The University of St. Thomas is rolling out its purple and gray carpet May 6 to 11 for a delegation of 60 baseball players, coaches, faculty and administrators from the University of Havana and the Polytechnic Institute Jose Antonio Echeverria, a nearby technical university.
Dozens of St. Thomas faculty, students and staff members have been planning for the Cubans’ visit here since January, when a group of 60 from St. Thomas traveled to the island and enjoyed a week of hospitality extended by the University of Havana.
Wherever the St. Thomas group traveled in Cuba, it was struck by the friendliness of the people. There will be a number of opportunities for the St. Thomas community to return that friendship and become acquainted with the Cuban guests. Below is a list of events and activities everyone from the St. Thomas community is welcome to attend.
Information about the Cubans’ visit also can be found in the outdoor kiosk near the arches.
If you’d like an “Equipo Caribe vs. St. Thomas” t-shirt, they are available for $10 at the Box Office, Room 110, Murray-Herrick Campus Center. Examples of the colorful shirts can be seen in the kiosk by the arches, and outside the Dean of Student Life office in Murray-Herrick.
Saturday, May 6
4 p.m. — Cubans will arrive and be welcomed by a St. Thomas delegation at the Humphrey Terminal of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. No special buses are scheduled to run to the terminal, but everyone is invited to attend.
8 p.m. — All are welcome to a program and the U.S. premiere of two videos on the St. Thomas trip to Cuba in January. The first video was produced by the University of Havana; the second, “Two Cultures, One Game,” was produced by members of St. Thomas’ Instructional Support Services office, Modern and Classical Languages Department, and Journalism Department. The videos will be shown in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.
9:30 p.m. to midnight — A non-alcoholic “Nightclub Dance” will be held in Coughlan Field House. Members of both teams and the St. Thomas community are invited. The dance is sponsored by Ireland Hall.
Sunday, May 7
9 to 10:30 p.m. — “Can You Feel the Rhythm?” dance to the beat of salsa music in the third-floor lounge (Room 304) of Murray-Herrick Campus Center. The dance is sponsored by GMSA (Globally Minded Student Association) and the All College Council.
Monday, May 8
2 to 3 p.m. — St. Thomas students will lead the Cuban ballplayers on campus tours. If you see a tour group, be sure to say hello.
3 to 5 p.m. — Welcome! !Bienvenidos! St. Thomas’ All College Council and students will welcome the Cuban students at an informal social in the first-floor commuter lounge of Murray-Herrick Campus Center.
Tuesday, May 9
The game between the Tommies and Equipo Caribe is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; fans are asked to enter the stadium’s Gate F, at Chicago Avenue and Fifth Street. Seating will be in the first deck surrounding the infield. Scorecards and background sheets will be provided.
10 to 11:30 a.m. — Need a ride to the game? Three shuttle buses will be making runs between St. Thomas and the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. Starting shortly after 10 a.m., the free buses will pick up passengers in front of the Summit Avenue arches. For the return trip after the game, the buses will pick up passengers at the same spot they were dropped off.
10 a.m. — Pre-game warm-ups at the Metrodome.
11:30 a.m. — Pre-game ceremonies. Welcomes from presidents of the two universities, U.S. and Cuban national anthems.
Noon to 3 p.m. — Baseball game.
Can’t make the game? MediaOne will televise the game live that day with coverage starting at 11:45 a.m. For most of the metro area served by MediaOne, the game can be seen on Channel 13. For cable subscribers in the city of St. Paul, the channel will be 25.
Shuttle Bus Note: The St. Thomas “logo” buses that normally are used for the shuttle between the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses will be used for activities related to the Cuba visit from Saturday, May 6, through mid-morning Thursday, May 11. During those five days, the St. Thomas shuttle buses will be replaced by orange school buses.