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Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024
The Observer

Saint Mary's receives donation of clock for 175th anniversary

The family of a Saint Mary’s alumna recently gifted the College with a royal blue clock in honor of the institution's 175th anniversary.

“This clock and seating area commemorate the 175th anniversary of Saint Mary’s College,” the clock’s inscription reads. “It honors our founders, the Sisters of the Holy Cross, whose vision to educate young women formed the beginning of this outstanding Catholic women’s college. Gift of the Frank L. Dunham family.”

The timepiece is located near the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex to commemorate “our 175th anniversary in an enduring way,” vice president for College relations Shari Rodriguez said in an email.

“The clock is one of several gifts in honor of the 175th, and the generosity of our community is part of what has kept Saint Mary's strong for 175 years,” she said. “We continue to respond to the needs of our community for more gathering space, which is part of what the gift of the clock and landscaping Library Green offers.”

Though the College has good intentions with the installment of the timepiece, sophomore Jane Korson said she does not see the need or appeal of the clock.

“Nobody needs a clock — I’m just being real with you. We all have watches or phones that tell us the time. Nobody’s going to be looking up at that thing at night even if it does light up in the dark,” Korson said. “Also, I don’t believe it really goes with the structure of the buildings, really, like it doesn’t match with anything. It’s nice. Thank you to whoever gave it to us, but I just think we need a lot of updates around campus.”

At first, Korson believed the clock was the result of a monetary donation. Korson said she believes donations can be put to better use and decided to create a petition to bring these concerns to the attention of College administration.

“I was planning on doing an action of change a while ago but seeing the clock kind of triggered it,” Korson said. “It’s not that I’m not grateful for the clock or anything, but I think that our monetary gifts could be better used towards other things that we actually need ... I found out that it was a gift after writing the petition, which made things a little bit awkward. But it’s still a point to get across.”

Sophomore Jill Nalepinski said she is struggling to see the usefulness behind the installation.

“I haven’t seen it [in real life] yet, but I’ve seen pictures of it, and I think it’s pretty shiny and pretty cute,” Nalepinski said. “All around, I don’t know if it’s necessary on campus, but it’s pretty to look at. I guess that’s cool.”

Some, like sophomore Anne Kish, do not see the appeal of the clock, and Kish said she believes the design of the clock is not cohesive with the rest of the College, similar to Korson.

“I think it’s actually quite tacky,” Kish said. “It looks like it should be in London. It doesn’t look like it belongs in the United States.”

But it is this European look that makes others, like senior Angeline Barthel, see the clock as a nice addition to the campus, Barthel said.

“I think it has a nice aesthetic for sure, but I don’t see any practical use for it,” Barthel said. “It reminds me of ‘Harry Potter’ which is cool because the aesthetic of Saint Mary’s is kind of old, Harry Potter-like.”

Regardless, Rodriguez said she wishes the clock will serve to inspire Saint Mary’s students in the future and is thankful for the opportunities donors provide the College.

“We hope the clock will be a reminder of the College’s history and the significance of educating women for 175 years. We are thrilled to have installed the clock at the beginning of the 175th year,” she said. “The generosity of our donors provides over 300 scholarships for students, our facilities, as well as support for current operations.”