John and Nancy O’Shea Hall Dedicated in Campus Ceremony

Julia Fishman

Naming honors longtime Poughkeepsie residents, philanthropists and friends of the College.


November 2, 2018—In a ceremony on campus today, the third residence hall in the North Campus Housing Complex was formally dedicated as John and Nancy O’Shea Hall, honoring a generous gift from Marist trustee John O’Shea.

The O’Shea connection to Marist has a long history, spanning four generations. John O’Shea first set foot on the Marist campus as a boy, accompanying his father, an electrical contractor, on construction jobs for the founding Marist Brothers. A member of the College board of trustees for nearly 25 years, O’Shea and his late wife also established a scholarship fund for commuting students from the Hudson Valley region. Several members of the O’Shea family are proud Marist alumni. His son Stephen graduated in 1981, grandson Scott Sweeney in 2004, and granddaughter Katie Viola Hennessey in 2013 and again in 2015 with her master’s degree. 

“John has always been a stalwart supporter of the College,” noted President David Yellen. “Marist has benefited greatly from his time as a dedicated trustee; he is a friend to the College is every possible way, and it means so much to the entire Marist community to have a building bearing the O’Shea name.”

O’Shea’s philanthropy extends to the greater Hudson Valley as well. He served as a trustee and chair of Vassar Brothers Medical Center, which is home to the John and Nancy O’Shea Pediatric Specialty Center. He has also had longtime affiliations and served in a number of official capacities with the United Way of Dutchess County, Poughkeepsie Rotary Club, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, Bardavon 1869 Opera House, Health Quest, and Riverside Bank, just to name a few.

“Few names are as synonymous with community service and leadership in our region as John O’Shea,” said Vice President for College Advancement Chris DelGiorno. “John’s exceptional generosity and steadfast commitment to Marist’s mission are deeply appreciated."

O’Shea enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1951 upon graduating from Fordham University and attended Officer Candidate School. Upon completion, he was assigned to the destroyer USS Ingraham, where he served for nearly three years. His service also included operations with the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and the Seventh Fleet in Korea. Upon release from active duty in 1955, he remained in the Naval Reserves for two decades before retiring at the rank of commander. O’Shea had a distinguished career with the insurance firm Marshall & Sterling, Inc. as an account executive. He was named vice president in 1970, president in 1980, and chairman of the board in 1999, a position he still holds today.

The naming of O’Shea Hall marks the third residence hall dedication in the North Campus Housing Complex. Earlier this year, Tom and Mary Ward Hall was dedicated in honor of Tom Ward ’69, and Lavelle Hall was dedicated in honor of Patrick Lavelle ’73.

About the North Campus Housing Complex

The North Campus Housing Complex is a state-of-the-art facility that offers accommodations for nearly 300 undergraduate students residing in suites with single bedrooms and common living spaces that include a generously-sized living room, kitchenette, and bathroom. The buildings also feature a large interactive community lounge, various study lounges, and a laundry facility. The complex provides enhanced community space for students, faculty, and staff. In addition to housing residential students, the fourth building in the complex boasts a fitness center and satellite dining facility, making the North Campus a vibrant hub of collegiate life. The new facilities are also designed to support academic initiatives beyond the traditional school year such as Marist’s summer Pre-College programs for high school students. The lawns and open space provide spectacular views of the Hudson River. The new complex has expanded Marist's capacity to host conferences and other large-scale events that welcome guests from outside the area, allowing the College to continue to play a key role as one of the region’s economic engines.

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