Heritage Dinner celebrates SMC
Kelly Konya | Wednesday, February 4, 2015
The Heritage Dinner brought together Saint Mary’s students, faculty and alumnae to share in food and friendship in Stapleton Lounge of Le Mans Hall on Wednesday evening.
Sarah Prezek, senior and student government association (SGA) mission chair, said the event is one of the best-loved traditions of Heritage Week at Saint Mary’s.
“This is the most formal event of the week, where students have the chance to attend a nicer meal than the average dining hall dinner and to meet other members of the Saint Mary’s community who share in the College’s sisterhood,” Prezek said.
The dinner featured various members of the Saint Mary’s community as “special guests,” among Assistant Director of Alumnae Relations Shay Jolly, Director of Campus Ministry Judy Fean, Vice President for Enrollment Management Mona Bowe and Assistant Director of Phonathon Kelly Courington, Prezek said.
Also on the guest-list were a number of sisters from the Congregation of Holy Cross, including professor of English Sr. Eva Hooker and Sr. Veronique Wiedower, current president of the Congregation, who delivered the keynote address, Prezek said.
After a three-course meal, Sr. Wiedower gave a presentation called “Belles Then and Now” on the history of the College. Prezek said the presentation included a slideshow of photos from past students and places on campus that have changed drastically through the years.
Senior Madison Maidment said this was her favorite part of the event, as she learned more about the College than she knew before.
“My favorite picture shown during Sister’s presentation was of an equestrian competition in front of Le Mans Hall,” Maidment said. “Sister said the green field in front of the building that we know as ‘alumnae green’ used to be used for horseback-riding by the students back in the day.”
After the presentation, students mingled with other guests and were encouraged to share in their “Saint Mary’s heritage” from the “past, present and into the future,” Prezek said.
“I think one of the most successful parts of the dinner was that students were able to just sit with sisters at their tables and get to know them,” Prezek said. “It’s so important for current students to realize how much the sisters do and have done for the College through the years, and having that solidarity with them is one of the best parts of attending Saint Mary’s.”
Senior Nora Clougherty said she was also thankful for the opportunity to socialize with the sisters.
“I loved getting the chance to talk to some of the sisters because they are such wonderful women,” Clougherty said. “Sharing stories with them was so great, and the presentation of ‘Belles Then and Now’ was awesome to see how much Saint Mary’s has grown and to see how much it still remains the same.”
There more events scheduled this week will further showcase Saint Mary’s heritage and traditions. A poetry reading is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. in Cushwa-Leighton Library, where Prezek said students and professors will read poems that address the theme of Saint Mary’s. Some poems date as far back as 1892 from the College’s earliest publications, she said.
At 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday, there will be tours of the Heritage Room in the convent.
“The tour is a great way for students to learn more about the sisters – the people who founded the College and made it into the place it is today,” Prezek said.
The week’s events conclude Friday with a trivia game during lunch in Noble Family Dining Hall, where students can win a variety of prizes based on heritage and history questions about Saint Mary’s.