Student Recreation Center Foundation Blessed | Benedictine College

Student Recreation Center Foundation Blessed

Friday, July 10, 2015

For more than 155 years, Benedictine College has followed a tradition of placing a blessed Medal of St. Benedict in the foundation of each building constructed on campus. Every residence hall, academic building or common building has been blessed in this way since the college was established in 1858. Over the last 10 years of record-setting enrollment, medals have been placed in 17 buildings. On July 10, college officials held the ceremony for the new Student Recreation Center rising up in the center of campus.

According to officials at St. Benedict’s Abbey, the tradition relates directly to St. Benedict, who had a demonstrated ability to sense danger and ward off evil during his lifetime. The placement of the Medal of St. Benedict in the foundation is meant to protect the workers during construction and then the students, faculty, and staff when the building is occupied.

For the recreation center, Fr. Simon Baker, OSB, the Chaplain at Benedictine College, conducted the ceremony and placed both a Medal of St. Benedict in the concrete footing of the building as well as a Medal of St. Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes.

“God has given us our physical powers in order that they may serve him joyously,” he said in the prayer during the ceremony. “God, therefore, approves of recreation for the relaxation of the mind and the exercise of the body. Care of our bodies fosters mental wellbeing and we more readily establish friendly and affable relationships with one another.”

Representing the donors, Mike and Theresa Murphy and Mike Rieker placed the medals in the foundation. Their connection to the recreation center was two-fold. In addition to donating to fund construction of the facility, they had all also been athletes while in college.

The 40,000 square foot recreation facility, scheduled for completion in March 2016, will provide a fitness room, two basketball courts, an indoor turfed field and an elevated track, along with locker rooms, additional exercise and event rooms and offices for the intramural director.

Those in attendance said they felt safer knowing the blessed medals were in all the foundations.

“We take traditions very seriously here,” said Linda Henry, Vice President of Student Life.  “It’s one of the things that makes Benedictine College so special.”

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.