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by Rob Leibold
More than 60 statues, sculptures and plaques adorn the grounds of St. Mary’s, ranging from works of art to markers memorializing alumni and staff.
The most prominent is the statue of Mary, standing on the lawn in front of St. Louis Hall. Made of white marble and erected in 1954, the statue originally was on a pillar over a concrete circular fishpond.
Two well-loved statues stand in the Quadrangle. The first, of the Immaculate Conception, was erected in 1904 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and is the oldest statue on campus. The second, of the Sacred Heart, was first placed in front of St. Louis Hall in 1919 to commemorate the college’s 25th anniversary. Both were cast in brass in France. Many years ago they were painted with red lead paint, attributing to their reddish tint.
Found in the Marianist Cemetery is the Crucifixion Group with its four statues. The life-sized figures depict Christ nailed to a cross, the Blessed Mother, St. John standing beneath the arms of the cross and Mary Magdalene kneeling at the Savior’s feet.
The white marble statue of Our Lady of Lourdes at the entrance of the on-campus Marianist Residence is a tribute to the Immaculate Virgin, patroness of the Society of Mary and the University.
These and other statues, sculptures and plaques add a graceful element to St. Mary’s and enhance the history and richness of the campus.