Father Murphy presents vision for campus in speech to faculty and staff

“No plans” to build a stadium

By Patrick Millican ‘15

On Wednesday, May 1, Father Murphy convened the faculty and staff in the Breen Center for his annual State of the School speech, which foreshadows the administration’s initiatives for the upcoming school year. Father began his speech with a summary of the state of the endowment, which has increased for yet another year and weathered the recession rather well.

Next, Father concentrated on the school’s “physical space” as he shared the Campus Vision. He highlighted the department-shuffling idea in which the math department will be moved to Loyola to be closer to the sciences and history, and theology will be transferred to the Main Building to be closer to English. As for the recently acquired Foursquare Church property, the thought is to convert the church itself into a visual-arts center exhibiting works of art by Ignatius students. Should that renovation take place, it will be completed by the second semester of the 2014-’15 school year. Named for the family of its main beneficiary Mike Gibbons ’70, Gibbons Hall, a facility for wrestling and Labre with an adult fitness center and storage space, will also be renovated by next year.

One of the most popular campus visions for the students, a new weight room, has been heavily talked about during the Board meetings. The wall between the Murphy Multipurpose Room and the weight room will be knocked down to increase the size of the weight room by eighty per cent to allow more students at a time to get their workout in. Also, new and larger workout equipment will be purchased as soon as the money comes in from generous benefactors. Another popular rumor among the students is the possibility of a new stadium being built, however, Father Murphy stated that there are currently no plans to build one.

Third were highlighted the new benefits for faculty and staff set to kick in in the upcoming years and the new edition of the employee handbook, last revised in 1991. A “Grad-at-Grad for employees,” so to speak, was announced by Father Murphy and consisted of goals for all employees to emphasize integrity in everything they do and be open to growth.

The fourth focus of the speech was the school’s “visual identity”—i.e. the seal, the shield and the wildcat. A video discussing the changes to each of these is currently up on the school website’s homepage.

Father closed his speech by emphasizing his ongoing attempts to improve the job he’s doing as president, and by calling for a renewal of the school’s commitment to faith as its raison d’être. As he put it, “Artistic, academic, and athletic success is a byproduct of focusing on faith,” and in his closing he made sure to remind everyone that faith is at the root of all the school’s endeavors.