Moving Up Day: June 11, 1948

Today in history: Moving Up Day!

When Le Moyne first opened for classes in September of 1947, it was operating out of various temporary locations.  One was the Hiscock Mansion on James Street and the other was Le Moyne Hall, which was located on E. Onondaga Street.  While classes met throughout the first school year, construction was under way on the new campus on Salt Springs Road.

Father Schlaerth, the college’s President in 1947, had promised at the beginning of the school year that “arm in arm” the students and faculty would “march to the Heights”. This march had “come to be a symbol of hope, the marching song of a dream” writes the Dolphin newspaper in its June 4, 1948 edition.  “Not until now has fulfillment seemed real”.

That fulfillment finally came on June 11, 1948.

Mass on the lawn of the Hiscock mansion
Mass on the lawn of the Hiscock mansion

The day started at 9 am with Mass at the Hiscock mansion. (“This will be the first and only public act of reparation to the Sacred Heart on the part of the Le Moyne students and all are asked to cooperate”, wrote the Dolphin).  A breakfast followed.

At 10:30, Father Vincent Ryan (Dean of Men) presented athletic awards.  Scholastic awards were mentioned but were to be presented in the fall.  The ceremonies ended when William Topp, Student Council president, gave a farewell address to the mansion.

The motorcade assembled and traveled to Le Moyne Hall, where Robert Dermody gave a farewell address to that building on behalf of all who had attended classes there.

Then, Le Moyne took the Heights!

The inaugural class gathered in front of the administration building (what we now call Grewen!).  Father Schlaerth pronounced them officially sophomores.

“This past year has been a wonderful and successful year for Le Moyne college,” he said.  “You are all responsible for making it a banner year.  You have been cooperating.  You have been the creation of Le Moyne college.”  He attributed whatever good, whatever talent and ability, and whatever spirit exists in the college to this first class.

Rt. Rev. Mcgr. David F. Cunningham also addressed the class, calling them all pioneers.  “If you want to know what a pioneer looks like, look at yourselves”.

Le Moyne was home on the Heights!


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