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Monninger Center Ribbon Cutting

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Front Row: Ken Greene, former College at Florham provost; Sheldon Drucker, Interim President; John Monninger; Joan Monninger; Patrick Zenner, chairman of FDU's board of trustees. Back Row: Rodney Frelinghuysen, NJ Representative, R-11; Richard Reiss, senior vice president for university advancement; Peter Woolley, College at Florham provost.

Monninger Center ushers in new era of learning at the College at Florham

By Kenna Caprio

The new academic hub on campus is just steps from the College at Florham Student Center. It’s a natural spot for students and faculty to congregate for seminars, study sessions or class.

“Students will gather here for generations to come. It’s remarkable,” said Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th district) at the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the John and Joan Monninger Center for Learning and Research.

See video highlights of the Ribbon Cutting event at FDU in Motion.

A generous gift of $1 million from alumnus John Monninger, BS'65, and his wife, Joan, enabled the University to build this new learning environment. At the ribbon cutting, John Monninger spoke about how touched he and Joan were following the groundbreaking in May 2011 as students approached both of them and thanked them for the support.

“John and Joan your impact will be long-lasting,” said Interim President Sheldon Drucker. “The final product is magnificent in every way.” President Drucker acknowledged the vision of late University President J. Michael Adams and his pride regarding the Monninger Center. “Thank you, Michael, for dreaming big. The Monninger Center bridges our past to our present, and more importantly, to our future.”

Chief among the building’s new occupants will be the Academic Support Center. A renovated reference room and brand new computer lab are significant additions to the College at Florham.

“A library is more than just books. It’s a place to come for all kinds of help,” said College at Florham Provost Peter Woolley. “We’ve shifted the center of gravity on campus.”

Connected to the existing Orangerie and College at Florham Library, the Monninger Center expands on the study and education resources already available on campus. The 21st century learning spaces — equipped for wireless computing and featuring multiple electrical and Ethernet outlets range from small group study rooms to a 100-seat auditorium. A coffee bar and the latest technology complete the modern building, which is replete with open spaces. By incorporating extensive use of natural light, high efficiency heating and air-conditioning units and recyclable materials wherever possible, the University is working towards LEED ("green") certification for the Center.

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Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen

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Board Chairman Patrick Zenner

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Interim President Sheldon Drucker

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Alumnus and Philanthropist John Monninger

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Associate University Librarian Maria Webb

Photos are by Bill Blanchard and W. Scott Giglio.