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Ancilla College Breaks Ground on Residence Hall, Life Center

Ancilla_GroundBreaking_1DONALDSON – Warm temperatures Tuesday were the harbinger of good things to come at Ancilla College where the board of trustees broke ground for a three-story residence hall and student life dining center opening Aug. 1.

Ancilla_GroundBreaking_Shovels2“This was meant to be,” said President Dr. Ken Zirkle.

Ancilla_GroundBreaking_2“It is no accident we have beautiful weather for this magnificent project,” he said to a gathered crowd of nearly 75 dignitaries, community members, present and past board members, sisters, developers, faculty and staff.

Ancilla_GroundBreaking_equipmentThe Ancilla College board of trustees voted in December to move ahead with the $6 million project financed by First Source Bank.

Ancilla_groundBreaking_3Chris Murphy chairman of the board and CEO of First Source noted parallels between his bank, established in 1863, just five years before the college’s sponsor, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Murphy said both organizations have been dedicated to educating immigrants. “Education was critical for my family to be successful,” he said, noting First Source makes financing education projects a business priority.

Ancilla_GroundBreaking_FrancsisBoard president Francis Ellert said the project has been a dream for the school for more than a decade and that it is happening now is a “testament to this community.”

The residence hall will be home for nearly 100 new students who previously could not attend the historically commuter-only college. The project includes a separate dining facility, fitness area, media center, two-story lobby with fireplace and prayer rooms.

Ancilla_GroundBreaking_PoorHandmaidsBuilding plans are managed by Michael Kinder and Sons, Inc., of Fort Wayne.

In addition to the building project, the school is adding an agriculture program and women’s golf and soccer teams.

Ancilla_GroundBreaking_crowd“The building project is historic. This is a great time to be a part of Ancilla College,” said Vice President of Enrollment Eric Wignall.

Ancilla_GroundBreaking_builder“We’re adding residential life to what is widely regarded as one of the more beautiful campuses in Indiana. Ancilla offers a safe, rural campus with a lake and nearby athletic fields. The College has high quality academic programs with small classes that guarantee a personal relationship with your teachers. Our students can’t help but succeed at Ancilla College, whatever their goals may be.”

Ancilla_GroundBreaking_shovelsWignall emphasized the low tuition and living costs that Ancilla has put in place. “It doesn’t hurt that we are the lowest priced private college in Indiana,” he said. “We offer fixed tuition at $14,100 a year for students taking up to 17 credit hours a semester. That’s locked in as long as you are a full-time student. Our room and board is only $8,500, and that includes 19 meals a week, free laundry facilities, wireless internet access and even parking.”

The College is hosting an open house, Access Ancilla Day, March 11, with free lunch and information on degrees, housing, financial aid and more for potential students and families who want to learn more. Visit for details.