A blessing and dedication ceremony for Conway Hall, the University of Notre Dame’s new residence hall for students studying abroad in London, took place Friday (January 20).
After undergoing a complete façade restoration and interior renovation, Conway Hall opened in August 2011, welcoming students more than four months ahead of schedule.
The new hall is named in honor of Robert and Ricki Conway. Mr. Conway has been a member of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees since 1990 and former chair of the academic affairs committee of the Board. A longstanding London resident, he currently serves as senior director of Goldman Sachs in London. Conway is a 1966 Notre Dame alumnus and received his master of business administration degree from the University of Chicago and a master of arts degree from Belgium’s Louvain University. He received an honorary doctoral degree from Notre Dame in 2005.
A member of Notre Dame’s Ireland Advisory Council since 1996 and the Performing Arts Advisory Council since 2002, Conway and his wife also have endowed the directorship of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute and have provided funding for an innovative exchange program for Medieval Institute faculty with University of Oxford, as well as funding for Medieval conferences at the Notre Dame London Center.
Located in the heart of London’s South Bank cultural center, Conway Hall is directly across from Waterloo Station, two blocks south of the River Thames and adjacent to Kings College, London. The new residence is a 15-minute walk to the London Centre, the academic hub of Notre Dame’s London Program on Trafalgar Square.
Built in 1823 and originally used as an infirmary for indigent children, the five-story building, once known at the Royal Waterloo House, offers nearly 50,000 square feet of living space and contains a chapel, six common rooms, study space, laundry room and luggage storage. It is designed to strike a balance between experiencing the marvels of living abroad in London and building a sense of community for the program participant, with students living in “cluster flats,” with four to eight students per flat.
Conway Hall accommodates 268 students, two rectors and a facility manager. Of those 268 students residing in the building, 130 are Notre Dame undergraduates and 22 are Notre Dame law students. The excess space is being used by other universities through a partnership with Anglo American.
“Notre Dame has had a presence in London since 1968, when our first students came here to study law. Since that time, we have been able to expand our international presence here, enabling the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Business Administration, and Engineering to develop their own programs in London as well. Now, thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Conway and others who have made Conway Hall a reality, we dedicate the largest international residence building for the flagship program of an ambitious international agenda,” said Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. at the dedication in London.
Friday’s ceremony included an invocation and remarks by Father Jenkins, and remarks by Professor Greg Kucich, director of the London Undergraduate Program; Notre Dame’s Vice President and Associate Provost J. Nicholas Entrikin; Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies Scott Appleby; a presentation by a student panel from the London Undergraduate Program; and a keynote address given by Professor Sir Richard Trainor, K.B.E., principal and president of King’s College, London.