Dominican hosts open house at Edgehill Mansion

Dominican University of California hosted on Monday, January 24, to unveil the Dominican Heritage and Alumni House in the newly-renovated 123-year-old Edgehill Mansion.

The free public  reception included KRON TV and KCBS Radio celebrity film critic Jan Wahl, an instructor in Dominican’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute who resides in Sausalito. She gave her presentation  of “Movies That Changed The World And Our Lives” in Garden Room.

Guests were invited to explore the new offices of Alumni Relations, Campus Ministry, Career and Internship Services, Dominican Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), Student Life, International and Student Lounges. The St. Catherine Benincasa Chapel and Veritas Interfaith Hall was available for viewing as well.

Mary Grandin, a 1951 Dominican graduate who was an Edgehill Mansion resident, led tours through the Dominican Heritage and Alumni House from 2-4:30 p.m. The $8 million renovation was completed last fall. The three-story, 14,000-square foot, 19th century Queen Anne Victorian House originally was acquired by the Dominican Sisters in 1920 from the widow of William Babcock. Babcock had received the house as a wedding gift from his father in San Francisco.

Edgehill Mansion eventually was converted into a residence hall and dining hall at the University and later served as classrooms, offices and even a preschool. In 1985 -- four years before the 7.0 Loma Prieta Earthquake in the Bay Area -- Edgehill Mansion was closed because of seismic concerns. It re-opened on October 12 to host a private reception for California Governor candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, who engaged in a statewide-televised debate on campus.

During the open house, there were special lectures hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which is located in the Garden Room. The Dominican Jazz Band performed in Heritage Hall and Dr. Bernard von Bothmer, a Dominican history instructor, talked about his book, “Framing The Sixties: The Use and Abuse of a Decade from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush.”