SMWC brings foundress to 21st century

November 3rd, 2014 | SMWC

Kirstin O
Kirstin O'Rourke, junior at SMWC, posted this photo to Instagram from the other side of the world. While studying abroad in Australia, she missed the 175th kick-off celebrations, but she has been able to take part in the excitement through social media.

Who wouldn’t want to take a selfie with a saint? At least that’s the hope those at SMWC have as they launch a unique social media campaign, which asks alums to take a selfie … with Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

The campaign runs in conjunction with the College’s year of celebration leading up to its 175th anniversary. SMWC will engage alums, students, faculty, staff and community by asking Woods supporters from all over the world to “journey” with the College’s foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, then share on social media using a hashtag - #FlatSMTG.

An insert in the most recent issue of "Onyx," SMWC’s alumni magazine, contained an image of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin that alums can cut out and take with them, along with a description of the campaign. It states, “Now it is time to show the world what Saint Mother Theodore Guerin means to you. As you Aspire Higher in your every day life or on your grand adventures, we invite you to take Saint Mother Theodore Guerin along … Flat Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, that is.”

“Saint Mother Theodore Guerin is a woman for all times,” states SMWC President Dottie King, Ph.D. “Her legacy inspires our current students as well as alums of all ages. She fought against injustice, she persevered against extreme challenges and she remained true to God, herself and to her mission. She lovingly ‘aspired higher’ in all that she said and did. The world is in need of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students to live as she did … now, more than ever before!”

Alum and Sister with FlatSMTG
Heather Tetzlaff Smith, 1992 graduate of SMWC, took Flat SMTG to the opening of the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, where she took a photo with Sister of Providence, Rosemary Nudd, Ph.D.

The Flat Saint Mother Theodore Guerin campaign honors the spirit of the College’s foundress, the spirit that exists within the heart of every alum and student. It acknowledges that they are a part of her legacy and she is a part of each of them.

“Mother Theodore's sense of playfulness, so evident in her writings, makes me think that she would enjoy knowing that she is being remembered in this slightly quirky fashion,” states Sister Lisa Stallings, a Sister of Providence and 1974 graduate of SMWC. “The Flat Saint Mother Theodore Guerin campaign is a great way to show that she lives on and that the mission continues all over the world. I look forward to my first selfie with Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.”

This idea originated from the 1964 children’s book written by Jeff Brown titled Flat Stanley. In the story, Stanley’s father hangs a big bulletin board above Stanley’s bed for him to display pictures and posters. During the night the board falls from the wall, flattening Stanley in his sleep. He survives and makes the best of his altered state. One special advantage is that Flat Stanley can now visit his friends by being mailed in an envelope. The adventures that Flat Stanley experiences have spanned over multiple books throughout the years.

“This campaign shows that our 175th anniversary is about more than just this physical place,” states Betsy Wells, communications manager at SMWC. “It is about all of the alums out in the world doing extraordinary things with the foundation of SMWC and the spirit of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.”

The campaign has its own website, www.smwc.edu/flatsmtg, featuring feeds of the hashtag from Twitter and Instagram and a downloadable Flat SMTG. Alums are also encouraged to email their photos to flatsmtg(at)smwc.edu for a chance to see them featured in the next issue of "Onyx," the College's alumni magazine.

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