January 31, 2014
Brett Bondar, Information Technology Support Center
coordinator, leads the first book down the human chain with
traditional bagpipe music. Photo by Lee Ferris.
Hundreds from the Mount Saint Mary College community – students,
alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and neighbors – recently gathered
to form a human chain, and passed 25 final selected books to the
college’s new, state-of-the-art library.
The chain spanned from Aquinas Hall up the hill to the recently
opened Dominican Center: new site of the Mount Saint Mary College
James Finn Cotter, an English scholar for more than half a
century, started the books off at the old library. Mount President
Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, received them at the new library.
The selected tomes symbolize the breadth of the Mount’s academic
programs, including arts and letters, natural and social sciences,
philosophy and religious studies, nursing and transcultural
service, mathematics, business, education, and more, appropriately
including a dictionary and a Bible. Among others were “Luther’s
Works” by Martin Luther, “The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith, and
“The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American
Children” by Gloria Ladson-Billings.
The chain mirrored a similar event in Mount history, when
students and faculty helped move the library contents from the
Villa Madonna to Aquinas Hall.
Nick Valentine, former Newburgh mayor, passes a book to a Mount
Saint Mary College student during the procession. Photo by Mount
Saint Mary College.
Passing the books were representatives of each of the college’s
disciplines, including Sr. Marion Beagen, OP, and Sr. Pat Sullivan,
OP, professor of mathematics, who have been members of the
community since before the first book procession on another winter
day in 1963.
Also on hand was Sr. Margaret Anderson, OP, of the board of
directors of Newburgh Ministry.
The new library contains about 100,000 volumes, audio visual
materials, and access to numerous databases of journals and other
“The opening of the Mount Saint Mary College Library in the
Dominican Center is a milestone in the history of Mount Saint Mary
College,” explained Barbara Petruzzelli, Mount librarian. “The
college will find this one of the best places on campus for
The move was accompanied by the melodic skirl of the Mount’s
resident bagpiper, Brett Bondar, Information Technology Support
Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, president of Mount Saint Mary
College, hands a book to (left to right) Sr. Ann Sakac, OP,
president emerita; James Finn Cotter, professor of English; and
William Kaplan, businessman and philanthropist. Photo by Lee
Students have been enjoying the new library since the beginning
of January. It was first utilized by 94 Latin American students
from International Business School – São Paulo in Brazil, who
completed a three-week business course at the college.
Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, recently blessed the first dozen
books placed in the Dominican Center’s new library. Photo by Lee
Before Christmas break, Fr. Mackin blessed the first selected
books, including “Transcultural Nursing Theory and Models” by Mount
nursing professor Priscilla Sagar.
“I truly believe that Vartan Gregorian, president of the
Carnegie Corporation and past president of the New York Public
Library, has captured what a library is,” said Fr. Mackin. “He
said, ‘Above all else, the library constitutes an act of faith in
the continuity of life. It represents – embodies – the spirit of
humanity in all ages. Together with the museum, the library is the
DNA of our culture.’ ”
Click here to view more photos from this event.