CHICAGO — DePaul University’s new
School of Music building will be named for its outgoing president, the Rev.
Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., who served in the role for 13 years. The Holtschneider
Performance Center is slated to open in spring of 2018 on the
Lincoln Park Campus. DePaul’s board of trustees also named Holtschneider as the
university’s next chancellor.
“DePaul University has benefited
tremendously from Fr. Holtschneider’s leadership and vision. Among the many initiatives
he undertook, DePaul is on the verge of completing a building campaign that
transformed our Lincoln Park and Loop campuses,” said Bill Bennett, chair of
the DePaul board of trustees. “In recognition of Fr. Holtschneider’s
appreciation for all things musical, the new music building will be named in
The board also announced that DePaul’s
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will receive funding to establish
the Holtschneider Endowed Chair in Vincentian Studies. DePaul was founded in
Chicago in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission, known as the Vincentians.
This Roman Catholic religious community is dedicated to following the ideals of
St. Vincent de Paul, the 17th century priest for whom the university is named.
Naming the music building
Construction on the new music building
started in late 2015. The 185,000 square-foot building, located on the west
side of North Halsted Street between Fullerton and Belden avenues, will feature
a concert hall, two recital halls and a jazz hall, as well as teaching studios
and rehearsal spaces. Led by the contractor Bulley & Andrews, construction crews
recently completed the concrete superstructure on top of the building’s foundation,
allowing interior work to further progress. The university is on schedule to
complete the first phase of construction in spring 2018.
A second phase will renovate the
present building on Halsted and Fullerton into teaching studios, administrative
and faculty offices, as well as additional student support space. In addition,
the redesign of the Concert Hall on Halsted and Belden will create a 160-seat
venue for opera and vocal performances. Centered between the two, the
Holtschneider Performance Center will join a long list of DePaul
buildings named in honor of past presidents, including the John T. Richardson
Library and John R. Cortelyou Commons.
“Our students will soon learn in a
state-of-the-art facility designed to meet and inspire their musical gifts and
match the extraordinary talents and abilities of our faculty,” said Ronald
Caltabiano, dean of the School of Music. “We will always be grateful to Fr.
Holtschneider for his broad and effective commitment to music and all the arts.
Naming the building for him is the perfect way to honor his legacy.”
Dedication to Vincentian scholarship
Under Holtschneider’s leadership,
DePaul has become the preeminent center in the world for research focused on
the history and spirituality of the Vincentian tradition. From the early days
of his presidency, Holtschneider made it a strategic priority to elevate and
expand interdisciplinary Catholic Studies at DePaul. In establishing the Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural
Theology, he also placed the university among the thought leaders for the
future of Catholicism.
“In addition to Fr. Holtschneider’s
commitment to Vincentian scholarship, he has consistently demonstrated kindness
and compassion in all aspects of his work. Through countless gestures of
inclusivity and a heartfelt commitment to social justice, Fr. Holtschneider has
inspired us all,” Bennett said. “We are proud to announce the endowment of the
Holtschneider Chair in Vincentian Studies.”
The fully endowed position will reside
in the Department of Catholic Studies within the College of Liberal Arts and
Social Sciences. The chair holder will be
responsible for helping to develop the Vincentian Studies curriculum,
supporting the work of the Vincentian Studies Institute, as well as continuing
research as a distinguished Vincentian scholar.
Gerald Beeson, chief operating officer
of Citadel and member of DePaul’s board, oversaw the capital campaign to create
the Holtschneider Chair in Vincentian Studies. DePaul board members personally
contributed the $2.5 million needed to establish the position, as well as
$500,000 for the related Vincentian Studies endowment in the Office of Mission
“Through the generosity of DePaul’s
board members, our university will gain one of the world’s preeminent scholars
in Vincentian Studies,” said Guillermo Vásquez
de Velasco, dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. “This
esteemed faculty member will have the opportunity to shape a new generation of
students, further enhancing our university’s Vincentian mission for decades to
The university’s chancellor
As Holtschneider embarks on his next enterprise
as the executive vice president and chief operations officer of Ascension, he
will remain connected to DePaul.
The board of trustees elected to name
Holtschneider as the university’s chancellor, effective July 1. The Rev. John
T. Richardson, C.M., DePaul’s 9th president, will become chancellor emeritus
for life. Richardson has served as chancellor since 1993.
“It is a longstanding tradition for
the former university president to serve as chancellor of DePaul,” Bennett said.
“We are happy to continue the university’s relationship with Fr. Holtschneider.
We also remain incredibly grateful to Fr. Richardson for imparting his wisdom
during his more than six decades of service to the university.”
Holtschneider has served as DePaul’s
president since 2004. He announced his decision
to step down in June 2016. On Feb. 16, the board of trustees announced A. Gabriel
Esteban, Ph.D., will serve as DePaul’s 12th president. He takes on these
responsibilities July 1.
Kristin Claes Mathews