Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Angel, The (sculpture)

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Institution Name: Seton Hill University
Original/Historic Place Name: The Guardian Angel
Location on Campus: at the bend of the entrance road
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1892original placement on campus Unknown
Type of Place: Landscape site
Type of landscape–
Large-scale features:
Statue of the Guardian Angel purchased and erected as a symbol and consecration; has stood at the bend in the entrance road since 1892; the statue was recently removed and awaits repair before being replaced.
Other characteristics:
Materials: base: carved sandstone block; statue: metal
ca. 1892-2000other (statue)

Significance: culture, education, history, landscape, religion
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The statue is significant in the history of the Academy and of the Sisters of Charity, the founders of Seton Hill College. Mother Anne Regina Ennis, the second Mother Superior of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, purchased the statue of the Guardian Angel and erected it as both a symbol and a consecration. It was placed at the bend of the road where it marked the limit of unchaperoned walks for Academy girls. It is a campus landmark.

The base was made from one of the large stone blocks of the kind that had been used in building the Motherhouse (Administration Building). An itinerant stoneworker, name unknown, labored at the intricate carving on the four sides of the base. He appeared, worked at the carving, received food and shelter while working, and then disappeared.

Some time ago, the angel's wings disappeared while the statue remained wingless on its base. About 1999 or 2000, it was reported that the wings had been located. There was some talk at that time about re-attaching the wings, but by then the angel herself disappeared. In March 2003, the Archives staff was told that the angel had been found. The Angel has recently been moved to the Archives Processing Room, and the search is on for the wings. We hope to get the statue repaired and back on its base.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Boyle, Mary Electa. Mother Seton's Sisters of Charity in Western Pennsylvania. Greensburg, PA: Seton Hill, 1946.

Troutman, R. Dwight. "Hazard Yet Forward: A History of Seton Hill College." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 1978.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Other: Secretary of the Sisters of Charity, DePaul Center, 463 Mt. Thor Rd.

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