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St. Vincent's historical marker returns

| Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, 10:57 p.m.
Rep. Chuck Anderson (left) and Rep. Joseph Petrarca (center) are greeted by 'Vinny' the Saint Vincent College mascot after Saint Vincent College officials unveiled and dedicated an official Historic Site Marker placed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at the entrance of Saint Vincent College on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.
Evan Sanders | Trib Total Media
Rep. Chuck Anderson (left) and Rep. Joseph Petrarca (center) are greeted by 'Vinny' the Saint Vincent College mascot after Saint Vincent College officials unveiled and dedicated an official Historic Site Marker placed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at the entrance of Saint Vincent College on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.

Recognition of Latrobe's most famous dessert last year got St. Vincent College officials wondering about the historical significance of the campus and if it could secure another blue-and-yellow state historical marker.

A sign from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission had been located on Route 30 near St. Vincent Drive for Unity decades ago, but it went missing, said Don Orlando, St. Vincent public relations director.

“We decided that it really belonged right here at the entrance to campus,” he said.

The marker, now standing tall at a corner near the entrance booth and Fred Rogers Center, was unveiled and rededicated in its new location after a short ceremony on Wednesday.

It notes the college as “the first institution in the U.S. established by the monks of the Order of Saint Benedict.”

Brother Norman Hipps, president of the college, told a crowd of about 100 that when the seminary was established in 1846, it was self-sufficient.

“We baked our bricks, we baked our bread and we brewed our beer — unfortunately, all we do is bake bread now,” he joked.

The collaboration with the Commonwealth is integral to what the college has become, including funding and partnerships with various state departments, bureaus and agencies.

“May this marker be a reminder of our roots, of the common enterprise that we are now, and the future community that we will become,” he said.

Of the 13,000 living alumni of the college, about half continue to live and work in Pennsylvania, he said.

Justin Teets, president of the student government association, read a letter from Karen Galle, coordinator of the historical marker program that has granted more than 2,000 markers across the state, including Latrobe's addition in 2013 recognizing the first banana split. Another is in the works to commemorate Fred Rogers.

State Rep. Mike Reese, R-Mt. Pleasant; state Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Washington Township; state Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield; and Westmoreland County Commissioners Ted Kopas, Tyler Courtney and Chuck Anderson were on hand to represent the partnership Hipps spoke of among industry, government and educational institutions.

“If we can create that economic circle of life, that's what keeps people in the area and allows the area to bloom, culturally and economically as well,” Anderson said after the dedication.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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