ALLEGANY, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure University students voted Café La Verna as the name of their new café, a 5,500-square-foot addition to Hickey Dining Hall currently under construction and expected to be completed this spring.
The winning name was announced Jan. 18 during dinner in Hickey Dining Hall.
La Verna is the name of the mountain retreat that was given to St. Francis and his brothers. It was a place to which Francis returned frequently and where St. Bonaventure wrote the ‘Itinerarium,’ the foundational text for the Intellectual Journey course and the Clare College core curriculum at St. Bonaventure.
Three teams of students submitted the winning name. The university will honor the winning team members by displaying a permanent plaque recognizing them inside the new café.
The gourmet coffee café naming contest was suggested by Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, university president, to promote community building and teamwork among students as classmates in an atmosphere of camaraderie and respect.
The contest began in November and inspired 19 teams to submit more than 30 potential names.
Edward Coughlin, the university’s vice president for Franciscan Mission, led the effort for the university with assistance from Robert Donius, vice president for university ministries, and Bryan Smith, coordinator of Internal Communications.
“It was great to see so many groups participate — over 150 students suggested names —and, due to the wonders of technology, to have over 400 students vote on-line,” Ed said.
Students were encouraged to choose their favorite name from the final four selected by a university panel. The finalists were Francesco’s (69 votes), Café La Verna (198), JAVAventure (51) and Gubbio Café (54).
According to Ed, the café will be an attractive addition to the renovated dining hall. The warmth of the fireplace and the opportunity to look out on recently-arrived snow will be a most welcome addition to the campus, he said.
The four finalists met all guidelines for submission, which required the name to be brief, creative and memorable in expressing the purpose of the cafe. The name was to have an element of connection to the university’s Franciscan heritage and its 150th anniversary celebration.