by Therese Porod Staff Writer
On March 2, 1887, the Benedictine monks of St. Procopius Abbey founded Benedictine University. In 2012, the University will celebrate its 125th Anniversary and have the chance to remember their heritage and history.
“I think just celebrating our heritage is important and is something that I think we do every day as Benedictines and as a part of this community,” said Mercy Robb, executive director of marketing and communications. “Recognizing the founders and the values that were established is something that we continue to embrace in the community, especially with the values.”
In late January and early February, there will be a special edition of the Voices magazine, with a feature on the Anniversary. According to Robb, on Mon., March 5, Founder’s Day will be celebrated. There is usually a speaker and afternoon presentation for the faculty and staff. The office of personal resources organizes this event. There is a plan to break the ground on the farmhouse, which is the oldest building on campus to create a new alumni center.
There is a special logo for the 125th Anniversary, which will be used on all materials throughout the year of 2012. Currently, there is a stewardship development fund and special gift campaign for donors. Robb explained that If donors give a certain amount of money, they will receive a blanket, with IBC, St. Procopius, Benedictine and the 125th Anniversary logos.
The majority of regular activities that are organized by certain departments will have additional components for celebration. Student Life and other students groups have been brainstorming new ideas for activities and events they will be organizing. The library is also having some special exhibits, including pictures from Benedictine’s history to demonstrate the University through the years.
“When I think of Benedictine University’s upcoming 125th Anniversary, this celebration means a lot for our community: it is a time to honor the rich traditions of our past, celebrate our amazing present in that we have achieved so much and a moment to look forward to the future, a future where we are the example of excellence in education and social leadership,” added Kavita Anthanikar, president of the alumni board of directors.
Robb also said that, “we are the current founders. The decisions we make and the works that we do has an impact on how this institution will be moving forward.” She believes that the Anniversary celebrations will “help people understand and see their role and value they bring to this institution, whether they are faculty, staff, or student.”
“I am most excited about painting the town ‘red’! There are so many fun-filled events planned, that we will be celebrating all year. For me, it will be wonderful to see everyone come together to celebrate the institution that helped shape the person I am today,” said Anthanikar.