By: Charlis Vega
There are a couple routes that students and faculty members use to get onto campus and most of them are the typical blackish-grey roads yet one of them is a faded red brick road. It may not be a yellow brick road but then again students at USM are not in the production of The Wizard of OZ. This red brick road is a part of USM history because the original sisters who founded the once all women’s school in 1858 by sister Xavier Ross and have a Vincentian tradition, put the road in after the Annunciation chapel was completed in 1916 yet there are documents found by Tonya Crawford the university’s SCL archivist written by Mother Mary that the brick road was laid in 1912.
Tonya states,” It is possible that part of the road was bricked in 1912 and the rest completed in 1916-but it is a guess. Considering the time period the road would have been laid mostly ‘by hand’ as there wouldn’t have been much in the way of machinery to help. The sisters themselves, however, would not have done this work-instead hiring a company.” At USM in 1963, there was a controversy on whether or not to pave over the brick road for the ‘ease of upkeep’ and blacktop it, but the sisters would not concede due to the history and significance that the red brick road has added to the school. So when the students petitioned to cover the bricks further down the front lane, 50,000 bricks were taken up so that the road underneath could be smoothed out and then the bricks were relaid by hand. The relaying of the red bricks happened in 1989 where there is an old newspaper clipping that detailed the brick road renovation.
Charlis Vega is a freshman at the University of Saint Mary and is studying English.