WASHINGTON – More than 1,000 stamp collectors, alumni, faculty and students flocked to Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., April 26 to celebrate as the U.S. Postal Service issued a new 27-cent stamped postal card that pays tribute to the bicentennial of the second-oldest Catholic university in the country.
After the stamped card was unveiled, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra played Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony,” which was first performed Dec. 22, 1808, in Austria, a little more than two months after a cross was planted on Mary’s Mountain to inaugurate construction of the new university and seminary, said Linda Sherman, director of communications at Mount St. Mary’s.
“It was a great evening with a full house,” Ms. Sherman said of the event at the university’s campus in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains. “It’s a wonderful remembrance of what we were and what we’ve become.”
Stamp collectors from as far away as Oregon attended the event, she said.
The university first requested the stamped U.S. postal card eight years ago and began planning the dedication ceremony for the collectors’ item six months ago, Sherman said.
It’s the 58th in the postal service’s “Historic Preservation” series, initiated in 1977, said Postmaster General John E. Potter, who officially dedicated the postal card during the event.
It illustrates the university’s three oldest buildings – DuBois, Brute and McCaffrey halls, collectively known as “the Terrace.”
The stamp’s colorful artwork was created by award-winning architectural illustrator Frank M. Costantino of Winthrop, Mass., and the card was designed by Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, Ariz.
While the stamped card went on sale the day of the event in the Emmitsburg post office, it will be available nationwide May 12, Mr. Potter said.
Mount St. Mary’s was the second Catholic college established in the United States, about 20 years after the founding of Georgetown University in Washington.
“Mount St. Mary’s University is honored that the U.S. Postal Service recognizes our historic significance and contributions that the university has made to higher education,” said Thomas H. Powell, president of the university. “We’re so pleased to have this wonderful stamped postal card to mark the occasion of our bicentennial.”