NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Saturday, September 19, 2015, marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of Iona College. To commemorate this historic day, students, faculty, and alumni are organizing, recruiting for and participating in multiple service projects on and around the 19th.
“This day is a time to both remember and renew the inspirational legacy of Blessed Edmund Rice and his dedication to service,” said Dr. Joseph D. Nyre, Iona College’s president. “Living a life in service to others is indeed a life well lived. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of our opening, we join together in an international day of service to highlight and live our mission."
Hundreds of students, alumni and faculty have committed to a range of projects in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas – and the College’s 40,000 alumni, including those living abroad, have been invited to “live the mission” by participating in service in various ways. Many of the area projects focus on the environment in support of the Catholic Church’s first-ever encyclical devoted to the environment -- Pope Francis’ “Praised Be” published June 2015. An encyclical is one of the highest forms of teaching from a pope as he interprets Catholic doctrine.
The Day of Service kicks off at 9 a.m. on September 19 with remarks by Dr. Nyre at Iona’s Columba Quad Lawn in New Rochelle – where Iona’s first president addressed its first students 75 years ago to the day.
Kimberleigh Costanzo, a 2014 Iona graduate, will be leading one of the projects at Wellspring Water, Inc. on Long Island – the non-profit she founded in 2011 after an Iona mission immersion trip to Zambia, Africa. “I was overwhelmed by the impact that a lack of clean water has on all aspects of life, particularly affecting women,” said Costanzo. “I started Wellspring to shorten the distance between clean water and those who need it most. I credit Iona for giving me the inspiration, education and support to serve others in this way.”
In addition to the Wellspring project, other service day projects will focus on park, shoreline, and community clean-up efforts, playground safety, graffiti removal, and work on a Habitat for Humanity house.
“Service goes hand-in-hand with an Iona education,” said Dr. Carl Procario-Foley, Iona’s director of the Office of Mission and Ministry. “The Day of Service grounds the College’s 75th anniversary in the values that motivated the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers who founded Iona: service, faith and social justice. I’m glad so many students, past and present, will be celebrating our anniversary on the 19th to help make the Earth greener and share our goodwill in the community.”