The blessing and dedication of the Catholic Newman Center at Holland House took place during Elon's Family Weekend on September 26, 2009.

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Holland House Moves

The Holland House, a 4,000-square-foot brick building that once served as the official residence of two Elon presidents, will become the home of the new Catholic Newman Center at the university.

Holland House awaits placement on its new foundation on South Campus. Crews moved the building in June from its original location on Haggard Avenue. It will soon serve as home of the new Catholic Newman Center at Elon.

The center will offer students a library, meeting space and a new kitchen and dining area for weekly Newman Center programs and dinners. Living quarters for three Catholic students, as well as a newly hired peer ministry coordinator, will be available on the second floor of the building.

“It will be a place students can call home,” said the Rev. Gerry Waterman, who heads Catholic Campus Ministry. “It will also help establish our identity and nourish our faith community, which is so important as an undergrad on campus.”

The Newman Center at Elon University is the sixth such facility supported by the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh. Newman Centers already exist at UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, East Carolina University, UNC Wilmington and N.C. State University. Centers are named for John Henry Newman, an influential 19th century British priest and cardinal.

“We appreciate the generous financial support of a few major donors who provided transformative gifts to make this a reality,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh. “Catholic Campus Ministry at Elon pledges to use this new facility to enhance and support the spiritual lives of students, faculty, and staff at Elon. We are proud to contribute to Elon’s efforts to develop the whole person.”

Twenty-two percent of Elon University students are Catholic, with about 180 students regularly taking part in Catholic Campus Ministry programs.

Crews are working this summer to renovate the building, which was moved nearly a half mile June 13-14 from its original location on Haggard Avenue to land adjacent to Holt Chapel on South Campus. Waterman’s office will continue to be in the university’s Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.

“We are extremely pleased to form this partnership with Catholic Campus Ministry and the Diocese of Raleigh and look to the Catholic Newman Center as a model for additional identity houses in the future that will further enable Elon students, faculty and staff to learn about their own and other faiths,” said Smith Jackson, vice president for student life and dean of students and at Elon. ------------07/02/2009