Justice Hall is Xavier’s largest residence hall and home to the James E. Hoff Dining Hall and several offices including: the Center for Mission and Identity, Registrar, Bursar, Residence Life, and Xavier Connex/Auxiliary Services Center.
Opened: August, 2011
Square Footage: 245,000
600,000 bricks were used in the facade
The Hoff Dining Hall, named for former Xavier president, Fr. James E. Hoff, S.J., is decorated with large campus photographs in the theme of the "Gifts of Our Ignatian Heritage" (mission, reflection, discernment, solidarity and kinship, and service rooted in justice and love) and portions of the Seal of the Society of Jesus are etched in glass divider panels.
HISTORY OF THE BUILDING’S NAME:
When it opened in the Fall of 2011, this building was named “Fenwick Place” in honor of Cincinnati’s first bishop Edward Fenwick (1768-1832) who founded the Athenaeum, which later became St. Xavier High and Xavier University.
Later, while researching Xavier’s history with slavery, it was discovered that Bishop Fenwick was a slave-owner prior to coming to Ohio. In 2017, Fr. Michael Graham, S.J., Xavier’s President at the time, formed a “working group” group of faculty, staff, and students to research Xavier’s history with slavery and lead the community in a conversation about possibly changing the name of the building. This four-year process culminated in renaming the building “Justice Hall” on July 1, 2021.
- Learn more about Bishop Fenwick and this working group
- Read Fr. Graham’s Letter announcing the name change
Why Choose the Name “Justice Hall?”
The name Justice Hall does two things at once. It symbolizes Xavier’s recognition that the grave injustices of slavery and racism are an incontrovertible part of our history. This includes recognizing that Bishop Fenwick and some early Jesuits at Xavier personally contributed to these injustices, and understanding the ways in which those who came after them benefited from these injustices. The name Justice Hall also reminds us that working for the promotion of justice is one of our most central tenets as a Jesuit, Catholic institution of higher learning.
“Justice” is an abstract, but not merely theoretical, concept. The name Justice Hall is inspired by Jesuit leaders such as Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., who in his 1973 “Men [and Women] for Others” speech articulated what it means to do the work of justice:
“First, a basic attitude of respect for all people which forbids us ever to use them as instruments for our own profit. Second, a firm resolve never to profit from, or allow ourselves to be suborned by, positions of power deriving from privilege, for to do so, even passively, is equivalent to active oppression. To be drugged by the comforts of privilege is to become contributors to injustice as silent beneficiaries of the fruits of injustice. Third, an attitude not simply of refusal but of counterattack against injustice; a decision to work with others toward the dismantling of unjust social structures so that the weak, the oppressed, the marginalized of this world may be set free.”