Dedication of the Learning Commons marks 100 years of Marywood’s legacy


Photo credit/ Connor Moffitt

Eight members of the Presidential Party cut the white ribbon in front of an entrance into the Learning Commons.

Amanda Duncklee, Community Editor

One hundred years to the day of Marywood’s founding, the University community gathered to officially dedicate its newest edition–The Learning Commons.

Beginning at 11:10 a.m., Spanish professor Dr. Jose Reyes led the procession of faculty followed by the Most Reverend James Timlin, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Scranton, Sr. Anne Munley, I.H.M., Ph.D, president of Marywood, and Sr. Ellen Maroney, I.H.M. President of the I.H.M. Congregation, following immediately behind.

Faculty diverged with some sitting in the garden and others sitting in chairs set up on Morgan Rd. right next to the garden. Students were also in attendance and many chose to sit on the shady steps of the LAC.

At 11:15 a.m., Peter Kilcullen, assistant vice president of Marketing and Communications and emcee for the morning’s events, addressed the crowd.

“The planning and construction of the Learning Commons and Morgan Memorial Garden were years in the making,” said Kilcullen. “All are most welcome to enjoy.”

The first item on the agenda was to bless the grounds that formerly held the Motherhouse, the first building of Marywood.

On Sept. 8, 1902, the Motherhouse opened and included a chapel, classrooms, dormitories and housing for faculty. The land on which the Morgan Memorial Garden stands is the same spot where the IHM Motherhouse stood before the tragic fire of 1971 destroyed the building.

The Garden’s fountain marks the exact spot where the altar in the chapel of the Motherhouse once stood.

Bishop Timlin, Sr. Anne, and Sr. Ellen each took green laurel branches doused in water and blessed the fountain with the branches.

Bishop Timlin said, “Oh gracious God, we give you thanks for faith, courage, and bold hearts,” he said. “May Morgan Memorial be a place of grace, hope, and peace for years to come.”

Following the blessing of the Morgan Memorial Garden, there was the blessing of the Learning Commons as well as Sr. Anne’s dedication speech for the Learning Commons.

“Thank you for joining us on this truly historic day,” she said. “This ground is sacred ground.”

Almost immediately after Sr. Anne began her address, 14 faculty members and students began a silent protest. Protesters held the signs in Sr. Anne’s direction, but Sr. Anne made no mention of nor gave any indication of noticing the protesters.

“It’s an outstanding day to recognize all the possibilities of the future of our students’ education. Now we have the latest in technology, we have a true social destination for our students, and every student I have spoken with is very excited for what this Learning Commons has to offer.”

Sr. Anne took time in her address to thank those who have worked on the Learning Commons.

“Let us once again acknowledge with deep gratitude all those who have worked diligently to plan and construct the Learning Commons,” she said. “Thank you to the constructors, the landscapers, the maintenance workers, and the librarians who worked on this.”

After her address, the ribbon cutting ceremony commenced. At 11:33 a.m., eight members of the Presidential Party cut the white ribbon in front of an entrance into the Learning Commons.

Bishop Timlin offered the final blessing of the ceremony. “Today we give you [God] thanks and praise for the completion of the Learning Commons. May it be a place where young adults discover their gifts from you.”

Tours of the Learning Commons commenced following Bishop Timlin’s blessing.

Paul Capoccia contributed to this article.

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