SHU honors heritage with Charter Week celebrations

Charter Week celebrates the founding of Seton Hall in 1856 and the granting of its charter by the state of New Jersey in 1861. The power of the charter gave Seton Hall the ability to confer academic degrees and fulfill the mission of education. This year, Charter Day has been transformed into a full week of celebrations.

This week features a series of events that bring together alumni and current students. Not every Charter Day is the same, however. Dr. Joan F. Guetti, senior associate provost, explained, “While aspects of Charter Day remain the same, there are always changes, which are shaped by the individuals planning and organizing the day.”

Courtesy of the Archives and Special Collections Center, Seton Hall University
Seton Hall celebrated Charter Day in 1998 by dedicating the Statue of Elizabeth Ann Seton in front of Jubilee Hall.

This year for Charter Week the blessing of a newly commissioned statue of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Hall in Bethany Hall is being honored.
Seton Hall has created a full week of events to celebrate the charter. A walking tour of SHU’s eldest buildings, a food drive, a short movie about Seton Hall’s history and discounts in participating local shops are just some of the fun happening this week.

The week will honor multiple people who have helped SHU. “We also take time to recognize and honor the various recipients of our service awards,” Guetti said. These individuals are recognized in a special way for their dedication to the mission of the University and for their exemplary service to the campus community.”

Allison Link, a junior elementary special education major, said, “I think that many people do not acknowledge Charter Day (or week) because they do not know what it is. Its ironic because if this school did not have a charter, we would all be at different colleges,” Link said.

Link chose to come to SHU because of the program offered for her major. “There is a great program for my major at Seton Hall that couldn’t have happened without the charter it was granted,” Link said.

Stephanie Nwaiwu, a junior sports management major, credited SHU for making Charter Day something special for all their alumni and students.

“Many schools do not make such a big deal out of their charter but SHU does. I think it’s what makes them stand out to prospective students because they honor their history and foundation,” Nwaiwu said. “I have seen Charter Day manifest into different celebrations since I have been here and now its turned into a whole week of celebrations, which shows you how special it is.”

This week reminds students to honor and be thankful towards SHU all while still having fun. Guetti said, “There will be some fun and informative ways to channel your inner Pirate.”

Zoey Dotson can be reached at zoey.dotson@student.shu.edu.

Author: Zoey Dotson

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