Mysterious Relic Uncovered During Construction

Falon Nonnemacher, Reporter

A stone tablet rescued from an campus construction site over the summer has been reunited with its historic roots.

Bob Zavada, Director of Campus Safety and Security, removed the relic from the dirty site.

“We had always noticed that there was a monument next to the flagpole, and it was in pretty bad shape, but you could still tell that it meant something. So when it came time to change out the flagpole, I wanted to ensure that we didn’t just lose that monument somewhere,” said Zavada.

The monument is several feet tall, aged, weathered, and cracked. The year “1924,” the original school seal, American Legion post numbers, and several names are engraved into the stone.

“I was intrigued by the words engraved on it,” Zavada said. There are some names you can make out, and the date and the American Legion posts, and I’m sure it has something to do with the actual original raising of the flagpole.”

The engraved date and American Legion post number meant more to Zavada than just their historical significance.

“I’m involved with the American Legion, and a lot of our guys in the Campus Safety Department are veterans. I’m interested in trying to pull up the American Legion post numbers and see if we can maybe find the sponsors and donors,” said Zavada.

Zavada reached out to colleagues for information, hoping to place the relic in an appropriate location.

Zavada discovered a photograph of the tablet. It captured a small group of female students from the class of 1928 on the day of their graduation. The students pose in front of the original flag staff, the monument – a small, white blur – leans at the base.

Zavada said he had a difficult time locating any other information about the monument, and Archivist Maureen Cech rose to the challenge.

Cech sorted through old newspapers, photographs, and records in search of the stone tablet. Cech discovered an article published September  1924 by The Dallas Post.

The article describes the first formal flag raising ceremony, which occurred on the day of the opening and dedication of College Misericordia.

Misericordia’s first flag was unfolded and raised by an escort of Navy and Marine veterans. Officers of the American Legion Post 132, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, nuns, and civilians gathered in front of the Administration Building at the base of the flag staff.

The American Legion of Dallas donated the first flagpole and flag.

“The tablet was laid at the base of the original flag pole to mark the opening and dedication of the College in 1924 and acknowledged those who contributed to the purchase of the flag pole staff,” said Cech.

The stone tablet, until the construction last summer, had leaned at the base of the campus flag pole since dedication day in 1924, according to Cech.

“It’s a connection from our outside community, the military, to when the College Misericordia first started back in 1924,” said Zavada.

Zavada and Cech continue to work to find an appropriate location for the relic.