Benedictine’s inaugural academic class to be celebrated with blessing, ribbon-cutting

August 7, 2013

Lisle, Illinois ~ Benedictine University at Mesa continues its trend of celebrating firsts as it nears the start of its first academic semester.

The journey to this moment began more than one year ago when Benedictine responded to the City of Mesa's innovative efforts to attract a distinguished university that would help revitalize its downtown area while giving the city and area residents something it lacked.

Benedictine University, based in Lisle, Ill., just outside of Chicago, answered the call, becoming the first university to be invited to establish a branch campus in Mesa. After earning approval to operate in Arizona and with the blessing of the Diocese of Phoenix, the Catholic university officially opened its doors to business in downtown Mesa in fall 2012 with its Services Center at 51 E. Main St.
Now, one year later, it will open the doors of its academic building, Gillett Hall, located at 225 E. Main St., also in downtown Mesa, with a blessing and ribbon-cutting celebration at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 27, followed by a reception.

In the Catholic and Benedictine traditions, the building will be blessed by Phoenix Diocese Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and District 4 Councilmember Chris Glover, who have been large supporters of bringing a Benedictine branch campus to Mesa, will attend the opening along with University officials, including University President William J. Carroll, Ph.D., Executive Vice President Charles Gregory, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald B. Taylor, Ph.D., and Branch Campus President Mick Carroll, Ph.D.

Gillett Hall is named in honor of Willis Gillett, chairman of the Benedictine University Board of Trustees. It has capacity for nine classrooms, including an interactive classroom with non-traditional, flexible furniture, a nutrition lab featuring kitchenettes with residential appliances, a computer lab, chapel, "Spirit Store," which will sell Benedictine merchandise, a library center and a community room.

Degree offerings, presented in a lecture-free, collaborative, interactive and technology-enhanced format, include a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Organizational Behavior, in addition to a minor in Religious Studies.

For more than 125 years, Benedictine University has provided a renowned liberal arts education, and the essential values and tools that create leaders within the community. Benedictine University at Mesa offers a private, faith-based education grounded in history, heritage and Catholic tradition. Generous financial aid, resort-style housing, academic support and curriculum counseling is offered in an inclusive environment.

For more information about Benedictine University at Mesa, please contact the Services Center at (602) 888-5500, or at  


Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2000-2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the second consecutive year in 2012. Classes at Benedictine University at Mesa begin in fall 2013.


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