By Sierra Lammi
Last week on Sept. 22, the post office in Guild Hall was officially designated the Eugene J. McCarthy Post Office in honor of the SJU alum and former U.S. Senator, Eugene J. McCarthy, who graduated from St. John’s in 1935.
The bill renaming the post office was signed into law by President Obama last year, on July 29, 2016, just a few months after what would have been the 100th birthday of Eugene McCarthy. The director of the McCarthy Center for Public
Policy and Civic Engagement Matt Lindstrom was among the people who attended the official post office dedication.
“The naming of the Eugene J. McCarthy Post Office is a great dedication to a life-long public servant and serves as a reminder of the importance of civic engagement, especially in the ultimate civic space of a post office,” Lindstrom said.
According to Lindstrom, this project was student driven . One such student worked at an internship in Washington, D.C. and worked on naming post offices.
“Through the collaboration of several faculty and students, we worked with Congress members and were able to make this happen,” Lindstrom said.
Rep. Tom Emmer was the representative who authored the bill to designate the Eugene J. McCarthy post office here at SJU. Emmer was also in attendance at the official dedication last week, and during his speech expressed his gratitude and respect at the memory of Sen. McCarthy, and his remaining family members.
Among the others at the post office dedication were members of Eugene McCarthy’s family, including his son Dr. Michael McCarthy, his niece Mary Beth McCarthy-Yarrow, as well as SJU President Michael Hemesath. During the dedication, McCarthy expressed his gratitude at the memorialization of his
father while Hemesath spoke of the legacy that McCarthy left at these institutions.
This post office dedication serves as a reminder for not only the achievements of Sen. McCarthy, but also as inspiration for current political science students here at CSB/SJU according to McCarthy Center student coordinator Sameera Sheikh.
Sheikh explained why the McCarthy Center wanted to officially dedicate the post office to Eugene J. McCarthy.
“Since we are celebrating his 100th birthday, we wanted to do something special,” Sheikh said. The post office didn’t really have a name before, so we wanted to name it after him to celebrate his accomplishments in his life and also because his graduation from CSB/SJU makes us a part of his legacy.”
The dedication of the post office at SJU will serve the community at CSB/SJU as a reminder of the achievements of Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy and honor a man who took what he learned at this institution to make change in the world.