Friday, June 29, 2012

Nothing new under the sun

Sr. M. Germaine McNeil, CSJ
OR AS SISTER GERMAINE would have put it, Nihil novi sub sole.

Sister Mary Germaine McNeil, CSJ, was a Latin scholar, head of the old Classics department, the first dean of the Graduate School -- and an archivist.

She was College archivist at the time she passed away in 1999, and about 20 years before that had served as archivist of the L.A. Province of the CSJs.

Archivists are always trying get people interested in their own history. Sister G. didn't have a blog, but 40 years ago she was doing the same thing--sharing tidbits from the olden days with the Mount community.

In the April 30, 1973, edition of  the Faculty and Administrative Bulletin (Vol. IV, No. 14), under the heading "Did You Know?", she reports on the first-ever social get-together over of the Mount's lay faculty on April 15, 1946.  (She lists the nine participants and informs us that it took place over dinner at Lawry's. One of the diners, Miss Gerber of the Languages faculty, went on to become Sister Aline Marie.)

Sister Germaine didn't know it, but she was starting a tradition. Between now and August 20, 2012, we have to come up with 15 new "Did You Know" posters for Welcome Week at both campuses (or campi, as Sister would put it in Latin). We'll share a few in this blog.

Maybe one of those Did You Knows should be "Did you know that 'Did You Know' started back in 1973?"

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Headline from article about ESL class.
Did you know that the Mount offered English as a Second Language classes decades before "ESL" became a household term? This excerpt from The View explains how a number of foreign students (young women came to the Mount from all over the world in those days, especially the Pacific Rim) needed a bit of extra help.

This was 1946 or '47, right around the time the faculty was over in B.H. partying at Lawry's.

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Milestone: We finished the last of the metadata for the Lyrasis program, and the last of the material to be digitized will be dispatched by FedEx on Monday, destined for the scanning center in North Carolina. In all, we've sent boxes comprising about 35,000 pages, including The View. 

We couldn't have done it our excellent volunteers, Emily Deutsch Keller '65 and Dianne Plou Schautschick '65, Mary Marshall Ugianskis, and a terrific San Jose State library student, Jennifer Ta.

And Sister Germaine, of course--who did such a good job of College Archivist and ensured that this stuff would still be intact and well ordered in 2012.

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