The sun shone on the Molloy College community last Friday, as more than 100 people gathered for the dedication of its brand new residence hall to President Drew Bogner and his wife, Karen. The ceremony also included a dedication of the outdoor residential quad to Michael A. McGovern, the college’s former treasurer and vice president for finance, who died in 2018.
The honor didn’t quite sink in for Bogner until the first day of classes this year, when he asked a resident student which hall he lived in, and the student said, “Bogner Hall.”
“For months after the board made the decision to name it Bogner Hall, I kept calling it the third residence hall,” Bogner told the crowd. “I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that it was named for us.”
Bogner will retire at the end of the 2019-20 school year, after serving as president for the past 20 years. He moved to Rockville Centre from Kansas in 2000, and began his presidency at the college that July.
At the time, Molloy was a commuter-only college. Part of Bogner’s vision for the school was to introduce dorms to campus. After years of planning, the idea came to fruition in 2011, when Fitzgerald Hall opened to 109 residents, and again in 2014, when Maria Regina Hall debut-ed, raising the student resident population to more than 200. In total, there are now 352 resident students on campus, said Janine Biscari, vice president of student affairs.
In a letter to be placed in a time capsule in Bog-ner Hall, the Bogners detailed the hard work that went into creating residence life on campus, including standing strong in the face of opposition from villagers who insisted that Rockville Centre would become a “college town” with the introduction of dorms.
The letter will be unearthed in 2073, the 50th anniversary of the Class of 2023, the first graduating class to live in Bogner Hall.
“We could see how vital student residents would be to campus life,” Bogner read from the letter, “and how it would allow us to bring geographic and international diversity to our campus.”
Bogner Hall is the third dorm, and rounds out the Michael A. McGovern residential plaza. The three-story building houses about 100 people. It has three study lounges and two private music practice rooms on the lower level. It also has a large social lounge with couches, a television set, a kitchen and a foosball table.
College officials took to the podium to speak about the Bogners and McGovern, and the Rev. Edward Sheridan and Monsignor Francis Caldwell offered opening and closing prayers.
“Today we not only dedicate a new building and a new gathering place,” said Edward Thompson, Molloy’s vice president for advancement. “Today we honor and celebrate people.”
John McEntee, chairman of the college’s board of trustees, echoed that sentiment. He said that Bogner leaves behind a “generation of students who will, for many decades into the future, help our sick and injured, educate our children, counsel those in distress, run our businesses and search for the answers to life’s questions.”
One of those students is Mollie Mae McCrory, a senior at Molloy and a resident assistant in Fitzgerald Hall. She spoke at the ceremony about her experiences moving from Texas to Molloy about four years ago, calling the college “home.”
At the time, McCrory was one of just a few out-of-state enrollees. Now the college has students from 27 states and three countries, Biscari said.
After the official ribbon cutting, attendees turned their attention to a ledge at the side of the residential quad. Gillian Corradino, McGovern’s daughter, spoke, and then invited her family up to reveal a plaque that reads “McGovern Plaza 2019.”
“My dad absolutely loved Molloy,” Corradino said. “His heart and soul is still here on campus, and to see his legacy continue is indescribable joy. He would be thrilled.”