This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

SJC news

On Wednesday afternoon SJC and Marian University held a press conference in the Core Building on the SJC campus. People attending were able to drive into the campus—the barricades had been set aside. The audience was small but included several people from local and area news media. You can see what WFLI reported here, the Lafayette Journal and Courier here, and the Rensselaer Republican here. Below is a picture of the WLFI reporter filming the event.
The press release for the event is here and the remarks of Father Barry Fisher are here. Below is a picture of the three speakers at the event, Father Fisher, Father Jeffrey Kirsch who was recently elected the head of the Cincinnati province of the C.PP.S., and Dr Daniel Elsener President of Marian University.

 A month or two ago Marian University announced it planned a two-year college that would serve a different group of students than those who enroll at Marian. The typical student will be a day student who will be working part of the day and a student part of the day. Marian contacted many employers in the Indianapolis area about the plan and some of them will presumably support student/employees in their quest to improve their education at the new school. The plan reminds me of the model for a group of Catholic high schools, the Cristo Rey schools, which also have the mission to serve a population that is not well served by existing institutions.

What does this have to do with SJC? The new school will be named Saint Joseph's College of Marian University-Indianapolis. SJC has pledged to provide $1.5 million in scholarships to the students over the next ten years. If this school proves successful, Marian will do a feasibility study to see if the model can be replicated elsewhere, including in Rensselaer. So while there may be an immediate benefit to what is left of the Saint Joseph's College organization, there is no immediate benefit to Rensselaer.

Dr Elsener served on the SJC Board of Trustees before becoming president of Marian University. His son graduated from SJC.

 As I left the event, I took a picture of the hallway in the Core Building. It looks the same except all the bulletin boards are empty.

 Last weekend the SJC Alumni Association held its homecoming event in Brookside Park. The heavy rain kept me at home for most of the afternoon and when it let up and I went to the park, the event was winding down. I was told that it earlier had a good attendance and the people had enjoyed watching the film of the Aluminum Bowl game from the 1950s in which SJC and Montana State played to a 0-0 tie. One of the members of the team was there and watching his reactions to the film increased the enjoyment people got from the film.
 On Sunday the Chapel was open for Mass and the campus was open for a few hours. I rode around it to see what had changed. The exteriors of the buildings were little changed and I could not see what was happening inside.

The pond by the grotto had more weeds but the water lilies were still there.
 I was fascinated by the way that weeds had invaded almost every crack in the sidewalks around the Core Building Halleck Center. I am sure there is a biology lesson there.
 An old sign remains on the door. The signs on the bulletin boards have not been changed for almost two years.

The signage on the buildings is unchanged. The Welcome Center sign seemed a fun one to photograph.
Although college classes will not happen on the campus for at least a few years, we can hope that other activities can be found to fill some of the vacant space and buildings.


Steve B said...

It seems that they are discussing a community college model, where most students are part-time, and BA or BS degrees are not given. Since most part-time students would live in the immediate area, I doubt that St. Joe could fill its capacity with only area students studying part-time. Also, day students would not need any dorm space since they would already live in the area. I am having trouble understanding how this is a solution for St. Joe.

Anonymous said...

It really is not a solution since this possibility is many years away. It benefits Marian College and keeps the St. Joe name alive, but the school for now is in Indy with nothing happening on the Rensselaer campus.

Anonymous said...

Aren't those weeds in the cement cracks a photo of Halleck not Core bldg.?.