Houghton, Michigan is known for its harsh winters, averaging about 400 inches of snow per year. The winters are especially tough for the elderly, which is why the Knights of Columbus members at Michigan Technological University decided to chop firewood to help keep them warm.
In recognition of the Knights’ exemplary service and accomplishments last year, Michigan Technological University Council 17237 received the Outstanding College Council Award at the 55th College Councils Conference – the Knights of Columbus’ annual gathering for members of councils on college campuses.
This year’s conference – the first virtual College Councils Conference in the Order’s history – recognized not just these young Knights’ service to the elderly, but their work in helping to foster faith on campus. During the school’s Winter Carnival Celebration, the Knights built an ice chapel capable of holding up to 200 people. Throughout the weeklong festivities, more than 400 people attended Mass at the ice chapel. Also at the festival, the council helped build camaraderie with their classmates by serving more than 90 pounds of chicken wings.
It’s these examples of brotherhood and service – and many more – that has led to the council’s growth, and their recognition as this year’s Outstanding College Council. In total, the Knights at Michigan Technological University welcomed 22 new men to their council this past year alone.
This year’s runners-up for Outstanding College Council were Texas A&M University Council 10624 in College Station Texas and Vanderbilt University Council 15020 in Nashville, Tenn. The former led a group to fight against pornography, cleaned up the campus and hosted a pro-life dinner. The latter hosted a Valentine’s Day dinner and virtual fish fry during Lent.
Fostering brotherhood and serving those most in need is simply what Knights do. Members on college campuses across North America completed countless programs, and several were recognized at the College Councils Conference in the following program award categories:
Magdalen College Council 15669 in Warner, New Hampshire, made a special effort to promote the importance of prayer on campus. By hosting compline — night prayer — every day on campus, students had a regular opportunity to spend time with the Lord. Most days it was held in the men’s dormitory but on Sundays and Wednesday, the campus’ chapel.
Knights from Lamar University Council 16464 in Beaumont, Texas, prayed the rosary and divine mercy chaplet outside of the Planned Parenthood facility in Houston as well as on the campus quad as part of a series of pro-life events they called “Life Week.” They also remembered the 3,000 babies killed each day by abortion by placing 300 wooden crosses on campus, which each represented 10 babies.
To help their fellow students cope with homesickness, the University of Illinois Council 2782 in Champaign, Illinois, held a series of events during the 2019 fall semester including flag football games, game tournaments and more. They also held a “Finals Baskets” program, in which the Knights delivered more than 200 care packages for students during finals week. These events and initiatives were part of the council’s Holiday Family Outreach Program.
Knights from Wichita State University Council 14799 in Wichita, Kansas, hosted their third annual Knights Charity Ball. Students from local universities attended the event that included dancing, dinner and live music. The event raised more than $1,000 for the Harbor House Catholic Charities in Wichita.
Leave No Neighbor Behind Award
Knights from Georgetown University Council 6375 in Washington, D.C., renovated and repainted an apartment housing young mothers in need. The apartment was initially in poor condition, but the Knights responded with care, compassion and charity as they left no neighbor behind during the ongoing pandemic.
The Knights of Columbus has an active presence on nearly 150 campuses in the U.S. and Canada – find the Knights on your campus. If your campus does not yet have a Knights of Columbus council, please contact us to learn how you can bring the Knights to your college or university.
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