Raise a glass and toast the pub! The St. Mary’s University community held a groundbreaking ceremony for the campus pub Thursday, Jan. 22.

Part of the Louis J. Blume Library‘s rear veranda will be enclosed for this project, which is already underway and is expected to be finished in August.

Alumnus Tom Contreras declared, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” as he addressed the trustees, students, faculty, staff and Marianists who attended the event on a chilly, wet afternoon.

University President Thomas Mengler announced details about how the University community can help name the pub.

The St. Mary’s University jazz ensemble provided music. After the ceremony, the crowd moved into the University Center to enjoy a “pub night” reception with beer, wine, soft drinks and bar snacks.

Tom Contreras (B.B.A. ’88) and Leti Contreras (B.A. ’89) gave $900,000 with the request to build a pub and social gathering space on campus to promote engagement and unity among the University community.

“One of the things Tom and I most enjoyed about our time at St. Mary’s was the community aspect,” Leticia “Leti” Contreras said in July. “We felt called to do something to enhance that experience for current and future students – so we wanted to build a social place where memories can be fostered by campus life.”

The pub project will create two new commons spaces. One will provide an area for student relaxation and recreation, which will include couches, chairs and a big-screen television. The other space will be the pub itself, featuring a large, exterior patio with space for music performances.

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