Saint Vincent College has had a tradition of celebrating International Women’s Day with events such as making a bouquet. This year, however, the celebration has been expanded to include all of National Women’s History Month, with a special focus on the week of Mar. 6.
Jessica Parsons, Jody Marsh and Bridget DiVittis took the lead in organizing the events. In coming years, they hope to expand the series of events, speakers and themes, keeping the general celebration and the Luminary Night specifically as an annual tradition.
The first series of events was the Women in Faith Talk Series, which began on Mar. 6 and continued on Mar. 7 and Mar. 9. Fr. Maximilian Maxwell, O.S.B. (who stepped in for Fr. Brian Boosel, O.S.B. due to unforeseen circumstances), Dr. Christopher McMahon and Fr. Boniface Hicks, O.S.B. delivered the talks at 7 p.m. in the Student Chapel. These discussions covered important women in faith and women who influenced the speakers’ lives.
Intentions at the Student Chapel’s 9 p.m. mass on Mar. 6 were focused on women, and a blessing for the week was offered.
On Mar. 7, students were given the opportunity to create thank you cards for important women in their lives from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Carey Lounge.
On Mar. 8, International Women’s Day, a variety of events and activities were available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Carey Lounge. These included: a Bouquet Bar, a Baby Shower Supplies Drive (Beverly’s Birthdays), Rosie the Riveter Custom Totes, a Fair Trade sale, a T-Shirt sale with proceeds going to the Blackburn Center, music and snacks.
There were also informational tables such as ones sponsored by Sr. Sara of Nuns and Nones (Advocacy for Women), #BreaktheBias and an It’s on Us PA pledge.
Kim Woodley, Director at the Career and Professional Development Center, was involved in the later stages of planning the events.
“The biggest day was Tuesday, which was International Women’s Day. I have not seen that many students in the Carey Lounge in a long time. It was so wonderful,” Woodley said.
On Mar. 9, there were several more events in the Carey Lounge, including Wellness Wednesday (information about women’s health), PAWS and Relax with therapy dogs, a showcase for women’s athletics and a yoga class.
Also on Mar. 9 were Weights for Women, a lesson concerning exercise at 12:30 p.m. in the fitness center, and a movie night at 8:30 p.m. in the Carey Lounge where students could watch Hidden Figures.
On Mar. 10, the Career and Professional Development Center hosted Vision Board Making and a Professional Clothing Drive in the Carey Lounge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The clothes collected in the drive will be donated to the SVC Career Closet and the YWCA Thrift Shop in Greensburg.
At 6:30 p.m., there was a luminary event, Lighting Our Way Forward. All female Saint Vincent students were invited to gather in Melvin Platz to celebrate and attend a series of speakers including Dr. Jeff Mallory and Dr. Doreen Blandino. The Saint Vincent choir also performed at this event.
Rachel Andreola, sophomore mathematics major, attended the event as a member of the Saint Vincent choir.
“I thought it was very empowering because it was nice to see new faces and see the women on campus gather together. It was very uplifting, and it was nice to know that people are rooting for us,” Andreola said. “It made me excited for the future because this was only their first time doing this.”
On Mar. 11, there was a special RSVP event for the women of Saint Vincent’s staff and faculty. The Women of SVC Meet Up in Fred Rogers featured drinks and light hors d’oeuvres.
Through Mar. 19, members of the Saint Vincent community can nominate outstanding women on campus—students, faculty members, administrators and staff members—to be included in a collage of photographs that will be displayed starting Mar. 21 both online and in the Carey Lounge.
The planning for next year’s Women’s Week will begin soon, but until then, Woodley encourages students to get involved and attend the events around campus.
“We appreciate everyone who comes out for our events! A lot of hours go into planning these events, and we plan them with you, our students, in mind,” Woodley said. “Events are part of the whole experience here at SVC. We would always love to see more people!”