#DolphinsLiveWell The Spirit of Le Moyne College


© Bettmann/CORBIS

16 Oct 1965 — Original caption: David Miller, Pacifist; burns draft card. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Welcome back to campus… AND to the first issue of the Dolphin of this semester including the very first #DolphinsLiveWell article of the New Year!  We here at the Wellness Center hope you have all had a restful and enjoyable winter break and are returning to campus re-energized and motivated for a healthy and successful semester!

Last week Le Moyne College celebrated the teaching and works of Dr. Martin Luther King through various lectures, movies, webinars, and events throughout campus.  We are encouraged by all those who took time to participate and embrace the words of this great leader and peace-maker. In embracing Dr. King’s messages of diversity, inclusivity, and equity in your own lives and as members of the Le Moyne community, you truly demonstrate and embody the spirit of Le Moyne College.

This week, as a collective community, we intentionally celebrate the spirit of Le Moyne College: who we are, our history, and what we represent to the world at large. Hopefully throughout this week you’ve taken part in showing your pride for our “Jesuit gem” in all its glory! We have a long and rich history of social justice work beginning with  St. Ignatius Loyola who founded the Society of Jesus:  did you know he was quite the party animal and rebel before following in Christ’s footsteps and engaging in missionary work?  

Then there was Simon Le Moyne whom our school is named after and who’s work also included peace-making with the Native Americans in our area:  did you know that he was the first from Europe to discover the salt springs of Onondaga and thus began an early thriving commerce for Syracuse? How about the fact that the Le Moyne College seal includes downturned arrowheads which symbolize his work on behalf of diplomacy and peace. It also depicts flowing waters, to symbolize both the ritual of baptism and Father Le Moyne’s discovery of the value of the Onondaga salt springs!  

Our strong social justice heritage continues with the opening of Le Moyne College in 1946; the first Jesuit college to be founded as a co-educational institution to support women in the area.  Our strong social justice mission was furthered by the work of Daniel Berrigan (whom Le Moyne has named an annual lecture after).  In 1957, Daniel Berrigan was appointed professor of New Testament studies at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. The same year, he won the Lamont Prize for his book of poems, Time Without Numbers. He developed a reputation as a religious radical, working actively against poverty and on changing the relationship between priests and lay people. While at Le Moyne, he founded its International House and while on a sabbatical from Le Moyne in 1963, Berrigan traveled to Paris and met French Jesuits who criticized the social and political conditions in Indochina.  

Together with his brothers Phillip and Daniel (who also attended Le Moyne College) he founded the Catholic Peace Fellowship, a group which organized protests against in the war in Vietnam.  And in 1966, 22 year old Dan Miller, a recent sociology graduate of Le Moyne College was the first person arrested under a new federal law prohibiting destruction of draft cards, after he publicly burned his stating ”I’m a Catholic pacifist. I hope this will be an effective political act.”  And Le Moyne’s most recent “first”,  the appointment of  the first female lay president to a Jesuit College, Dr. Linda Le Mura.  Yes, our school is full of spirit: for our athletic teams of course, but for all who work and abide here, but especially for our unique and rich history of being men and women for others.