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SMC reflects on history, tradition

Katie Kohler | Monday, January 22, 2007

With over 150 years of history and tradition, the Saint Mary’s College community has a lot to celebrate during the second annual Heritage Week.

Students, faculty and staff will commemorate the College’s heritage through a week long series of movies, speeches and closing dinner on Friday.

McIlduff decided to continue the event, which was created by her predecessor Student Body President Kellye Mitros, due to its prior success and student response.

“I included Heritage Week on my vice presidential platform last year,” McIlduff said.

“Because of last year’s cess, we thought it was something we should continue.”

Heritage Week – sponsored by the Board of Governance (BOG) – starts today and continues through Friday evening.

“There is no outside support,” McIlduff said. “Everything that is happening is through the students.”

Some of the events include movies in the Vander Vennett Theater, daily t-shirt sales and “Belles Out” – a game created to help students learn more about the rich history of the college.

On Tuesday, humanistic studies professor Gail Mandell, author of the book “Madeleva: A Biography”, will speak in Reidinger House. Mandell discuss the College’s icon Sister Madeleva in the lecture “Sister Madeleva: Alumna and 3rd President of Saint Mary’s College.”

On Wednesday, there will be “Cookies and Conversation” with Saint Mary’s alumnae in the Welcome Center.

On Thursday Sisters of the Holy Cross will speak in Stapleton Lounge as part of the lecture “Where is the Love? Finding Hope in the Service of Others.”

The week’s festivities conclude with the Heritage Dinner on Friday night in Stapleton Lounge. Sisters of the Holy Cross, former and current administration and students are invited to a reenactment dinner of yesteryear.

“It is our signature event,” McIlduff said.

“Last year, there was a wait list for the dinner.”

This year’s theme for the week is “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” titled after the Billy Joel song.

“We chose this theme because ‘we didn’t start the fire,’ but it is our job to keep it burning,” McIlduff said.

The events of this week are special to McIlduff because of how new the program is.

“Not that many people know about the history of the school. If students know more about their school, they will have more school pride,” she said.

Heritage Week can also be used as a good networking opportunity, McIlduff said.

“If students network early, it will help them in the future,” she said. “Making good relationships with alumnae is key and there will be alums at almost every event.”

All of the activities planned are meant to educate students about the school’s history as well as giving them a chance to meet new people.

“Everything we are doing is to help connect the community,” McIlduff said.

“It is a way to get to know different people and connect in a better way.”

BOG is promoting Heritage Week through signs, e-mail and reminders in the dining hall.

McIlduff hopes for another successful year, but sees room for improvement already.

“Heritage Week has a lot of ways to grow,” she said. “We will have to wait and see how it changes in the future.”