Thursday, July 30, 2015

MSMU's Olympian spirit

Olympian menu planning: Asst. Business Manager
Sister Rosanne Bromham, CSJ, confers with Marlin
Rosheim, Doheny food service manager, and Ata
Shafiyoon, director of food services for MSMC.
AS LOS ANGELES HOSTS the Special Olympics World Games this summer, the Mount has been rolling out the welcome mat at both campuses for delegates, dignitaries and judges from all over the globe.

The university's Olympian history stretches back more than 30 years, to the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Back then, too, the Mount opened its doors, dining halls and dorms -- including the newly built McIntyre Hall -- to Olympics support staff for two full months. AT&T, which provided telecommunications services during the Games, occupied all of the Doheny dorms and about a quarter of Chalon's. They also reserved the ground floor of the Doheny Mansion for entertaining and events.

The remaining space at Chalon housed "[Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee] contract and/or Games staff and/or sports officials and technicians, but not competitors," according to material in the Archives. In other words, pretty much a little bit of everybody but the athletes. 

Olympic athlete Clarita Neher shakes hands
with XXIII Olympiad mascot Sam the Eagle
at Siena Day at Doheny, April 25, 1984.
The Spring 1984 edition of Mount Magazine  reports that the housing contract with AT&T and the local organizing committee provided much-needed funding that went into the Mount's Endowment Fund and toward major construction projects on both campuses.

Logistics aside, the Mount joined with all of Los Angeles in celebrating the XXIII Olympiad. In the weeks before the Games, the annual Siena Day event on April 25, 1984, took on an Olympic theme with special guests Jack Smith, a popular Los Angeles Times columnist, and Clarita Neher, who competed as a high diver in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics.

Mount event coordinator Kathy
Janeski pins a "Play" button on
Times columnist Jack Smith.
Sam the Eagle, the mascot of the Los Angeles Games, came along for the festivities. Neher and Smith spoke to an overflow audience at Doheny on the topic "Play: as Humor, as Sport."

For the Games themselves, 14 students and alumnae from the prestigious Mount Singers were selected to sing in the Olympic Honor Chorus, which performed at both opening and closing ceremonies and sang the national anthem for the arrival of President Ronald Reagan.

The Olympics are special, whether it's the traditional Summer and Winter Games or the Special Olympics. We're proud that Mount's welcoming spirit has taken on an Olympian spirit, and we wish continuing success to all the participants in this summer's events. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Students and patriotism, 1930

Agnes Donnelly, Rosemarie Arena, Miss Weiling (faculty), Elizabeth Francis, 
Miss Gaines (faculty), Nance Graves, Catherine Kelly, Marion Kennedy.

THE 1930 EDITION OF LIGHTNING, the yearbook of St. Mary's Academy, includes a stirring essay addressed to the "Youth of America" to embrace the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America as enshrined in the Constitution.

St. Mary's Academy, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1888, is the "mother school" of Mount Saint Mary's University. From its start in 1925 until Brady Hall was built in 1930, the new Mount St. Mary's College "lived" at St. Mary's Academy, and most or all of the inaugural MSMC class of 1929 had attended SMA for high school and even elementary school.

Here's an extract of the essay, written by senior Marion Kennedy. It could have been written today.
The United States today is confronted with many serious and complicated problems. Revolutionary doctrines are destroying established order. Injustice exists, political reforms are needed.
On the eve of the Great Depression, it's remarkable that 17- or 18-year-old Marion was very much aware of the economic threat to the country. Even more, she recognized the importance of thinking like a leader. (Note: the gendered language is original):
Let it be our endeavor, O Youth of America, to emulate the selfless men who devoted their lives to the betterment of mankind. If unselfish devotion to the principles of the American Constitution wholly grips the youth of today we shall develop the spirit with which our Leaders of tomorrow will be fired, bringing genius and power to solve the great industrial and economic problems of the future.
To read the whole essay, please visit the page on our Internet Archive repository at

On this Fourth of July weekend, we're impressed and a bit awed by the careful argument wrought by young Marion in her essay. Equally impressive is her vision of leadership and call to personal involvement in the issues of the day.

In other words, {MSMUnstoppable}!