Nathan Howard ’25
Chief News Editor
This past week, the College announced their intention to rename Fenwick Hall after one of our most prominent alumni figures, Dr. Anthony Fauci. This announcement came as somewhat of a shock to both students, faculty and alumni, some of whom have heard the name “Fenwick Hall” for generations. This announcement comes after the College’s renaming of the Integrated Science Complex in June 2022. When asked about the announcement, multiple administrators at the College explained that their real reason for this change is for Dr. Fauci to visit campus again at the end of the academic year.
Let’s look back at the history of Fenwick Hall…sorry “Fauci Hall,”: Fenwick Hall is the oldest building on the Holy Cross campus and was originally built at the College’s founding in 1843. That fall marked the first classes held at Holy Cross, namely in Fenwick Hall, where 26 students were enrolled, all of them between the ages of 9-19. Fenwick Hall was named after the College’s founder Bishop Benedict Joseph Fenwick, an alumnus of Georgetown College who twice served as their president. Bishop Fenwick recognized the need to educate New England Catholics and to provide priests for his growing number of parishes in Massachusetts. Bishop Fenwick also served as the first president of the College of the Holy Cross, starting in 1843. The Fenwick Hall that stands today, however, looks very different from the building constructed in 1843. This is because Fenwick Hall was severely damaged by a fire in 1852 that caused nearly $40,000 ($1.3 million today) worth of destruction. Thankfully, there were no fatalities but the College was forced to rebuild through donations from alumni families and community members. This renaming announcement adds yet another fascinating event in the history of a very historic and important building for the College.
Upon hearing the announcement, Dr. Fauci was somewhat puzzled by the College’s decision but said that he would attend a dedication ceremony sometime in the near future. This past year, Dr. Fauci began his retirement following a nearly 40 year career in the medical industry, serving as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as well as the head of the White House COVID Task Force under President Trump and Chief Medical Advisor to the President under Joe Biden. Dr. Fauci recently told the College that his retirement has proved somewhat boring when compared to his exciting work in the medical field, and wondered if the College had a faculty opening where he could teach courses both on public health and how to properly deal with U.S. presidents. The College has yet to respond, and if they decide to offer Dr. Fauci a position, he will likely become the institution’s most famous faculty member. Students will have a hard time taking his classes, however, as they will most certainly be the first ones booked on STAR during enrollment. If he is offered a position, Dr. Fauci’s office will likely be located in the now renamed Fauci Hall.
Featured Image courtesy of Shanil Perez ’24/Holy Cross Official Design Person
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