Marist High School held a dedication ceremony on November 17 for Monastery Hall, which houses the school’s new science center and planetarium. Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, offered the official blessing.
Marist President Brother Hank Hammer, FMS and Principal Larry Tucker ’79 acknowledged many of the key people involved in the project, including Jay Fox of Fox & Fox Architects, who led the design of the facility. His father, John, was the architect for the original school building in 1963. The owners of Henry Brothers Construction, George Ferrell ’67 and Bill Callaghan ’70, were also recognized for their decades-long relationship with Marist and help in expanding the South Side campus. Bob Klinger ’80 was thanked for his work as the owner’s representative during the project. Marist administrators and other employees were also acknowledged for their contributions towards the completion of the transformative initiative.
The Faith in the Future Campaign chairs Gerald ’90 and Jen Beeson and John and Laura Potocsnac were recognized for their leadership, vision, and generosity. Their support of Marist during this project was a testament to their lived faith. Each family received an original watercolor painting that included vignettes of the science wing and images of their own children. They helped make this Marist dream a reality.
“We built our new science center around the concepts of faith and science because, as a Catholic school, we seek to help our students find God in all things,” Br. Hank told the crowd of more than 200 guests gathered. “In so doing, we can then help our students to make God’s son, Jesus Christ, known and loved in the spirit of Marcellin Champagnat and the Marist Brothers.”
Br. Patrick McNamara, Marist Brothers U.S. Provincial and former Marist Chicago president, spoke about how everything is for the students today and for the future.
Mr. Tucker touched on how the space meets the needs of today's students and the advantages the new wing provides students to work hands-on with elite equipment and technology that will prepare them for college and career.
Cardinal Cupich acknowledged the Marist Brothers’ contribution to Catholic education, especially in Chicago. He also reminded students they are loved by the Brothers, teachers, parents, and everyone who contributes to the Marist community.
After the final blessing, guests enjoyed self-guided tours of the 28,000-square –foot space and watched students actively working in labs.
The Faith in the Future Campaign began in late 2017, with construction beginning in January 2018. As of late November 2019, Marist raised $14 million towards the $15 million project total with efforts being made to secure the final funding. Monastery Hall includes ten labs dedicated to the branches of science, including a diagnostic area with medical simulators that present near-human like symptoms, a forensics crime scene where students can process evidence, and a 30-seat planetarium that has introduced a new astronomy curriculum.