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Marymount University Celebrates Blessing of Cornerstones

Monday, May 03, 2010
On May 2, Marymount University celebrated the blessing of the cornerstones for two new buildings: Rose Benté Lee Ostapenko Hall, a 77,000-square-foot residence hall that will provide apartment-style housing for 239 students, and Caruthers Hall, a 52,000-square-foot academic building focused on the sciences and health sciences. These facilities are part of Marymount's 26th Street Project, which also includes the Malek Family Plaza, an attractive outdoor gathering space between the buildings; the BB&T clock tower on Caruthers Hall; and four levels of underground parking. A statue of the late Sr. Majella Berg, RSHM, who was president of Marymount from 1960 to 1993, will be a part of the Malek Family Plaza.

The 26th Street Project is being funded in part by Marymount's comprehensive capital campaign, Building a Future of Excellence and Distinction. The new facilities will address the University's most critical needs: state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms, apartment-style housing to enhance the campus-life experience and attract new students, and additional parking. They will also enable Marymount to expand and strengthen key academic programs and offer more students than ever the opportunity to live on campus.

The day's program began with Mass in Marymount's Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel, then moved to the Malek Family Plaza, between the two new buildings. Mr. Barry Fitzpatrick, chairman of Marymount's Board of Trustees, thanked the project's donors, saying, "When you think of cornerstones, you picture the firm foundation that supports a building. But it occurs to me that the real cornerstones of this 'Miracle on 26th Street' are the people who have made it happen." He noted that many have contributed to making the project a reality, and thanked key supporters by name: Marymount trustee Rose Benté Lee and her late husband, Rear Admiral William M. Ostapenko; prominent northern Virginia businessman and community leader Preston C. Caruthers and his wife, Jeanne; Marymount alumna and trustee Marlene McArthur Malek and her husband, Frederic V. Malek; and BB&T, the major corporate donor to the project.

Vinay Dhanaraj '12, a Health Sciences/pre-Physical Therapy major, spoke on behalf of Marymount's students. He said, "This fall, I will be living in Lee-Ostapenko Hall and also working there as a resident assistant. I will not only be living and working in this part of campus but, as a pre-physical therapy major, I will be one of the many students engaged in learning in the classrooms and labs of Caruthers Hall." He added, "This complex is going to benefit all Marymount students, faculty, and staff. We will all have opportunities to use the new parking garage, to enjoy the new café and workout facility, and to take advantage of the new academic spaces that will be equipped with the best technologies. I can tell you that the opening of this complex is much anticipated throughout campus, especially among the students. We are all very excited to see what the finished product is going to be and, personally, I can't wait to move in!"

Father David Sharland, Y.A., chaplain and director of Campus Ministry at Marymount, then blessed the cornerstone of each building in turn. The Marymount University Chapel Choir sang Psalm 84 and For Builders Bold.

Dr. James E. Bundschuh, president of Marymount, closed the ceremony, noting, "This project represents a transformational moment for Marymount University. When we cut the ribbons on these buildings in October, we will also be celebrating Marymount's 60th anniversary. It is fitting that our University will take a giant leap forward as it begins the seventh decade of its existence, thanks to these new facilities." He also expressed his appreciation of Marymount's neighbors and the Arlington County Board, saying, "They have been so helpful and supportive to us throughout this process. Marymount truly is Arlington's university. We are proud to be an integral part of this community, and we value the positive relationships that we have with our friends and neighbors here."

For more information on Marymount's 26th Street Project, visit http://archive.marymount.edu/26thstreetproject/index.html.

To view a gallery of images from this event, visit http://archive.marymount.edu/campaign/cornerstonegallery/index.html.