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Iona College Celebrates Opening of Murphy Green

BCW Member Iona College is “going green” in a very big way with the dedication this week of the opening of the Murphy Green, a new beautifully landscaped space in the heart of Iona’s campus. This vibrant new landscape, complete with a stunning stone promenade and terrace overlooking the lawn, breathes exciting new energy uniting the campus thanks to the generosity of Joseph M. Murphy ’59, ’83H and his late wife, JoAnn M. Murphy ’98H, a longtime Iona trustee.

The Iona community celebrated the opening with a dedication ceremony on Wednesday. “On certain occasions, ideas and people and circumstances align, and they result in something that is transformational. This new space is the result of one of those occasions,” said Iona College President Seamus Carey, Ph.D. “I cannot think of a better way to honor JoAnn Murphy and to carry forward the indelible legacy that Joe Murphy has established here at Iona College. We are grateful and honored for all they’ve done.”

Joseph Murphy fondly recalled his time as a student at Iona, as well as the combined 50 years he and his wife served on the Board of Trustees. Passionately driven by a commitment to the arts, the environment, service and student life at Iona, he said the new green is a beautiful culmination of the family’s commitment to the College.

Murphy also credited President Carey for bringing fresh vision to what was previously a parking lot, saying the idea to transform it into a central meeting place for the community was just the kind of new energy the campus needed. “Seamus Carey comes along and sees this as a quad and says, ‘I can’t believe it – this is the cornerstone of the campus!’” Murphy said. “In fact, this is the cornerstone of the Murphys’ interests in Iona College. And I can’t think of anything that could be more beautiful.”

Designed by the architecture firm SLAM and built by the Consigli construction company, the nearly 30,000-square-foot green space is complete with stone walkways, benches, trees, a terrace area, and of course the focus is a gorgeous green lawn. The space also includes seating built into East Hill, which provides a dramatic setting for outdoor classes and performances of all kinds.

“When the College announced plans for the Murphy Green last spring, we as students were excited, but to stand here today and see the finished project is simply amazing,” said Aidan Connolly, incoming president of the Student Government Association. “It’s an honor to commemorate the tremendous impact Joe and JoAnn Murphy have had on us, the students. Together, they have created spaces that allow us to express ourselves both inside and outside the classroom. Through their generous acts, they show they care about student success, the arts and creating a vibrant Iona community.”

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