With the establishment of St. Joseph’s Teacher’s College in March 1956, the Sisters of St. Joseph fulfilled their vision of establishing a training center for their young novices. On Wednesday afternoon, the College of St. Joseph community gathered to celebrate the Sisters and the others who worked so diligently to found the College 61 years ago.
Students, faculty, staff, and members of the greater Rutland community gathered for the ceremony, which was opened by the CSJ chorus.
Sr. Shirley Davis delivered a message on behalf of the Sisters, recounting the history of the College and noting that it has been a loving task and opportunity to serve.
“You are the legacy of the Sisters in the Northeast,” she said.
Rutland City Mayor David Allaire presented a city proclamation naming the week College of St. Joseph Recognition Week, before the College moved onto the awards portion of the ceremony.
Meggan Lloyd, community engagement coordinator, presented junior David Wallant with the Mother Teresa Student Service Award, which recognizes students’ service to the community and dedication to academics.
“David has been a key person in Provider apartment renovations,” she said, noting that Wallant contributed more than 60 hours to the project for the Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter. “His contributions to that apartment can be seen and felt in every room.”
Lloyd said that as a Provider Scholar, Wallant has been required to complete 90 hours of service over the past three years, before noting he has completed 172 hours to date. Wallant completes his required 15 hours of service each semester as a mentor through the DREAM Program, but he regularly participates in additional projects.
“David gives because he cares and he wants to leave this world better than he found it,” Lloyd said.
Sr. Shirley Davis helped Director of Development and Alumni Relations Nanci Gordon present the Pour Le Merite award to this year’s honorees Lawrence Jensen and Sarah Fortier.
The award recognizes individuals who exhibit substantial engagement in volunteer activities that have contributed to the betterment of the community.
Jensen currently serves as interim president at CSJ. While accepting the award, he thanked members of the CSJ community for being recognized and asked that everyone join him in reaffirming the values expressed by the Sisters of St. Joseph, including hospitality, love of neighbor without distinction, reconciliation, and unity of all people with God and one another.
“It has been a privilege and pleasure to serve,” he said. “I’ve truly come to love you all.”
Fortier’s acceptance shared similar sentiment, saying how privileged she felt to have received a local Catholic education, having attended Christ the King School, MSJ, and CSJ, before sharing how honored she was to serve at MSJ.
“I’m grateful for the MSJ community,” she said. “I thank God everyday for calling me to be the principal of MSJ.”
The ceremony closed with the candlelight ceremony and the reading of the names of deceased alumni, faculty and staff members.