Campus Tour Remembers University History
The University Archives provided a historical walking tour of the campus on Thursday, explaining the origins and significances of various buildings on campus, including Caldwell Hall, Marist Hall, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The tour highlighted the University’s unique role during historic events, such as the Civil War. Fort Slemmer, a Union Civil War fort, was built on the campus grounds. The tour also presented the history of the founding and growth of CUA.
“This is a historical tour, as opposed to an admissions tour, which is more focused on the current day university.” said the tour guide, Maria Mazzenga, the education archivist and instructor for the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives. “The historical tour is intended to highlight the unique history of CUA.”
“Students and staff should know where their school came from in order to know where it is going,” Mazzenga said.
Founded 125 years ago this week, the Catholic University of America is full of history nearly forgotten over the years. Two tours, each lasting an hour, will be held Friday, April 13 at 10am and 2pm. Sign up for a tour online at www.cuatoday.com.
“I think that CUA is starting to focus on its history more now, and that this is an appropriate thing to do, as our school’s history is genuinely unique relative to the aims and history of other Catholic schools in particular,” she said.
Mazzanga is currently creating a website devoted to CUA history. It is expected to be completed in summer of this year.
“The location of the campus itself is one of my favorite aspects. Walking from, say, Gibbons, past McMahon, up the Hill past Caldwell and toward Marist and what once was Fort Slemmer on the far north end of campus really gives one a sense of open space inhabited by nicely spaced structures with a definite sense of community. It’s truly lovely in the spring.”