Friday, October 26, 2012

FAC shares SMU’s rich history with alumni

By Kelsey Hulbert
Feature editor

The Future Alumni Committee (FAC) focuses on building a foundation for students and alumni to interact and share their stories that enrich the history of Saint Mary’s University.

Dennis Rivelli, SMU student from 1967 to 1970, shared his story on the committee’s website about the old “barracks” on campus, which served as the source of a great Saint Mary’s tradition.

Rivelli said his favorite tradition at SMU was the freshmen’s attempt to take over the barracks during the first snowfall.

“To my knowledge at the time, and until its final demise, no freshman class was ever able to overpower and capture the barracks from the senior residents,” he said.

Anticipating the attack every year, the seniors would diligently prepare by hoisting water hoses to the roof of the building, preparing sling shots and dropping snow laden branches on unsuspecting freshman, Rivelli said.

“I remember that night like it was yesterday. There was always something eerie about the darkness, wind and falling snow on St. Mary’s campus,” said Rivelli. “You could actually hear the snow falling and the wind blowing. Add to that the sound of a hundred or so freshmen from Benilde, Ed’s and Heffron screaming as they charged from beyond the trees in the dark of night towards us. You’d swear it was a band of wild Indians attacking the pioneer settlement.”

To anyone else, the Barracks were just two broken down old buildings that outlived their usefulness long ago, said Rivelli.  He added that, to generations at SMU, they were hallowed ground and home of the “privileged” who were fortunate enough to have lived there during their senior year.

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