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President Leahy Announces Grounds Improvement Initiative

The Office of the President sent a University-wide email highlighting the efforts made by the departments of Campus Planning and Facilities Management on improving the school’s grounds, on Friday, Sept. 17.

This initiative for improvement is a part of President Leahy’s Five-Year Strategic plan for Monmouth—a culmination of endeavors that identify the University with three key values: Academic Excellence, Access, and Ambition.

As underscored by Leahy, “These capital improvements are early milestones in the implementation of our new five-year strategic plan.” This is not the first instance President Leahy has publicly mentioned his vision for Monmouth University. One of Leahy’s more public announcements was last spring semester during an in-depth interview with the journalist Jack Ford.

Nevertheless, these changes to campus are conveniently parallel with students’ re-assimilation to in-person college life since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past several months, we have been working diligently to prepare campus for the long-awaited return of our students and employees,” said Leahy.

Attached to the President’s email was a video illustrating what exactly the University community can expect on campus grounds moving forward.

In the opening clips, the video showed changes made to Great Hall, including an added coffee bar to the first floor. Beyond this latest addition, a blueprint of the first floor depicts plans for a lounge area, sunroom, and reading room.

Leona Thomas, one of the Lead Tour Ambassadors for the Office of Undergraduate Admission located in Great Hall, said that these new additions will liven up what is already a beloved landmark on campus.

“I foresee the coffee bar and different dayrooms exciting prospective students, giving them a real taste of what Monmouth has to offer,” stated Thomas.

In addition to the Great Hall, the campus update video included clips of new science labs, such as simulation, daily living, pediatric, and sensory labs for different programs of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, particularly nursing and occupational therapy.

The improvements do not end there as the video transitions to the Athletic Center and the Ocean First Bank Center’s new broadcasting center.

From academic buildings to athletics, students are now privy to more expansive residential accommodations. Inside of Elmwood Hall, there are new lounge rooms, game rooms, and an updated interior aesthetic.

“As an out-of-state student who has lived on-campus the past few years, these new residential renovations are exactly what students look for when they are anticipate living at Monmouth,” said Thomas.

Nonetheless, these improvements to campus grounds do not come free of cost. Theresa Fontana, Accountant and Mail Operations Supervisor for the Facilities and Management Department, made it a point to direct all praise to the staff that maintains what Monmouth holds dear.

Fontana stated, “Facilities work hard every day, and they do a wonderful job keeping our campus clean, safe, beautiful and running.”

“Our folks care deeply about our students and their welfare.”

In his announcement, President Leahy likewise extended his gratitude to the staff of Facilities and Campus Planning.

“My thanks to all of you for helping to preserve and enhance the beauty and safety of Monmouth’s outstanding campus,” espoused Leahy.

And to the students, Leahy concluded, “I hope you enjoy these enhancements, and look forward to seeing many more of you in the weeks ahead.”