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College celebrates heritage with Week

Caitlin Housley | Sunday, January 23, 2011

This week, student groups are sponsoring Heritage Week, and students are encouraged to rediscover the campus’s history.

The theme of the week is “The Avenue Always Leads You Home.” According to Student Activities Board (SAB) chief of staff Kelly Zenere, the Avenue is a universal symbol of Saint Mary’s. It sends students on new journeys, and welcomes them home, she said.

The groups sponsoring the weeklong celebration include Campus Ministry, Resident Hall Association, SAB, Student Diversity Board and Student Government Association.

Cassandra Palmer, SAB’s mission commissioner, said this week is all about remembering the history of Saint Mary’s. Palmer said the college stemmed from the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and it is important to keep them in mind when students think of Saint Mary’s heritage.

“[The Saint Mary’s students] are the ones who keep our heritage alive,” Palmer said.

Zenere said Heritage Week is held so the students don’t forget where they come from.

For these reasons, each day’s events are centered on educating the students about Saint Mary’s rich history.

On Monday the college archives will be on display in the Student Center. According to Palmer, there will be 24 large poster frames of photos from past to present, including a photo of the class of 1907.

There will be a long sleeve T-shirt give-away on Monday in the Student Center, and archivist John Kovach will give a talk in the lounge from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. According to Zenere, Kovach will be hosting a questions and answers session.

“[Bring] your ghost story questions,” she said.

The Reidenger House will be open for tours and tea from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Space is limited, so students must sign up for times in the Student Center.

On Wednesday, Sister Mary Louise “ML” Gude will be hosting three tours of the convent, and providing information on the history of the Sisters and the College, according to the schedule.

Thursday, students are invited to share a meal with the nuns at the Heritage Dinner at 6:30 in Stapleton Lounge. At the dinner students are encouraged to ask questions, and listen to the stories of the Sisters themselves, Zenere said.

Heritage Week will wind down with a S’more Meet and Greet with the Nuns in the Lillie O’Grady Room at 2 p.m. Friday.

Zenere said this event is special because they are taking the event to the nuns. Since so many nuns are unable to leave the convent due to health issues, SAB thought it was important to move an event to a location the nuns could attend.

“After all, they are the reason for the week,” Zenere said.

Zenere and Palmer could not stress enough the importance of the week.

“We are trying to, in a sense, abridge the ignorance of our heritage,” Zenere said. “We have such a rich history that we should be aware of.”

“Saint Mary’s prides itself in forming strong, independent women … without these past strong, independent women, we wouldn’t be where we are now,” Palmer said.