A historic look into Rodman Hall

Completed in 1938, Rodman Hall has undergone many transformations.

Laurene DiCillo

Completed in 1938, Rodman Hall has undergone many transformations.

Aiden Keenan, Photo Editor

Rodman Hall, current home to the Office of Admission, Student Enrollment and Financial Services, the alumni office and more, boasts a long history on John Carroll’s campus. It was named in honor of the 11th president of the University, Benedict J. Rodman, S.J., who served from 1928 to 1937. Rev. Rodman was born on May 9, 1882, and passed away on Jan. 4, 1963.

Rev. Rodman became a Jesuit in 1901 and afterfter serving some time at his alma mater, St. Mary’s College, he began working at what soon became John Carroll University., “in 1928, when he had just turned forty-six years old, he was appointed President of St. Ignatius College, Cleveland and Rector of the Jesuit Community there”as stated in his obituary. 

Benedict Rodman, S.J. was influential in the development of the University and is the namesake of Rodman Hall. (Laurene DiCillo)

Rev. Rodman played a significant role in the University’s name change to John Carroll University. In fact, as President, he chose the new name of the prior St. Ignatius College. 

John Carroll was chosen by Rev. Rodman because the first Catholic Bishop in the U.S was John Carroll. He was a Jesuit and the first Bishop of Baltimore.

In order to fund initiatives such as the construction of new buildings and expansion of programs, Rev. Rodman set a fundraising goal of $2.5 million along with his committee, helped especially by John Bernet, namesake of Bernet Hall. By 1930, the committee surpassed their goal and began their move to what was then the Village of Idlewood. Because of Rodman’s assistance in moving the University to the area, the Village renamed itself the Village of University Heights in 1925.

He also raised over $100,000 for the construction and foundation of the Church of the Gesu, a Jesuit parish across the street from JCU’s campus.

Rev. Rodman’s eulogy concluded, “With these words we bid a bond and final farewell to Rev. Benedict Joseph Rodman, S.J Jesuit of eminence and distinction, whom it was a privilege to know, a greater privilege to work with, and with whom it will be a joy surpassing understanding to meet and live with in our Father’s mansion for all eternity.”

Rodman Hall stands as a remembrance to Rev. Rodman’s life, legacy and dedication to John Carroll University. 

Originally used as a residence hall for the faculty in 1938; later it served as the Jesuit Residence on campus until the construction of Schell House in 2008.

As alumni come with their students for a campus tour, they frequently mention their feelings of intrigue with the building, as it was uncommonly visited by students before its conversion to offices.

Prominent features within the building are the Rodman Chapel, the alumni lounge and Rodman A Conference Room. Rodman A is frequently used for admission presentations, Fraternity and Sorority rituals and more but it is notably the former dining hall for the Jesuits. 

A strong reminder of Rev. Benedict Rodman’s legacy to John Carroll University, Rodman Hall welcomes visiting families for campus tours, welcomes alumni back to the alumni lounge and gives students a place to reflect in prayer.