directly off I-66 and only two blocks from a Metro station.
Redevelopment of this very valuable asset has long been on our minds at Marymount, and now that process has begun to move forward. Working with a team of partner organizations led by The Shooshan Company and Avison Young, Marymount has developed an initial plan for the site, which proposes the construction of a nine-story academic/office building and a 15-story apartment building, with underground parking. This plan would address the university’s needs for expanded and improved academic spaces, create a revenue stream that would help to offset the construction costs, and contribute beautiful new buildings to enhance and add value to the rapidly developing Ballston area.
Permit application documents were submitted to Arlington County in December 2012. A project of this scope always entails extensive review and discussion. We look forward to this process and are extremely hopeful that Marymount will be able to move this effort toward fruition. I will keep you informed!
In Other News...
Congratulations to all of the Marymount students, faculty, and staff who shared their time and talents with others during academic year 2011-12, once again earning our university the distinction of being listed in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is the fifth consecutive year that Marymount University has received this prestigious national recognition for its commitment to service.
Marymount’s Common Ground marketing campaign is a strategic initiative to ensure that people throughout the greater Washington, DC, region know about our university and its mission, culture, and values. Begun last fall, the campaign has included ads on Metro buses; lighted displays in high-traffic Metro stations and at Reagan and Dulles airports; and print ads in the Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, and other major regional publications. This spring, we added radio spots to the campaign. The spots feature three terrific students – Ashlynn, Emma, and Jose – who truly exemplify the Marymount spirit. Listen to the ads, and let me know what you think!
The MU Saints women’s basketball team finished their 2012-13 season in spectacular fashion, winning the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championship and going on to win their first game in the NCAA Division III tournament, against Mary Washington. Their run ended when they lost their second tournament game to Christopher Newport. But the Saints come away from the season with many honors. Coach Ashlee Courter ’03 was named CAC Coach of the Year, and senior guard Katelyn Fisher was honored as CAC Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Katelyn was also named a Capital One Division III First Team Academic All-American® by the College Sports Information Directors of America. She is just the second player in school history to garner Academic All-America honors and the only one to earn first team honors. Congratulations to all the Saints on a terrific season; you make us proud!
Marymount is also proud of its 150+ students who are active military, reservists, and veterans, and we have a number of programs in place to assist current and former service people in taking advantage of the education benefits to which they are entitled. For the past three years, MU has been recognized as a “Military Friendly School” by GI Jobs magazine. Earlier this month, our School of Business Administration received a similar honor, when the Military Times included it in their inaugural list of “Best for Vets Business Schools.”