Saint Mary's College of California as a whole has 153 years of history, and our campus itself now has 88 years. In the past 88 years, a lot has happened on this campus, some of which is being lost in the binding of about books that no one really reads anymore. So, here are ten fun facts about our college campus that you might not have known before!
1. Saint Mary's is on an ancient Indian burial ground, when building the dam (now it's called the wall) that created Lake La Salle, 24 Native American skeletons were found.
2. Mount Van, the hill that the SMC and the Tree of Life rests upon, is named after Brother Vantasian, a former president who was a dedicated hiker who also served as Postmaster in his retirement years. The U.S Coast and Geodetic survey designates this peak as 'St. Mary's'.
3. The entrance to Saint Mary's pre 1942 was by Brother Urban Gregory and Assumption Halls. The Preflight school moved it to where it is now with the desire for symmetry with the campus.
4. You know the hill that the Cross of Victory chills on and how it is really tree infested? Back in the late 60's, freshman planted them as opposed to hazing them.
5. There also used to be an SM on the hill where the Cross of Victory is and some rumored that it stood for Slip Madigan and it was where he was buried.
6. What is now the Redwood Grove used to be called Bertain Grove which was planted in the 1930's. Brother "White" Leo watered all of these trees by hand.
7. In the 1960's, when the Rheem Center was being built, a student borrowed a bulldozer late in the evening and leveled the center of these trees which is where a stage would be later built.
8. Only seven of the school's presidents have been native Californians.
9. The last train to leave Saint Mary's was at 12.30 on February 28, 1957.
10. From 1942-1946, Preflight essentially took over the campus, including building new buildings as well as renaming old ones:
Aquinas, which in 1928 was called East, was called Yorktown by the Navy.
Agustine, which in 1928 was called West, was called Enterprise.
De La Salle, which in 1928 was called Center was called Ranger.
Dante was called Lexington and Galileo was called Saratoga.
They also built Essex, Wasp and Hornet which existed where Siena and Soda Center are now.