Boston College honored the family legacy, as well as the generosity of two of its most dedicated benefactors, with the dedication of Joseph and Mae Vanderslice Hall on Nov. 17.
The event commemorated a recent gift to the University by University Trustee Associate Thomas A. Vanderslice '53 and Margaret A. Vanderslice, and formally renamed the 70 St. Thomas More Dr. residence hall after Dr. Vanderslice's parents. A crowd of administrators, faculty, staff and friends of the University, as well as Vanderslice family members, gathered outside the residence hall and listened as University President J. Donald Monan, SJ, and other speakers praised the Vanderslices' contribution to the quality of student life.
Dr. Vanderslice made brief remarks prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the close of the event, providing his own tribute to his parents by reading the Edgar Guest poem "Father."
"My parents would have been proud," Dr. Vanderslice concluded. "And maybe now you can see why my family is so proud to honor our parents."
The residence hall, opened in 1993, has been acclaimed for its design and features, including exercise facilities, various lounges, and meeting and conference areas. By dedicating the building in the name of Dr. Vanderslice's parents, Fr. Monan said, the University imbued it with a distinctive identity and character in a way that reflects its institutional values.
"The building, situated here at the gate of Lower Campus, will speak to everyone who enters the University," Fr. Monan said. "It will speak in the architectural beauty of line and color to all who come here. But in a very special way, the building will speak with its name to students. We normally think of the educational buildings of a university as its classrooms and laboratory buildings. Yet our residence halls are in every sense of the word educational buildings because so much of the development to full maturity takes place there."
Vanderslice Hall will not only represent the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Vanderslice, Fr. Monan said, but also serve as a testament to one family's long-standing belief in intellectual and spiritual development. Three of the children of Joseph and Mae Vanderslice graduated from Boston College, Fr. Monan noted, and subsequently earned doctorates, and several of their grandchildren followed suit by attending their parents' alma mater.
Trustee Chairman Geoffrey Boisi, who served as the event's master of ceremonies, called Dr. Vanderslice a "true son of Boston College" and said the building would stand as "an enduring public expression of gratitude to the Vanderslice family and a wonderful tribute to the roots of Tom's learning." Trustee Associate Edward O'Flaherty, SJ, offered a blessing for Vanderslice Hall as "a dwelling place of care and concern."
University Housing Director Robert Capalbo said Vanderslice Hall symbolized the progress of the Boston College residential program, which began 40 years ago and was a prime factor in the University's transition to an international institution. Joseph McKenna '96, a staff residential assistant at Vanderslice Hall, thanked the Vanderslices for "the contribution you made to our home."
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, audience members had the opportunity to tour the residence hall and attend a reception in its Cabaret Room.
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