Marywood University has been fulfilling quite a legacy. A legacy of four Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who believed that education should be available to all women, regardless of race, ethnicity, or status. These sisters established the first women’s college in Scranton in 1915 – a time when only privileged women received an education. One-hundred years later, students, teachers, faculty members, and alumni honored a century of the university’s dedication in providing education with a week-long Centennial.
From September 8 to September 12, Marywood University had events to commemorate its 100th anniversary. The celebration kicked off with a Centennial Academic Convocation on September 8. Professors and faculty members dressed in cap and gown marched to the La Sette Verghetta Performing Art Center. Most Reverend James Timlin filled in for Bishop Joseph Bambera to recite the invocation and greetings.
“We gather this morning with joyful and grateful hearts to commemorate 100 years of sacrifice and learning here at Marywood,” he said. “How can we ever estimate or imagine all of the incredible good work that has taken place here? Today, we stand back in awe to all that Marywood has stood for these 100 years in our lives and in the lives of all in this whole community.”
The next speaker was Sister Ellen Maroney IHM, MA, president of the Congregation of the Sisters. She acknowledged the four sisters (Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), who as Maroney put it, ‘dreamed a dream, put their abiding faith in God, and formed leaders, who would seek justice in all of their endeavors.’ The keynote speaker was Evelyn C Minick, who was the librarian of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She was recognized for her turning St. Joseph’s University’s library into an innovative learning center. Her enthusiastic approach inspired Marywood University to have a new learning center called the Learning Commons.
“The Learning Commons will become the place to be and the place to be seen,” Minick said in her Convocation address. “It will truly become the intellectual and social heart of this campus.”
After the Convocation, everybody went to the Motherhouse and Seminary Memorial Garden for the Dedication of the Learning Commons. Sister Anne Munley, IHM, Ph.D. spoke an introductory speech next to the Memorial Garden fountain, which is etched with significant dates of Marywood University. In her speech, she mentioned that the fountain was built in honor of the Congregation of the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She also mentioned that the new name of the garden is Morgan Memorial Garden, named in honor of Margaret Gallagher Morgan, 1927 graduate of Marywood College.
“Every gift has helped us preserve and celebrate our past as we look forward to our future in the second century of excellence,” she said.
Munley thanked construction workers, landscapers, and everyone else who worked tirelessly on the building. Timlin blessed the fountain. Then, Munley and Timlin headed towards the new Learning Commons building for the ribbon-cutting to officially open this new addition.
The first floor of the Learning Commons has new flat-screen computers, a café, and a fountain called Living Waters, which was designed by Sister Cor. It also has an automated storage and retrieval system. This system is a machine, which retrieves books that people order. The purpose of it is to store book collections only using 25% of the floor space. The second floor is like one, big study room with modern furniture, including bright green couches and bean bag chairs. The windows on this floor give a large view of the Morgan Memorial Garden outside the building. The garden has a few metal sculptures, which were gifts from the Class of 1961. One of them is called Three Marywood Generations Josephine, 1921, Josephine, 1943, & John, 1977.
The Learning Commons isn’t the only thing new to campus. The Marywood Center for Communication Arts, located in the Learning Commons, has cutting edge software programs and latest digital equipment for video, audio, and TV broadcast production. The television studio has a state-of-the-art control room. The new radio station, VM-FM, is double the size of the old one. With the animation studio, teachers of animation can teach students to use animation for many things, such as marketing products and ideas and providing knowledge to people with learning disabilities. The Communication Arts center will also be good for collaborative journalism. It will encourage the cross-pollination of ideas among TV broadcasters, radio producers, animators, recording specialists, and print journalists.
On September 12, Marywood University had a fall carnival in the Art Field at Jackson Court, located on campus. The field was filled with fun activities, including inflatables. There was a big, inflatable chair, in which people have been photographed while sitting on it. Sophomores Samantha Adams and Imani Kirkman were in charge of the inflatable races. A mural created by Alexis R. Joyce, Class of 2015, was displayed in the middle of the stands. It was a depiction of Marywood’s Memorial Arch. Many colors of paint were available for people to make thumbprints on the trees of the mural.
The Marywood Board Service Committee was selling 100 unplanted trees in honor of the Marywood’s 100th anniversary.
“I think celebrating 100 years of Marywood is a huge milestone, but it’s just the beginning because there’s so much that Marywood students can accomplish over the next 100 years,” said Michelle Leggat Summers, Class of 2000.
Maxis, the new Pacer mascot, was greeting people with assistance from cheerleaders Allyssa Hanson and cheer captain McKensie Curnow, who are both juniors of Marywood University. Maxis offered people to get photos taken with him.
Face painting, glitter tattoos by Happy Faces, balloons made by Justincredible, caricatures by Caricatures At Your Party, and raffle baskets were also present to help with the celebration. Foods, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and salsa were served under tents.
With the new renovations and continuing drive to educate, Marywood University has the ability to flourish through the next 100 years.
“I think the Centennial is celebrating a great moment of vision,” said Munley. “And continues into our second century of excellence.”