SHU Celebrates Opening of Martire Business & Communications Center

News Story: March 20, 2015

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Approximately 100 local dignitaries, trustees, special guests and friends, along with about 300 students, faculty and staff from the Sacred Heart University community, gathered on Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center on the corner of Park Avenue and Jefferson Street. The building will house the University’s prestigious John F. Welch College of Business (WCOB) and rapidly growing Department of Communications & Media Studies.

The building is named for the Martires in appreciation of their years of service and leadership at Sacred Heart as well as a multi-million dollar philanthropic commitment to the University. Frank Martire is a 1969 graduate of SHU and vice chairman of SHU’s Board of Trustees. He is chairman and CEO of FIS (Financial Information Systems). He and Marisa reside in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and also have a home in Connecticut where they raised their family.

The building offers state-of-the-art facilities that include an active trading floor; dedicated conference rooms for business meetings and internships; screening venues; “smart” classrooms with multimedia technology; satellite equipment and movable furniture for various learning configurations; a multi-media forum for leadership institutes, lectures and screenings; interactive labs, including a motion capture lab for motion picture animation and video game design; two large television studios for TV, video and film production; and a radio station. The building was designed by Sasaki Associates—the same firm that designed the University’s award-winning Chapel of the Holy Spirit and Linda E. McMahon Commons.

“I cannot begin to express the gratitude that the University community owes to Frank and Marisa. They are generous and forward-thinking. We are incredibly lucky that they saw what we were trying to achieve and wanted to be a part of it,” said SHU President John J. Petillo. He also encouraged the students in attendance to spend a lot of time in the Martire Center and “be curious in this building.”

“The Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center is designed to provide students with topnotch facilities and the latest technologies, so they can master everything from business fundamentals to trading room skills and accounting basics to global savvy,” said John Chalykoff, dean of the WCOB. “Ultimately, our goal is to help our business students build a resume that will attract top employers from around the world.”

A highlight for business students will be the active trading floor, which includes 30 workstations; 13 Bloomberg terminals; eight 42” LCD screens; eight LCD wallboard ticker tapes displaying market information, news headlines and real-time data from the NASDAQ and the NYSE; LCD display monitors for group presentations; televisions providing up-to-the-minute financial news; an executive conference room for meetings; breakout rooms where students can work on team assignments; and a team study area. There are also videoconferencing links to SHU’s European campus in Luxembourg.

“Our Department of Communications & Media Studies is dedicated to developing the next generation of leaders who hope to impact how we create, promote and manage media,” says Robin Cautin, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “We combine the social and cultural analysis of media and communication technologies with media production, including digital video, broadcast and print journalism, television, radio, photography, sports media, advertising, public relations and digital multimedia. The new facilities, technology and equipment will allow our students to go out into the marketplace trained in the most up-to-date methods. We are extremely grateful to the Martires and all the donors for their generosity and their support of our students.”

The building will offer the following amenities especially for students in the communications & media studies program:

  • Television station and media facilities designed to give students valuable professional experiences. Facilities include two full-size studios, one flash studio with a robotic camera, two control rooms, two media labs and two screening rooms. In addition, both the forum and the media theater are wired to the control rooms, enabling students to produce professional multi-camera, live-streamed programs.
  • A motion capture lab that will be used for animation and game development and to teach actors in the new theatre program how to act for animation. 
  • A radio station with state-of-the-art Wheatstone boards, a master control for the station with a booth for the talent and a secondary sound edit and recording suite for radio programming.

Following a video, the official unveiling of the building name and a formal program that included performances by SHU student musicians and remarks from the Martires, guests were treated to a tour of the building. The Town of Fairfield also proclaimed Saturday as Frank and Marisa Martire Day.

The Martires are excited about the building and what it will provide for SHU students. “There are so many different functions; it will have so many uses. A state-of-the-art building like this puts Sacred Heart in a position to be second to none,” Frank Martire said.

Marisa Martire emphasized how important it was to her and her husband to do something that would positively impact students. “It’s not about us. We hope you will enjoy the time you spend in this building and will benefit from it,” she said.

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