Assumption Opens State-of-the-art Academic Center that Transforms Learning
On a perfect fall day, in the presence of hundreds of members of the Assumption community and invited guests, the institution celebrated the official opening of its new, state-of-the-art academic building, the Tsotsis Family Academic Center. Following a brief speaking program and ribbon cutting, those who attended toured the building to experience how the new spaces and resources have already begun to transform learning at Assumption through performances and presentations by students and faculty.
“It was just 17 months ago that we stood here on a cold, snowy April day to break ground for an ambitious project that would change not only the landscape of this campus, but teaching and learning as well,” said Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., president of Assumption. “Every aspect of this building, every detail, has meaning and significance inspired by a vision of education that aims at transforming the lives of our students. This building speaks to the centrality of the intellectual life of the campus and the centrality of our mission as a Catholic liberal arts institution, which seeks to integrate the classical liberal arts tradition with professional formation. What takes place in this building represents the holistic approach to education that is at the heart of Assumption.”
To maintain and advance the institution's tradition of academic excellence, the Tsotsis Family Academic Center encourages creative thinking, the sharing of ideas and collaboration across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, reflecting the College’s deep devotion to the liberal arts and the Catholic intellectual tradition. The Tsotsis Family Academic Center is a 62,000 square-foot building that features 13 high-tech, flexible classrooms; seminar rooms; common study spaces; a 400-seat performance hall with a rehearsal room, both of which are equipped with a sophisticated sound system not found in any other higher education institution on the East Coast; and a multi-function space that can accommodate 400 people. The building also contains faculty offices for the Assumption Core Texts and Enduring Questions Program, the Business Studies Department, the Honors Program and the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence.
“This building is more than a premier learning facility,” said Francis J. Bedard, Esq, CPA ’81, chair of Assumption's Board of Trustees. “It is here where students will discover their purpose. It is here where students will decide how they will use their obtained knowledge to make a meaningful difference in our world.”
Chairman Bedard added that the “genesis of the building, what it stands for and how it transforms learning at Assumption,” is the vision of President Cesareo, whom he thanked for his steadfast leadership in a challenging time for higher education. Bedard shared that this “momentous occasion” was possible because of the “significant support of alumni and friends of the institution who have given so generously to realize this new building, chief among them Michael and Dorothy Tsotsis,” for whom the building is named.
“A few years ago, Francesco came to the Board and presented a report explaining why, in his opinion, we needed new academic building here on campus,” said Mike Tsotsis, who had been a member of Assumption's Board of Trustees for more than 20 years. The first was to get the faculty new office space, and, as Tsotsis shared, “the second and most pressing reason for why we needed a new building, in Francesco’s opinion, was because of the students. Francesco has never once lost sight of who we are here to serve, and that’s the students of Assumption.”
During the ceremony, the statue of St. Augustine, which is perched outside the entrance of the new building, was unveiled. “The statue is more than St. Augustine; it represents what we yearn for Assumption students – for them to have their own transformation through the learning that takes place in this building,” said President Cesareo.
After the ribbon was cut by members of the Tsotsis family; President Cesareo; Board Chairman Bedard; Father Dennis Gallagher, A.A.; and Louise Carroll Keeley, Provost, the open house commenced, featuring performances by the Assumption Band, Chorale, and VOCE. The high-tech classrooms were on display, as attendees were able to video conference with the students studying at the Rome Campus, while students on the Worcester campus demonstrated how the building has transformed their education at Assumption.
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