It is the seasons I remember the most about my Stonehill days. In the autumn of 1951, I entered a world of endless majestic rhododendrons that became gates to a beautiful landscape that held Donahue Hall and one brick building—the Science Building, where history, philosophy, literature, French, theology, and, I believe, science were taught. That year was the first year that women were welcomed.

The professors soon exposed us to the wisdom of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas and brilliant writings of Shakespeare and Thomas Wolfe. The Speech Arts Drama Club presented the classic Greek drama "Oedipus Rex," and our class wit directed and starred in "George Washington Slept Here."

When winter came down upon us, the succulent leaves of the rhododendrons curled up in defense against the New England cold and so did we. Between classes, we would race to Brother Joe’s subterranean coffee shop wrapped in our wet wool coats and muddy boots and sip our 10¢ coffee sitting along the wooden benches built into the wall. Those who had an extra bit of change would feed the second-hand juke-box. Over and over, we would listen to "Blue Tango," "April in Portugal" and "Unchained Melody."

Luice Moncey '53 [first row, center] was editor of the ACRES 1953 yearbook. 

Spring was welcomed by our outstanding basketball team and all the outside activities—and the prolific blooms of the rhododendrons were magnificent! When final exams approached, we gathered under the oaks and maples to study with the friends we had made through the years.

As the year ended, we seniors prepared for our graduation, knowing we would be leaving a world of serenity and a caring environment, knowing that the wisdom of a remarkable faculty had prepared us with a solid code of ethics and a deep-rooted faith in our future.

On graduation day, we marched from Donahue Hall to a large white tent on the front lawn, where our family and friends waited. The day had come!

As I walked past my beloved rhododendrons for the last time, I remembered A.E. Housman’s poignant words from "A Shropshire Lad" which we, the Class of 1953, had engraved on a stone that lies on a wooded path in a Stonehill wood. I hope future students come upon it and treasure their days at Stonehill College as I have.

"That is the land of lost content
I see it shining plain, 
The happy highways where I went 
And cannot come again."

Joseph Bettencourt ’58, Luice Moncey ’53 and Richard Schiffman ’54 return for the Pillar Society Lunch in 2022. 

[Editor's Note: This reflection has been edited from its original text.]

Women at Stonehill

Visit "Seventy Years of Women at Stonehill," from the summer/fall 2021 issue of the Stonehill Alumni Magazine, to learn more.