While none of these gems are actually hidden, we highlight places and things you may walk by every day but never notice, or know the story behind.


Stations Of The Cross

This rock archway located behind the monastery marks the beginning of a serene wooded pathway leading visitors through outdoor Stations of the Cross. Although sometimes a challenge to access during rainy months, the Stations of the Cross are worth a visit any season, but especially in late spring when the approximately 400 rhododendron bushes found along the pathway are in bloom.

The Grotto

You may know of the Grotto—but you may not know that first-year students gather at the statue of Mary during their orientation to write messages to their senior selves, which are delivered to their mailboxes when they become seniors.

St. Leander's Cemetery

Not everyone may know of this final resting place for members of the monastic community. The cemetary, which dates to 1913, is located behind the monastery. According to College Archivist Keith Chevalier, it was named in memory of Brother Leander Schieber, O.S.B., (1867-1926).

Off The Beaten Path

Just beyond St. Leander's Cemetery, you'll find a sign pointing you toward cross-country ski trails. Miles of these trails can be found and explored around campus.

A Ginkgo Biloba Grows On Campus

An unassuming sapling located behind Joseph Hall marks a remarkable connection to World War II. The sapling is a spawn from a 250-year-old ginkgo biloba tree that survived 1,500 yards from the 1945 atomic blast of Hiroshima. While this is not the only ginkgo biloba tree found on campus, it is the only one with this link to the past.

The Pond

The first photographs of the Pond (which has held several different nicknames throughout the years) appear in the 1898-1899 college Catalogue. The pond was used for swimming in the summer and ice hockey in the winter. According to College Archivist Keith Chevalier, in the early 1940s, the Army Air Forces detachment on campus drained it and poured a partial concrete foundation. This was modified by the physical plant in the 1970s, and today serves as a retention pond.

Look To THe Sky

Unless you’re a science student, you may not know there’s an observatory on campus. The J. Henry Izart Observatory has been a campus fixture since 1978. Located in the back fields, the observatory, according to Assistant Professor Nicole Gugliucci of the physics department, is mostly used for the Astronomy PS 101 course, and as requested by other courses.

TIP: According to Professor Jay Pitocchelli of the biology department, the observatory also is a great place to see and hear American woodcock displaying in March and April.

Do You See A Dragon?

There’s no hidden history here, but if you look closely at the Bell Tower of Alumni Hall, you can see the shape of a dragon’s head looking at you.

A Tribute To The Sisters Of Joan Of Arc

Look closely at the granite Cross of Lorraine monument located outside Joseph Hall. At its base you will notice it is dedicated to the sisters of Saint Joan of Arc. Arriving in 1928, the semi-cloistered sisters prepared meals and provided the monastery with domestic support. Joseph Hall is the former convent building the sisters lived in from 1955 to 2008.

Windows To The Past

Another hidden gem from Joseph Hall’s time as a convent—beautiful stained glass windows found in the first-floor stairwell, where the convent’s chapel altar was once located.

Moose On The Loose

Bennie the moose was a familiar fixture on campus in the early 2000s, but he’s spent the last several years hibernating in a cozy undisclosed location. But you never know, Bennie may decide to come out of hiding soon.

Echo Location

Find this unassuming medallion on the floor of the Abbey Church, and you also will find the exact center of the church. Whisper a few words, and you'll also discover the echo here is at its best.

What's Your Secret?

There are so many hidden gems of Saint Anselm—too many to include in one story. Do you have a favorite hidden spot or little-known piece of history to share? Tell us!

Send your secrets to:

Mail Portraits Magazine 100 Saint Anselm Drive Manchester, N.H. 03102

Email magazine@anselm.edu

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Storage Room Surprise

If you’re lucky (or brave) enough to gain access to the storage room in the basement of Goulet, brace yourself for some fun finds. It’s hard to miss the assortment of stuffed birds, owls, reptiles, and a skeleton or two.

An Herbarium In Our Midst

Indoor plants take on new meaning in Goulet. The biology department houses an herbarium, a collection of preserved plant specimens. According to Professor Eric Berry of the biology department, the college has thousands of herbarium sheets with plants collected from all over the world, some dating back to the 1800s. There are a few sheets on display in the cabinets across from Perini Lecture Hall, while the rest are kept safe in large cabinets in Goulet.

Rare Reads

The Geisel Library is a treasure trove of literary finds, but also some very rare and historic reads, especially in the Paradis Archives and Special Collections. A recent acquisition for the O’Rourke Saint Anselm Collection is the first edition of St. Anselm’s Opera [et] Tractatus published in 1491. According to College Archivist Keith Chevalier, it is the first attempt at using the printing press to publish a collection of his works (prior to this, these works were copied by hand).

Also according to Chevalier, the library has other incunabula, books printed in the first 50 years following Gutenberg (~1450). The new acquisition complements volumes already in this collection: a third edition of Opera from 1497 and a circa 1474 copy of a single work, Cur deus homo. The O’Rourke Saint Anselm Collection supports the work of the college’s Institute for Saint Anselm Studies.

Toast To A Past President

Look for this champagne glass former president Ronald Reagan held up after his 1980 Nashua, N.H., debate win over George Bush.

A Piece Of Camelot

The podium used by former president John F. Kennedy while visiting New Hampshire on November 7, 1960, can be found on display in the NHIOP, next to a large photo of him speaking from the same podium.

No Postage Necessary

Tucked inside the Ann and Paul Harvey Conference Room of the NHIOP hangs an important piece of history—a framed handwritten letter and envelope signed by statesman and congressman Daniel Webster. Look a little closer to see what isn't there: postage. Ever since the FIrst Continental Congress adopted it in 1775, members of Congress have had what is called the "franking privilege," allowing them to send mail with just their signature.

More Books To Check Out

There’s more than one impressive library on campus: The Young Presidential Library located at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) houses 2,800 volumes dedicated to the presidency in the Arthur P. and Patricia F. Young Collection.

What's In A Name?

Saint Anselm College. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the name of the college has seen many variations over the years, including St. Anselm’s College, Saint Anselm’s College, and St. Anselm College. The differences are enough to make any copy editor lose sleep. During a rebranding effort in the 1980s, this question came up, and a look at the college charter gave the answer: Saint Anselm College.

The Statue Of Saint Anselm

There’s more than meets the eye to the Saint Anselm statue outside of Alumni Hall. According to the remarks made by Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B. ’71 during a celebration of 125th anniversary of the founding of the college, when the statue was placed in its current location for the 100th anniversary, workers preparing the area for the statue uncovered a pile of charred bricks—left over from when the first Alumni Hall burned down in the 1890s. Some of these charred bricks are still there today, making up part of the rise that the statue stands on.

Walking Over History

The walkway to Gadbois leads you directly to where the former cellar once was for the college gardens.

Art Is Everywhere

Look for this statue of Saint Francis in the hallway of the Dana Center. Made of a compound of white marble chips, this working model was for one of the most popular pieces done by noted sculptor Benjamin Bufano (1878-1970).

A New Place For The Great Stone Face

It’s hard to miss the Great Stone Face now situated outside of Davison Dining Center. Before arriving on campus, it could be found atop the State Theater in Manchester.