ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — A story that took more than 150 years to unfold and more than a decade to research and write is almost ready to read.
Advance orders are now being taken for “The Good Journey: 150 Years of History at St. Bonaventure University.” Copies of the book are expected to be available in early June for the annual St. Bonaventure Alumni Reunion, but advance orders can be placed at www.sbuhistory.com. Advance publication orders — those placed by June 15, 2011 — will receive free shipping. The book retails for $45.
A limited number of copies of the book will be available at a 20% discount at the SBU Bookstore when they become available in June.
Based on the exhaustive research of longtime St. Bonaventure history Professor Edward Eckert, Ph.D., and edited by the McCarthy family of Buffalo — alumni Bob, ’76, Ann, ’74, and son, Dan, ’10 — the 160-page coffee table book contains more than 250 photos, some dating to the university’s infancy in the mid-19th century.
The book also includes more than 30 vignettes, brief features on everything from Father Tom Plassmann’s “railroad” to the bittersweet 1970 Final Four men’s basketball season to the most renowned local watering hole, The Burton. Most of the features were written by the McCarthys.
“It really was a labor of love for all three of us,” said Ann McCarthy, a public relations executive for Wegmans Food Markets. “I hope the editing and additional writing we contributed did justice to the remarkable story of St. Bonaventure. Dr. Eckert really laid a tremendous foundation for us to build upon.”
The coffee table book begins with Nicholas Devereux’s mid-19th century vision to establish a Catholic college in Western New York and runs into the 21st century, when the campus underwent the most dramatic overhaul of its physical plant since devastating fires ravaged the campus in the early part of the 20th century.
Along the way, readers discover how the university — led by an array of charismatic leaders, some beloved, some flawed — survived natural and man-made calamity to become the premier Franciscan university in North America.
The marketing campaign for the book — “His Story, Her Story, Your Story” — speaks to the intimate feelings St. Bonaventure alumni have for their alma mater.
“We hope that readers, alums and non-alums, are left with a deeper understanding of how much this truly special place has overcome and accomplished on this incredible 150-year journey,” said Bob McCarthy, longtime reporter for the Buffalo News. “For alumni especially, we hope it takes them back to that four-year snapshot of their lives they will always cherish.”
A more comprehensive scholarly text based on Dr. Eckert’s work will be published at a later date by Franciscan Institute Publications.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. No wonder U.S. News and World Report has for years considered us a “Great School at a Great Price.”