Featured Testimonial About Creighton University
If it weren’t for Creighton and all the starts it gave us, we wouldn’t be in the position to give back like this. We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for the people we met at Creighton.
* * *
OMAHA — Creighton’s soon-to-open new freshman residence hall, Graves Hall, has a courtyard, and that courtyard now has a name — the Simpson Family Courtyard.
The courtyard is named after Kathy and Jim Simpson, BA’80, who made the lead gift to the space. The Simpsons are longtime donors to Creighton Athletics, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Dentistry, among many other causes. Jim is the retired former President and CEO of MSI Systems Integrators. When Sirius Computer Solutions acquired the company in 2010, he became Sirius’ President of Strategic Initiatives. He spent the first 19 years of his career working for IBM in sales and sales leadership.
The Simpson Family Courtyard will serve as an active social space with a bevy of features — artificial turf (part of which can easily be converted to a volleyball court), two fire pits, multiple areas for lounge seating, a small stage for events, two ping pong tables, a bocce ball court and more.
Graves Hall — opening in August — will be the first residence hall built exclusively for first-year students since the 1960s (and the first residence hall of any kind built on campus since 2006).
The 400-student hall is made up mostly of four-person suites, each with two living spaces, two bedrooms and a shared bathroom. Each floor will have kitchenettes and spaces dedicated to study, socialization and recreation. The hall’s lower level will provide spaces for interfaith programming, student development, wellness, academics and more.
Graves Hall is also innovating in the area of sustainability technology. It’s the first building in North America to use VirtuHOT HD, a solar-powered system produced by Naked Energy and implemented by ELM Companies that will heat all water used in the residence hall.
“First-year students who live in this residence hall and use this courtyard will feel a true sense of belonging in their first home away from home,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD. “We are grateful for the Simpson and Graves families’ gifts and the many ways they will transform how our students live and learn on campus. I have enjoyed working with the Simpsons and Graveses over the years. They love Creighton, and Creighton loves them.”
Jim and Kathy Simpson are close friends of Judy and Lee C. Graves, BSBA’80 JD’83, who made the lead gift to build Graves Hall. The two couples say that their names living next to each other on campus is fitting, as Lee and Jim’s friendship started nearly 50 years ago, when they both lived on campus, first as Swanson Hall residents, then as fraternity brothers of Phi Kappa Psi.
Lee and Jim said the new residence hall, the courtyard and all the major changes coming to campus this academic year will offer students even more opportunities to create the foundational bonds and experiences that will define their lives.
“Frankly,” Jim Simpson said, “if it weren’t for Creighton and all the starts it gave us, we wouldn’t be in the position to give back like this. We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for the people we met at Creighton.
“The opportunity to come together to support a legacy project like this worked out perfectly for our families. It’s something that we hope will start many more friendships like ours, the kind of friendships that last for life.”
More images of Graves Hall and the Simpson Family Courtyard
Note: The images that aren't renderings were taken on a recent tour of the Simpson Family Courtyard and Graves Hall. Construction is still underway and will be complete ahead of the Aug. 11 freshman move-in date.