By Matt Heller
After being referred to as “Res Hall 4” since being built, the newest residential hall on St. Michael’s College campus will soon be known as Cronogue Hall. This comes three years after the death of Father Mike Cronogue, a well known and beloved figure in the St. Michael’s community.
Cronogue, who wrote the founding grant for Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE), served as the first director of the Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice and also served for two terms as the Edmundite Superior General.
This year’s second annual “day of giving” through institutional advancement was in honor of Cronogue. The event raised $415,000 between the Feast of Saint Michael on September 29 and the day of giving on November 19. Fundraising will continue until reaching a half-million, said Jen Conetta, Director of Annual Giving.
The Society of Saint Edmund began by donating $500,000, then asking Institutional Advancement to match this value. The money, which goes to the St. Michael’s Fund, is unrestricted and can be used operationally throughout the fiscal year. This is different from money in the endowment, which is invested, so not all of it can be spent. However, some of the money was donated as pledges, which will be paid in installments over the next few years.
Members of all graduating classes from 1956 to 2023 donated money, according to Krystyna Davenport Brown, vice president of Institutional Advancement.
“The only reason we did this was because of Father Mike, it’s the only reason that it did so well,” said Father Brian Cummings, Vice President of the Society of Saint Edmund.
According to Cummings, many people wanted to take action right after Cronogue’s passing. However, he and other Edmundites thought it would be best to let some time pass before formally honoring Father Mike. When he brought up the idea to fellow Edmundites to rename the residence hall in Cronogue’s honor, they were all in support. The executive committee of the board of trustees was in favor, allowing the idea to come to fruition.
“I think when you name a building after somebody, the intention is to keep that there for a long, long time,” Cummings said.
“Father Mike was such a big part of the student experience and community. A residence hall is where students live in a community with one another, so it seemed like a really fitting way to honor his legacy here,” Conetta said.
According to Davenport, the formal renaming ceremony may occur during the 2020 reunion, from May 28 to 31, but no date has been finalized.