Students Top Off the New Res Hall

The Charger Bulletin

WEST HAVEN–Dozens of students, faculty and staff helped themselves to Sharpies to sign their names on the final beam of the new residence hall in a ceremony behind Maxcy Hall last Thursday, including one who wrote, “I love UNH, and I am awesome!”

Speeches by state and local dignitaries embraced the upbeat mood, including those by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and West Haven Mayor John Picard, a UNH graduate, who spoke about the strides the university has made in the past few years. Blumenthal likened an education at the university to “the American dream,” referring to the many UNH students who are the first in their families to attend college.

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the lowering of the crane to the beam, which had been placed on supports next to the podium to encourage signing. Construction workers secured the beam to the crane. The crane then raised the beam to the skies above the crowd and positioned it atop the new residence hall. Once the beam was in place, one of the construction workers pulled out a Sharpie and, as a final flourish, signed the beam himself.

Four TV stations and the New Haven Register covered the news of the residence hall’s progress. A 400-bed apartment-style complex with top-floor views of New Haven and the Long Island Sound, it will be ready for occupancy in the 2009 academic year, which means this year’s seniors will never have a chance to live in it. That was made obvious by Louis Eswood III, president of the Undergraduate Student Association, who said to the crowd, “As a senior at the university, I must say I am a bit jealous that I will never have the opportunity to reside in the building. But I am proud that the institution I have dedicated myself to for the past four years is growing and developing into a noteworthy institution that I am proud to be a part of.”