(4/19) As Mount Saint Mary’s University
gears up for its bicentennial celebration later this year, President Thomas
Powell took some time to talk to the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners on April
2 about the plans for the year-long celebration and other projects the
university is planning. He called it his first “state of the university
address” to the town.
“We will also be joining only 40 other
institutions in the U.S. that have celebrated a bicentennial,” Powell said of
the significance of the 200th birthday of the university.
The planning for the celebration that
begins in August and continues through October 2008 started two years ago.
Besides celebrating a birthday, the university will also be celebrating a
number of capital projects and a record-breaking freshman class. The class of
2010 was a record number of 426 students.
“Next year, we’re anticipating 435
freshmen to come into Mount St. Mary’s,” Powell said. The university had 3006
applicants apply for those seats.
The university is in the midst of a
$75-million capital campaign. Projects to be funded with the money include a
renovation of The Terrace, a Founder’s Plaza, a fine arts building, a visitors’
center for the Grotto, a facelift for Memorial Gym and the geo-thermal-powered
Bicentennial Hall dormitory for 180 students.
“It really is amazing to see all the
things you’re planning to do,” Commission President Chris Staiger told
Powell. Mayor Jim Hoover pointed out that some of the university’s projects have
been beneficial for the town such as the connection of the water systems and
the trails project.
Powell pointed out during his presentation
that, “We are entwined and for the better.”
He promised that the university would be a
willing partner with the town in dealing with off-campus problems caused by
Mount students. Some of the problems have been caused by the lack of student
housing, which forces students into rental units in town. The university is
working to correct that with renovations and the construction of Bicentennial
“Please know that you have a willing
partner in helping to solve those problems in a legal and very clear, forceful
manner if our students are out-of-hand. We recognize that responsibility,”
As for off-campus problems caused by
students, he said the university will work with landlords “and if the kids are
too noisy, kick them out (of the off-campus housing).”
other stories on Mt. St. Mary