The Niagara University community gathered Thursday evening to celebrate the opening of a new fire pit and patio behind Dunleavy Hall.

Funded primarily by the Niagara University Student Government Association (NUSGA), and situated at the center of campus, the fire pit carries immense potential for students to congregate, host gatherings, celebrate milestones, exchange ideas and socialize.

“Last semester, we chose to focus on ways to further improve the campus climate at NU, concentrating our work on initiatives that would have a high impact on students,” said Andrew Hayes, NUSGA president. “With the help and support from the university, especially the Office of Student Affairs, we believe that adding this fire pit will offer another inclusive social experience for the university community.”

NU students, faculty, staff and administrators can access the patio and fire pit via card swipe. The fire pit automatically extinguishes itself after 30 minutes of inactivity.

A blessing of the new space was offered by the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University.

“It is fitting that we are holding this event during Vincentian Heritage Week, as fire has been used in our tradition for centuries as a symbol of transforming energy, of life and the Holy Spirit and the presence of God among His people,” said Father Maher. “We will continue to work to enhance the exceptional living-learning environment at Niagara University in a way that brings people together and builds community.”

Following the ribbon cutting and blessing, attendees enjoyed fellowship and a dessert bar, catered by Metz Culinary Management.

Fire Pit Opening | 09.28.17

Photos by Andrew Emmons, a Niagara University senior studying communications and criminology and criminal justice.