McHale Crosswalk and Plaza
La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pa

La Salle University of Philadelphia, Pa. unveiled on March 20, 2006, an historic marker designating a McHale Crosswalk and Plaza. A plaque recognizes assistance of an alumnus in promoting La Salle's history in Philadelphia. It celebrated campus unification across a key local street block that had long been viewed as a campus divider.

The Crosswalk, a representative explained, symbolically integrates three large campus areas thanks to the university's having won a long battle to change a block of 20th St. traffic to one-way (northbound).

Alumnus John L McHale '49 aided university purchase of the street's western lane. This former street lane helped to provide space for the McHale Plaza, an arrangement of benches, trees and landscaping adjoining La Salle's Connelly Library.

La Salle also celebrated a "reuniting" of the entire 104-acre 1810 Belfield Farm of Charles Willson Peale, an 1810 National Historic landmark on which much of the campus rests.

Research that Mr. McHale supported in 2003 traced a long and high-ranking Philadelphia history of La Salle continuity in the granting of baccalaureate degrees since LaSalle's charter in 1863. The years of four-year graduations by more than two dozen Philadelphia institutions of higher learning were tabulated and compared. The University of Pennsylvania topped La Salle's record.

Mr. McHale contributed to several other campus projects, including expansion of the Tom Gola arena and recently providing for the computer room in a new science building. Over a decade, his prizes have sponsored a popular annual student essay contest on Philadelphia themes.

 

 

 

Kent and LaSalle grad Louis F. Esola '80, nephew of John, were guests of LaSalle president Bro Michael McGinniss at his offices in the 1810 national historic landmark farmhouse of renowned colonial portraitist Charles Willson Peale.