October is the month of leaves, jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin spice everything. We hear the crunch of the leaves under our boots as we walk under the trees, from building to building, worrying about school work and the cold winter ahead. We know these buildings like the back of our hands, but imagine a time when they weren’t here. First of all, we would never be able to discover school history if it weren’t for Sister Mary Carmel MacGarigle, to whom, on Oct. 6 1997, the Board Of Trustees dedicated the archives. The archives are officially named “The Sister Mary Carmel MacGarigle Archives.”
Here are some memories, courtesy of Sister MacGarigle. I’m sure when you walk by by the softball field, you see the statue that stands tall. In 1953 all of the statues in Rosery Grove were blessed, but today, only that main statue remains standing. A few years later, in 1958, you would have been excited about the announcement of a new music building, Regina Hall. It would house studios, practice rooms, classrooms, a recital hall, and even a music hall. In 1970, you would imagine walking from the music hall to your brand new dorm, which was announced Oct. 1. Any guess which dorm this is? It’s Mchale Hall, which was able to accommodate 68 girls per floor. (Remember, Mis was still an all girls school at this time). The new dorm, which housed 204 students total, had study rooms, kitchenettes and a smoking lounge. Yes, a smoking lounge. Imagine being able to smoke in your dorm and having a place where you could light up. This is an interesting fact to bring up just a week after a campus email informed students of new smoking restrictions.
It’s crazy how things change in almost 50 years, and one of the biggest changes, at least to students of yore, is the prom. Yes, the school hosted a missions prom each year. In 1958, the theme was “Fall Frolic.” You’ll never guess the price of the tickets. $3.90 each. That’s one way to save a pretty penny.
The world itself was different too, but as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Recent national protests against racial injustice, women’s rights and more call to mind the most protested war of all time – The Vietnam War. Students traveled to support a national Vietnam Moratorium at Kings College Oct. 15, 1969. Students listened as the names of all Pennsylvania residents who had been killed in the war were read from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Most of those names were men our age.
The deceased were remembered on campus, too. The university newspaper, once named “Miss Recordia” (see what I did there?), included the obituaries of former students. You can flip through many of our older newspapers and see small death announcements for former students. That is a very strange concept because you would not likely find obituaries in school papers now. The paper printed engagement announcements, too. Often, the first newspaper after break contained the names of students who got engaged during the days off. Each announcement included the name of the student’s fiancee and the school he attended.
Oh, how the times have changed! So put down your pumpkin spice lattes, ladies and gents, and start typing up those engagement announcements because according to that timeline, most of us are a little behind!