Seton Hall dedicates new campus building to Robert Sheeran

Photo Courtesy of Kristine Foley
From left are Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Seton Hall University President Mary Meehan and Msgr. Robert Sheeran.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — On June 20, Seton Hall University dedicated its newest campus building, Bethany Hall, as a tribute to Msgr. Robert Sheeran ’67, in recognition of his 30 years of priestly service to the university, including 15 years as president.

Sheeran requested that the new welcome center be named Bethany Hall, after the Biblical village where Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus received Jesus into their home, as a place of friendship and community.

“I see this name as an acknowledgement of much that Seton Hall represents. For Jesus, Bethany was a place of welcome and hospitality that embodies our mission at Seton Hall as ‘a home for the mind, the heart and the spirit,’” Sheeran said. “Bethany Hall will serve as an outstanding venue of welcome and engagement for both visitors and students, offering multipurpose space and meeting rooms for campus events.”

More than 100 donors contributed $7 million, including a lead gift of $3.5 million from board of regents member James O’Brien ’82 and his wife, Judy, to honor Sheeran. O’Brien, senior managing partner at Napier Park Global Capital, appreciates the parallels.

“My family and I have been fortunate for many years to first have engaged with the warmth and caring of Msgr. Sheeran ministering to us as a priest and pastor, then experiencing his vision and leadership as a university president. His life’s actions for us and many families at Seton Hall are resonant with the lessons of Bethany,” O’Brien said.

As a transformative addition to the Seton Hall campus, it is fitting and appropriate that the building honor Sheeran, whose history of leadership at the university is equally transformative. Bethany Hall will serve as a welcoming multipurpose space for both visitors and the university community, offering event space and meeting rooms for students and alumni, as well as serving as the central location for admissions activities.