The Plummer Building doors are a symbol of the Mayo Clinic institution: open and welcoming, representing diversity of life.
Through history, the doors have closed to mark solemn occasions of great significance, as one of the highest expressions of respect at Mayo Clinic.
And on Tuesday afternoon, the 16-foot bronze doors of the Plummer Building closed to celebrate the life of Sister Generose, who died earlier this month at the age of 97.
Sister Generose raised millions of dollars to help patients at Saint Marys Hospital pay for medical expenses, and shaped the hospital into what it is today.
In the past 88 years, the Plummer Building Doors have only closed 10 times, including Tuesday's door closing for Sister Generose.
"It was a moment of great solemnity, you could see the great crowd of people here, it's something you rarely see. It's a very important occasion," said Dr. Paul Scanlon a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Specialist, as well as Medical Director for Humanities at Mayo Clinic.
A champion to Franciscan sisters, Mayo Clinic, and the city of Rochester, Sister Generose's legacy is sure to endure.
"She's a person, you know, that once you met her, you just never forget her," said Ron Seeger, a friend of Sister Generose and Rochester resident.
She was a woman of leadership and giving.
"Sister Generose was a person of great significance who symbolized the very important relationship between the Franciscans and the Mayo Clinic," said Dr. Scanlon. DR SCANLON
Whether only an acquaintance or a friend, Sister Generose made an impact on all the paths she crossed.
"She'd be in one of the Domitilla cafeterias there on the main floor, or in the basement looking through pickle jars," said Paul Trewartha-Weiner, a staff nurse at Saint Marys Hospital.
“She's part of the heart and soul of Saint Marys Hospital, which is the Franciscan sisters,” added Trewartha-Weiner.
"She reached out to every person in the hospital, every employee. I think she knew each one by name," said Seeger.
The closing of the doors in her honor is momentous.
"The doors are beautiful, they're iconic and symbolic of Mayo in many ways. And the continual opening of the doors is a symbol to the world of you know, that you're welcome,” said Dr. Scanlon.
4000 pounds of bronze, closing, to show love, honor, and respect for one Saint Marys Hospital's greatest advocates.
"I'm delighted that they're closing the doors in her honor. She deserves it,” said Seeger.
There's no specific criteria to determine what events are significant enough to close the doors, it's determined by Mayo's leadership.
The doors of the Plummer Building remained closed from 4-o-clock to 9-o-clock on Tuesday.