On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, the Saint Anselm College community gathered to dedicate a new addition to the Hilltop – a statue of Joan of Arc.

Joan of Arc statue

“Today, we thank you for adding this final exclamation mark to this project, a statue that honors Joan of Arc, and allows Greg’s daughter, Briar, to honor her father in a truly beautiful and lasting way here in what we affectionately call Briar’s Patch,” said President Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D., to the Grappones.

The statue is cast of Henri Chapu’s “Jeanne D’Arc à Domrémy.” Chapu was a 19th century French artist, known for the naturalism in his works. It is a gift of Robert and Beverly Grappone P’04 HD’22 and sits in the garden outside of the Gregory J. Grappone Humanities Institute. Skylight Studios in Woburn, Mass., created the statue.

A member of the monastic community blesses the Joan of Arc statue

“This statue was meant to be, and it was meant to be for so many reasons,” explained Professor Gary Bouchard, Ph.D., executive director of the Humanities Institute. “We are at the end of celebrating the 50th anniversary of women on this campus, there is an 80-year history of the Sisters of Joan of Arc who devoted their lives to this saint and to this college, and as it turns out, our friend Bob Grappone has had a deep devotion to Joan of Arc.”

After the welcomes and thank you’s, Rev. Iain Maclellan, O.S.B. ’77, director of the Chapel Arts Center, gave a brief talk about the statue.

“After a long search for a statue for Briar’s Patch at the Gregory J. Grappone Humanities Institute, it came to mind that perhaps an historically oriented image from the past, versus something completely original, would be very suitable on many levels, to reflect not only Saint Anselm College’s history, character, and aesthetic, but also— just as importantly—tell a story in the garden,” said Fr. Iain.

Mary Markounas ’26 holding up her Grappone Fellowship award

As a part of the dedication, Mary Markounas ’26, an English and secondary education major, received the 2024-2025 Grappone Humanities Fellowship. This fellowship provides a full-year tuition award to a junior or senior at Saint Anselm who has demonstrated an exceptional understanding and commitment to the humanities and the wisdom they offer.

Special thanks to Jonathan Woodcock, Kim Britton, and the rest of the physical plant team, and the Office of Alumni Relations.

“For Briar’s garden patch, [Joan of Arc] is a story to be retold, again and again, with an inspiring mythic presence, and a contemplative steadiness forever looking forward, forever listening, into the questions young people, and old, always hold in quiet, clasped hands, resting. In the words of Joan of Arc, “In God’s name, let us go on bravely,” concluded Fr. Iain.


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