USF naming free enterprise center room for BMO Harris

1/27/2015, 2:32 p.m.
The room to be dedicated in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center is to honor the bank for "its ...

The University of St. Francis issued this news release:

The University of St. Francis (USF) will dedicate a room at its Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center to honor BMO Harris Bank for its contribution to the university and downtown Joliet, announced USF President Arvid C. Johnson

BMO Harris Bank donated the former Mode theater building, now the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, to the University of St. Francis in fall 2012. The university has since invested more than $2.7 million to renovate the interior and exterior of the building to create an exceptional learning environment. The building opened to classes in August 2014.

The BMO Harris Bank Community Room will be dedicated at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 6 at the Plaster Center, 16-18 W. Van Buren St., Joliet. The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center is part of the University’s downtown St. Bonaventure Campus. For information or reservations, call (815) 740-5045.

“We are pleased to honor BMO Harris Bank and its vision for our city, as well as the bank’s support of higher education,” said Johnson. “Studies have shown that higher education facilities are key components to the revitalization of downtown areas. BMO has supported the vision our city has for a vibrant downtown with its very generous donation of the building.”

“Our students are also enjoying an exciting learning environment in an urban campus. Since the building opened, we have had students asking that more and more classes be held there,” added Johnson.

“While BMO Harris Bank is one of the largest banks in the Midwest and Joliet/Will County area, it is committed to the communities it serves,” said Neil McManus, Market President. “We very much believe that the downtown can be the showcase for our vibrant community. The partnership with USF is an investment in education, the future workforce, our city and our county,” he added.

Along with the BMO Harris Bank Community Room, the 18,000-square-foot Plaster Center houses classrooms, a courtroom for mock trial activities, student study and leisure space, computer labs and offices. A business incubator is a major feature of the facility.

“It is important for us at BMO Harris to have the room named to welcome the community,” said McManus. “We wanted to be part of the important outreach that the BMO Harris Bank Community Room represents. This room will be open to community meetings and activities sponsored by the university as well as by other organizations.”