Temperatures plummeted below freezing and wind whipped through the trees, but the crowd gathered Nov. 10 at Sacred Heart University held fast for the dedication ceremony of the Sheila Hamilton Student Success Center at 5060 Park Ave., Bridgeport, and the Maureen Hamilton Wellness Center at 4980 Park Ave. The dedications, which took place behind the Success Center, recognized the service and support of Brian Hamilton \u201987 to the University. Hamilton, who grew up in Milford, is a member of the University Board of Trustees and founder and chairman of Sageworks, a software and information company based in North Carolina. He and his co-founder are also the original architects of an artificial intelligence technology platform used by financial institutions and accounting firms across the country. Sheila Hamilton is Brian Hamilton\u2019s late mother, a native of Stratford, who put his education first and played a big role in his success, hence the association of her name with the Student Success Center. Maureen is Hamilton\u2019s late former wife, a 1984 SHU graduate who grew up in Willingboro, N.C. and was a social worker, especially focused on the welfare of children, helping families with adoption services and working with foster children. About 120 people in all \u2014 including Hamilton family members, SHU faculty, former classmates of Hamilton\u2019s, clergy and friends \u2014 were present for the ceremony. Gary L. Rose, professor and chair of SHU\u2019s Department of Government, Politics and Global Studies, took to the podium first to call the moment \u201cquite historic and special\u201d in the life of Sacred Heart, \u201ca reflection of the values upon which the University was founded\u201d and \u201can illustration of love and loyalty.\u201d Rose said he first encountered Hamilton in fall 1982, when Hamilton was a student in Rose\u2019s Introduction to American Government class. Rose said Hamilton was a special individual who asked questions and offered personal comments, showing a \u201cprobing, sophisticated, inquisitive mind.\u201d Rose added that it was apparent Hamilton could \u201cthink for himself and outside the box\u201d and the two have kept in touch over the past 35 years. Rose encouraged Hamilton to join the University\u2019s debate team, of which \u201conly the brightest students\u201d were members. \u201cHe was one of the finest collegiate debaters I ever coached,\u201d he said. Rose spoke of Hamilton\u2019s former wife, a political science major whom he knew, saying she was \u201cserious about her studies\u201d and \u201ca young woman of excellent integrity.\u201d Rose also pronounced Hamilton \u201cone of the most successful alums in the University\u2019s history.\u201d Notably, Hamilton also served as student government president during his time at SHU, about which the current SHU SG president, Taryn McCormick, who followed Rose at the podium, spoke. \u201cHe has taken the tools from his college experience and used them to his advantage,\u201d she said, adding that he was an \u201cinspiration,\u201d and she hoped to follow in his footsteps. Student Nikolaus Rubino, a psychology tutor in the University\u2019s Jandrisevits Learning Center (JLC), which provides academic support services to students through the Student Success Center, said he was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak about the center, and the turnout for the ceremony showed the University\u2019s spirit of unity. He suggested that \u201ccontinual learning,\u201d made possible through venues like the Center, is \u201cthe key to success.\u201d Student Melissa O\u2019Rourke commented on behalf of the Wellness Center, which she said was like \u201ca second home\u201d and \u201ca safe place for students to work through their problems and grow as young adults.\u201d O\u2019Rourke is a team leader in an anti-binge drinking campaign titled LessThanUThink. University President Dr. John Petillo followed the students, saying that \u201cSheila and Maureen are here in spirit,\u201d while expressing to Hamilton, who sat in the front row, \u201cWe are very grateful and thankful for your support and proud of your accomplishments.\u201d Chris McLeod, speaking as a member of SHU\u2019s Board of Trustees, called the newly named centers \u201crelevant and important,\u201d with each functioning in wellness \u2014 one for physical and the other, emotional. He spoke with great detail about Hamilton\u2019s successes and noted that Hamilton was the first child in his family to attend college \u2014 a feat driven by his parents\u2019 commitment to working hard to achieve just as their immigrant parents had before them. McLeod read two proclamations officially recognizing the naming of the two centers and unveiled portraits of Sheila and Maureen. After Rev. Thomas Lynch of St. James Roman Catholic Church of Stratford blessed the centers, Hamilton\u2019s classmate and longtime friend, Tom Rychlik, offered remembrances of \u201clofty discussions\u201d with Hamilton and commended his \u201cability to articulate his thoughts and put them into action.\u201d He said Hamilton \u201calways knew what he wanted to do and had an affinity for compassion.\u201d Finally, Hamilton took the podium and, humbly and with great appreciation, affirmed that Sacred Heart was where he began his spiritual journey and the SHU community should remember its roots as an institution that was started to give first-generation immigrants a chance for a good education. He commended the school\u2019s \u201crealness, informality and growth\u201d and its draw as a \u201cmelting pot,\u201d saying it has done \u201ca good job of preserving the University\u2019s culture.\u201d In addition to the Strings members entertaining, a trio of SHU nursing students offered an a cappella version of the National Anthem. Guests also had tours of the two centers. For additional Sacred Heart University news, visit sacredheart.edu\/aboutshu\/news\/.