World Trade Center Security Manager Relives Fateful Day (continued)

“If a member of our community had left us in 1995 and not returned until 2008, he or she might not recognize us,” says FDU College at Florham Provost Kenneth Greene about the recent advances on campus.

The late 1990s brought a resurgence in growth to the campus, allowing it to bloom fully into the vibrant community it is today. A capital campaign helped finance the construction of the Roberta Chiaviello Ferguson and Thomas G. Ferguson Recreation Center and the Martin F. Stadler, Patrick J. Zenner, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. Academic Building. Such amenities furthered the campus’s mission to provide a largely residential, small-college experience.

Increases in enrollment called for the construction of two new residences on campus, the Park Avenue Residence Hall and Rutherford Hall. “We’ve become a very different campus, even in the last 10 years, with the new Park Avenue and Rutherford Hall dormitories,” says Greene, who has been a member of the College at Florham faculty since 1974. “In 1997, we had 855 students living in our residence halls, and we now have 1,500. What that has meant is that we need to do a lot more for students. Now the cafeteria is open longer, the library is open later hours. The Academic Support Center is open much later. We’ve done more student programming.

“We have also renovated the Student Center, residence halls, classrooms, faculty offices and science laboratories,” he continues. “And, we have created spaces for students, faculty and staff to gather, converse and enjoy the campus. We look much different — and much better — than we did 15 years ago.”

The most recent addition to campus is a plaza linking the Ferguson Recreation Center, the Dreyfuss Building and the Stadler/Zenner Academic Building. The space mirrors the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect responsible for the development of the Florham estate’s grounds as well as for the creation of New York City’s Central Park.

An artist's rendering of the proposed Monninger Center for Learning and Research

The campus’s next project will be the Monninger Center for Learning and Research, a modern library and study facility. Supported by FDU NOW, the Campaign for Fairleigh Dickinson University, this project is expected to be “a major change for us that will make a significant impact,” says Greene. “The library is what says we have a commitment to academic excellence.”

The Monninger Center will feature seminar rooms and small study spaces, encouraging faculty and student interaction. This will be coupled with the latest in library technology, providing essential resources for student research. In addition, construction will adhere to stringent “green” building codes in recognition of the University’s commitment to sustainability. The center’s design incorporates the Twombly orangerie, with a thermal glass face echoing the glass of the greenhouses that once accompanied that historic structure.

The existing library structure will also be renovated and will house a 168-seat auditorium and interactive television facilities that can serve the greater University community for lectures and presentations. There will be additional faculty offices, and the Academic Support Center and the campus’s digital reproduction facility will have new, centrally located homes.

“With the addition of the Monninger Center, we will truly distinguish ourselves as a leading educational institution for the 21st century,” says Greene.

In a testament to the loyalty of passionate campus alumni, alumnus Richard Wellbrock, BA’60, MBS’64 (M), encouraged his children, Maria Wellbrock Bachert, BS’90 (M); William Wellbrock, BS’96 (M); and Linda Wellbrock-Knagenjelm, MBA’03 (M), to pursue degrees there. He hopes that one day his grandchildren will consider the campus for their studies.

“I am sure that their impressions when driving through the main gate would be such that, as it was for me, they would conclude that Fairleigh Dickinson University would be a great place to study.”

For a full array of architectural renderings and details on the latest in research and learning technology to be housed in the Monninger Center, visit http://view.fdu.edu/default.aspx?id=5423.

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