Emmanuel Celebrates Founders’ Week, 90th Anniversary
February 10, 2010
Watch "Emmanuel College: 90 Years of Mission," presented by Sr. Susan Thornell, SND
The Emmanuel community gathered in the Janet M. Daley Library Lecture Hall on February 4th to celebrate Founders' Day with a special presentation by Director of Academic Advising Sister Susan Thornell, SND. The presentation, entitled "Emmanuel College: 90 Years of Mission," was one of many events offered as part of Founders' Week, sponsored by the Center for Mission and Spirituality. The weeklong celebration reflected on the founding of the Sisters of Notre Dame as well as Emmanuel's 90th anniversary, with prayer services, speakers and films emphasizing the mission and vision of the College.
Sr. Susan's remarks were accompanied by photographs of Emmanuel through the years. The slideshow paid tribute to the very foundation of the College, dating back to the initial purchase of the land and the opening of Emmanuel in 1919 by Sr. Helen Madeleine Ingraham, SND. The presentation emphasized the consistency of the College's mission throughout its 90 years.
"We've come a long way, but we haven't forgotten our roots," said Sr. Susan.
Following Sr. Susan's presentation, Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies/Director of the Center for Mission and Spirituality Sister Mary Johnson, SND led a panel discussion featuring Emmanuel community members who shared their own perspectives on the College's mission. The panel included: Michael St. Clair, professor of psychology; Amanda Donegan '10, student government association president; and Jennifer Puccetti '89, director of academic administration at Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine.
"Emmanuel's mission is not just a button that you click on the web site and read," said Puccetti. "The mission is really about faith, service, education and working together as a community towards these goals."
"When I first visited Emmanuel, I was drawn to the sense of community I felt just by watching the students interact," said Donegan. "What kept me here was the fact that that initial feeling of community that I found on my first visit was so true to life."
St. Clair recognized the mission of the College from a different point-of-view, that of a professor.
"To me, education is a vocation, it's a calling," he said. "The classroom is a holy space and the mission of Emmanuel is really what happens in the classroom."
Other notable events during Founders' Week included a presentation by Sister Peggy Cummins, SND, volunteer coordinator of the Notre Dame Education Center in South Boston, titled "The End of Human-Trafficking, the Modern-Day Slave Trade: A Chapter Call of the Sisters of Notre Dame." The week also featured a showing of the award-winning documentary "They Killed Sister Dorothy," directed by Daniel Junge and narrated by Martin Sheen about the life and murder of Sister Dorothy Stang, SND and her work on behalf of the indigenous people of Brazil and the Amazon rainforest. The film was among 15 documentaries in consideration for an Academy Award nomination.
Founders' Week also included a dinner with Kristen Impastato '08, Boston-area site director for Notre Dame Mission Volunteers-AmeriCorps, who gave students a first-hand account of service life. Impastato volunteered in New Orleans with the Notre Dame Mission Volunteers-AmeriCorps for a year before becoming the site director in the fall of 2009.
Members of the College community also participated in three service trips throughout Founders' Week at the Notre Dame Education Center, the Notre Dame Montessori Pre-School in Dorchester and Julie's Family Learning Center in South Boston.