By Barry Moskowitz
Queens, NY – After joining festivities to welcome St. John’s
University’s new freshmen, trustee and benefactor Eleanor Taffner
made time Tuesday to visit the nearly completed, 38,000-square-foot
University field house that her family’s generosity makes
Named for Mrs. Taffner and her husband, Donald, a St. John's
alumnus, the field house is slated for official dedication in
September 2005. The Taffner Field House is part of a $23 million
athletic and student recreation enhancement project that includes
the Belson Stadium building, the new student Fitness Center and
various enhancements to Carnesecca Arena.
Mrs. Taffner was on campus Wednesday, August 30, for St. John's
"New Student Convocation." The annual event launches the
University's Fall semester. Held in Carnesecca Arena, the event
brought trustees, faculty, administrators and students together to
welcome St. John's largest entering class since 1984.
As the campus community left Carnesecca Arena for a barbecue at
Montgoris Hall, Ms. Taffner visited the field house with
James Pellow, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
of St. John’s; David Wegrzyn, Vice President of Institutional
Advancement; and Dr. Nancy Kaplan, Associate Vice President of
Academic Support Services.
The two-story structure will include four full-size
basketball courts; offices and meeting rooms for Recreation and
Intramural Sports; audio-visual rooms for all varsity athletic
teams; dedicated locker rooms for student recreation and men’s and
women’s basketball; new offices and meeting rooms for men’s and
women’s basketball; and weight- and medical-training rooms.
Construction of the Taffner Field House is part of the
University’s strategic plan, which includes completion of the St.
Thomas More Church, enhancements of the University’s Great
Lawn, and a $20 million upgrade in science