If Ambrose Hall could talk, what stories do you think it would tell?
It has certainly been witness to Ambrosian moments too countless to fathom: The bashful guy awkwardly asking the popular girl out on a first date. The quiet prayer of a young student in the Grotto searching for peace after a difficult day. The craziness of Last Blast, the relief after a class presentation, or the attentive watch as a world event unfolds on a big screen TV.
Perhaps it would talk of the war protests of the 1960s, or the final outdoor commencement ceremony held under the oaks in May 2004. It likely would reflect fondly on the new families who entered its welcoming doors in search of the admissions office and the tears shed as St. Ambrose legends left its comforting arms for the last time.
With all it has witnessed, all the changes it has endured, Ambrose Hall watches over us still. Standing guard, ever the quiet observer, with its soaring steeple, large windows, winding wooden staircases and grand arching hallways.
Ambrose Hall stands tall today not just because it was built well, but because it has lived well, helping us to understand, in its own way, what it means to live an Ambrosian life.
Since 1885, Ambrose Hall has fulfilled a promise to inspire generations of Ambrosians. It has made an ongoing mission of filling those students with the tenets of a Catholic, liberal arts education, then watching them walk out its doors poised to enrich their own lives and the lives of others.
Yes, in 128 years of existence, Ambrose Hall has rightfully earned the title of campus icon. Living legend. A face for our esteemed university. But it would be the first to say it is all these things only because of the people who have filled its classrooms with curiosity and generosity, its offices with creativity and kindness, and its hallways with hope and ambition.
At face value, Ambrose Hall is indeed just another building. Clay and limestone, wooden staircases and ivied walls. And, yes, OK, even some pretty tacky carpet.
But because of you-because of the contagious laughter you've shared, the conversations you have provoked, the tears you have cried, the lessons you have learned and the lessons you have taught-Ambrose Hall has a steady and still strong heartbeat. It breathes with renewed vigor. It lives through your stories. And it eagerly awaits the untold more that are yet to unfold.