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A view of the Calabria Plaza and its 33-foot, stainless steel flame on a winter evening.
A view of the Calabria Plaza and its 33-foot, stainless steel flame on a winter evening

By Vicki-Ann Downing

The Calabria Plaza, the newest addition to the campus landscape, features a stainless-steel flame that rises 33 feet above the Slavin Center lawn. Illuminated at night, it is a physical representation of the Providence College motto, Veritas — Truth — symbolized by a torch.

The plaza was a gift from Joseph M. Calabria ’65 and his wife, Sugar. They are longtime philanthropic supporters of PC athletics, but this gift has different meaning.

“It’s special,” said Joseph Calabria. “We wanted to do something more to remind people what the College is all about — the search for Veritas.”

The black granite plaza was completed in December. It includes benches for reflection and a polished wall on which are engraved the names of the Dominican saints, the College’s Alma Mater, and the Dominican and College seals. The cornerstones are engraved “1917” and “2017,” the year of the College’s founding and its centennial, to indicate PC’s transition to its second century.

The flame’s height represents the number of years Jesus lived on earth before his crucifixion. Its three tongues of flame represent the Trinity. The back wall is 7 feet high, a significant number throughout Scripture.

The pattern of stones on the plaza base calls to mind the halo of St. Dominic, which the Calabrias learned about from Rev. Richard A. McAlister, O.P., professor emeritus of art, while viewing the work of Very Rev. Thomas McGlynn, O.P. ’77Hon., the late Dominican sculptor whose collection is housed at the College.

Religious symbolism was important to the Calabrias, who wanted the plaza and flame to be symbols for light and truth, the College’s Catholic and Dominican identity.

“It’s a place where students can come to sit and consider truth, to think about why they have been brought here in life, and a spot where alumni can think back on their experiences at PC and consider the value they got from the education here,” said Calabria, who is a member of the PC Board of Trustees.

Joseph M. Calabria '65 and his wife, Sugar, with the flame behind them
Joseph M. Calabria ’65 and his wife, Sugar, with the flame behind them

The Calabrias live in Boulder, Colo., where they own a business, CounterTrade Products, Inc., which sells IT products and services and employs 60 people. Several years ago, during one of their regular visits to PC, the couple realized that while the torch symbol is represented in classrooms and buildings, there was no actual torch on campus.

“We talked about putting a flame up. That’s how it started,” said Calabria. “We considered a three-sided pyramid with a real flame. Then we decided we wanted something more modern, to bring the College into its next century. We moved the inscription from the pyramid to the wall.”

The College asked Stephen Forneris ’90, an architect who designed the Ruane Friar Development Center being built near Alumni Hall, to provide ideas. He produced sketches and created replicas of the proposed flame with a 3D printer.

Forneris’ design was modified by sculptor Brian Hanlon, of Hanlon Sculpture Studios in Toms River, N.J., who also is working on the Ruane Friar Development Center. Hanlon is creating statues of Friar basketball coaches Dave Gavitt ’89Hon. and Joe Mullaney ’65Hon. & ’98Hon. for the center, which will include a basketball practice facility and a new Center for Career Education and Professional Development.

Hanlon selected a foundry in China to manufacture the flame. When complete, it was shipped in three pieces across the Pacific Ocean to Long Beach, Calif., then transported to Providence by truck. The flame was assembled in eight hours on a Saturday in September with the help of two 60-ton cranes, then hoisted onto its base and anchored by 31 bolts. It weighs 18,000 pounds — nine tons — and measures 18 feet at its widest point.

The engraved black granite for the plaza wall was manufactured in China, too. The plaza was designed by SLAM Collaborative, with structural work by Michael Ludvik. The lighting, which includes glass stones at the flame’s base that resemble embers, was by HLB Lighting Design in Boston.

The plaza’s slogan, “The Search for Veritas Begins Here,” is engraved in the wall. It was suggested by Steven R. Napolillo ’98, senior executive associate athletic director for external relations.

“The donors hope the sculpture reminds students about the importance of education and the Dominican pursuit of truth through knowledge,” said Forneris, whose daughter, Sophia Forneris ’18, is a PC student. “I can think of no better time to reinforce this message.”

Cranes were used to hoist the flame onto its base in September. It weighs 18,000 pounds — nine tons — and measures 18 feet at its widest point.
Cranes were used to hoist the flame onto its base in September. It weighs 18,000 pounds — nine tons — and measures 18 feet at its widest point.

Calabria grew up in Reading, Pa., the grandson of Italian immigrants. He first heard about Providence College in 1961 while watching the men’s basketball team win the National Invitational Tournament. After seeing the College mentioned again in a college brochure, he visited campus, liked what he saw, and submitted his application. He majored in physics.

“I wanted to create jobs and own my own business,” said Calabria. “I work now so that I can contribute to causes I believe in. If I didn’t work, I couldn’t do that.”

Throughout his college years, Calabria’s family struggled financially. During his senior year, his father was laid off from his factory job as a needle straightener. It wasn’t an unusual circumstance for a PC student at the time. What kept students in school?

“The Dominicans and their teaching,” Calabria said. “We were all first- and second-generation immigrants and we had no money, but the Dominicans taught us for free. Also, I had a tremendous drive to make it in the world. I came to college to figure out how to create jobs, not to get a job. And while I had low grades and no money, I completed school.”

After graduation, at his mother’s urging, Calabria applied for a job at IBM in his hometown. He didn’t want to accept the position, but his mother told him, “‘Giuseppe! Apple pie, motherhood, the American flag, and IBM — you have to work there!” So he did.

It wasn’t long before Calabria was able to start his own business. From 1977-1983, the family lived in Connecticut, close enough to campus to attend athletics events with their children — one of whom, Sharon Calabria Norwell ’93, chose to attend PC, too.

Calabria is pleased with the finished plaza.

“I really think it’s meant for the campus,” he said.

Sugar Calabria described it as “a dream come true.”

“Whenever I would step on campus, it always felt like I was receiving a big hug,” she said. “Now it’s not just a big hug, it’s a big, warm hug.”

John M. Sweeney, senior vice president of finance and business and chief financial officer, said the plaza “is meant as a place to remember as well as to inspire.”

“The Calabria family wanted to create a dynamic symbol to inspire the Providence College community and honor all of the Dominican friars who have served us,” Sweeney said. “Joe and Sugar have been very generous to Providence College over the years and felt this was a lasting way to recognize the important role the College and the Dominicans have had in their lives.”

Posts from Alumni homepage

A gift from biomedical researcher Robert C. Gallo, M.D. ’59 & ’74Hon., here, and his wife, Mary Jane Gallo, will create a fellowship program in global health for PC students. (Photo courtesy of Institute of Human Virology)
A gift from biomedical researcher Robert C. Gallo, M.D. ’59 & ’74Hon., here, and his wife, Mary Jane Gallo, will create a fellowship program in global health for PC students. (Photo courtesy of Institute of Human Virology)

By Debbie Hazian

Celebrating a career dedicated to improving global health, biomedical researcher Robert C. Gallo, M.D. ’59 & ’74Hon. and his wife, Mary Jane Gallo, have established an endowed fund that will create exciting service-oriented internship opportunities worldwide for Providence College students.

Mary Jane and Robert C. Gallo, M.D. ’59 & ’74Hon. (Photo courtesy of IHV)
Mary Jane and Robert C. Gallo, M.D. ’59 & ’74Hon. (Photo courtesy of IHV)

The leadership gift will create the Gallo Global Health Fellowship Program for annual summer internships for students from multiple academic disciplines in clinical settings in the United States and abroad. The endowment will provide a stipend and cover travel costs and other expenses.

Gallo is the co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. He also is The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine and is the co-founder and director of the Global Virus Network (GVN).

Gallo became world famous in 1984 when he co-discovered HIV as the cause of AIDS, a mysterious disease that was quickly becoming the deadliest in medical history.

Gallo and his team also led the development of the HIV blood test, which enabled health care workers to screen for the AIDS virus for the first time, leading to a more rapid diagnosis while protecting patients receiving blood transfusions. In more than six decades of biomedical research, he has led groundbreaking work in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, herpes, and other diseases.

Prior to the AIDS epidemic, Gallo was the first to identify a human retrovirus and the only known human leukemia virus — HTLV — one of few known viruses shown to cause a human cancer. In 1976, he and his colleagues discovered Interleukin-2, a growth-regulating substance now used as therapy in some cancers and sometimes AIDS. His research has brought him international recognition as well as election into the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

Gallo said he was inspired to make the gift to his alma mater after learning about a proposal for a fellowship program in global health last March when he visited campus to take part in a Centennial Presidential Speaker Series panel discussion.

“This seemed like a very good thing for us to do to help young people … to help stimulate them to help other people in need in the fields of science and medicine. It was one of the most appropriate things for us to be involved with,” he said.

According to Dr. Charles R. Toth, associate professor of biology and department chair, who will also chair the fellowship program, the Gallos’ gift will allow students to have the opportunity to work in clinical locations worldwide, including Institute of Human Virology clinics in Baltimore, Haiti, and several African nations, and will be matched according to their interests.

“Dr. Gallo’s whole life has been dedicated to global health. The fellowships provide an opportunity for students to get excited about improving global health. This places scientific research within the ethical and moral framework of a Providence College education,” said Toth, who expressed his gratitude to the Gallos for making the fellowship program possible.

Dr. Stephen J. Mecca ’64 & ’66G, professor of physics, left, works in his campus S-Lab with Alejandro Ayala ’17. The first student experiences in the Gallo Global Health Fellowship Program will take place this summer in Ghana under Mecca’s direction.
Dr. Stephen J. Mecca ’64 & ’66G, professor of physics, left, works in his campus S-Lab with Alejandro Ayala ’17. The first student experiences in the Gallo Global Health Fellowship Program will take place this summer in Ghana under Mecca’s direction.

The fellowships will begin this summer with a pilot program to Ghana under the direction of Dr. Stephen J. Mecca ’64 & ’66G, professor of physics, who directs the S-Lab where students conduct research on complex problems in water, sanitation, hygiene, and rural education. In addition, Mecca and his colleagues take students to Ghana each year, often helping to deploy interventions developed in the lab. Two or three students are expected to work in community health clinics and at a refuge for people living with AIDS this summer.

The selection process for students and other program details fall under the purview of the Gallo Fellowship Committee. In addition to Toth, members are Dr. Tuba I. Agartan, associate professor of health policy and management; Dr. Nicholas V. Longo ’96, professor of global studies and of public and community service studies; Dr. Terence A. McGoldrick, associate professor of theology; and Mecca.

One aspect of the fellowships that appeals to Gallo is that students from any major can participate.

“It’s nice that this is not just for science majors,” he said. “We need people who can write the laws, social workers, [and] mothers and fathers in a household. We need people from all kinds of fields to fight these diseases.”

“It could be for students in global studies, health policy, public and community service,” added Toth. “The fellowships are designed not just for science students, but to attract students from all over campus.”

The Gallo Fellowships also could help students determine their career path, said Toth and Gallo.

Dr. Gallo, right, speaks at a PC Centennial Presidential Speaker Series panel discussion in March 2017. At left is panelist Paul Farmer, M.D., co-founder of Partners in Health.
Dr. Gallo, right, speaks at a PC Centennial Presidential Speaker Series panel discussion in March 2017. At left is panelist Paul Farmer, M.D., co-founder of Partners in Health.

“This is an additional opportunity to find that spark, that transformative moment that gets them excited about what they want to do,” said Toth.

“The transformative experience is obvious,” Gallo said. He hopes students will “gain an experience that they would not have dreamed of. They will see people with an enormous amount of problems. They will see it firsthand. For some, it will change their career path. For some, it will form their career path. All will have an experience that will stay with them throughout their lives.”

In addition, Toth believes the fellowships will appeal strongly to current and prospective students both because of the opportunity to travel abroad and to serve others.

“We have a unique population of students. They are not just here for an education. They are here to do more. This program allows them to do something important, to give back. This combines something they’re interested in, academic and career-wise, with a service component,” he said.

The fellowships are being launched at an exciting time for science education at PC. The Science Complex is undergoing extensive construction and renovation work in several phases, and the improvements will impact students and faculty in biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, and psychology. A four-story addition to Albertus Magnus Hall is scheduled to open this fall.

The Gallo Global Health Fellowship Program gift was made during the recent Our Moment: The Next Century Campaign for Providence College that raised $185 million.

Posts from Alumni homepage

Panelist Mike Raia '05, left, makes a point during the Veritas and Values program. Listening are, from left, panelists Luanne Santelises '06, Andrew Rodgers '07, and Andrea Rojas '17.
Panelist Mike Raia ’05, left, makes a point during the Veritas and Values program. Listening are, from left, panelists Luanne Santelises ’06, Andrew Rodgers ’07, and Andrea Rojas ’17.

By Debbie Hazian

When U.S. President Donald Trump called for an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, Providence College student Monet Eugene ’20 (Dorchester, Mass.) said she was in complete shock.

“It was a very sad day,” said the daughter of immigrants from Honduras and Dominica of the order issued in early September. “I know people who are terrified. I remember helping my parents through the immigration process and helping my father practice The Pledge of Allegiance.”

While Eugene has experienced firsthand the long road to legal immigration in the U.S., some of her Providence College classmates said they were unaware of the fear and potential consequences their peers will face if Congress does not enact immigration reform by March 5, 2018. Some of the nearly 800,000 “Dreamers” protected by DACA will lose their legal status, leaving them unable to work, drive, or remain in the country legally while facing possible deportation.

Those issues were the topic of an interactive Veritas and Values presentation, “DACA Deconstructed: Alumni Perspectives through Their Everyday Work.” Held at the newly renovated The Center for Moore Hall, the program was sponsored by the PC National Alumni Association and hosted by the Student Alumni Association. The panel focused on how the careers of the participating alumni are affected by DACA and the PC experiences that influenced their current career path.

The panelists included Mike Raia ’05, communications director for the Office of the Rhode Island Governor; Andrew Rodgers ’07, associate attorney at Green & Spiegel, an immigration law firm in Providence; Andrea Rojas ’17, citizenship and immigration caseworker at Dorcas International of Rhode Island; and Luanne Santelises ’06, attorney and founder of Santelises Law Firm in Providence, which focuses on all areas of immigration law and procedure.

Sarah Trayers ’17, a graduate assistant at PC who co-founded the Providence Immigrant Rights Coalition and served as its president, was moderator.

DACA was established by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to allow some immigrants who entered the U.S. as children to receive deferred action from deportation for two years. Since President Trump announced plans to end the program, Congress is charged with creating immigration reform policy before the March deadline.

Panelist Andrea Rojas ’17 listens to an audience member.
Panelist Andrea Rojas ’17 listens to an audience member.

President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80 underscored the College’s support for the continuation of DACA in a letter to the College community in September. He wrote “… we stand in solidarity with all the immigrant and international members of our community, documented or not. Our advocacy flows from the fact that the moral obligation to protect the dignity and life of every human person lies at the heart of Catholic social teaching.’’

Students were urged by forum panelists to support those affected by DACA. According to Santelises, who helps clients navigate the complex immigration process, many fear deportation. She urged the approximately 100 students in the audience to become activists.

“Call your congressman, write to your congressman, be vocal. Get out there and let your congressman know you want this to stay. These young individuals deserve legal status,” said Santelises.

Rodgers, whose practice is focused on representing small businesses, startups, and investors, said he is receiving more calls from individuals about DACA, which means he needs to watch immigration policy very closely.

“The current administration’s efforts have made immigration more difficult,” said Rodgers. “We always have to keep up to date. It’s made our jobs busier, and we have to reach out to the community more.”

Raia called for immediate immigration reform.

“There is no word for this other than ‘cruel’,” he said. “These are Americans. They grew up here, they went to school here, and this is the only home they have ever known.”

Rojas, who came to the U.S. from Guatemala when she was 4 years old, is working toward becoming a Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representative by November 2018. She said the undocumented immigrant population doesn’t feel welcome and mistrusts the political process. She urged PC students to go to rallies to increase support and “to show the undocumented population that they are safe here. We grew up feeling part of a community. Make people feel welcome.”

When panelists were asked how to help, Rojas said that when Rhode Island made in-state tuition available for undocumented immigrants “it was a huge win.” She called for more services for students during and after their college years.

 Panelist Mike Raia ’05 speaks with Rachel Laravie ’18, left, and Amy Gilligan ’18 after the program.
Panelist Mike Raia ’05 speaks with Rachel Laravie ’18, left, and Amy Gilligan ’18 after the program.

Rodgers agreed that colleges can provide a range of support on campus “to make these folks feel more welcome. There is power in numbers. We can provide legal and emotional support so these folks are not feeling beaten down by the system and that they have no support.”

Raia spoke of the Rhode Island Promise Program, which provides free tuition for Rhode Island residents at the Community College of Rhode Island. “It makes the difference between an upwardly mobile job and earning minimum wage,” he said.

When asked how PC shaped their career paths, the panelists said their studies and the people they met formed who they are today. For Rojas, it was her majors in global studies and sociology and the conversations she had in class that stuck with her.

Santelises always knew she wanted to be an advocate and help others.

“PC is grounded in Catholic values,” she said. “It reminded me of social justice, of being a voice for the voiceless. I realized I had to do something to help my community. Being an immigration attorney was the best place to put my abilities to use.”

“I think the panel went very well,” said Connor Ayers ’18 (Holbrook, N.Y.), president of the SAA. “I hadn’t really researched the topic, but now that I see what could happen and how people are being affected, we need to give them our support.”

“I didn’t fully understand DACA, and I hope the people here tonight also learned more,” said Samantha Keating ’18 (Wayland, Mass.), SAA vice president. “I’m very grateful to these alumni for being here to talk about it.”

Veritas and Values, launched in 2015, offers programming that facilitates interaction between alumni and students.

Posts from Alumni News

New Student Orientation leaders race into the Peterson Recreation Center for a T-shirt toss during the Forever a Friar program for the Class of 2021 on move-in day in August. Started in 2012, the program welcomes first-year students to the Friar family and encourages them to become involved in the life of the College, take advantage of the alumni network, and develop a commitment to giving back.

Posts from Alumni News

Keasel Broome '14
Keasel Broome ’14

Showcase a day in your life with an InstaFriar takeover (prov.ly/instafriar) and join alumni like Maggie Cadigan ’11, an ad agency brand manager, and Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer goalie Keasel Broome ’14. Contact Marie Flego ’14 & ’16G in Alumni Relations at mflego@providence.edu.

Posts from Alumni News

• Wizarding World of Harry Potter in London
APRIL 14–21, 2018
A perfect trip for PC families during April vacation, this excursion includes behind-the-scenes Harry Potter tours and a reception with local alumni and students.

• La Belle France River Cruise
OCT. 24–NOV. 1, 2018
Travel down the Seine on the luxurious Lueftner Cruise ship on a unique excursion hosted by Jim Hagan ’58 and Joe Brum ’68.

Early bird pricing available. Learn more about these trips.

Posts from Alumni News

Kerry Smith '17
Kerry Smith ’17

Welcome to the following graduates who are serving as ambassadors for the Class of 2017. Ambassadors build excitement, create opportunities for engagement, and bring awareness about the events, news, and programs at PC to their classmates.

• Gretchen Barrett ’17
• Andrew Konnerth ’17
• Patrick Rogers ’17
• Nicholas Sailor ’17
• Kerry Smith ’17
• Nicole Vaughan ’17

Posts from Alumni News

Graduates from the Class of 1987 swing to the music of Tavares at the Dancing Through the Decades event as part of the centennial celebration during Reunion Weekend 2017. From left are Deirdre Dowd ’87, Marybeth Noonan ’87, Karen Kenney ’87, and Kathy Hussey O’Brien ’87.
Graduates from the Class of 1987 swing to the music of Tavares at the Dancing Through the Decades event as part of the centennial celebration during Reunion Weekend 2017. From left are Deirdre Dowd ’87, Marybeth Noonan ’87, Karen Kenney ’87, and Kathy Hussey O’Brien ’87.

Reunion Weekend 2017, for classes ending in 2 and 7, drew 2,067 alumni, family members, and friends to campus for three days of reminiscing, renewing ties, and Friar fun.

Events included the traditional Golden Friars Mass and the all-classes barbecue, as well as a couple of new tweaks — a spiritual retreat and a guided tour of the statues and monuments on campus. Fourteen graduates were honored with awards presented by the National Alumni Association.

2017 National Alumni Association Awards Recipients

John T. Mitchell ’67, who received a Faithful Friar Award from the National Alumni Association, relaxes at the Golden Friars Dinner with his daughter, Margaret Mitchell Moore ’94, left, and his wife, Sara Mitchell.
John T. Mitchell ’67, who received a Faithful Friar Award from the National Alumni Association, relaxes at the Golden Friars Dinner with his daughter, Margaret Mitchell Moore ’94, left, and his wife, Sara Mitchell.

FAITHFUL FRIAR AWARD
John T. Mitchell ’67 & ’94P
Paul F. Whalen ’72

PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Capt. Robert F. DiPalma, USN (Ret.) ’57
Thomas J. Gilligan ’57 & ’89P
William John Kenneally ’57
Ronald P. Stride ’62
Melissa J. Brymer, Ph.D., Psy.D. ’92

EXEMPLARY CITIZENSHIP AWARD
John M. Minicucci ’67

BISHOP HARKINS AWARD
Peter M. Gilligan ’67

SERVICE TO EDUCATION AWARD
Edward J. McElroy ’62, ’87P, & ’94P

SERVICE TO ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AWARD
Michael McKeldon Woody ’77 & ’83G
Kathleen Walsh Wynters ’82
John A. Cervione ’87

REV. PHILIP A. SMITH, O.P. AWARD
Michael Verzino ’07 & ’11G

MORE REUNION PHOTOS: prov.ly/reunion-2017-photos

Posts from Alumni News

Karen Monti Flynn ’80 & ’15P serves pizza at the reception area for new students and their families on move-in day in August.
Karen Monti Flynn ’80 & ’15P serves pizza at the reception area for new students and their families on move-in day in August.

Providence College was the only college Karen Monti Flynn ’80 & ’15P ever wanted to attend and the only college to which she applied. Her “Friar high” has never waned in her four decades-plus association with PC.

“If they need me, they call me. I am happy to help the College as an alumna,” says Flynn, who began a one-year term as president of the National Alumni Association Council on July 1, 2017.

An accountancy major at PC, she seemingly has served her alma mater in every conceivable way since graduating. Flynn has scaled the NAA Council ladder, progressing from secretary,  treasurer, vice president, and now, the leader of the 56,000-strong alumni association.

She volunteered annually for years in class phonathons, served as a class agent and co-chair of her class’s Reunion Committee, and is a season ticketholder for men’s basketball and ice hockey. It’s no surprise she received the NAA’s Service to the Alumni Association Award in 2015.

Flynn’s daily modus operandi — instilled at PC — of “giving my best in all that I do,” is clearly reflected in her professional life as well. A senior loan officer at Homestar Mortgage, Inc. in Providence, she is an astute business manager with extensive financial expertise in multiple areas, including residential mortgage lending, loan origination, profit and loss forecasting, and merger integration. For the past seven years, she has been the recipient of the Five Star Mortgage Professional award, an honor earned by only 3 percent of the mortgage professionals in the U.S.

During the course of a 35-year career in the banking and financial services industries, she has served a half-dozen institutions, several as a senior executive. Most recently, she was a vice president and senior vice president with Centreville Savings Bank and also served in those roles during a 17-year term with the Fleet Boston Financial Group, now Bank of America.

Derek Alfama, assistant women’s ice hockey coach, greets Karen Monti Flynn ’80 & ’15P on move-in day.
Derek Alfama, assistant women’s ice hockey coach, greets Karen Monti Flynn ’80 & ’15P on move-in day.

Flynn and her husband, Kevin J. Flynn, live in North Kingstown, R.I., and are the parents of Christian M. Flynn ’15.

Learn more about Flynn and her overwhelming enthusiasm for Friartown:

What brought you to PC?

To be the first female in my family to graduate from Providence College! Many uncles on both my mother’s and father’s sides of the family graduated from PC, and at the time, PC was an all- male school. The minute that changed to allowing women … PC was my first choice. PC was my only choice! I applied early decision and was accepted. I truly have no idea where I would have attended college if I was not accepted to PC. Since I graduated, many cousins continue to keep the legacy alive, as well as my son, Christian, who graduated in 2015.

Your son attended PC, graduating in 2015. How was his experience different from yours, in the late 1970s? How was it the same?

Different: Many more academic options and extra-curricular activities are available to undergraduate and graduate students today vs. back in the late ’70s. Not to mention the amazing facilities and many intramural sports programs: Concannon Fitness Center, Ruane Center for the Humanities, School of Business. There is something for everyone at PC.

Same: PC continues to teach the same Dominican values to its students, whether it was when I was an undergraduate or during my son’s years at PC. PC teaches a life to be filled with meaning and purpose, which at the end of the day is what is truly important. Both my son and I have lifelong friendships with fellow classmates … and when the Ladies of ’80 get together, it is like we were undergraduates all over again. Much joy and laughter occurs when we are together!

You studied accountancy at PC. Did you have Gus Coté in Harkins Hall? What do you think of the new business school?

Yes, I did have Gus Coté as a professor for a year of taxes; loved every minute of the class and his teachings. The Arthur and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies is remarkable with its unique classrooms, state-of-the-art technology, and its unique way of fostering learning in its environment. I truly would have enjoyed all of my accountancy and business classes at the School of Business! Laptops, smartboards, graphics today … just pens and notebooks in my day!

What’s the most important way that any PC alum can give back to the College?

Come back to the college, see the transformation, and know that without alums who have donated their time, talent, and treasure, PC would not be the special college it is today!  Alums can also give back by networking with students. It means so much to the student; it most definitely will have a positive impact on the student but also the alum! The students at PC are intelligent, confident, and ready for an opportunity. How exciting it is to meet them and try to help them as they embark on the next journey in their lives!

You never know how much of an impact a cup of coffee or a conversation with a student or an alum who is interested in a career change will do for you and them. It’s the life of meaning and purpose brought to its forefront.

Bottom line:  Return to PC, attend an alumni event in one’s hometown, meet the undergraduates … and enjoy the memories you will make then and now!

What one principle that you acquired at PC do you live by today?

I try to give my best in all that I do. PC taught me that you can achieve all that you wish to do; there isn’t anything you can’t do. You can take risks — it is part of life. For every disappointment comes joy. Most importantly, having family and friends to share in your successes and failures makes me who I am. I am proud to be a Friar. PC is my second home. I am so grateful for having graduated from this wonderful academic institution. I LOVE PC! Go Friars!

Posts from Alumni News

By Vicki-Ann Downing

Twenty-four stained-glass windows, depicting 18 significant individuals in the history of Western civilizaton and six academic disciplines, were installed during the summer in the Fiondella Great Room of the Ruane Center for the Humanities.

The windows were designed by Sylvia Nicolas ’01Hon., a fourth-generation, master stained-glass artist from Mont Vernon, N.H., whose art and sculptural works grace St. Dominic Chapel.

Arranged in chronological order, the windows depict Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Augustine, Catherine of Siena, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Mozart, Jane Austen, Darwin, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Nicolas included, as a distinction for each of the 18 figures, an image related to their philosophy or occupation.

Academic disciplines represented in six smaller windows are theology, music, literature, science, philosophy, and history. Nicolas’s son, Diego Semprun Nicolas, a fifth-generation Nicolas family stained-glass artist, traveled from Holland to assist her with them.

The windows were made possible by a gift from Michael J. Joyce ’84, a member of the PC Board of Trustees, and his wife, Jane (Aries) Joyce ’89.

In making the gift, the Joyces sought to honor their daughter, Caroline, who has Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder, and to give her a place in the College’s history.

“Caroline can’t talk, but she is very aware of everything going on around her, and she enjoys nature and being out in the world,” Jane Joyce said.

Nicolas chose to incorporate Caroline’s initials, C.M.J., in the Jane Austen window, which seemed to be the perfect setting, she said. While Austen was bound and limited by the society in which she lived, she was always watching and observing the world around her.

The initials “C.M.J.” in the Jane Austen window honor the daughter of Michael J. Joyce ’84 and Jane (Aries) Joyce ’89, whose gift made the windows possible.

The Joyces will see the windows during a visit to campus in the fall.

“We have seen photos, and they look amazing,” Jane Joyce said. “The Ruanes have done so much to make that beautiful building possible. This was a small way we could help finish it off.”

The Ruane Center for the Humanities was built with a lead gift from Michael A. Ruane ’71 & ’13Hon., an emeritus trustee, and his wife, Elizabeth. It opened in 2013 as home to the College’s Development of Western Civilization Program, Liberal Arts Honors Program, and English and history departments. In 2016, the Fiondella Great Room was dedicated with a gift from Robert J. Fiondella ’64 & ’16Hon. and his wife, Carolyn, in memory of Fiondella’s father, Sisto William “Bill” Fiondella.

Incorporating stained-glass windows in the Fiondella Great Room had been discussed since the room was designed, according to Gerald J. Sullivan ’86, one of the project architects. Because it is a humanities building, it also seemed fitting to depict significant figures from history, along with academic disciplines, in the stained glass.

A committee suggested names and College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80 made the final selections.

“The panels celebrate some of the most creative people in human history, from literature to theology, philosophy, science, and the arts,” Father Shanley said. “One decision I made was to place Jane Austen in the array, because I think she is one of our greatest novelists.”

Once the names were chosen, they were given to Nicolas to begin the design. She presented the sketches to Father Shanley for approval in August 2015.

“Sylvia read deeply on each of the 18 figures,” said Rev. Kevin D. Robb, O.P. ’71, College associate treasurer, who shepherded the project from its initial stages to its completion. “She researched every individual extensively before beginning any sketches.”