More than 500 Witness Groundbreaking Celebration for Xavier's Hoff Aacdemic Quadrangle

| October 8, 2008

On Friday, September 26, 20008 more than 500 people witnesses the groundbreaking for the most sweeping project in Xavier University’s 177 years, the James E. Hoff, S.J. Academic Quadrangle.

The groundbreaking ceremony began at noon with guests being greeted by the Xavier pep band, cheerleaders and mascots.


After an introduction by Xavier Provost and Academic Vice President Roger Fortin, Xavier President Michael J. Graham, S.J. and Brother Darryl Burns, S.J. blessed the ground with holy water.


Those who participated in the actual groundbreaking included: Graham, Fortin, Xavier Board of Trustees Chair Joe Pichler, Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Bob Kohlhepp, Student Government Association President Craig Scanlon, Williams College of Business representative Karen Menkhaus, Faculty Committee representative Leslie Prosak-Beres and Information Resources representative Annie Jackson.


To see a video of the groundbreaking ceremony please visit


The Quad will be the centerpiece of a transformation on the Xavier campus to help meet the learning needs of 21st century students. It is named for James E. Hoff, S.J., 33rd Jesuit president of Xavier. The Quad will feature the Learning Commons and the new Williams College of Business. Xavier is working with Messer Construction Co. to complete the projects.


As the heart of the Hoff Academic Quad, the Learning Commons provides students with the facilities, technologies and services to help them master skills and gain a competitive advantage in their disciplines. The campus transformation will also include the modernization of the McDonald library and the Alter Hall classroom building.


The new, state-of-the-art Williams College of Business will be located at the corner of Dana and Ledgewood Avenues. The classrooms, technology, trading room, and program centers will enhance both teaching and learning in the business school. Across Dana Avenue, a new Central Utility Plant will be built with modern efficiencies.


The transformation will continue farther east on Dana to Montgomery Road and the 20-acre privately-funded development known as Xavier Square. It will include a combination of student housing, market rate housing, stores, restaurants, commercial office space, a boutique hotel, fitness center, student health center and Xavier bookstore.  Xavier is partnering with Corporex Cos. for Xavier Square and groundbreaking for that should begin toward the end of 2008 or the beginning of 2009. Please log on to to view our webcam and to see the latest videos of construction.


About James E. Hoff, S.J.

The Rev. James E. Hoff, S.J., 33rd Jesuit president of Xavier, served from 1991-2000. His vision for Xavier was to "prepare students intellectually, spiritually and morally to take their place in a rapidly changing global society and work for the betterment of that society." He oversaw the largest capital campaign to that date in Xavier's history. The Century Campaign raised a record $125 million, used to implement some of the school's most dramatic changes. Hoff quadrupled the university's endowment and enhanced its academic reputation. Every year since 1995, Xavier has made U.S. News & World Report's list of best universities.  Perhaps Hoff's biggest legacy is the 10,000-seat, $46 million Cintas Center built in 2000 - a state-of-the art center that was the most expensive and significant building in XU's history. Fr. Hoff died in 2004 after a short battle with cancer.


About Xavier’s Williams College of Business

The goal of Xavier’s Williams College of Business is for all graduates to achieve their career goals and improve society. For undergraduates, the College builds on Xavier’s strong liberal arts program to provide each student with proficiency in each of the core competencies, with excellent technical skills in his or her specific major, and with a successful transition to business. For MBAs, the College strengthens student proficiencies in the core competencies and enhances students’ business acumen. The effectiveness of the faculty in promoting student learning requires that faculty employ a variety of teaching methods; continuously develop their own expertise in pedagogy; and continuously assess and enhance their classes, in terms of both coverage and pedagogy. calls Xavier one of the “Top 25 Most Entrepreneurial Undergraduate Campuses in the Country and the Williams College of Business is ranked #16 by U.S. News and World Report.


About Messer Construction Co.

Messer Construction Co. is a regional general contractor and construction manager providing leadership for complex building projects in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana. Founded in 1932, Messer has built a premier reputation for providing outstanding construction experiences and value to a diverse group of clients. In 2007, Messer put in place approximately $650 million in commercial construction. Visit


About Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott

Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott is a nationally recognized architecture, planning, and interior design practice. The firm offers innovative design solutions to leading academic, research, healthcare, and civic institutions across the U.S. from its offices in Boston, Massachusetts. With a reputation for buildings of enduring quality, Shepley Bulfinch has been honored for its achievements in design innovation, sustainability, and building technology.