‘Beam’ing with Bobcat pride

Nancy Hall

It was a proud day for everyone involved in the planning and building of the Hudson United Bank Center on Sherman Ave. Administrators, coaches, athletes, students, parents, media and construction personnel were all on hand as the final steel element made its way to the top of Quinnipiac’s new athletic center.

A white steel beam featured the Quinnipiac Bobcats logo in the center, surrounded on all sides by the signatures of people in attendance at the ceremony. Atop the beam were placed a small evergreen tree and an American flag. Doug Peckham, senior project manager for the Dimeo Construction Company, explained the significance of both the ceremony and the elements it contained.

This “topping off ceremony” served as an outgrowth of Norse traditions. Around 700 A.D. Scandinavian builders wanted to bring good luck upon their huts and the people who would enter them. They decided to perform a ritual at the end of construction to celebrate their accomplishment and protect their creation.

Norwegians built upon this tradition in the late 1800s, adding an evergreen tree to the ritual as a symbol of a project well done and without incident. The tree also stood for the growth that the new structure would provide for the people.

Peckham said that the “crazy Americans” built upon this tradition further by including an American flag “to signify the great nation that we live in.”

Patrick Healy, Quinnipiac’s senior vice president for finance and administration, spoke on behalf of Pres. Lahey, thanking everyone involved in the construction of the center. Included in this list were Joseph Rubertone, associate vice president for facilities management, Lynn Bushnell,vice president fro public affairs, and the people at Hudson United Bank.

Healy mentioned that the name of the athletic center will be changing due to management shifts within HUB, but that the project could never have gotten off the ground without the initial investments from bank officials.

At a reception following the ceremony Manny Carreiro, vice president and dean of students, stated that he had never been to a ceremony such as this one for any other building on the QU campus. He appreciated the meaning behind every aspect of the ceremony and was pleased with how the project is coming along.

The athletic center is slated for completion in January 2007.