4/15/20. Nazareth College. Chairs and tables in the Natapow Quad [Photos: David Kramer]
At the tail end of Wednesday’s snow shower, I visited Nazareth College’s idyllic campus. Along with a handful of cars in otherwise deserted parking lots, in my 20 – 25 minute stay I saw 4 people: three maintenance workers and one security officer.
I was the only non-worker seen by the maintenance men all morning. An eerie — if not melancholy — silence overhung the campus.
As seen in Nazareth College’s President Daan Braveman on defining moments and his own March on Washington, August 1963, you’ve been to Nazareth College with Talker many times, including going underground with President Braveman, playing the jester at the 2016 Exploring Elizabethan Culture exhibit at the Lorette Wilmot Library, and juggling plastic globes at the 6th annual Conference on Global Citizenship.
We’ve communed with Thomas Merton in the Thomas Merton Room at the 2015 The Hidden Wholeness: The Zen Photography of Thomas Merton exhibit, talked with Professor Harry Murray after a anti-drone march from Palmyra to Pittsford, hung out at the 2015 On a Planet in Peril and Our Moral Responsibility conference with Dr. Muhammad Shafiq, Executive Director of the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue and Maggie Matthews, then-Hickey Center Student Coordinator, and discovered a totem pole’s missing bird’s head.In “normal times,” I occasionally stroll the campus and visit the Lorette Wilmot Library, having borrowing privileges from my time in its ASAP accreditation program (and an email address [email protected]). Of all the local libraries, only Lorette held Enda Walsh’s Once (2012), needed for a review of its performance at Geva.
Walking through a relatively empty and silent campus is, of course, not a new experience. On a July evening during the lull between summer sessions, Nazareth is almost entirely deserted. But this solitary amble was uncannily different. School was in full session. Students and faculty were ZOOMing; the staff was working from home. The virtual cloud around me was buzzing with intellectual activity. But I could only imagine, not see, the hum. I dearly hope Nazareth returns to normal — including the inevitable mid-April snow flurry — soon. When only on a sultry summer night, no one is there.
¹ One reader reports back:
I enjoyed seeing these two articles and photos of a campus I love. It reminded me that one of these days I want to walk around Nazareth. I received my BS from Naz and when I saw your mention of the library I thought you’d find it interesting that I was in the reserve library when news of the shooting of JFK came…..always my answer to “where were you…”