DEPAUL — The Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, DePaul University's outgoing president, doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon — at least not in name.
The university's Board of Trustees has announced the new 185,000-square-foot music building now under construction near Halsted Street and Fullerton Avenue will be known as the Holtschneider Center for Music and Performance.
"DePaul University has benefited tremendously from Father Holtschneider’s leadership and vision," board chairman Bill Bennett said. "Among the many initiatives he undertook, DePaul is on the verge of completing a building campaign that transformed our Lincoln Park and Loop campuses. In recognition of Father Holtschneider’s appreciation for all things musical, the new music building will be named in his honor."
Holtschneider announced last year he'd be leaving his post after serving as university president since 2004. Earlier this year, Holtschneider said he'd be moving on to a position with Ascension, the largest nonprofit U.S. health system and the largest Catholic health system in the world. It was then announced that A. Gabriel Esteban would succeed him as the university's 12th president July 1.
In keeping with tradition, however, the board also named Holtschneider chancellor, effective the same date. He'll succeed the Rev. John Richardson, the ninth university president, who has filled the post since 1993 and will become chancellor emeritus.
"It is a longstanding tradition for the former university president to serve as chancellor of DePaul,” Bennett said. “We are happy to continue the university’s relationship with Father Holtschneider. We also remain incredibly grateful to Father Richardson for imparting his wisdom during his more than six decades of service to the university."
The board also moved to create the Holtschneider Endowed Chair in Vincentian Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, following through on his emphasis on research into what the university called "the history and spirituality of the Vincentian tradition."
DePaul was created in 1898 and named, of course, for St. Vincent de Paul.
Construction of the monumental new music building began in late 2015 and is expected to be completed in a year. It will include a concert hall, two recital halls and a jazz hall, as well as teaching studios and rehearsal spaces.
"Our students will soon learn in a state-of-the-art facility designed to meet and inspire their musical gifts and match the extraordinary talents and abilities of our faculty,” said Ronald Caltabiano, dean of the School of Music. “We will always be grateful to Father Holtschneider for his broad and effective commitment to music and all the arts. Naming the building for him is the perfect way to honor his legacy."
On a slightly more low-key but perhaps more personal note, Holtschneider will be celebrated with a farewell reception at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., ahead of a Neighbor's Night performance by the university's jazz ensembles at 8 p.m. Admission is free.