Standing tall outside of the OceanFirst Bank Center, Monmouth University welcomes a new point of pride—The Hawk at Brockriede Common. The new bronze hawk sculpture is 15 feet high, weighs in at 29,000 pounds, and features a 22-foot-long wingspan.
No university funds were used for this new campus addition thanks to the artistry and generosity of master sculptor and Monmouth alumnus Brian Hanlon ’88 and his wife, Michele Hanlon ’90, along with a donation from the Brockriede family, including Monmouth University Trustee John A. Brockriede Jr. ’07 ’10M.
The Hawk at Brockriede Common will be formally welcomed to campus with a ribbon cutting celebration during homecoming on Oct. 20 at 10:20 a.m. You can read more about Hanlon in the upcoming fall issue of the Monmouth Magazine.
Through Blue Hawk Records, Monmouth’s student-run record label, students have the opportunity to record and produce music with Lakehouse Recording Studios. The facility includes two professional recording studios and features an array of instruments and gear.
The Lauren K. Woods Theatre Complex hosts an abundance of musical and theatrical performances all year round. Guests can enjoy productions from the Department of Music and Theatre Arts, the Shadow Lawn Stage, and the school’s student theatre clubs. Graduating students of Monmouth’s music program present their senior recitals here as well. While more compact than other stages on campus, the venue’s 140-seat capacity lends an intimate air to each performance.
The theater complex serves as home for the school’s Music and Theatre Arts Department. Students of the department’s courses will often find their classrooms inside this building, as well as the offices of their professors.
Sharp-eyed visitors will spot features more commonplace in a carriage house than a theater—especially the horse-stable look of the dressing room. The theater was in fact a carriage house for the Guggenheim Cottage, which the Guggenheim Foundation donated to the University in 1961. According to the Jim Reme’s and Tova Navarra’s book on Monmouth University’s history, the school reopened the building as the Performing Arts Center in 1967—Monmouth transformed the carriage house into a hub for artistic expression and discipline, fitting the building with classrooms, offices, and the theater for which it’s known.
Lauren K. Woods
Once the building was completed, one of the first new hires for the theatre arts program was a recent Amherst graduate, Lauren K. Woods III. An alumnus of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in New Jersey, Lauren began acting in high school and during his undergraduate work at Rutgers. During his years at Monmouth, he began the Guggenheim Summer Theater at the new arts center, where a different production was done every two weeks with visiting professional actors joining the student participants.
Lauren, affectionately known as “Woody” to his students and colleagues, also continued a professional acting career, appearing on TV in Ryan’s Hope and Law & Order and several movies, including Rocky V. He appeared in more than 300 commercials.
When he died in 1995, the theater building was renamed the Lauren K. Woods Theatre in his honor.
(Some of the material above was adapted with permission from the Rumson-Fair Haven Hall of Fame Web site).
The 700-seat Pollak Theatre presents live music, theatre, and dance by national touring artists such as Rosanne Cash, Jason Isbell, L.A. Theatreworks, and Ailey II Dance Company. The theatre also screens HD broadcasts of the MET Opera, National Theatre of London, and The Bolshoi Ballet, along with children’s theater and other programming presented by the Center for the Arts.
Pollak Gallery, located adjacent to the Pollak Theatre, features regional artists, collaborates with community organizations on special exhibitions, and exhibits the work of special needs populations.
As a component of the original Shadow Lawn Estate, the Ice House Gallery actually served as a storage site for large blocks of ice that served as refrigeration for the estate. Renovated into a gallery space in the 1970s by the Long Branch Rotary Club, this two-story gallery provides approximately 900 square feet of exhibition space.