Central Park

As if Alcalá Park isn’t pretty enough, this summer the university completed a new pedestrian mall that graces the center of campus, stretching from Colachis Plaza to the eastern edge of Maher Hall. The mall will be dedicated with a celebration for students and alumni on Oct. 7.

Construction on the pedestrian mall, named Plaza de San Diego, began in March and was finished in August, in time for the start of the fall semester.

The $1.2 million plaza — which is part of USD’s master plan and was funded through donations from former USD Trustee Kathryn Colachis andThe Theresa & Edward O’Toole Foundation — features landscaped walkways, an open lawn, a central courtyard surrounded by trees, and seating areas with a fountain in the center.

The entrances to Maher Hall, Serra Hall and Warren Hall were renovated in conjunction with the project, and now sport an improved appearance as well as improved access for people with disabilities.

The Oct. 7 festivities start with an afternoon dedication ceremony followed by an evening party for students. Evening actitivies include a picnic-style dinner, a costume contest for students and a concert in front of the Hahn University Center. The celebration, funded by an anonymous donor, includes cash prizes for costumes and a $100,000 giveway, with 100 students — 50 men and 50 women — winning $1,000 each.