The University of New England is naming the newest building on its Biddeford campus the "Danielle N. Ripich Commons" in honor of its outgoing president, due to step down July 1.
The structure, scheduled to be completed later this year, will be a multipurpose building to support the everyday needs of residential, commuter and graduate students. It features many innovative, ultra-high efficiency and eco-friendly features, including solar panels, bird-safe glass, a living green wall that grows food items and high-tech mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
The Danielle N. Ripich Commons will also house the campus' main dining venue, featuring views of the Saco River as well as a pub-style eatery with outdoor seating. The building's second floor will be connected to the main floor of the library by a glass bridge, creating easy transitions from the academic core of the campus to the Commons and then on to the residence halls.
"I am so deeply honored by the naming of the commons," said Ripich, whose 11-year tenure as UNE's president was marked by tremendous growth in enrollment and programs. "It's going to be such a magnificent structure that is sure to bring a great deal of convenience and pleasure to the entire Biddeford student body. UNE will always have a very special place in my heart, and I am truly touched that this incredible addition to the campus will bear my name."
Ripich, who was honored last March as Mainebiz's 2016 Nonprofit Business Leader of the Year, will be succeeded as UNE president by James Herbert, executive vice provost and dean of the graduate college at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
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