“We don’t get many New Englanders at UD, but the ones we do get are really good.” So observed one English professor (a New York native with Boston roots) to another (a son of Massachusetts). This is so, I can candidly say, and I am happy to report that the state of affairs will continue this fall when a high-school senior of my acquaintance makes the long journey from the Boston suburbs to the Dirty Irv. Nick and I attend the same theology certificate class through the Institute for the New Evangelization here in Brighton, Mass. He is a wickedly smart, very pleasant young man, who just today — with a broad smile on his face — told me that he had at last decided on UD over CUA. (He wants to major in physics, and the pull of Dr. Olenick was impossible to resist.) In celebration of his decision he was wearing a UD fleece.
In a flash my unalloyed delight at Nick’s smart choice turned sour. Disappointment is everywhere in our postlapsarian world, but in this particular instance perfectly avoidable, for what had saddened me was seeing on my friend’s fleece not the eloquent and handsome image of a fine university but the dull, vapid drawing of a marketing department. I oughtn’t be polemical: UD remains a fine university, flying spaceship and all. But it’s frustrating to see a design dense with meaning be replaced by something scanty, and even a few years into the seal’s exile, it feels ominous that so textured a symbol should be virtually banished from campus.
Why strip the altars? What for?
I wish that Nick could readily buy a fleece, a T-shirt, or a sweatshirt that’s marked by an image “emblematic of the ideals to which the University is dedicated” and “likewise reminiscent of the deposit of faith of the Roman Catholic Church and of the traditions of two teaching communities within the Church” — to quote from the Bulletin about the seal.
Maybe we should reserve the flaming cupcake for graduation and use the right old proper seal the rest of the year.
– Daniel Orazio, Class of 2013