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Saint Leo University 125th!: Highlights in History Pt. 9

125th Celebration

Saint Leo University’s celebration of its 125th anniversary will culminate the week of November 10-14 with a series of special events as part of Founders Week at University Campus.

The week-long commemoration begins Monday, November 10, at 10 a.m. with the Feast of Saint Leo Mass celebrated at the Abbey Church.

Monday has also been designated A Day for Saint Leo and provides an opportunity for the university to acknowledge and thank the Saint Leo community – alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, business partners, and community members. It’s also a day for everyone to show pride, passion, and appreciation for Saint Leo University. During A Day for Saint Leo, alumni, staff, and students are encouraged to wear their green and gold.

To conclude the day, in honor of Native American Heritage Month, a performance by the Piscataway Nation Singers and Dancers, a group of Native Americans who travel the country performing and showcasing the history of their Tayac Family and Native American culture, will be held at the SCC Lakeside Patio, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, November 11, is Veterans Day, and Saint Leo will host its annual Veterans Day program at 11 a.m. in the Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardrooms in the Student Community Center. Saint Leo has a proud history of educating active military members and veterans for more than four decades.

The day continues with Community Service Day, a time when Saint Leo students and employees volunteer in the community, this year as a large group at Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa. Community Service Day demonstrates Saint Leo University’s values in action.

On Wednesday, November 12, the university will host a choral concert, “So Happy Together After 125 Years,” at 7 p.m. in the boardrooms. A variety of tunes from over the years – all in honor of Saint Leo’s history – will be presented by Just the Facts, The Saint Leo Singers, Holy Name Monastery, and Saint Leo Abbey. The event is free and open to the public. Winning submissions from Saint Leo’s 125th Anniversary Poetry Contest will also be read at the evening music program.

A commemorative history panel will highlight the activities for Thursday, November 13. At noon, noted Florida historian Gary Mormino, scholar in residence at the Florida Humanities Council, will moderate a discussion of the Catholic education movement in Florida in the boardrooms. Three professionals will present the origins and history of Saint Leo University and many of the personalities who helped take Florida’s first Catholic college from a dream to a university.

Panelists include:

  • Carol Moon – reference and instructional outreach librarian, Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library, Saint Leo University – “Origins of San Antonio – A Dunne Deal”

  • Rodney Kite-Powell – curator, Tampa Bay History Center – “Father Jerome Wisniewski, Saint Leo’s Most Celebrated Historian of Florida’s Past.”

  • Marco Rimanelli – professor of political science, School of Arts & Sciences, Saint Leo University – “Saint Leo University Modern History”

The event is free and open to the public. A box lunch will be provided at 11:30 a.m., but registration is required. Please RSVP here.

For those unable to attend, a livestream of the presentation is available online at

Founders Week concludes on Friday, November 14, with a student celebration at the Lakefront from 5 until 8 p.m. and the start of the Saint Leo College Prep and Holy Name Weekend Reunion.

During the week, winning student posters from the Community Memory Project will be on display in the Saint Edward Hall lobby.

Saint Leo University’s more than 40 education centers and offices in seven states will also celebrate Saint Leo’s 125 Year Anniversary with special events on A Day for Saint Leo, November 10.