The new University of Dallas student services and administration building is currently little more than a plot of unsettled dirt and some building plans.
However, the building, not set to open its doors until early 2018, now has a name: Farrell Hall.
The name was chosen in honor of Cardinal-elect Kevin Farrell, who was just recently appointed a cardinal after already having been chosen by Pope Francis to be prefect of the new Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life.
Farrell was the bishop of the Diocese of Dallas for nine years before being called by Pope Francis to head the new dicastery only a month ago.
Farrell was chancellor of UD, and he will likely continue to be involved with the university as a trustee.
Positioned just next to Braniff Memorial Tower, the $15 million building project is intended to become the new entryway to UD’s campus.
“Each great campus features and iconic building that holds special significance to all who pass through its gates,” university President Thomas Keefe said. “Ours will be Farrell Hall — an enduring [reminder] of Bishop Farrell’s dedication to and inspiring support of UD.”
Farrell Hall will be three stories tall, with the first floor dedicated to student services such as registration, financial aid and student employment.
This concentration of student services will be a new development, as student services are currently split between the Registrar’s office in Braniff and the Human Resources and Financial Aid offices in Carpenter.
Anticipating the eventual destruction of Carpenter Hall, Farrell Hall will also be equipped with three classrooms.
Carpenter Hall, the first building on UD’s campus, has increasingly shown its age and the need for replacement, a role Farrell Hall is partly designed to fulfill.
“Carpenter Hall, with its decades of memories, will pass the baton to Cardinal Farrell Hall and make way for the next generations of students,” the UD website said. “[The building will] will attempt to capture both imagination and memory.”
This clear nod to the future of UD, embodied in the surge of new building projects on campus, and its tradition, carried on in the naming of buildings, suggests the dual role of Farrell Hall’s responsibilities to UD which it will fulfill when it opens in 2018.