Honoring Traditions, New and Old
“LIGHT AND HOPE ” MARKS THE ADVENT SEASON
Featuring a tree lighting, Christmas carols, a luminary-lit procession, and ice skating, “Light and Hope” brings the campus community together to celebrate the season of Advent and the meaning of Christmas. Occurring yearly, this event brings families of faculty, staff, and students together to celebrate and experience the joyful expectation of God coming into our world during the Christmas season.
This year’s celebration of Light and Hope was filled with hope and the promise of Christmas during traditional lighting of the Campus Christmas Tree, caroling performances by the Concert Choir, and new to the event this year, the procession through St. Clare Court lit by luminaries. All who were in attendance experienced the joyful expectation of Advent at this much-anticipated, celebratory event.
KEEPING THE AUGUSTINIAN TRADITION ALIVE
Reflecting Merrimack ’s goal, as laid out in the Agenda for Distinction, to foster a contemporary Catholic mission, the beginning and ending of the academic year are marked by special masses during convocation and commencement.
> Convocation mass
Merrimack ’s 65th convocation held September 4, 2012, began with a standing-room-only mass led by Reverend Raymond F. Dlugos, O.S.A., Ph.D. Open to the entire Merrimack community, this mass honors the College’s spiritual foundation, celebrates diversity, and provides an opportunity for Merrimack to come together for one common purpose and mission. Along with music and prayers, the mass was marked by the wearing of academic regalia by faculty, administration, and members of the senior class.
> Baccalaureate mass
Held every year as part of commencement exercises, baccalaureate mass is a time for students to come together, reflect on their experiences as a Merrimack College students, and give thanks for their blessings. Graduates wear their gowns in a procession to the Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher.
ALL HAIL MR. MERRIMACK
What annual tradition features black tie, swimwear (complete with floaties), and a zany talent show? It’s the Mr. Merrimack pageant, one of the College’s one-of-a-kind events. Held
during Homecoming weekend, this spirited celebration draws current students, alumni, families, faculty, and staff. Designed to raise money for the Junior Class Council and the Relay for Life student group, the Mr. Merrimack pageant winner walks away with a crown, sash, and bragging rights.
MACK GIVES BACK DAY
> Honoring those who served by serving others
Reverend Raymond Dlugos, O.S.A., and the Division of Mission and Student Affairs recently established a day of service called Mack Gives Back Day. This community-wide event takes place each November as a way to commemorate two days of great importance in the College’s history: Veterans Day and St. Augustine’s birthday. Merrimack was founded in 1947 by the Order of St. Augustine to provide educational opportunities to local soldiers returning home from World War II so it is a fitting tradition that Mack Gives Back Day is “honoring those who have served by serving others.”
During the week leading up to the event, walls on Merrimack ’s Main Street were used to share stories of community members’ acts of generosity, honor, sacrifice, and courage. For its inaugural launch, members of the College community—students, faculty, staff, and alumni—were invited to spend Saturday afternoon at service sites throughout the Merrimack Valley. Campus Ministry and the Stevens Service Learning Center arranged for students to serve at sites including the Lawrence, Fire Department; the Atria Senior Living Facility; the Lazarus House in Lawrence and the Bellevue Cemetery.
Following the day of service, Merrimack honored military veterans, Augustinian volunteers, and members of the Peace Corps, Vista, and AmeriCorps at an on-campus dinner. The commemoration continued at the Merrimack-UConn ice hockey game at the Volpe Athletic Center and culminated with a birthday party for St. Augustine at Augie’s Pub after the game.
NEW TO THE MERRIMACK PLAYBOOK: MIDNIGHT MADNESS
Blue and gold confetti flooded the air and Warrior spirit soared in Hammel Court at Merrimack ’s first-ever Midnight Madness event. Designed to kick off the basketball season at colleges across the country, Midnight Madness is a new tradition at Merrimack. The stands were filled to capacity with more than 800 students and staff—all of whom displayed their school spirit. Armed with yellow rally towels and clad in Merrimack-inspired attire, attendees held a enthusiastic pep rally, enjoyed free pizza and t-shirts, and cheered on Merrimack hoops teams. The event highlighted the men’s and women’s basketball teams and included slam-dunk contests and a three-point shoot-out between faculty and staff.