Haehn Campus Center (HCC), Top Row: 1996 (left) and 2007. Bottom Row: Alumnae Hall, undated; McGlynn's, 2011; and O'Connell's, undated. (click thumbnails for larger images)
The building of the Haehn Campus Center was done to fill a need for social space; the campus needed a multipurpose building that would become a center of student activity. The building would also be the primary intramural facility.
Before construction began, a phone-a-thon was conducted around campus to gain input and feedback about the center. The majority of the students surveyed were in favor of the building. The estimated cost for the new Student Center was around $6.5 million, a cost that would be funded by a capital campaign. The building project was also awarded $600,000 by the Kresge Foundation, a private fund created by Sebastian S. Kresge, and $1 million donated by William and Virginia Clemens in honor of CSB Presidents S. Colman O’Connell and S. Emmanuel Renner. Another donation of $1.5 million was given by Sylvester (Shorty) and Jacquie Haehn, after whom the new center would thus be named.
Construction began in 1995 and included the following:
The $7 million Haehn Campus Center (HCC) was opened on January 9, 1996 and is connected to the Claire Lynch Gymnasium and Murray Hall. It was dedicated on Saturday, September 21, 1996, as part of a weekend celebration that also included the inauguration of Mary Lyons as the 12th president of the College on Sunday, September 22. Sr. Mary Catherine Holicky did the blessing of the Campus Center, and speakers included President Mary Lyons and Susan Mundale, the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The HCC houses McGlynn’s, one of four places to eat on the two campuses, and O’Connell’s, the campus coffee shop. O’Connell’s was named after Sr. Colman O’Connell, who served as the President of the College from 1986 to 1996. This space had originally been anticipated as a night club which served alcoholic beverages, much like Brother Willie’s Pub at St. John’s, but this was decided against. O’Connell’s remained simply a place to study with fountain drinks until 2001. Then it was decided that O’Connell’s would be converted into a coffee shop, a project led by senior Natalie Wills. $7,000 renovations went underway, being funded by the St. Ben’s Senate.
Today, the HCC remains a center that brings students together with a variety of interests, building a strong sense of community.
Special thanks to Sara Trent '08 for drafting this text.