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Friends, family and former colleagues of Professor Emeritus George Weygand, '53, one of BSU's major supporters, joined campus community members in celebrating the official groundbreaking of the university's new residence hall that will carry Dr. Weygand's name.
"Few have contributed more to the university than George," President Dana Mohler-Faria said at the ceremony for the five-story, 500-bed Weygand Hall. "He is truly a giant of BSU."
For years, Dr. Weygand, who was on hand for the event, served the institution as professor and chairperson of the Department of Physics. During his tenure, he also served as the institution's Marshal, participated in numerous committees and task forces, and fulfilled roles in the institution's governance, among other positions. Today, he still offers his services to the university in many ways, financially and otherwise.
"George is an inspiration, a mentor and a good friend," said Louis Ricciardi, '81, chairman of the BSU Board of Trustees and vice chairperson of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.
Construction on Weygand Hall, which began in February, is scheduled for completion late summer 2013 and will be located between Crimson Hall and the new Parking Garage, behind East Hall. The building's unique layout includes suite-style living and learning units located throughout. The first floor west wing will house the new Health and Counseling Center.
"I'm excited about having this dorm named after me," said Dr. Weygand.
Guest speaker James Morris, chairman of the Massachusetts State College Building Authority, said Weygand Hall has many sustainability measures in place and said the learning areas are designed to assist students in academics. "It offers students an opportunity to expand the education experience in the residence hall, beyond the four walls of the classroom," he said.
Over the past decade, BSU has spent $250 million on physical plant expansion and $70 million on renovations. Recent projects include the $98.7 million Mathematics and Science Center and the new parking garage.
At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Weygand reminisced about his decades of service to BSU, noting inspirational and humorous experiences he had shared with President Mohler-Faria, colleagues and trustees. One amusing incident involved the collapsing of a commencement stage years ago -- an experience he shared with Mr. Ricciardi.
"I had some experiences with you all I'll never forget," Dr. Weygand told dozens of friends, family and colleagues who joined him on stage or were sitting in the audience.
Dr. Weygand has earned several awards from Bridgewater State, including two Distinguished Service Awards, a Pride in Performance Award, the V. James Dinardo Award for teaching excellence, and the Nicholas Tillinghast Award. He has also been active in local communities, serving as chairman of the board for Brockton Hospital, president of Bridgewater Cooperative Bank, and a lay-leader at his church. In 1992, he was inducted into the Massachusetts Hall of Fame for Science Educators.
Fittingly, BSU established the Dr. George A. Weygand Award, given to a BSU graduate who demonstrates a spirit of generosity and service to inspire future generations. (Rob Matheson, '07, University Advancement)
Middle photo caption: The groundbreaking group includes (from left) Mike Gomes, vice president of Administration and Finance; President Dana Mohler-Faria; Dr. George Weygand; Louis Ricciardi; Karen Jason, associate vice president for facilities management and planning; James Morris; and Alex Khoury, president of the Residence Hall Association.