March 10, 2016

A snapshot of Murphys, set to open fall 2016.

History is about to repeat itself at CUA, although with a new twist. Construction has begun on Murphy's, a contemporary answer to the old Rathskellar (the "Rat").

All members of The Catholic University of America community are invited Monday, March 14, to a celebration and tour of the space that will soon be a new lounge and restaurant in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.

"Celebrating Murphy's: A New Beginning" will take place in the Pryzbyla lobby. The program will include speeches, refreshments, a tour, and a preview of what the new space will look like. Special guests will include members of the University's Board of Trustees and a number of donors who funded the renovation.

Murphy's will open in the fall 2016 semester. During the summer, the second floor of the old bookstore will be converted into a lounge with comfortable seating, TVs, a pool table, fire place, space for entertainment, and a sound system. Plans for the lower bookstore include a restaurant and pub; a construction date has yet to be finalized.

The new installation is a tribute to Mike Murphy, B.A. 1974, M.A. 1975, who passed away in 2007. During his years at Catholic University, Murphy and his friends, like countless other alumni of their era, spent their time at the Rat discussing history and politics, enjoying food and drink. The Rat closed when the Pryzbyla Center opened in 2003.

In the wake of his passing, Murphy's friends launched fund-raising efforts to open a new gathering place, a legacy to his dedication to the University, where future generations of students will gather and foster lifelong friendships.

"This renovation is part of a larger, multistep plan to make the Pryzbyla Center an even more friendly, comfortable, and desirable destination spot for students and members of the campus community," said Mike Allen, vice president for student affairs.

"We are especially grateful to the many alumni and donors who have made this first portion of the project a reality," said Allen.