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“We’re home now” Students, faculty, benefactors gather at UC for grand reopening

The new and improved University Center opened its doors on Monday night, following a ribbon cutting ceremony held in front of the main entrance.

The completion of the year-and-a-half-long construction project was “the moment the students of Seton Hall have been waiting for,” Dr. Monica Burnette, Vice President of Student Services, said. The annual “Christmas at the Hall” tree lighting event was held after the opening.

Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and more huddled in front of the stairs as faculty and guests spoke at the lectern. Next to the crowd was a screen listing out names of benefactors for the new center.

University President Dr. Joseph Nyre echoed a common Christmas saying, “At Christmas time, all roads lead home,” he said. “We’re home now.”

Dr. Nyre said that the new center will “advance campus life beyond measure.” He thanked benefactors, the construction workers, and “the students who put up with the noise at 8 a.m.”

The Archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, blessed the new UC. 

The Student Government Association President, Jayde Dieu, was called up to cut the ribbon alongside faculty and others. 

Dieu, who is Black, wore a shirt that said “Protect AFAM,” referring to the University’s Africana Studies program, in which the only full-time employee who will be leaving by the end of this semester. The University is "seriously engaging" in the efforts to find new faculty for the program, said Laurie Pine, the director of Media Relations.

Once the ribbon was cut, many rushed inside to look around the updated building. Cookies, hot chocolate, and candy canes were served. 

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Students, staff, faculty, benefactors, and guests line up for sweet holiday treats.

Updates on the ground floor

The Chancellor’s Suite has not yet finished construction. The original entrance to the dining hall has been restored, and a sign was put in front of the temporary entrance to prevent students from using it.

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Outside, the firepit area was set up.


Students get up close and personal with the new firepit.

Updates on the first floor

By the Jersey Mike’s, the temporary walls were taken down. New seating was also installed.

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The temporary walls were taken down, opening up the space and allowing easy access to the hallway.

The green screen room was also completed and is now ready for use.

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The Welcome Desk was completed and decorated for Christmas.

The hallway leading up to the theater in the round was completed, with more indoor seating and beautiful works of art.

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Updates on the second floor

The second floor of the University Center, home to multiple offices, also has a lounge area with uniquely-shaped seating.

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Some of the seats include their own outlet.

A correction was made on Dec. 1 to fix the incorrect statement regarding the AFAM program.

Emma Thumann can be reached at


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