Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Educating Fairfield

Sacred Heart University’s Big Plans



The SHU Center for Healthcare Education is a three-story, 117,000-square-foot facility with 18 laboratories, eight classrooms, and a 140-seat lecture hall.

What’s with Sacred Heart University these days? The question is frequently repeated in gathering spots in Fairfield and for good reason. Even an occasional trip down Park Avenue, never mind a neck-snapping ride through the campus, will reveal a brand-spanking new building just put up yesterday. Oh yeah, and then there’s the acquisition of GE’s corporate headquarters for $31.5 million. Don’t forget the land from the Jewish Senior Services adjacent to the campus at $16.5 million. But wait, there’s more. The 150-acre Great River Golf Club came up for sale, and SHU bought that too, for $5.6 million.

The answer, in short: the university is on a mission to transform a local commuter college founded in 1963, which was bumping along as a lower-rung choice of any potential student’s list, into an attractive, must-see learning center that is every bit as much a cohesive community as it is a center of academic excellence. “In order to grow this institution,” says SHU president John Petillo, “we had to add first-class facilities and faculty and be all about student-focus, which would allow us to be much more selective in the students who come here. We’ve done much of that work and there are plans for more.”

While the student population, about 8,500, is made up of more undergrad students, there were more graduate students that graduated this year, a sign that specialty colleges within the university are on the rise. For example, the school of computing will make use of part of the 510,000-square-foot, new West Campus (the old GE HQ), focusing on innovative computer engineering. Some disciplines of the Jack Welch School of Business will also go there. Other specialties such as public administration are now being provided for, as are more new facilities for the business school and school of communications. Seventeen new graduate programs have been added in the last five years.

With such an emphasis on community life—“We have a mentoring program here that ensures no one is left out of the mix,” Petillo notes—it is natural that on-campus residential housing is an important part of the plan. The spectacular, not-anything-like-your-East German-dorm-of-old, Bergoglio Residential Hall features a gym and a video room that gives new meaning to Halo (a top-pick college student video game). There are plans to make use of the Jewish Seniors property for a 750-student residential village that will further encourage on-campus living.

Okay, so this is all well and good—but where’s the money coming from? According to Michael Kinney, senior VP of finance administration, the bulk of all this new investment in the university’s future comes alumni gifts, fund raising, and, of course, tuition—$38,000 a year for undergrads. 

Oh, and what about that golf course? Well, it’s an impressive track probably worthy of NCAA competitions and will support both the golf- and hospitality-management programs in the future. Besides, Yale has a golf course, doesn’t it?

The result of all this effort is that SHU now attracts students from all over the Northeast, although not as many men and minorities as they would like, but they see progress. And while you’re unlikely to see SHU athletics on TV anytime soon, they do boast about 1,300 students involved in some form of formal athletics.

For those who prefer to listen to classical music and sip martinis, you’ll be pleased to learn that WSHU is going to have a new studio built soon, one that replaces the glorified caddy-shack now in use.

When SHU bought the GE property, there was some consternation that the biggest taxpayer in town was leaving and being replaced by a tax-exempt organization. This, on top of other state woes, has brought on conversations about Florida among local residents. Says SHU finance SVP Kinney: Given the flight from the corporate-park model to cities, the GE property was nowhere near the valuation on the books when GE left. 

In fact, no matter who bought the property, they would have paid about two-thirds less than GE’s $1.8-million property-tax bill. The loss, he explains, is mostly offset by the payment in lieu of taxes (or PILOT) payment from the state to the town, which increases with the presence of educational facilities within a municipality’s borders. Fairfield, with two significant universities, reaps a goodly dose of PILOT money, and that increases as SHU adds property and buildings. In addition, they argue, few from GE went to shop or eat in downtown Fairfield, but students do all the time on shuttle after shuttle. 

There is no doubt that Fairfield, like any town with a university (or two), derives multiple benefits in addition to the mysterious positive effect of education on personal, family, career, and town life. SHU is helping to maintain Fairfield as distinctive, educated, arts and technology conversant, upwardly mobile, and therefore viable, place to live.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

               

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See this weekend's events in the area!
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Animal Bonding

Beardsley Zoo and Fairfield University’s Behavioral Study Program

Finding Fur-ever Homes for Local Animals

Helping Bridgeport Animal Control with Just a Click

Return of the Fairfield Mombies!

Dance To Donate video––help The Cancer Couch Foundation

Midnight Confessions

Southport resident Sean Kelly collaborated on Stephen Colbert's latest book

Spooktacular Fun

Second Annual Halloween On the Green

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

November 2017

Calling all tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science club members, authors, artists, students, entrepreneurs, crafter, and makers of any kind—join us this November for the...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
varies
, CT


Website »

More information

C. Parker Gallery, Greenwich Connecticut’s most prestigious fine art gallery, is proud to announce its presentation of Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection. The collection is on exhibition...

Cost: Free

Where:
C. Parker Gallery
409 Greenwich Ave.
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Road Show Company
Telephone: 844-990-9500
Contact Name: Tiffany
Website »

More information

This band evades neat categorization, coming in with Celtic influences blended with bluegrass and folk sensibilities to create a sound that... well, we'll stop there because...

Cost: Price:$28 No Member Discount

Where:
Fairfield Theatre Company StageOne
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Yonder Mountain String Band’s first new album in two years, LOVE. AIN’T LOVE is undeniably the Colorado-based progressive bluegrass outfit’s most surprising, creative, and yes,...

Cost: Price:$27.50 / $30 Day Of - Standing Room Only, Limited Seating First Come First

Where:
The Warehouse at Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

In honor of Veterans Day and the WWI Centennial, the Norwalk Historical Society will be hosting a free lecture: "From Lima Beans to Libraries: How Food and Books Helped Win the Great War"...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mill Hill Historic Park
2 East Wall St.
Handicapped parking on site only. All others follow signs to overflow parking across the street.
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Historical Society
Telephone: 203-846-0525
Contact Name: Samantha Kulish-Fargione
Website »

More information

"The Great War and the United States Home Front" is part of the Pages from Pequot Special Collections series of changing exhibitions highlighting Pequot Library’s Special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

"The Great War and the United States Home Front" is part of the Pages from Pequot Special Collections series of changing exhibitions highlighting Pequot Library’s Special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come and join Green Village Initiative in celebrating urban agriculture and healthy eating in Bridgeport! Tickets are $75 and all proceeds from this evening directly support GVIs programs:...

Cost: $75

Where:
Trattoria 'A Vucchella
272 Fairfield Ave
Bridgeport, CT  06604
View map »


Sponsor: Green Village Initiative (GVI)
Website »

More information

At age 18, Doyle Bramhall II was recruited by the Fabulous Thunderbirds to hold down the guitar slot thanks to a recommendation from Stevie Ray Vaughan. Since that early break he has...

Cost: Price:$38 Members Save:$3 /tckt

Where:
Fairfield Theatre Company StageOne
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Magpie Salute is an exciting new band that features musicians who have played together for decades throughout various projects and share a musical bond. The band brings Rich Robinson, the...

Cost: Price:$48 Standing Room Only, Limited Seating First Come First Serve Members Sa

Where:
The Warehouse at Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

"The Great War and the United States Home Front" is part of the Pages from Pequot Special Collections series of changing exhibitions highlighting Pequot Library’s Special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us for a FREE lecture! In the U.S. today, over 40 million men and women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis or osteopenia.  Whatever your age, the habits you adopt now can affect your...

Cost: Free

Where:
HSS Stamford Outpatient Center
1 Blachley Road
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: HSS
Telephone: 203-705-2956
Contact Name: Pamela Villagomez
Website »

More information

Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

"The Great War and the United States Home Front" is part of the Pages from Pequot Special Collections series of changing exhibitions highlighting Pequot Library’s Special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Join us for a free tour of our permanent collection which includes European and American paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs, as well as a group of African, and Pre-Colombian objects. The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Bellarmine Hall
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Thursday, November 16th the Housatonic Museum of Art will present a fascinating lecture entitled “Pirates: Fact & Fiction” with historian, John R. Wright.    The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Housatonic Museum of Art
900 Lafayette Blvd
Bridgeport, CT  06604
View map »


Sponsor: Housatonic Museum of Art
Telephone: 203-332-5052
Contact Name: Robbin Zella
Website »

More information

The 'dudes are back! The original lineup reunites for their 13th appearance at FTC - a special one-night performance in The Warehouse this November. Ah, The Subdudes -...

Cost: Price:$48 Members Save:$5 /tckt

Where:
The Warehouse at Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Norwalk Historical Commission and the Norwalk Historical Society will be unveiling three exhibitions: “The History of Fodor Farm”, “Saving Fodor Farm” and “Fodor...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fodor Farm
328 Flax Hill Road
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Historical Society
Telephone: 203-846-0525
Contact Name: Samantha Kulish-Fargione
Website »

More information

Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

"The Great War and the United States Home Front" is part of the Pages from Pequot Special Collections series of changing exhibitions highlighting Pequot Library’s Special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate a Fairfield tradition from the early 1800s. Before Thanksgiving, friends and families visited neighbors, sampling a variety of pies at each house. As the revelers moved on, they grew...

Cost: Suggested Donation: $5; Seniors & Students: $3

Where:
Ogden House
1520 Bronson Road
Fairfield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

With IT'S YOUR LINE NOW you don't just watch the show, you're a part of it. Isaacs and Baker have spent years honing the craft of improvisation and the result is a one gut-wrenching...

Cost: Price:$29 No Member Discount

Where:
Fairfield Theatre Company StageOne
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Earle long ago established himself as a first-rate singer-songwriter, living up to his legacy as the son of one of the world’s great songwriters, Steve Earle, and the namesake of another,...

Cost: Price:$28 / $32 Day Of No Member Discount

Where:
The Warehouse at Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield , CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

"The Great War and the United States Home Front" is part of the Pages from Pequot Special Collections series of changing exhibitions highlighting Pequot Library’s Special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Clay Art Center One-Time Cladies Night for Adults Interested in Learning to Use the Potter’s Wheel Looking to get your hands dirty and learn how to use the potter’s wheel? Try Clay...

Cost: $50

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

What could be more welcoming than a fragrant, handcrafted herb wreath to greet your guests this holiday season? Join nationally renowned herb expert, Sal Gilbertie, for a do-it-yourself...

Cost: $45 for CAS members; $50 for nonmembers

Where:
The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Fairfiel
2325 Burr Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Telephone: 120-325-96305109
Contact Name: Jane Guenther
Website »

More information

Saturday, November 18 at 10am at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. Curator Alan Goldberg will give a guided tour of the New Canaan Modern Architects: 50 years of Achievement 1947-1997 exhibit. Set...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Please join us at the Westport Arts Center for the Westport Artists Collective Pop Up Show! The show will be on view from Wednesday, November 15 - Saturday, November 18, and will feature fifteen...

Cost: Free

Where:
Westport Arts Center
51 Riverside Avenue
Westport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Featuring hundreds of pieces of functional pottery and ceramic sculpture by local and nationally recognized artists. It is an opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind clay art for holiday gift-giving...

Cost: Free

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Website »

More information

St Joseph High School in Trumbull, CT strives to be the state's premier Catholic, College Prep School. The Maroon & Gold Gala celebrates the school's strong community and...

Cost: $150.00

Where:
The Waterview
215 Roosevelt Dr
Monroe, CT  06468
View map »


Sponsor: St Joseph High School, Trumbull
Telephone: 203-378-9378
Contact Name: Dawn Handwerker
Website »

More information

Every year since 1993, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, volunteers have gathered to put together and deliver baskets with a complete Thanksgiving dinner to families in need in the greater...

Cost: $10

Where:
581 North Washington Avenue
, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

"The Great War and the United States Home Front" is part of the Pages from Pequot Special Collections series of changing exhibitions highlighting Pequot Library’s Special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags