Celtic Cross Restored After Decades Missing

Ellen Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief

A new school year brings a new symbolic figure to campus a symbol that had been missing for decades.

A new Celtic cross once again rests in its place on top of the historic archway at the entrance to upper campus. Officials say the cross disappeared between 1960 and 1980. Some believe it was re- moved due to weather damage or it may have fallen during a storm. The Highlander first reported the missing icon in an article last November, “No Sign of the Cross on Arch.” In March, an article was published noting a donation that was made to fund the restoration of the missing cross, “Donation Leads to Arch, Cross Repair.”

Jim Roberts, Director of Marketing and Communications, said the restoration had been discussed by officials since 2007, but the project was on standby due to lack of funds.

Donations were made by an anonymous donor and Speech- Language Pathology grad student Michelle Bruno and her family.

The Bruno family said they left the decision as to where their donation would go up to their daughter, according to an article in Misericordia Today. She chose the cross restoration because she wanted the school’s charisms and community values to be reflected in this symbol. “Now we are made whole again,” she said.

The new cross was constructed by a team from Masonry Preser- vation Services, Baut Studios of Swoyersville and university offi- cials. The $14,500 project included the design, manufacturing and installation of the cross.

Peter Calkins, the university’s project manager in the facilities planning, design and construction department, coordinated the construction work with the team on the details of the cross, and he had details of the cross reviewed by the university’s image committee prior to its completion.

The masonry team restored the cross for the university, something they have done numerous times in the past.

“They do a lot of custom work. They have done a lot of church work and monumental type buildings. This isn’t a building, but it’s a very custom structure. It’s their forte. They specialize in this sort of thing,” Calkins said.

Workers placed the symbolic figure on the arch’s left turret May 9, in time for 2013 commencement ceremony. There will be a ceremony to dedicate the piece during the 2013-2014 academic year on a date to be announced.

The cross, an icon of the University, became part of the school’s logo when College Misericordia became Misericordia University.

“Once we put it [the cross] on the logo and made the conscious choice to do that, as cited in the original November story from The Highlander, we kind of turned that responsibility over to others, facilities, maintenance, administration to determine, is the funding available? What’s the right approach to restore that cross from whenever it was lost?” Roberts said.

But some students didn’t know it was replaced, let alone that it was ever missing at all.

Junior Alexa Cholewa was unaware of any problem with the University’s symbol and logo, but she is pleased to see the cross back in its original location.

“Well, since its been missing for so long, it’s not necessarily important to me. However, I do feel that it’s a symbol of our University, and it’s about time that its been replaced,” she said.

Cholewa agrees that the archway with the cross is a symbol of the University. Her mother attended the institution when it was known as College Misericordia and even her mom feels strongly about the new logo and wondered why it was missing for so long.

“The arch is an icon for more than the people who are here now. My mom went to school here years ago and she knows how important it is.”

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