Seat of Wisdom Hosts Community Open House
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College welcomed over 200 friends, both new and old—of all ages—to its Community Open House on Sunday July 23rd.
The festivities celebrated the new title of “College” and approval by the Province of Ontario for the school to grant a 3-year Bachelor’s degree to students who complete the new degree program. Many local friends and supporters were present, despite the cool and cloudy weather, while some attendees travelled hours from cities around Ontario and as far away as New Hampshire, USA, to learn more about the college. Barry’s Bay Mayor Kim Love joined in on a tour, and also expressed to college president, Dr. Keith Cassidy, how she was impressed with the school’s progress and the contribution it makes to the community.
Residents of Barry’s Bay and the Madawaska Valley enjoyed reminiscing during the campus tours; many noted that while the College buildings may have changed use, they still maintain signs of having once been a convent, an elementary school, and the local health unit. Evidence of growth within Seat of Wisdom was also commented on, from its first days in the early 2000s when only a handful of students and faculty lived, studied, had class, and ate in the same single convent building. Today, the College consists of five school buildings plus residences, has a full-time faculty of 10 (and growing), 12 adjunct professors, over 15 staff, and more than 130 students enrolled for September.
One exhibit was titled “Our Home Towns: How far have we come?” Using maps of Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada, the U.S. and the world, pins were inserted to represent students and alumni from as near as the Valley and as far away as England, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Indonesia, and the Cayman Islands to study right here in Barry’s Bay!
The complimentary barbecued food, sponsored by Barry’s Bay Metro, was enjoyed by all, as were the ice cream cones, donated by Barry’s Bay Dairy Ltd. Kids competed in a 3-legged race and an egg-and-spoon race, had their faces painted, and delighted in other activity stations. Attendees won door prizes given by the Ash Grove, Yuill’s Valumart, Lorraine’s Pharmasave, Afelskie Shoes, Gift it Grey, St. Francis Herb Farm, Barry’s Bay Dairy Ltd., and St. Joseph’s House (Madonna House). Many thanks to all of our sponsors for their generous support, and to the Knights of Columbus for their dedicated volunteer work. The College is also deeply grateful to its alumni (now numbering over 450) who donated the College’s new event tent – a perfect shelter for a summer BBQ.
The College thanks the larger community which has believed in this little school and its potential. Your faith has helped to bring Seat of Wisdom to this milestone, and we hope you will continue to journey with us into the future.