St. Ambrose will kick off a yearlong celebration of the university's 125th anniversary this fall with Founder's Day on Sept. 4, 2006. Scheduled to begin with a 2:30 p.m. prayer service at SAU's original site, Founder's Day promises to be both moving-and a lot of fun.
"Founder's Day will really be a celebration of service to others," says SAU Alumni Relations Director Steve Ahrens. "The prayer service will be held at Sacred Heart Cathedral, where St. Ambrose was founded, and will include the blessing of a historical marker to commemorate that. Also, in honor of our founder, Bishop John McMullen, several mission-driven honorary degrees will be awarded. Then, we'll drive in a motorcade back to campus for Family Fest, where we'll have games, an arts fair, live music, food and libations, and fireworks."
Homecoming follows a month later on Oct. 5-8, and includes several additional events, including a talk by author Father George McDaniel '66 on the history of St. Ambrose, a campus-wide open house with faculty and staff, past and present, in their classrooms and offices, and the opening of a special Father Edward Catich exhibit of slates and inscriptions to commemorate the 100th birthday of one of the world's finest calligraphers and international authorities on stone incising, typography and stained glass fabrication. The Art Department will also host an informal dinner with Catich's favorite foods, the dedication of Black Catfish Press book arts studio, and several workshops on lettering, type and design.
All provide a fitting lead-up to the rededication of Christ the King Chapel, after a year of renovation, on Sunday, Dec. 10. Events include a Mass for students and the public on Saturday, Dec. 9, and an invitation-only Mass celebrated by the archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis Eugene George, on Sunday, Dec. 10. A vespers service will be held that evening in conjunction with the annual Quad Cities alumni holiday gathering.