CNR Community Celebrates the Retirement of President Sweeny by Renaming the Student Center


The College Community gathered to celebrate President Stephen J. Sweeny on May 20, 2011 with the dedication of the Student Campus Center in his name. The building was renamed the Stephen J. Sweeny Student Center in recognition of Dr. Sweeny's 35 years of service. 

Judith Huntington, President-elect, who spoke at the dedication, said “Throughout his time at CNR, Steve has always been very present to students: listening to their concerns and ideas and directly engaging in their education: teaching classes, hosting dinners with small groups of students, visiting each of the branch campuses, attending student performances and exhibits, cheering athletes at meets and games, celebrating student achievements, joining students in service activities, and giving to each graduate the attention of signing each diploma by hand while offering a prayer for future success. And this is only a partial list of the opportunities he creates to demonstrate the importance and value of each student to him and to CNR.”

Michael Ambler, Chair of the Board of Trustees, also included President Sweeny’s close relationship with students in his remarks. “Steve Sweeny has devoted much of his life to The College of New Rochelle, especially its students. He has shared his considerable gifts as an educator and contributed in many ways to education nationally and internationally.”

Ambler also shared the inscription on the dedication plaque, which now hangs in the foyer of the building:

Named in honor of Stephen J. Sweeny, Ph.D.
12th President of the College.
He summoned the College, which he called
“hallowed territory” and its work a “sacred calling,”
to unreserved respect and regard for students.
His 35 years of service modeled that
at this College “intellect and compassion journey together.”

Prior to the dedication, the College Community gathered in Holy Family Chapel for a liturgy. Faculty and staff of the College then proceeded to the dedication where students from the College's four schools offered their congratulatory messages to Dr. Sweeny before the building was officially renamed by Board Chair Michael Ambler. Father Joe Flynn, College Chaplain, then blessed the building.

The building being dedicated was built in 1949 to serve as a dining hall. Named in honor of Mother Augustine Gill, OSU, a co-foundress of the College, the building's downstairs area was a full service cafeteria for commuter students, faculty, and staff, while the?upstairs area was a dining room for the resident students. In 1993 the building was renovated and transformed into its present configuration as the Student Campus Center. The renovation created a food court, a refurbished dining area, and flexible spaces for meetings and College events. The second floor became home to the Offices of Student Services.