by Patrick Healy ’17
The Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies enjoyed its first welcoming, referred to as the “soft opening,” last Tuesday, where Fr. Shanley, O.P. ’80, and Dr. Sylvia Maxfield, dean of the school of business, spoke of so much gratitude and pride in the opening of perhaps Providence College’s crowning achievement of the past decade.
Dr. Hugh Lena, senior vice president of academic affairs, introduced Fr. Shanley among a crowded central lobby in the new business building, where there was a tangible buzz and excitement for the christening of the long awaited Ryan Center.
Fr. Shanley harkened back to the theme of thankfulness many times during his speech and insisted that the new building will serve as a place to further foster the PC community.
He emphasized that the “space enables collaboration” between students and faculty to a high degree, one that will provide the best environment for learning and communication. Fr. Shanley mentioned just how far the campus has come in recent years and how impressed past alumni are when they set foot on campus.
He confidently stated that with the addition of this new asset to the already flourishing business program at PC, there is “a kind of competitiveness that I don’t think we’ve had before.”
Fr. Shanley made a point to reference Dore Hall as a way of connecting PC’s past and present and how far the college has come while at the same time remaining true to its roots.
He talked about the importance of the well-rounded education that PC offers, emphasizing that while the College wants to prepare students for success in the world, it also wants to make sure students lead a happy and fulfilling life.
Fr. Shanley made it clear that what would make this building so special is the people that it will be filled with and the educations that it will aid. The Ryan Center, he explained, will be a meeting space where everyone can collaborate, learn, and grow. Perhaps he summed up the morning best when he said, “This is a dream come true.”
According to Fr. Shanley, the person who deserves the most credit for the Ryan Center is Dean Maxfield. Dean Maxfield spoke next, and she talked about how proud she is of what the College has accomplished in the construction of the building.
She spoke in the same light that Fr. Shanley did, explaining that the Ryan Center is “so much more than a building,” and how it will serve as a “home for students.” Maxfield was responsible for ensuring that the Ryan Center became a reality, and noted the many long meetings that went into making sure this building best fit the needs of the faculty, staff, and students.
She explained that the building was designed with a theme of a “town square,” which can be clearly seen walking through the central lobby in the Ryan Center.
She touched on the many hard hours that went into making sure that there would be a data-rich style of learning and that the technology would fit the needs of teaching business in the modern day.
Students seem to be loving the building so far, and are excited to be a part of its first semester. David Szewczul ’17 said, “I think the trading center and the new technology will excite and increase the yearn to learn.
Caroline Haddad ’17, when asked about her favorite part of the new business building, said, “I like the way the Ryan Center’s classrooms are designed in a way that encourages collaboration and active learning through pod seating.” Haley Smith ’17 smiled when talking about Room 107, “I am so excited to learn about and use the Bloomberg Market Concepts this semester.”
The Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies will have its official grand opening on April 9, where there will be a dedication and blessing, but this smaller opening served as a warm welcome for this invaluable new addition to the PC School of Business that will undoubtedly be a place of growth and togetherness for PC students in the years to come.