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}!

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