Iona College Unveils Vibrant New Green Space Coming Spring Semester 2022
Joseph M. ’59, ’83H & JoAnn M. ’98H Murphy Green Coming Soon!
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Iona College today announced plans to create a vibrant new green space in the heart of campus, transforming a parking circle into a lively outdoor landscape where students can enjoy a variety of social, recreational, academic and artistic activities. The campus beautification project is made possible thanks to a generous gift from Joseph M. Murphy ’59, ’83H and his late wife, JoAnn M. Murphy ’98H, a longtime Iona trustee.
“The importance of having vibrant outdoor spaces where students and faculty can interact and build meaningful relationships has never been greater,” said Iona President Seamus Carey, Ph.D. “Driven by our strategic plan and our commitment to student success, the Murphy Green will be a beautiful new space that will open up exciting opportunities for students to learn outside the lines and stay engaged beyond the classroom. We are so grateful to the Murphy family for its continued support of Iona College and its students.”
Joseph M. Murphy ’59, ’83H and Iona University President Seamus Carey, Ph.D., with members of the Student Government Association, unveiling a vibrant new green space coming to campus spring 2022.
Photo credit Ben Hider.
Designed by the architecture firm SLAM, Iona’s nearly 30,000-square-foot green space will be located across from Spellman Hall, replacing the non-essential parking circle currently outside of the LaPenta Student Union. Iona plans to break ground this summer and finish the project by spring 2022, pending all permits and approvals.
Complete with benches, trees, stone walkways and a terrace area, the focus of the Murphy Green will be a gorgeous green lawn. The space will also include seating built into East Hill, which will provide a dramatic setting for outdoor performances, poetry readings and outdoor classes. Statistically, campus green spaces correlate with a higher quality of life and higher cognitive and academic performance, making this vision even more relevant.
“This beautiful new green space brings together all of the things that my wife, JoAnn, cared so deeply about at Iona University – student success, the arts, the environment, community and overall health and well-being,” said Joseph M. Murphy. “To see how this new space will not only beautify the Iona campus, but also contribute to expanding student opportunities, is both humbling and gratifying.”
JoAnn Murphy, who passed away in December 2020, was a longtime and passionate advocate for student life on campus. Among her many positions, she co-chaired the Student Development & Mission Committee of the Board for many years, and in 1998, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her dedication and support of the arts and cultural events at Iona. She also chaired the Iona University Council on the Arts and is a 2006 recipient of the Brother Driscoll Award for Heroic Humanitarian Service. She was inducted into the Goal Club Hall of Fame in 2012, and Iona University's Mazzella Field was named for her parents.
JoAnn Murphy will also be honored posthumously with the Legacy Award at the Iona University Trustees Scholarship Award Gala on June 4, 2021.
Joseph M. Murphy, Iona trustee emeritus, was the co-founder and chairman of Country Bank and is chairman of Value Investors. The Murphy Center is named for his parents. This building houses the Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium, named in memory of the Murphy’s son, Christopher.
Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona University also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona University and NewYork-Presbyterian announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, to be principally located on the University’s new campus in Bronxville, N.Y. Supported by a $20 million gift from NewYork-Presbyterian, the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences offers a new vision for collaborative health care education, modern workforce development, and community care. On July 1, 2022, Iona officially changed its status from College to University, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.