New study room open at Franciscan University

STUDY ROOM OPEN — Among those participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Totus Tuus Maria Group Study Room at the Franciscan University of Steubenville were, from left, Clement Harrold, senior; the Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, university president; and Justine Smykowski, senior. -- Contributed

STEUBENVILLE — After a semester studying in Austria, three Franciscan University of Steubenville students — seniors Justine Smykowski, Jacob Schmiesing and Clement Harrold — wanted to bring some European beauty back to the main Steubenville campus. With thought, research, and fundraising, they transformed a study room in the St. John Paul II Library.

What was once a simple room with table and chairs is now the Totus Tuus Maria Group Study Room, located on the ground floor of the library. It boasts a Baroque-like coffered ceiling, wooden wainscoting, Renaissance and ancient depictions of Our Lady, and chandelier lighting.

With a large wooden table, a leather lounge chair, multiple chalk boards, a white board, and a library collection of reference books, the room is a place for students to find inspiration in their academic pursuits.

“We really wanted something that would promote the academic culture on campus,” said Harrold. “We have a beautiful campus, especially out of doors, and now we have a beautiful space to study, as we did in Austria.”

Together, the three raised more than $10,000 through social media and other fundraising methods to redecorate the room. The project was part of the students’ Center for Leadership senior capstone project.

“What I like about this is that it was initiated by our students,” said the Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, university of president, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony held in April. “They had the vision and worked with our staff to see their vision come to life.”


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