By Samantha Hilyer
The Student Activity Center, nicknamed the SAC, has been through two name changes in the past two years. Originally named Alcuin Hall, the building temporarily became the Student Activity Center in summer of 2019. And on Aug. 7, the Student Activity Center was finally renamed Saint Scholastica Hall.
The name newly bequeathed to the building is unique because not only is it one of few buildings named exclusively after a woman on campus, but it also solidifies the Benedictine roots present at Saint Vincent College.
“In considering the renaming of the building, Saint Scholastica’s influential work and transformative role in Benedictine history made the College’s decision to make this name change an easy one,” Mike Hustava, senior director of marketing and communications, said.
Scholastica is the patron saint of education and the sister of Benedict of Nursia—the founder of the Benedictine monastic order.
According to the Catholic News Agency, Scholastica and Benedict were born into a noble family in Nursia, Italy around A.D. 480. Once Benedict had become a hermit, established a monastery at Monte Cassino in southern Italy and devoted his life completely to God, Scholastica, who also dedicated her life to her faith as a young girl, decided to follow suit. She founded and governed the first convent of Benedictine nuns in the neighboring town of Plombariola, only five miles away from Benedict’s establishment.
Unfortunately, not much else is known about Scholastica. Although, through Benedict, there is a famous story of the siblings last meeting together.
A few times a year, Scholastica and Benedict would meet halfway between their communities to converse about spiritual matters as well as spend time in prayer together. One such time, a story goes, Scholastica asked her brother to stay with her for the night. He refused, and Scholastica bowed her head in prayer to God. When she raised her head, a fierce storm arose which meant Benedict and his accompanying monks were forced to remain for the night.
The siblings then spent the night deep in discussion of sacred topics, including the kingdom of God, and within three days of that night, in A.D. 543, Scholastica passed away and Benedict received a vision of her soul ascending into heaven.