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Oral History


Memories of Sister Mary Maxine Porambo, OSF

Sister Maxine is currently the Administrator of the Bernardine Franciscan Sister’s Foundation House, Sacred Heart Convent, located next to Alvernia College Campus.  Sister served as Dean of Students for Alvernia College in the 1980’s and reflects on how it was at Alvernia College at that time.

Veronica Hall was the only residence hall.  Men resided on the first and second floors in one wing.  The men and women gathered only for celebration of birthdays.  A curfew in effect required all students to sign when leaving the grounds and to return by 11:00 PM except for requested exceptions.

The Dean of Students toured the building daily and met with the students at the beginning of each semester.

Every weekend there was general cleaning and for holidays all rooms were checked for order before students left the campus.  During the summer months, all rooms were refreshed for the new year.

All students, new and returning, were required to pay a key deposit which was refunded at the end of the year if the same key was returned.  A form stating the conditions of the room was signed by each student.  At the end of the year rooms were checked and students were required to pay for any major damages.

Religious services were provided for by the college chaplain, Father Gobitas, who met frequently with the students.  Seasonal liturgies and activities, suggested by the students, were well attended.  These included: Saturday, Sunday and Holyday Masses, Advent, Lent and Paschal services.  No TV was permitted at these times.  Students of other religious denominations left campus for various services throughout Reading.

The Student Government Association was very active and ran many of the fund-raising activities that provided for many college needs such as: folding tables and chairs for the auditorium, the outside lighting system, signs for the buildings, and stage curtains.  They also planned the many social activities of the student body such as dances, hay rides, skiing and other off-campus activities.

The Parents and Friends Association provided and served refreshments for the various social and academic affairs.

Food Service was prepared by the sisters daily and for special occasions.

Francis Hall was decorated by the sisters and faculty.  The main entrance was a sight to behold.  The students returning from Thanksgiving vacation found Veronica Hall very inviting arrayed in its Christmas splendor.


Interviewed by: Sister M. Alodia Podczasy, September 8, 1998

Contact Information

The University Archives are located at the 951 Morgantown Offices on the first floor. Please contact Sharon Neal, Library Director to schedule an appointment.