“When Jesuits began their schools, two models were available. One was the medieval university, where students prepared for professions such as law, the clergy, and teaching by studying the sciences, mathematics, logic, philosophy, and theology. The other model was the Renaissance humanistic academy, which had a curriculum based on Greek and Latin poetry, drama, oratory, and history. The goal of the university was the training of the mind through the pursuit of speculative truth; the goal of the humanists was character formation, making students better human beings and civic leaders. Jesuit schools were unique in combining these two educational ideals.”
–Excerpt from Boston College’s “A Pocket Guide to Jesuit Education”
The Wegman Family Science and Technology Center is truly unique, the only school facility of its kind in upstate New York and beyond. The facility boasts seven science laboratories, included in which is a two story signature robotics lab, science faculty offices, and four computer laboratories. In addition, and consistent with the school’s holistic educational vision, Wegman also features a student life area complete with an outdoor student commons, a campus ministry suite, and formal and informal spaces for collaborative student learning. The building’s atrium cascades sunlight throughout, inspiring creativity among McQuaid students.
The design of the building is distinctive. Developed by Rochester-based SWBR architects, Wegman communicates dynamism and fosters enthusiasm for student interactive learning. “The metal panels and glass clad addition uses color and scale to blend into the campus while simultaneously displaying a sleek, angular, and thoroughly modern design befitting the progressive program it contains.” (SWBR Website) In the words of Danny Wegman, ‘65, the building design truly “inspires” McQuaid men as they pursue the goals of a Jesuit education.
The dream for Wegman emerged out of the school’s strategic planning effort of 2013, which called for a comprehensive assessment of the school’s academic curriculum and the related school facility that supports it. With the facility plan in place in early 2014, the design for Wegman was soon completed. Through the tremendous generosity of McQuaid Jesuit alumni, parents and friends, and the efforts of the “IgKnight the Future Fund” groundbreaking and construction on the 39,900 square foot $16 million project began in the summer of 2016. With our partners at DiMarco Construction leading the charge, the school community celebrated the building’s dedication on November 1, 2017, with students beginning classes in the second semester of that year.
In addition to student classes and collaborative learning, Wegman also serves the interests of the larger McQuaid and Rochester community. Since it opened to student use in the winter of 2018, the school has hosted various robotics and engineering events, a student art show, and a variety of social gatherings. In the spring, McQuaid was proud to team up RIT’s MAGIC Center to host a professional development day for science faculties of local Catholic grammar schools. We are looking forward to annual fall events such as the “Let’s Solve Water” challenge, sponsored by Xylem, and our Middle School LEGO competition, sponsored by the University of Rochester.
In a recent edition of the Cauldron, McQuaid Jesuit’s alumni magazine, Adam Baber, McQuaid’s principal, commented on the newly inaugurated Wegman Center, “It is the business of a Jesuit education to build leaders; our product is a great young man who is changed, and oriented to bringing both needed change to our world and greater glory to God. The Wegman Family Science and Technology Center joined the venerable existing halls and spaces of 1800 South Clinton as a place where these leaders are built.”
For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact Tim Nally, ‘67, P’98, ‘02, ‘06, at 585-256-6101.
According to niche.com, McQuaid Jesuit ranks in the top 18 percent of best United States high schools for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education.