College Adds New Symbol of Peace to Campus

The Saint Mary's peace pole.

In a noontime ceremony on the Sept. 21 U.N. International Day of Peace, Saint Mary's dedicated a campus peace pole to provide a permanent reminder of the hopes and goodwill of billions of people around the globe.

"Peace is more than the absence of war," said International Programs director Dino Pruccoli during the dedication. "It's uniting the world to transform society and make a more peaceful and sustainable world for all."

Students, faculty and visitors who pass by Ferroggiaro Hall will see the eight-foot aluminum pole which features the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" inscribed in eight languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, Swahili and Thai.

The pole also includes an inscription of a quote by Nobel Peace laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, which reads "Peace is the gift we give each other."

The Peace Pole Project began in 1955 when the World Peace Prayer Society installed the first peace pole in Japan. Today, there are more than 250,000 of these signs of peace in 190 counties, including at the Pyramids in Egypt and on the Allenby Bridge between Israel and Jordan.

The College's ceremony featured a prayer for peace, the singing of John Lennon's "Imagine" by Courtney Carmignani '05, and reflections on peace from Brother Camillus Chavez, sociology professor Margot Winer and religious studies professor Eli McCarthy.

The new peace pole was made possible through support from the College's Center for International Programs, International Club, Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action, Women's Resource Center and the Associated Students of Saint Mary's College.

-- John Grennan
Office of College Communications
Photo by Gabrielle Diaz '11