The University of Scranton Dedicates Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall

September 18, 2015

The University of Scranton dedicated its new 116,360-square-foot, eight story building was Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall, in honor of the late son of University benefactors Patricia and Edward Leahy ’68, H’01, at a ceremony on Sept. 18. The state-of-the-art facility places the best simulation environments, applied-science laboratories, equipment and technology directly in the hands of students and faculty.

The University of Scranton dedicated the new state-of-the-art, eight-story building on the corner of Linden Street and Jefferson Avenue Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall at a ceremony on Sept. 18. The building is named in honor of the late son of long-time University benefactors, Patricia and Edward Leahy ’68, H’01.

“Patricia and Ed, we are grateful for your many contributions to the University, but most importantly, we are grateful for your incredible compassion for those confronted with physical challenges,” said University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., at the dedication ceremony. “The spirit of Edward Jr., for whom this building is dedicated, will inspire students at The University of Scranton to demonstrate such compassion. Let us pray that the many lives Edward Jr. touched in his life will remind us of our responsibility to have a positive impact on others.”

Leahy Hall – the new home of the Panuska College of Professional Studies departments of physical therapy, occupational therapy and exercise science – has 25 state-of-the-art laboratories, nine traditional and active-learning classrooms, nine group study rooms, more than 50 faculty offices and multiple simulation environments, which include a hospital patient room for acute and long-term care and a streetscape for rehabilitation education with an apartment, street corner, garage, car and grocery store.

“Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall will provide our students with the opportunity to learn in a state of the art facility, which is among the finest of its type in the country,” said Debra Pellegrino, Ph.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies. “This marvelous structure reflects our commitment to research and teaching excellence with an Ignatian spirit. It is a place where our students, faculty and staff will work, learn and grow together. Our students will become highly educated allied health professionals and will leave the University as engaged, ethical and compassionate ‘men and women for and with others.’”

The new building, designed to facilitate research and expand service-learning projects, will put the best simulation environments, applied-science laboratories, equipment and technology directly in the hands of students and faculty.

Leahy Hall includes a pediatric and rehabilitation suite with gross motor and fine motor rehabilitation laboratories and a Sensory/Snoezelen Room, which uses special lighting, music and objects to work with children with Autism Spectrum disorders and older adults with dementia. Leahy Hall’s human motion laboratory uses sophisticated equipment to quantitatively study and analyze athletes and sports activities through mathematical modeling, computer simulation and measurement. The physiology laboratory allows research of the body’s response to a wide range of physical exercise conditions including level of exertion, type of exercise, amount of oxygen available in the air, source of metabolic energy and diet. The facility also has vision research and training laboratories; a hand rehabilitation laboratory, a therapeutic modalities and orthopedics laboratory, a human anatomy laboratory and a body composition laboratory, to name a few.

“I can no longer subdue the passion that has overtaken my imagination as I watch this building and these programs unfold before my eyes,” said Shannon Gilman, a 2014 graduate of The University of Scranton and current student in the University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. “We are at the precipice of embracing our call to care and I cannot thank Scranton enough for helping me cultivate my innermost gift of helping others.”

The active classrooms are designed to accommodate the needs of the bachelor’s-, master’s- and doctoral-level programs utilizing the space and to encourage inter-professional collaboration. 

Leahy Hall also has a second floor Forum that can accommodate 260 guests; Einstein Bagels café and seating area; and a green roof therapy garden.

“As a member of the Class of 1981, I think I can speak for the more than 40,000 graduates of the University about the enormous sense of pride I feel when I look at this facility,” said Lawrence R. Lynch ’81, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, at the dedication ceremony. “Leahy Hall stands as a symbol of the qualities which have guided the University throughout its 127 year history – perseverance, generosity, dedication, compassion and vision. Leahy Hall also represents our future. As we move ahead as a University, we will work vigorously to preserve our history, while responding to the challenges of an ever-changing world.”

Most Rev. Joseph Bambera, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, blessed the building at the dedication. Also speaking at the dedication were Edward Steinmetz, senior vice president for finance and administration; Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; Judee Bavaria, member of the University’s Board of Trustees, and Edward and Patricia Leahy.

Leahy Hall was designed by a pair of local architectural firms, Hemmler +Camayd and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, assisted by Higher Education Research Associates (HERA), a nationally recognized expert in designing rehabilitation program space. The Quandel Group Inc., Scranton, was the construction manager.

The facility was designed and constructed in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for certification.

The dedication also began a yearlong series of events under the theme “Embracing the Call to Care,” which will give the community opportunities to experience firsthand Leahy Hall and the programs of Panuska College of Professional Studies.

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