Police Commissioner Ray Kelly broke ground at the future site of Manhattan College's Raymond W. Kelly Student Commons Thursday.
Once completed, the nearly 70,000-square-foot building will house a learning center and cultural event space and be the hub of student interaction.
A Jasper from the Class of 1963, Kelly said he's humbled by the honor.
"I’ve never been in a position to demonstrate the kind of tremendous philanthropy toward Manhattan to warrant recognition at this level," Kelly said. "I just have my life's work, and to be recognized for it in this way means more to me and my family than we can say."
At the cost of $48 million, the new Kelly Commons is set to open in the fall of 2014.