“Hi My Name is Deirdre and I’m a First Year Student Calling From Saint Mary’s College…”
“Well Deirdre, the last time I was on campus was for the dedication of my tree. My family sponsored a willow tree in my name by Lake Marian. My best friend has a bench dedicated to her near my tree. She’s recently passed on, but I like to think the leaves of my tree float onto her bench every once in a while.”
This. It’s stories like this and stories of my own that make me love Saint Mary’s. Every time I call a former belle from the Phonathon office, I hear about her amazing career path, her excitement about a daughter continuing the legacy, or even about her latest novel. More often than not, I hear a story about friendship, making me want to run to the third floor of McCandless to tell my friends I love them. When I call alumnae at the Phonathon office, they get excited and nostalgic. I hear about the very first belle to carve her and her now-husband’s names in the tree on the island and young alums who wish they could trade places with me. They give me the best advice and inspire me with their tenacity, creativity, and faith. They inspire me with their stories of sisterhood. I didn’t know if Saint Mary’s was the right place for me that first weekend on campus. After just one week, I knew I couldn’t have made a better choice. This choice has introduced me to engaging professors, a beautiful campus, endless opportunities, and friendships with the most amazing people.
We thank our former belles for their mentorship and generosity. We thank our future belles for continuing the sisterhood. We are the belles of the now: this is our time.
Our Saint Mary’s education is as strong and powerful as that willow tree on Lake Marian. The loving things we do for our fellow belles are the leaves that float off the tree and onto the bench of a friend. A Saint Mary’s education will keep us rooted the rest of our lives. Our sisterhood will last longer than a lifetime, because long after we’re gone, Saint Mary’s College will still be here…let’s make sure of it. We are the belles of today: let’s live like it and let’s give like it-small gifts with great love.
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