By Eduardo Castillon

As the Fall 2022 semester comes to a close, let’s take a look back to see what the CUA community was up to in December of 2015, 1981, and 1961. 

7 Years Ago; December 11, 2015; Volume 93, Issue 11

Catholic University experienced a tense week back in 2015. In Pangborn hall, a custodian was confronted by an armed man claiming to be a member of ISIS. The suspect had demanded the custodian direct him to the “main campus building.” Instead, the custodian directed him to Lahey where the DPS office is located. Naturally the students were shaken up and more than a little confused. While the school had issued two shelter-in-place warnings, the actual threat was never communicated and classes continued as normal on the second day. The Tower was able to gather students’ feelings and allow them to voice their concerns over perceived lack of transparency with the school administration. Such harrowing events in the school’s history remind us about the hard work and dedication of custodial and security staff here at CUA and all they do to keep us safe.

41 years ago; December 11, 1981; Vol. 60, Issue 12

A bizarre event transpired this week back in 1981 when the university gave a trespass notice to a man claiming to go by “Jim Hartzoe”. Students had reported this man for pretending to be a brother from the order of Our Lady of Christ in order to ask for money from students. This disguise apparently suited him for two years, as he was believed to have first infiltrated campus in 1979. “Jim Hartzoe” was confirmed to be a fake alias; the order of Our Lady of Christ was contacted and also proved him not to be a member of their order. Despite this fraud, students seemed oddly impressed with the man. “He’s very well versed in theology,” said one student. “He’s very intelligent and can put on a really good act.” It’s no wonder too, as this fake Hartzoe also claimed to have two doctorate degrees from Oxford and American University. At the time of The Tower’s reporting in 1981, fake Hartzoe was reported to have switched to the Carmelite order and had been seen lingering by the Fransciscan Monastery. We can only wonder where this theologically sound con artist is up to now. 

61 years ago; December 15, 1961; Vol. 40, Issue 10

In time for the holidays, The Tower reported on the University Chaplain’s choir and their wonderful renditions of traditional Christmas carols. They had visited the Carroll Manor House for the Aged, the Old Soldier’s Home, and D.C. General Hospital with plans for more care facilities around the District of Columbia. Additionally, the choir recorded their carols to hand out at local hospitals and orphanages. Service has always been an important aspect of life here at CUA, and what better time to show that than in the season of giving.

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