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Providence College (PC) announced today that the facility which will be home to the College’s new School of Nursing and Health Sciences will be named in honor of Bernard Georges “Ben” Mondor ’04Hon., the Rhode Island industrialist and philanthropist best known for building the Pawtucket Red Sox into a model minor league baseball franchise by creating an unparalleled fan experience that brought the community together.
Mr. Mondor’s love for the Rhode Island community was the hallmark of his leadership during his ownership tenure, which ran from 1977 until his death at age 85 in 2010.
In memory of her late husband Ben, Madeleine Mondor has made a $10 million lead gift to the college to support the initiative. The facility, scheduled to be completed in January 2025, will be known as the Ben Mondor ’04Hon. Center for Nursing and Health Sciences.
“I am grateful beyond words to Madeleine for supporting Providence College and placing her trust in us,” said College President Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. ’78, ’82G. “She has told me many times that she aims to be a good steward of the gifts God has provided, a lovely sentiment that reflects her deep and abiding Catholic faith.
“Providence College will extend this stewardship by providing nurses with a strong Catholic educational foundation and the skills they require to address the medical and spiritual needs of patients at their most trying times,” Father Sicard continued. “Our new school will educate healers, not simply technicians, and have strong ties to the Rhode Island community.”
The Mondors’ relationship with Providence College was rooted in their friendship with College President Rev. Philip A. Smith, O.P. ’63, who served from 1994-2005. Mr. Mondor and Father Smith bonded over their faith, Canadian upbringing, and their commitment to providing opportunity for Rhode Islanders.
Mr. Mondor acquired a bankrupt Rhode Island Red Sox team in 1977 and transformed it into one of the most successful franchises in professional baseball. Under his leadership, McCoy Stadium was extensively renovated, and the Pawtucket Red Sox went from drawing 70,000 fans in 1977 to more than 600,000 fans in six consecutive seasons, from 2004-2009.
In recognition of Mr. Mondor’s record of community service and his contributions to baseball, PC awarded him an honorary doctor of business administration degree in 2004.
Establishment of a School of Nursing and Health Sciences was a goal set by Father Sicard in his inaugural address as president in October 2021. In addition to addressing the nationwide shortage of nurses and health care providers, the new school fits perfectly with the college’s Catholic and Dominican mission because of its focus on the care of others, respect for the dignity of every person, and the importance of service to God and neighbor, Father Sicard said.
The college will admit the first students to the School of Nursing and Health Sciences this fall. Construction will begin this summer on the five-story, state-of-the-art Mondor Center. Encompassing 125,000 square feet, the building will feature high-tech teaching and learning environments for clinical nursing simulation, anatomy and physiology, and academic spaces to support engaged student learning.
While the new facility is being constructed, students will study in temporary labs and classrooms being built on campus.
“With this gift, Mrs. Mondor is planting seeds that will bear fruit for generations to come,” said Gregory T. Waldron, PC’s senior vice president for institutional advancement. “It will be a fitting tribute to Mr. Mondor, who had an incredible and inspiring impact on Rhode Island and its people throughout his life.”
Founded in 1917, Providence College is the only college or university in the United States administered by the Dominican Friars. The Catholic, liberal arts college has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 4,100 students and offers degrees in 56 academic majors. Since 1997, Providence College consistently has been ranked among the top five regional universities in the North according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.”