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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.

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July 2018

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Cost: $10 adults, $8 students/seniors, free for members and children under 5

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Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

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Cost: Members: Free; Adults: $5; Seniors & Students: $3; children 5 and under: Free.

Where:
Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Rd
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Website »

More information

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Contact Name: Emily Sabo, Events Manager
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More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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Cost: $50-$360

Where:
Waveny Park
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Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
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Cost: Free and open to the public.

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Sponsor: Pequot Library
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Cost: Adults $10; Students and Seniors $8; Members and Children Under 5 Free

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Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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Telephone: 203.413.6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 120-325-9034615
Contact Name: Tracy Steneken
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A series of graphic novel-style panels designed by illustrator Kirk Manley tells the dramatic story of the spy ring that operated between New York City, Long Island, and Fairfield during the...

Cost: Members: Free; Adults: $5; Seniors & Students: $3; children 5 and under: Free.

Where:
Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Rd
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Egotistical leading man, director, and producer Fred Graham is reunited with his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, when the two are forced to play opposite one another in a new production of...

Cost: $50-$360

Where:
Waveny Park
70 Pine St.
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View map »


Website »

More information

An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy having clocked a very palpable nine...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
Christine's Garden
151 Main Street
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Starting at $52

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Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free and open to the public.

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


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 120-325-9034615
Contact Name: Tracy Steneken
Website »

More information

The Bruce Museum spotlights the creative energy and vitality of fine art created by regional high school students in the 8th annual iCreate exhibition. Opening on June 9 and continuing...

Cost: Adults $10; Students and Seniors $8; Members and Children Under 5 Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203.413.6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A series of graphic novel-style panels designed by illustrator Kirk Manley tells the dramatic story of the spy ring that operated between New York City, Long Island, and Fairfield during the...

Cost: Members: Free; Adults: $5; Seniors & Students: $3; children 5 and under: Free.

Where:
Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Rd
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View map »


Website »

More information

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More information

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Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
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Cost: $50-$360

Where:
Waveny Park
70 Pine St.
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View map »


Website »

More information

An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy having clocked a very palpable nine...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
Christine's Garden
151 Main Street
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Starting at $52

Where:
Webster Bank Arena (Bridgeport)
, CT


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
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View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Garden Menagerie Exhibition on view through August 25, 2018 during regular library hours Garden Menagerie, features a variety of works by Alex Sax and a selection of nineteenth-century books...

Cost: Free and open to the public.

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


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 120-325-9034615
Contact Name: Tracy Steneken
Website »

More information

The Bruce Museum spotlights the creative energy and vitality of fine art created by regional high school students in the 8th annual iCreate exhibition. Opening on June 9 and continuing...

Cost: Adults $10; Students and Seniors $8; Members and Children Under 5 Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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View map »


Telephone: 203.413.6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A series of graphic novel-style panels designed by illustrator Kirk Manley tells the dramatic story of the spy ring that operated between New York City, Long Island, and Fairfield during the...

Cost: Members: Free; Adults: $5; Seniors & Students: $3; children 5 and under: Free.

Where:
Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Rd
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

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Sponsor: Red Bee Honey
Contact Name: Emily Sabo, Events Manager
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Cost: General Admission- $15, VIP Purple Experience- $50

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Ives Concert Park
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Sponsor: Ives Concert Park and Promotions in Motion
Telephone: 203-837-9227
Contact Name: Phyllis Cortese
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Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
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More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Egotistical leading man, director, and producer Fred Graham is reunited with his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, when the two are forced to play opposite one another in a new production of...

Cost: $50-$360

Where:
Waveny Park
70 Pine St.
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy having clocked a very palpable nine...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
Christine's Garden
151 Main Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: 203-920-1702
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
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Corteo, one of Cirque du Soleil’s most successful shows on record, comes to Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport for seven shows from July 18-22, 2018. Corteo, which means cortege in Italian, is...

Cost: Starting at $52

Where:
Webster Bank Arena (Bridgeport)
, CT


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Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
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Garden Menagerie Exhibition on view through August 25, 2018 during regular library hours Garden Menagerie, features a variety of works by Alex Sax and a selection of nineteenth-century books...

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 120-325-9034615
Contact Name: Tracy Steneken
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The Bruce Museum spotlights the creative energy and vitality of fine art created by regional high school students in the 8th annual iCreate exhibition. Opening on June 9 and continuing...

Cost: Adults $10; Students and Seniors $8; Members and Children Under 5 Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Telephone: 203.413.6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Fairfield Sidewalk Sale & Street Fair Saturday, July 21, 2018 10:00am-4:00pm, Rain or Shine First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced today that the Town of Fairfield and Fairfield...

Cost: free

Where:
Downtown Fairfield
Post Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Sponsor: Town of Fairfield & Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-256-3120
Contact Name: Mark Barnhart
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A series of graphic novel-style panels designed by illustrator Kirk Manley tells the dramatic story of the spy ring that operated between New York City, Long Island, and Fairfield during the...

Cost: Members: Free; Adults: $5; Seniors & Students: $3; children 5 and under: Free.

Where:
Fairfield Museum
370 Beach Rd
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Mock Stock is going Metal in a nod to AC/DC, Guns N Roses, and Metallica.  Halfway to HELL (Tribute to AC/DC)- Halfway to HELL- AC/DC Tribute features a High energy stage show with two...

Cost: Tickets $20 in advance, $30 at the door.

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
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Sponsor: Ives Concert Park and Promotions in Motion
Telephone: 203-837-9227
Contact Name: Phyllis Cortese
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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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The Magpie Salute brings together the reunited guitar team of Rich Robinson and Marc Ford from the Black Crowes, bassist Sven Pipien (also from the Crowes) along with lead...

Cost: $48

Where:
Fairfield Theatre Company in The Warehouse
70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Egotistical leading man, director, and producer Fred Graham is reunited with his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, when the two are forced to play opposite one another in a new production of...

Cost: $50-$360

Where:
Waveny Park
70 Pine St.
New Canaan, CT  06840
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An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy having clocked a very palpable nine...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
Christine's Garden
151 Main Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Corteo, one of Cirque du Soleil’s most successful shows on record, comes to Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport for seven shows from July 18-22, 2018. Corteo, which means cortege in Italian, is...

Cost: Starting at $52

Where:
Webster Bank Arena (Bridgeport)
, CT


Website »

More information

Garden Menagerie Exhibition on view through August 25, 2018 during regular library hours Garden Menagerie, features a variety of works by Alex Sax and a selection of nineteenth-century books...

Cost: Free and open to the public.

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


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 120-325-9034615
Contact Name: Tracy Steneken
Website »

More information

Hiking and practicing yoga outside in the fresh air leaves you feeling uplifted, centered, and peaceful! In warm weather months, we meet regularly in various parks and trails. Each event starts...

Cost: Three and Five Class Packages (3 times for $33, 5 times for $42)

Where:
Vary with each class
, CT


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Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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