Bona Pride Day 2011: ‘Becoming Extraordinary!’

A very happy annual “St. Bonaventure University Pride Day” to all my fellow Bonnies and Bonnie-wannabes! For those who are already confused, I’ll let you in on the secret. The friday of SBU Alumni Weekend is the day when Bonaventure alums are encouraged to wear Bona gear or otherwise show pride for their alma mater at work and home.  I have the distinguished privilege of writing this post from the campus of this fine University, nestled as it is in the foothills of the “enchanted” Allegheny Mountains in Southwestern New York State.

I’m here for several reasons, the first of which is to continue research in the Rare Books and Special Collections of the renowned Friedsam Memorial Library as I work on the edition of Thomas Merton and Naomi Burton Stone’s correspondence. Having spent a few days in Louisville, KY at Bellarmine University last month, I’ve returned to SBU to consult the largest repository of this particular collection.

The other reason that I happen to be here is that it is Alumni Weekend on campus, which features a double-header basketball game tomorrow afternoon (Women and Men), that should be a lot of fun to watch. When I was a student here, I never had the chance to “be a fan,” because I worked as a professional photographer, shooting all of the home games (check out the last season I shot here). My brother and his girlfriend (2 more SBU alums) are coming down and several other friends are in town for the games. I end the weekend with a stop in Buffalo, NY, where I will be giving a lecture at Buffalo State College’s Newman Center.

I want to draw your attention to a very moving blog entry by a fellow SBU alum and an all around outstanding person. Jeremie writes about the challenges he had while a student here, initially disappointed, frustrated and unhappy with the limitations a small Catholic college presented him with years ago, hindsight has allowed Jeremie to appreciate the positive role St. Bonaventure University has played in his life. Among the many positive memories and life-long influences he cites is the acceptance he felt from the Franciscan friars while a student going through some difficult times. His post is very touching, check it out: “Bona Pride Day 2011.

I will try to get some more posts up here from the weekend. In the meantime, I wish all my fellow alums a very Happy Bona Pride Day 2011!  The advertising tagline –clichéd as it may be — of the school is “St. Bonaventure University: where becoming extraordinary…is tradition!” One thing is for sure, this place is indeed already and always extraordinary – SBU certainly doesn’t need to “become.”

Go Bonas!

One Response to “Bona Pride Day 2011: ‘Becoming Extraordinary!’”

  1. I end up talking to people a lot about what it was like being queer at Bonas because they have this vision of small Catholic schools as inherently repressive, and there is almost universal surprise that I name the friars as the most supportive group on campus. It’s not a mantle I bestow casually, either. There are a handful of men in that friary, who should know who they are, who are directly responsible for me being where I am and feeling like I have a space in this field and, if I chose to claim it, could have a space in the Church, too.

    Knowing you, I am glad to see you among their ranks.

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