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ROSARY HALL MANSION GIVEN MAKEOVER, NEW ROLE AT COLLEGE

The hall that once housed all of Rosary Hill College will reopen Aug. 31 in old, and new, glory.

Daemen College will rededicate the turn-of-the-century mansion, known since 1947 as "Rosary Hall," as the new offices of enrollment management and admissions. It also will house the vice president of external relations and the directors of alumni affairs and the annual fund.

"Rosary Hall honors the history of Daemen College, symbolizing the work and effort of the Sisters of St. Francis in founding this institution," said college President Martin J. Anisman.

"As Daemen begins its second 50 years, it is appropriate and fitting that Rosary Hall has become an important part of our campus," Anisman said.

The 1912 Georgian home, owned by the Waite family until the Sisters of St. Francis bought it 51 years ago, became a residence for the sisters after the college expanded in the late 1950s. Daemen recently had the mansion completely refurbished and returned to office space.

It now has such original features as black marble flooring and a vaulted ceiling in the foyer, an ornamental staircase, French doors, carved mantels and brass door knobs and handles -- along with completely new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Elliptical windows are replicas of the old ones, as are the custom-made, blue-glazed tiles that cover the roof. The exterior still is white stucco, keeping Rosary Hall in the college's colors -- blue and white.

Sister Jeanne File is one of the seven Sisters of St. Francis who founded Rosary Hill College in 1947. An internationally known calligrapher who headed the college's art department for its first 24 years, she is excited at the prospect of the home once again becoming a busy hub of the campus.

"Rosary Hall served as our classrooms, cafeteria, student lounge and administration building -- it truly was everything for the students and the Franciscan Sisters of Stella Niagara, who were the faculty."

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