Jerry Lacey knew exactly where to park and exactly where to go when he made the trip to Western Pennsylvania to visit his grandchild, sophomore Elana Benninghoff, on family weekend.
Jerry knows the campus has changed since he was a student over a half-century ago. But like most alums he can recall the lifelong memories that were made during those impressionable four years.
He was so excited when Elana told him she was attending Saint Francis that he had her acceptance letter framed and hung it in his home.
We sat down with Jerry and Elana to get a glimpse of what campus was like in the late 1950’s, and how proud he is that Elana is an SFU orientation counselor informing new students on the spirit and traditions that make Saint Francis a special place.
JERRY: Hi, I’m Jerry Lacey and I graduated in 1960. My major
was sociology with a minor in English, and then I took about 18 credits in
philosophy so a very blended liberal arts education. I stayed my first year
over in Raymond Hall and then Giles hall and several other dormitories on
Torvian Hall was open when I got up here and the food was
cafeteria style in those days. They treat you like family when you walk in
A graduate of Saint Francis, a good friend of mine, asked
me, ‘Where are you going to college?’ and I said, ‘I really haven’t made a
commitment.’ He says, ‘You should think about Saint Francis.’ I said, ‘Sure.’ I
came up, I worked out with the team and our coach offered me a scholarship. We
practiced and played in Doyle hall. It’s now a museum.
I came back a few years and came to alumni reunions and then
I drifted away and then later on I got back involved with Saint Francis and I
come back to many alumni reunions.
ELANA: He has been taking me here since I was nine. We would
walk around the campus and see how beautiful it is. We would reminisce. We
would find out where our dorm is and stay there, cause when you come up for
alumni weekend you have to stay in a dorm. So me and my sisters would stay in
one dorm and my grandpa and my mom would split a twin bed dorm.
JERRY: I was very proud that she picked Saint Francis. She had several other schools in mind and
Saint Francis was nice enough to offer her several scholarships.
It is important for life values, and that is what Saint
Francis teaches in my humble opinion, life values.