Heritage Week treasure hunt starts here today

Heritage Week treasure hunt starts here today

The University of St. Thomas Heritage Week's fourth-annual treasure hunt will run from today, Feb. 29, to Friday, March 7. The hunt is open to all St. Thomas students, staff and faculty.

This year's treasurer finder will join the ranks of Anne Matzke, who found the 2007 Heritage Week treasure after the sixth and final clue; Nick Nelson who found the 2006 treasure after just two clues; and Ashley Smith who found the 2005 treasure after the third clue (and the darn snow melted).

How did they do it? For tips you can read about Matzke here, Nelson here, and Smith here.

Each clue, in the form of thoroughly awful poetry, will be published along with an old photograph from the university's Archives. The photos might or might not be part of the clues; you'll have to figure that out. Some of the photos have never been published.

Here's a free clue: the treasure has been hidden on the university's St. Paul campus. Starting today, a new clue will be published each weekday in Bulletin Today. A total of six clues will be published.

To win, you must find the treasure and return it to the Office for Mission in Room 104A of Aquinas Hall. The winner will receive a $300 certificate to the St. Thomas Bookstore. The winner must have a current St. Thomas ID to claim the prize.

The treasure you are looking for is actually a St. Thomas paperweight. The off-white marble base of the paperweight measures 2 inches by 2 inches, and is three-quarters of an inch thick. Mounted on top of the marble base is a pewter-colored, metal medallion engraved with the shield of the university. You can tell it's not a brand-new paperweight because it also is engraved with the words "College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn." On the back of the marble base is a word that will indicate the treasure has been found. (Note: the winner doesn’t get to keep the paperweight; it will be saved by the Heritage Week Committee for future treasure hunts. So far, this is the old paperweight's fourth big adventure.)

Two years ago the treasure was sealed in an empty peanut butter jar in recognition of the famous Lavinburgers, the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches that Monsignor James Lavin served to generations of students outside his former room in Ireland Hall. If the treasure is sealed in something this year, it is for us to know and for you to find out.

Here's a second free clue: the treasure is not inside a building, so dress warm. And here's an important request: you don’t need to tip, dismantle, mangle or otherwise wreck anything to find the treasure. If you feel the need to tip, dismantle, mangle or otherwise wreck something to find the treasure, it's not in that spot. Please be kind to the campuses during your hunt.

Oh, and a final free clue: This year's treasure hunt just might involve some snow. Or maybe not.

All right then; let the treasure hunt begin.

Clue No. 1

Our purple and gray, from nineteen hundred one.
Look how fierce, they surely must have won.

Now it's your turn, to be a big winner,
Just follow the rules, and don't be a sinner.

So what's the clue? Are you starting to wonder?
Search high, of course, but also what's under.

Consider this door, of our Old Class Building,
It's long gone now, turned to nothin' but kindling.

Opening Doors: the theme of our capital campaign,
Go find the treasure, crack open champagne.