Julia Matter ’21
The Alfred L. Arcidi Center was officially opened on Sept. 13 during the Evening of Gratitude. Located on the northern side of campus the Arcidi Center will be the first building incoming guests see. The new building will serve not only as the welcome center, but also as the O’Brien Center for Student Success. The building is a two-story, 16,000 square foot structure with a freshly paved parking lot to its right.
The Evening of Gratitude also served as an open house for the building. Many were in attendance, including students, faculty and staff, alumni and donors. Interrupting the celebration, however, were the tragic gas fires and explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. As the cities were evacuated Merrimack took emergency precautions to keep students and the guests on campus safe. President Hopey made announcements every 15 minutes to keep the crowd informed about the situation. After hours of updates and police and firefighters working tirelessly, the situation was contained and the Evening of Gratitude resumed. Dinner was served under the pavilion tent following the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“The evening ended on a positive note, even though it didn’t exactly go as planned,” said Anthony Miccoli, a member of the Student Ambassador Executive Board. “We still managed to come together and I think that’s the most important thing about Merrimack is the whole community aspect.”
Although the events that happened in the surrounding towns were devastating, it did bring the students and school together. “The students, faculty, alumni and especially President Hopey reacted very well to the situation keeping everyone calm and ensuring that everything would be taken care of,” Miccoli said.
The O’Brien Center for Student Success has also been relocated to the second floor of the new building. Students in need of career advice can now go there to speak to O’Brien staff. The building also includes meeting spaces and conference rooms for faculty and staff.
The new Arcidi Center means new tour routes for students scouting colleges. The new tour routes are much more efficient with no backtracking over steps, using every minute of the tour to explore campus. The parking for touring students is reserved with their name. Tours commenced out of the new building starting on Sept. 17.
The Arcidi Center is part of the Together For Good Campaign. “Together for Good is about funding the big ideas that will transform Merrimack’s future and set it apart as a highly ranked, internationally respected, master’s level, comprehensive Catholic college,” said President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D. in “Together For Good: A Campaign Update.”
The building is named after Dr. Alfred L. Arcidi ’53, P’81, ’84, ’85, GP’06, ’15, ’18, M’18, H’12, who passed away in June of 2018. Campaign co-chair and Board of Trustee Vice Chairman and Dr. Arcidi’s son, Alfred J. Arcidi, Jr. ’84, P’06, 18 said, “Merrimack is in the midst of a renaissance that will position it to stand out and above peer competitors.” Merrimack is currently 99 percent of the way to their campaign goal of 50 million dollars raised. This building opening marks another step forward in Merrimack’s vision of growth.
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to the O’Brien Center by its previous name, the O’Brien Center for Career Development.
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