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50th Anniversary Marks New Chapter for Walsh Residence Hall

School News

Alexis Hall Rededicated in Honor of Longtime Benefactors Ann & George Seanor

When George Seanor talks about Walsh University, he has a perspective few today can share. At the age of 94, George and his wife, Ann, were part of the foundational years of Walsh College. Their family’s continued support of the University has extended for more than 55 years, beginning with personal relationships with Walsh’s seven founding Brothers and sustained by multiple generations of family members.

On the 50th Anniversary of Walsh’s second residence hall, Alexis Hall, it seemed an appropriate time to recognize the unwavering support of the couple who helped to make the building possible. This November, Walsh University will honor the contributions of the Seanors by renaming Alexis Hall as the Ann and George Seanor Family Hall.

During the 1960s, George worked closely with founder Br. Dacian Barrette to spearhead the construction and funding of the University’s residence life program on campus. With Walsh lacking the means to support the construction of campus housing, George offered the services of his company, Gibbons-Grable Company, and helped to secure funding from Citizens Savings Bank in North Canton to begin construction.

Over the years, Gibbons-Grable Co. oversaw the completion of not one but four buildings on campus – Menard Hall, Alexis Hall, Rannou Campus Center (now the Barrette Business and Community Center) and the Hannon Childhood Development Center. Founded in 1923, Gibbons-Grable participated in the construction of many iconic buildings throughout Stark County, including more than 40 local schools, Timken Mercy Hospital, Aultman Hospital, the Canton Civic Center, the Natatorium and the original Fawcett Stadium for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

George was also influential in another milestone moment in Walsh history as a Board Member during the 1990s, when he rallied for and voted in favor of Walsh College becoming a University.

The Seanors’ contributions extend beyond brick and mortar to the building of a different kind -- the establishment of one of Walsh’s most vital supporting organizations, the Walsh University Women’s Committee. Ann Seanor, who passed away on January 12, 2017, was a founding member of the Women’s Committee along with her sister Jane Schirack. Together they worked with founder Br. Robert Francoeur on the formation of the Women’s Committee,which provides support to Walsh student scholarships and programming. Ann was also a longtime volunteer with the Hoover Historical Center. 

Ann’s sister and brother-in-law Sheila and Richard Farmer were also influential members of the Walsh community. Judge Sheila Farmer served on the Walsh Board of Directors during the 1990s, while Richard was a beloved Walsh Professor of Chemistry. Today, George and Ann’s children continue their parents’ tradition of involvement on campus as regular guests at events. Daughter-in-law Pat has served two terms as President of the Walsh Women’s Committee while son George and nephew Frank Schirack helped to build the Hannon Childhood Development Center, marking the second Seanor generation to construct a building on campus.

Like so many throughout Walsh’s history, the Seanors have quietly supported the University as dedicated friends and benefactors who generously, and without hesitation, lent their leadership and support in shaping the Walsh University that is today.

BR. ALEXIS GUILBAULT MEMORY TO BE PRESERVED

The enduring legacy of Walsh founder and faculty member Br. Alexis Guilbault will remain an important part of the residence hall and will be memorialized with a plaque in his honor. Through this visible reminder, Walsh students and alumni will be able to reflect on the Hall’s first 50 years and, with gratitude, call to mind the building’s former namesake. Br. Alexis was one of seven founding Brothers of Walsh College in 1960 and served as a mathematics faculty member before his death in 1962, at the age of 52.