The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Celebration at Saint Mary’s

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, January 13, 2005

Saint Mary’s certainly has reason to celebrate. After six months of having College President Carol Mooney at the helm, she will be officially inaugurated Saturday during a public ceremony.

But Saturday’s spectacle doesn’t tell the whole story. The College’s accompanying week of inaugural events has been well-attended by students, faculty and staff – showing that the occasion is not just in honor of an individual but also truly a community event.

In an unprecedented move, the College even elected to excuse students from classes today to allow them to attend an all-day symposium focusing on women’s colleges, spreading the spotlight beyond campus and putting the inauguration into a national context.

The College was right to do so. While this is a time to celebrate Mooney, her accomplishments thus far and the path that lies ahead, this is also a time to celebrate being a thriving women’s institution. Many of the week’s events have focused on the rich and unique history of Saint Mary’s itself, looking at a time when Mooney was herself a student and taking a closer look at where the College is now.

This is a golden opportunity for Saint Mary’s students – one that comes around so rarely it needs to be taken advantage of now. The events this week are as much about each individual on campus as they are about Mooney and the College. Because events on the scale of an inauguration occur so infrequently, it is important for students to take part in every opportunity they can.

Attending today’s symposium, Saturday’s events and even the dance Sunday, which Mooney helped to plan, will strengthen not only the student body’s connection with Mooney, but its sense of its place in history.

A presidential inauguration is the perfect time to commemorate the tradition of Saint Mary’s – a tradition built on history, reputation and the strength and uniqueness of all those who know what it is to be a Saint Mary’s woman. In planning and executing a full week of events for the whole community, the College gave its rich past and its future leader the recognition they deserve.