Heritage Week treasure hunt starts here today

Heritage Week treasure hunt starts here today

The University of St. Thomas Heritage Week’s third-annual treasure hunt will run from today, March 2, to Friday, March 9. The hunt is open to all St. Thomas students, staff and faculty.

That includes junior Nick Nelson who found the 2006 Heritage Week treasure after just two clues; it was hidden under a bench in O’Shaughnessy Stadium. In 2005, Ashley Smith, then a senior, took advantage of some spring-like weather (the darn snow melted) and found the treasure when only half of the clues had been published.

You can read about Nelson’s treasure-hunting adventure here. And here’s the story about Smith.

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.)

Last year 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 hidden outdoors. 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.

All right then; let the treasure hunt begin.

Clue No. 1

The first two years, with eagle eyes,
The students quickly found the prize.

Not this year. If we placed such a bet,
A challenge to find, where the thing is set.

So who’s this guy in the photo above?
Lucky for St. Thomas, he shared his love.

Dumped by Collegeville, for drinking beer,
He stopped at St. Thomas, “Can I come here?”

Learn more about him, here on this Monday.
His name is a clue, that points you the way.