Photos by Saint Mary’s College of California/Steve Babuljak
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> Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga launched its 150th anniversary celebration with a Mass and reception September 15. Hundreds of people attended first event of many for the “Year of the Gael” where Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins spoke of the importance of SMC to the diocese of Oakland.
Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC, Saint Mary’s President, offered a welcome in the native languages of each of the Brothers who arrived at SMC in 1868 to assume leadership of the college. “It is indeed humbling to recognize the many Brothers and partners whose zeal, genius and faith have sustained Saint Mary’s College for 150 years,” he said. “With awe and gratitude, we stand proudly today on their shoulders, both gazing back and into the future, animated by and impelled by the same faith, the same wonder about the world and the same commitment to the Christian education of the young, and especially the poor.”
Festivities throughout the year include Gaelebration, a free public festival and open house in October with carnival rides, campus tours, interactive programs from academic departments, performances, athletic demonstrations and food. Other events include public lectures, performances and a series of symposiums. The Sesquicentennial Gala, a black-tie event, will take place in November to benefit student aid.
As SMC celebrates its 150th, it is also celebrating being honored in the 2013 edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. SMC is the only Catholic college to be included in the list’s history. It applauds the academic and spiritual mission of Saint Mary’s as fundamental to its success with students, noting that “the Lasallian tradition fuels the college’s perspective on teaching and learning: Education is powerful, and it comes with a deep responsibility to improve the world.”
Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, CA, and La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA, are both celebrating their 150th anniversaries as well.