St. Gregory’s University will celebrate its Benedictine Hall Centennial Homecoming weekend November 6-8, 2015. The University welcomes alumni and area citizens to join current students, faculty and staff for a weekend of special events.
This year marks the centennial celebration of Benedictine Hall and the anniversary of the establishment of the Shawnee campus. In its honor, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has declared November 7 “St. Gregory’s University Benedictine Hall Centennial Day.”
In the 140 years since two French monks first founded the school at the Sacred Heart Mission in Kinowa, St. Gregory’s has prepared students in mind, body and spirit for lives of meaning and purpose. St. Gregory’s is Oklahoma’s only Catholic University.
The main activities of the weekend will culminate on Saturday, November 7, beginning with a Memorial Mass at 10 a.m. in the Abbey Church with Archbishop Paul Coakley of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City as the principal celebrant and Archbishop Emeritus Eusebious Beltran, Bishop Edward Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa and Rt. Rev. Lawrence Stasyszen, O.S.B., Abbot of St. Gregory’s Abbey, as the concelebrants. Mass will be immediately followed by a procession and rededication of Benedictine Hall.
At 1:15 p.m., the University will also recognize Coach Don Sumner and Jenetta Sumner by renaming the field house in their honor with an unveiling of a new sign for the athletic facility. Afternoon activities will also include the Athletic Hall of Fame inductions, homecoming coronation ceremony, campus tours and other events.
Saturday evening, a special Centennial Homecoming Gala will take place at the Shawnee Expo Center beginning at 6 p.m. The reception, banquet and dance is open to alumni, community members and friends of St. Gregory’s throughout the years. Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry will serve as the keynote speaker. Judge Henry grew up in Shawnee and was the President of St. Gregory’s Board of Directors from 1986-1990.
St. Gregory’s Benedictine Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places. In November 2011, the building’s iconic status became dramatically apparent when a 5.6 magnitude earthquake destroyed its four turrets. The story received extensive national press, and more than 3,400 alumni, students, friends and donors offered support to rebuild them.
To view the complete Homecoming 2015 schedule, visit the St. Gregory’s University Homecoming page at www.stgregorys.edu/homecoming.
Founded in 1875, St. Gregory’s University is Oklahoma’s oldest institution of higher learning and only Catholic university. St. Gregory’s offers a liberal arts education rooted in the Benedictine tradition of cultivating the whole person – mind, body and spirit. With campuses in Shawnee and Tulsa, St. Gregory’s features both traditional and adult degree programs, including associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. For more information about the University, visit www.stgregorys.edu.