PERU — Members from the Class of 1964 broke ground June 28 for the new St. Bede Academy Gateway Arch. The new Gateway Arch is an initial part of the Legacy Project, the St. Bede capital improvement plan which will include upgrades, renovations and new construction. Recent graduates from St. Bede’s graduating Class of 2014 were also present for the event and met with alumni from the class that graduated 50 years before them.
“When we were very young, we remembered the St. Bede Arch at the end of the lane at Route 6,” stated John Yerly of the Class of 1964, “Little did we know then that passing through that arch would one day be our ‘gateway to the future.’ It is our feeling that rebuilding the St. Bede Arch will offer the next generation of Bedans ‘their Gateway to the Future.’ We are grateful to Abbot Philip and the monks of St. Bede for continuing over 100 years of Benedictine teaching and for the development of so many young men and women.”
“Our successful efforts to move forward with our legacy project makes this an exciting time,” said Abbot Philip. “Today’s event brings together our Golden Bedans from the Class of 1964 and some of our graduates from the Class of 2014. This fall they will be able to walk together through the archway which when located at the lane for almost 70 years became a symbol of welcome to St. Bede. For many years to come, the new archway will be a reminder of the St. Bede legacy, and for our students, it will become the gateway to success.“
“We are grateful that the Class of 1964 is here to break ground for the new arch,” said Ted Struck, superintendent. “(This year) marks the 50th anniversary of the Class of ‘64’s graduation, and therefore it is their Golden Bedan year.”
The Class of ’64 is providing funding for the new arch as a Class Gift to the Legacy Project.
The gateway arch was a symbolic welcome into the campus through the 1950s and was originally located at the entrance to the St. Bede lane. The new gateway arch will be constructed near the north entrance to the school. Completion of the arch will be this fall and will welcome current and returning students at this year’s homecoming.
St. Bede Academy, located in Peru, is a college preparatory Catholic high school in the Benedictine tradition which endeavors to prepare its students for college and for life by welcoming them into a community of learning permeated by Christian values. St. Bede Academy has been providing a Catholic education in North Central Illinois since 1890.