Heritage Week treasure hunt starts today

Heritage Week treasure hunt starts today

A Heritage Week treasure hunt that includes a special nod to Monsignor James Lavin will run from today, March 3, to Friday, March 10. The hunt is open to all St. Thomas students, staff and faculty.

That includes senior Ashley Smith. The entrepreneurship and Spanish major took advantage of some spring-like weather last year and found the treasure when only half of the clues had been published. You can read about it here.

Each clue, in the form of thoroughly awful poetry, will be published along with an old photograph from the university’s Archives. These photos also are being used on Heritage Week posters that are being distributed throughout the university’s St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses. 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 have a choice of a $300 certificate to the St. Thomas Bookstore, a $300 credit to the winner’s Tommie eXpress account, or a one-year parking permit for either the university’s St. Paul or Minneapolis campus. 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.)

This year the treasure is sealed in an empty peanut-butter jar in recognition of the famous Lavinburgers, the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches that Lavin served to generations of students outside his room in Ireland Hall.

Lavin has been part of the St. Thomas community since 1936 when he enrolled as a freshman. After graduating summa cum laude, he enrolled in the St. Paul Seminary and was ordained in 1945. The next year he began teaching here and today, six decades later, continues to work part time for the St. Thomas Alumni Association. He is being honored at the Heritage Week receptions that will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, on the main floor of Murray-Herrick Campus Center on the St. Paul campus, and from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, on the main floor of Schulze Hall. Lavinburgers are on the reception menu.

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, uproot or otherwise wreck anything to find the treasure. Please be kind to the campuses during your hunt.

All right then; let the hunt begin!


Clue No. 1

His name was Johnny Ireland, the person in the middle.

Our founder was a busy guy, and didn’t like to fiddle.

The photo, we’ll tell you, is a pretty nifty clue.

Take a little breather, for hinty number two.

Just to be mean, see that building to the right,

We tore the old thing down, now it’s out-a-sight.