Saint Joseph's College dedicates Harold Alfond Hall

Saint Joseph's College in Standish, Maine, dedicated its new $10 million academic building, Harold Alfond Hall, on Sept. 23. The four-story building offers sweeping views of Sebago Lake and the White Mountains, triples the amount of classroom space on campus and features wireless technology.

A small Catholic liberal arts college of 1,000 students, Saint Joseph's has changed dramatically in recent years. The college has built five major structures in the last five years, including Alfond Hall, two residence halls, a recreation center and a major addition to the dining hall. Renovations continue even now as a café and bookstore grow into larger space at Mercy Hall, the original academic building constructed when the college moved from nearby Portland in 1955.

Alfond Hall is the first new academic building on campus in nearly 50 years. At 50,000 sq. ft. of space, it contains 32 new classrooms, including a media lab, business lab, computer information systems lab, academic computer lab and new auditorium. All of the classrooms are wireless and many have built-in DVD and overhead projection technology.

Academically, the number of faculty positions has increased by 17 percent in the last five years. The student-faculty ratio is an engaging 13 to 1, and most classes have just 20-25 students. In addition, more faculty than ever before benefit from sponsored research, including National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants to conduct research on Casco Bay and the Gulf of Maine.

Four new majors, including marine science, computer information systems, chemistry and environmental studies, and 75 new courses have been added in the last five years. A strong service learning program offers students in some courses the option of serving in community settings, providing a real-world application to academic theory.

Alfond Hall, set on the highest point of land on the 350-acre campus, establishes a signature collegiate presence visible from the front gate. It establishes a strong focal point that pulls together all the buildings on the southern Maine campus, just two hours from Boston.

The momentum at Saint Joseph's represents a shared vision that has emerged through the strong leadership of President David House and college administrators during the last nine years. During that time, the College developed a Strategic Plan, which established a master layout of campus and set the growth in motion.

With all that has changed at the campus, what has not changed is the magnificent setting on Sebago Lake. The new building takes advantage of the setting by offering wonderful views of Maine's second-largest lake and the highest mountain in New England, Mount Washington.

Saint Joseph's is open to students of all faiths, and the freshman class is 50 percent Catholic. The college was cited by an education reporter in the Washington Post as one of 100 outstanding colleges in the United States.

Saint Joseph's also offers a Graduate & Professional Studies program for adult learners via distance education. Beginning in 1976, it has offered graduate and undergraduate degrees to adult learners from every state and 22 countries.

September 27, 2004 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail cdaniels@sjcme.edu