North Carolina Newspapers

    Bell Rings Up $16,500
4 000 7
When the brass bell rings somebody shouts,
somebody applauds, and someone from Texas or
Florida or New York says “What on earth is going
on there?”
What’s going on is the Phon-a-thon, and it’s a
huge success. As we go to press the mercury on
Mr. Clark’s wall chart-thermometer stands at
$16,545 from 77 contributors.
It’s hard work, but it’s fun, too, and maybe the
record call has already been made - the one by
Pam Allison when that wonderful alumnus
pledged $1400.
The final count in dollars is no more important
than the total number of contributors we report.
Our volunteers, fifteen strong, will have com
pleted more than 700 calls when the Phon-a-thon
ends December 9th, and we hope now we’ll get that
$50,000 promised by one man - the man who said
he’d give $50,000 when the Abbey raises $50,000
from the Alumni.
We’ve talked with old friends and new friends.
We wish we could call everyone who’s ever been
The success of the Alumni Giving portion of the
Centennial Fund will give us the credibility we
must have to apply to the Foundations.
At this time more than $30,000 has been reported
toward the Alumni goal of $65,000. Reports from
Bob Healy’s workers in Mecklenburg and Harry
Creemers’ volunteers in Gaston will be along next
week. The grand total reported for the Centennial
Fund is $916,210.
When we have enough time, we’ll write a column
designed to erase a myth. Whoever said “We
needn’t expect help from Abbey alumni?” We
aresimply elated with your response, and we’ll
have a wonderful story to tell next time.
Mrs. Jane Freeman talks to alumni
Vol. V, Number Two
To Be Published This Month
‘The First Hundred Years’
Over the last few
months, whenever I could
find the time, I have been
putting together a brief
historical sketch of the
.fiellege covering its first
hundred years. This will
be published as a rather
small booklet during
December 1976, just
managing to see the light
of day before the end of
our Centennial Year. It is
a pity that we were not
able to have an adequate
history of the College to
mark the celebration of
its hundredth year, for
the story is truly a
fascinating one. The
historical sketch to be
published is obviously no
more than a brief sum
mary, based, par
ticularly when dealing
with the earlier years, on
Father Sebastian Doris’
Belmont Abbey, Its
Origin, Deveiopment,
and Present State.
The sketch is enough,
however, I believe, to
capture a recurring
theme that weaves
through the history of
both Abbey and College.
This theme, as I detect it,
may be briefly described
thus: No logical human
reasons seem to be
adequate to explain, first,
why this institution was
established here, one of
the most unlikely places
in the country for such an
By REV. JOHN P. BRADLEY, President •
institution; secondly, its
survival for 100 years can
be partially explained by
the tremendous
leadership provided ‘'v
that towering figure, i...e
first Abbot, Bishop Leo
Haid, and the dedication,
sacrifice, and in
dustriousness of his
monks. But, after that
has been said, con
sidering all the problems
and challenges that had
I to be overcome, there
would seem to be needed
a further reason if we are
to have an adequate
explanation. That fur
ther reason must surely
be this: God, in His
Providence, wanted this
institution to be here, and
men of faith and
dedication responded to
what they took to be His
will. Even today, after
100 years, the ways of
Providence in this par
ticular instance are less
than scrutable, and one
might think that those
ways may be more
clearly understood
during the second cen
tury of the institution’s
The historical sketch I
have been working on is
simply a small way of
remembering the faith,
dedication, and sacrifice
of our predecessors with
gratitude, and of ex
pressing the hope that we
in the College who have
inherited their work in
education will draw in
spiration from their
The following excerpt
from the booklet, a
portion of a letter dated
March 8, 1928, written by
Father M. A. Irwin, a
ipriest of the Diocese of
Raleigh, who graduated
in 1882, serves to give the
flavor of those early days
and may prompt some of
jus today to think not only
about the physical ways
in which the College has
improved, but also to
ponder some of the
values that have . been
“I was at Belmont for
the scholastic years, 1880-
1881 and 1881-1882, two
years. My course was
mixed high school and
college course. I
received (won) six
premiums the first year
and two the second year.
“In 1880-1881 the
Director was Very Rev.
Stephen Lyons, and was
my teacher in advanced
arthmetic, Religion,
Rhetoric, -and English
{Composition. He was a
very efficient teacher -
and also taught
Very Rev. Herman
Wolfe, O.S.B., was the
prior. He taught me
Algebra and Geometry.
He was very cheerful -
tall, grey, angular - a
good pianist.
Rev. Julius Pohl,
O.S.B., was my teacher
in German, English,
Penmanship, Vocal
music and violin - and in
general, our spiritual
director and confessor.
He was also the
missionary for the
surrounding country. He
preached a little nearly
every morning, or at
least frequently, and
established in us all the
fear of God and the love
of God. He was not quite
twenty-five years of age
when I first met him.
“In the early part of the
scholastic year 1880-1881,
not a brick had been laid
of the brick buildings now
at Belmont. I saw the
foundations dug and the
work started on the
permanent buildings.
The wooden buildings
were plain - not one was
plastered, all were ceiled
with pine ceiling, stained
dark red. Oil lamps and
stoves furnished light and
heat. They were of the
; simplest construction.
The infirmary and the
brothers’ building were
of logs. Discipline was,
however, exact, and
teaching faithful and
conscientious. The
chapel was small and
incommodious with a
very low gallery, .but I
received from the monks
ineffaceable im
pressions of sanctity.
Those days are un
forgettable, because they
were filled with God.
There I learned the first
notes of the Gregorian
Chant, and love for that
sacred art has never left
me. There the seeds of a
divine vocation took root.
There I learned to love all
things Benedictine. The
lives of the Saints were
read every day at dinner,
at supper. Catholic
secular stories. Nothing
frivolous was ever heard
from the reader’s desk,
except an occasional
flash of humor that
sprang naturally out of
the situation described.
“In my first year at
Belmont, the dormitory
was a plain wooden shed
building -- white-washed
on the outside, unsealed
(Continued On Pg. S.)

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