[Photos by Kenny Nguyen]
By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Aug. 28) – St. Bonaventure University’s ‘Welcome Days’ closed with a bang.
Sunday evening started with an Opening Mass and picnic and culminated with the entertaining and long-anticipated opening of the William E. & Ann L. Swan Business Center.
There was also a little surprise.
Roughly 300 people were in attendance as music started playing for the introduction to the ceremony. But before Pierre Balthazard, dean of the business school, could begin speaking, a flash mob grabbed the crowd’s attention.
About 20 Bonaventure students broke out dancing in the middle of the crowd, much to the surprise of the administrators who put on the event.
“We were very excited to welcome in the new business building,” said senior Josh Maxey. “Everyone knows what a flash mob is and we felt that the flash mob would be a very fun and exciting way to kick off the new building.”
Maxey said the plans were kept secret.
Once the dancers had finished, Balthazard introduced the honorary ribbon cutters.
Sr. Margaret Carney, university president; Mike Fischer, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Brenda McGee, vice president for finance and administration; Balthazard; senior Thomas Hura, and Ann Swan, donor and wife of the late Bill Swan, all took the stage.
Carney: “It is my honor and privilege to open this center which represents the vision and mission of St. Bonaventure University as a unique educational experience that is promised to you; as the stewards today of the wonderful inheritance of America’s first Franciscan University.”
Fischer: “It is a privilege to be opening our newest facility; a sign of our ongoing commitment to providing an extraordinary, learner-centered educational environment.”
McGee: “As a tribute to our trustees, present and past, and all of our donors which great contributions made the Swan Business Building possible. We very gratefully open the door this evening to this beautiful, new center for learning.”
Balthazard: “On behalf of faculty and staff, and also the leaders of the university, and finally the construction workers, architects, engineers and staff with whom we worked very closely for a long time.”
Hura: “On behalf of all current undergraduate and graduate students, alumni and future students, I am very excited to open this state-of-the-art building that will significantly contribute to our quest to continue to become extraordinary.”
Swan: “On behalf of my husband, Bill Swan, I am so delighted to be able to open this beautiful building tonight in a show of our enduring love and faith in this wonderful university and its traditions. Go Bonas!”
Once the ribbon-cutting concluded, a light show completed with sound effects and fireworks began.
After the show, the building was opened and students, faculty and community members got a first-hand look.
A tribute to a late alumnus or donor could be found nearly anywhere in the building. Certain areas of the building, such as The Dr. Jeffrey H. Peterson Boardroom, are dedicated solely to an individual. The board room is complete with Peterson’s jacket framed on the wall containing notes from students about how he changed their lives.
The building has many rooms specialized for business but it also has countless lecture rooms, and some are even equipped with fold-out outlets on the tables.
However, according to a university official, if there is open space in any of the rooms, they will be used for other courses, too, as long as a business class does not need to use the room.
Needless to say, students and faculty were more than excited to begin class in the new building.