Saint Martin’s University breaks ground on new academic building

Community gathers to celebrate construction of Harned Hall

Feb. 7, 2008

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University broke ground on its new academic building, H.C. “Joe” Harned Hall, this morning. A crowd of Saint Martin’s supporters — including University students, staff, faculty and trustees, members of Saint Martin’s Abbey, and representatives from the local community — gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony on the Lacey campus. Tacoma resident H.C. “Joe” Harned, for whom the building has been named, also attended the event, accompanied by several family members, including his nephew, Max Harned, a 1969 graduate of Saint Martin’s.

Last month, Joe Harned made a significant contribution — the second largest single gift from a living individual in the institution’s history — to Saint Martin’s $5.5 million A Winning Spirit campaign. The campaign, now at $3.6 million, will support the University’s construction of a modern, on-campus student recreation and fitness center, track and field complex, and soccer fields.

“Harned Hall, sitting as it does at the heart of our campus, has the power to transform our community,” remarked Saint Martin’s President Douglas M. Astolfi, Ph.D. Astolfi thanked Harned for his generosity and explained that the new academic structure bearing his name will provide many opportunities to enhance learning, increase student-faculty interaction and build community.

At a luncheon following the ceremony, Joe Harned praised Saint Martin’s commitment to helping students fulfill their dreams of earning an education. “An education is an investment that pays dividends that never end,” stated Harned. “I am honored to be a part of this celebration and achievement by the University.”

Max Harned attended Saint Martin’s on a full scholarship more than 40 years ago. Expressing admiration for both his uncle and the University, he said, “My four years of education at Saint Martin’s set me on the path to become a successful business executive in both the U.S. and overseas markets for the last 32 years. Their belief in me 43 years ago has come back to help make Harned Hall a reality.”

Scheduled for completion for the 2008-09 academic year, Harned Hall will be a 20,000 square-foot academic hub for the SMU community, with eight multi-functional classrooms, a large computer lab, an electrical engineering lab, a team room equipped with computers for engineering students, an amphitheater-style lecture hall, a student lounge and a café.

The University will host a larger celebration later this year when it formally opens and dedicates Harned Hall.

McGranahan Architects designed Harned Hall and Berschauer Phillips Construction Company is providing project management services.

Harned Hall is the second of two new buildings designed as part of a master plan to improve and expand campus facilities. The other building, Ken F. and Gale L. Parsons, Sr. Residence Hall, is a 67,000 square-foot structure with accommodations for 262 freshmen and sophomores as well as a large community lounge and kitchen, espresso cafe, computer lab, fitness room, conference room, laundry room and housing staff offices. Parsons Hall will open this summer.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 320-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Olympic College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Jennifer G. Fellinger
Saint Martin’s University
360-438-4332
jfellinger@stmartin.edu