PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pace University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon to celebrate the grand reopening of the newly renovated and expanded Jeanette and Morris Kessel Student Center.
Pace University President Stephen J. Friedman, William J. McGrath, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Westchester Campuses, along with James Fernandez (Class of '78, retired EVP/COO Tiffany & Co.) and President of the Student Government Association and 2015 graduate John Wrench all spoke prior to a ribbon cutting.
McGrath said that it's been the reaction of the students to the new center that has him excited.
"It's the students, to see how it's affected the students, it's just terrific," McGrath told Daily Voice. "This campus center -- on any given day -- has groups of students collaborating together on different projects.
"Meeting socially, eating together - but mostly working in groups. Collaboration has really become the mode of study now for college students. This has become the heart of the campus, and I really get excited every time I come here."
McGrath said the construction project has been creating a buzz, and attracting new people to come to Pace.
"We now have a campus core," McGrath said. "What we had before was a campus divided by lots and roads. Now the campus center is here. And we've already seen a greater level of interest from prospective students, we've already seen enrollment numbers come up. The project is attracting more people to come to Pace - and that's what it's about," he said.
The 57,000-square foot center is designed to serve as a hub for student activities and events on campus. The reopening of the Kessel Student Center is one of the first of four major elements scheduled for completion this year as part of a Master Site Plan project to modernize and revitalize the 200-acre campus.
McGrath added that the next phase to be completed will be a residence hall and two all-purpose athletic fields, due to open in September. A second residence hall is scheduled to open the following September.