In August 1920 a group of excited young women moved into the mansion as it became the new senior residence at Dominican College. The home had recently been purchased from Mrs. Julia Babcock, widow of Mr. William Babcock, and she graciously left much of her furniture for the enjoyment of the students. Since then, this property has functioned in several capacities, including as a residence hall, classrooms, offices, dining hall, novitiate house, and the beloved Garden School.
Due to structural concerns, the Mansion closed in 1989 and stood empty until June 2009 at which point a foundation-to-floor renovation commenced. The Mansion’s transformation was completed in October 2010, and today it is the crown jewel of our campus.
The Babcocks’ library was converted into a Catholic chapel, and it is fitting that this space is the newly established St. Catherine Benincasa Chapel. Nationally recognized liturgical artist Elizabeth Devereaux '64 designed the stained glass gracing the bay windows in the chapel, which draws in light and lifts up the spirit.
It serves as a welcoming home for Catholic and interfaith worship, Student Life, Campus Ministry, student government and organizations, the International Center, Alumni Relations, Career and Intern Services, as well as exhibits celebrating the history of the University and the significant contributions of the Dominican Sisters.