Nate Friday, B.A.
degree graduate in secondary education and social studies and the student
speaker at Stritch’s May 18 commencement ceremony, has left quite a legacy as
an engaged and involved student, but perhaps his most lasting imprint can be
found in stained glass.
Hanging above the
doors to the University's St. Francis of Assisi Chapel is a prominent
“sunrise/sunset” stained glass window that he created, titled "Go Light Your World."
“I had led a stained
glass project during a retreat,” he said. “When Father Jim Gannon (University
priest and associate director of campus ministry) asked me to create a window
for the chapel, I assumed it would be a small item inside of the room. I am so
honored to have been entrusted with this very visible project.”
Friday learned how to
create stained glass in high school, and said he was touched that Father Jim gave him this opportunity after only seeing smaller works that he had done.
With Father Jim's support,he worked on the
window over the summer months in 2011. The University will install a plaque recognizing his
contribution to the chapel and in commemoration of his graduation.
The St. Francis of
Assisi Chapel opened that year within space located in the southern wing
of the second floor promenade/hallway of Bonaventure Hall, which is the
University’s main administration building.
sized, centrally located chapel had long been deemed as a need for the
In May 1962, when Stritch was moved from the city of St. Francis to
its current Glendale/Fox Point main campus, the chapel was located in the
basement of Serra Hall. That space was considered to be a temporary location, but it was not until 2011 that the chapel
moved to a permanent and prominent home, thanks to the leadership of then-student Audrey Edwards, '13, and and the generosity of benefactors Anita and Al Costigan, Eileen and Daniel Meehan, Robert L. and Dr. Joanne A. Anderson, Lisa and Souheil Badran, Thomas and Lynne VanHimbergen, and Suzanne M. Felan.
Seeing the window now, nearly three years later, remains a thrill for Friday and his parents, Bob and Rhonda.
“It is still exciting, every time I walk into the chapel," Nate said. "It doesn't get old. At Stritch, no student is just a number. We are all given opportunities to make lasting contributions here.”
During Friday’s four
years at Stritch, he successfully completed majors in secondary education and
social studies, as well as a minor in religious studies. In addition to balancing his demanding
academic course load, Friday has been a starting pitcher for the Wolves
baseball team, led several University Ministry retreats, served on the Student
Athletic Advisory Council, and participated in the Franciscan Pilgrimage to
Friday will begin his career as director of lifelong formation for St. Matthias
Catholic Church in Milwaukee. In this position, which directs formation for all
age groups, Friday will develop curricula, coordinate classes, and provide
professional development for catechists.
“I've been blessed
to be able to pursue my interests at Stritch,” said Friday. “Because of the
support I received here, I will be able to incorporate education and ministry
into my daily work.”