University kicks off 175th anniversary celebration

Year-long celebration includes presentation of St. Francis Medal, unveiling of new alma mater | January 9, 2006

The University kicks off a year-long celebration of its 175th anniversary on Monday, Jan. 9, at 1:30 p.m. at the Duff Banquet Center. Several hundred students, faculty, staff, alumni and board of trustee members are expected to attend the celebration.

In 1831, in a two-and-a-half story building on Sycamore Street in downtown Cincinnati, Bishop Edward Fenwick started the first college in the Northwest Territory, a college that would become Xavier University.

During the next 175 years, the expansion from a small downtown college with less than 200 students to an urban university with more than 6,600 students was laced with new challenges, new tasks and new ventures as well as physical growth, academic development and physical expansion. Yet through it all, Xavier has affirmed and sustained its Catholic, Jesuit heritage.

The commemoration includes the presentation of the St. Francis Xavier Medal. Named for the patron saint of Xavier, the St. Francis Xavier Medal is the highest award given out by the University. It recognizes outstanding individuals who, through their lives and endeavors, exemplify the qualities that made Francis Xavier a saint of action, courage, daring and imagination; and who have manifested high moral principles in their personal lives.

The St. Francis Xavier Medal is being given to board of trustees chairman Joe Pichler, who is accepting the award on behalf of all the lay people who throughout the years have dedicated themselves to the growth of the University.

The celebration also includes the premiere of a new alma mater, written by English professor Tyrone Williams and music professor Tom Merrill. University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., is also speaking along with Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.

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