They say Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was the College of St. Scholastica. And its Centennial won’t be celebrated in a day either—actually it will take over a year to celebrate.
The academic year 2011/2012 will celebrate the College of St. Scholastica’s 100-year anniversary.
Centennial plans are underway. The planning for this celebration began about a year ago, said Bob Ashenmacher, the executive director of the Marketing, Communications, and Media Relations department. The major celebrations will be scheduled sporadically throughout the year.
The official kick-off for the celebration is scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 28-30, 2012. However, the college plans to begin celebrating at a President’s Dinner in June of 2011 and conclude with Homecoming in the fall of 2012. The campus will be bringing several well-known speakers, whom are still being determined, and will be incorporating the “centennial” theme in all of the existing events.
“There are a lot of things in the works right now,” said MollyAnn Dekich, a student working for the College Communications department.
St. Scholastica is establishing “A Century of Saints,” to which 100 people will be nominated for their contributions in creating what the college is today. The list of Saints will be named on the centennial honor roll for the college. As of now, there are about five stories have been completed about select alumni who have impacted the college.
The centennial committee is also creating the College’s Centennial Cookbook. Contributions of recipes along with anecdotes or stories are welcomed and encouraged. “So far about 400 recipes have been collected for the cookbook,” Dekich said. The college plans to give the proceeds from the cookbook to the local food shelf, Ashenmacher said.
There is also a possibility of creating a coffee-table book, which will be an illustrated book that will display pictures from the archives and facts about St. Scholastica’s history. Everything is still tentative and “there is mostly just planning going on right now,” said Dekich.
Currently, the logo for the centennial is the top of Tower with a large “100” below it. Artwork, a sculpture, painting or some kind of landmark, is planned to be placed outside or in the new edition of the science building.
“The Science Initiative is a fundraising drive in support of an expansion to the current Science Center, which was built over 40 years ago to serve 800 students,” according to the St. Scholastica website. “It now serves 3 times that number, and is in need of updated laboratory and classroom space.”
The new science addition will open in March 2012 based on the plans by the same architectural firm that helped build Tower, Ellerbe Becket.
The science building expansion is “fortunate timing,” said President Goodwin. The need for an expansion has arisen due to modernizing and the need for more room for the increasing student population science majors such as nursing and physical therapy. The opening of the science building expansion is predicted to be a highlight of the year’s celebrations.
Click here to view a video of an architect's rendering of what the proposed Science Building expansion will look like once completed!
As of now, all events and celebrations are tentative. The Centennial Steering Committee will be meeting in November to advance all the ideas that each sub-committee has come up with and determine if they can pull them off for the celebration.
Because the students are gone during the alumni reunions in June, those reunions are more for alumni. Additionally, because the alumni aren’t usually at the campus throughout the school year, Homecoming is more for the current students. The centennial celebrations will have numerous opportunities—from the past, present, and future—to honor each other, said Heidi Johnson, a member of a committee for the centennial.
All of these festivities and events will celebrate 100 years of a college that had very humble beginnings.
In the year 1900, the Benedictine Sisters purchased a farm in Kenwood hoping it would someday be the site for their school. The property was known as the Daisy Farm.
In August of 1909, the first wing of the school was completed and the institution was called Villa Sancta Scholastica. The original plan for the building had only three stories and included only one tower. The plans changed evidently and today Tower Hall has four stories with two towers.
In 1912 it became a junior college and officially opened on September 10 with six young women enrolled. Twelve years later, Villa Sancta St. Scholastica became a four-year college. The school officially became co-educational in the 1969-70 academic year.
Click here to view video depicting the historical development of the college.
With the recent addition of the football team, population of young men increased dramatically. The college has grown tremendously physically in the expansions of buildings as well as student populations.
With around 14,000 alumni, “it’s a good time for them to come back during centennial celebrations,” said Ann Elliott, centennial coordinator. She has been hired since this summer and will work through 2012 in order to help plan the 100-year celebrations.
The theme for the centennial celebration is one of the Benedictine values, since St. Scholastica was founded by the Benedictine sisters. The celebration hopes to instill and preserve “for the love of learning” value. As a Benedictine college, “the goal is to have not only graduate students who have learned, but to graduate students who have fallen in love with learning,” said President Goodwin, the College of St. Scholastica’s president.
While the sisters are the sponsors of the college and it is an independent college, they still have an active role today both academically and culturally. “A lot has changed since I first came to campus in 1937, but not everything! The support of loyal alumni and friends of the College has been important since my own student days,” said Sister Timothy Kirby class of ’39. “And the sense of community I experienced then is still very much part of our tradition.”
The 100 years will be celebrated by not only the college community but also the local Duluth community. “The centennial provides opportunity for the college community to celebrate but also for the larger Duluth community to reflect on the impact the college has on that community and the future direction it will take,” said the president of the college, Larry Goodwin.
Since the centennial only occurs once, it’s a great opportunity to honor the sisters, said Elliott. “We are so fortunate to live with all the people who made this place into what it is today.”
“The main focus is to represent the past, honor the traditions of the school, unite alumns, and pave the way for another great 100 years,” said Dekich.