Friday, January 11, 2013

Maya Angelou on the mission

From Mount
Magazine, Summer '86.
SOMETIMES THE MOST SNOOZE-INDUCING stuff will suddenly make you sit up and take notice. Okay, not very often. But it happens.

A heavy, comb-bound monster called "Statement of Overriding Considerations" was produced in 1994 in response to the Environmental Impact Report (EIR, another tome) for the proposed Learning Resource Center. Amid all the charts, graphs and stiff prose is the justification for new construction.

But included on the title page where no one will miss it is this moving quote by poet and frequent Mount speaker Maya Angelou.
When these old buildings were new, they were home to the rich, the powerful and the privileged, just as our colleges, universities and businesses were, and still are.
Students usually excluded from college because of ethnicity, poverty or lack of basic skills can succeed. Mount St. Mary's College has opened the door to a new and different kind of student with wonderful results. Won't you open your own doors?
The City Planning Commission evidently took to heart Angelou's tributes -- and those of scores of others included in the document -- and approved the building, which was dedicated as the Sister Magadalen Coughlin Learning Complex in 1998.

It's good to be reminded now and then of why we're all here, trying to contribute in whatever way we can to the MSMC mission. For the College Archives, that means preserving things with compelling titles like "Los Angeles City EIR 94-0170 / State Clearinghouse No. 95-071092 / ZA 94-0182 (ZV) / CPC 94-0181." Because you never know what little treasure someone will find someday.

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