Brendan T. Byrne (1924-2018) – From Setonia to the State House, A Life of Public Service

We are pleased to announce a new exhibit in honor of the late Governor Brendan T. Byrne which is being hosted by the Archives & Special Collections Center through the Spring 2018 semester.

Brendan Thomas Byrne was born April 1, 1924 in West Orange, New Jersey, the fourth of five children born to Francis A. Byrne and Genevieve (Brennan) Byrne. He attended Seton Hall College in 1943 before leaving to enroll in the United States Army Air Corps as a navigator during World War II. Byrne earned a Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and a Presidential Unit Citation before his honorable discharge from the service in 1945. Upon returning from overseas, Byrne graduated from Princeton University in 1949 and received his LL.B. from Harvard Law School two years later. The future governor first worked as a clerk for future Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, Joseph Weintraub and assisted attorney John W. McGeehan of Newark during the early 1950s.

The public career of Byrne began in the early 1950s as a member of the West Orange Planning Board. He then earned appointed as Assistant Council within the administration to Governor Robert B. Meyner in 1955.  Byrne was later promoted to the position of Executive Secretary the following year, and held this post until 1959.  Later that year, Byrne was named Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Office of the Prosecutor for Essex County and within months he was made the Essex County Prosecutor.  Over the next decade, Byrne argued over 60 different cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court and achieved recognition for prosecuting dishonest contractors and powerful underworld figures. Starting in 1968, Byrne served as President of the State Board of Public Utility Commissioners. He left this position when he was appointed to the New Jersey State Supreme Court in 1970.  In 1971, he handed down a decision that declared the state law on capital punishment unconstitutional. He resigned from the Supreme Court in 1973 to run for Governor.

The platform chosen by Byrne in the gubernatorial election of 1973 was based on the slogan “one honest man can make a difference.” Between the years of 1970 and 1973, several New Jersey public officials were indicted by federal grand juries, and with Watergate still in the news, Byrne ran on a platform of restoring public confidence in the government. His opponent was Republican candidate Charles Sandman, who criticized Byrne throughout the campaign for his reluctance to publicly state his position on controversial issues, but instead preferred to issue position papers. On November 6, 1973, Byrne won by over 721,000 votes.

Nicknamed “One Term Byrne” by critics, he surprised political experts in 1977 when he won re-election against Republican candidate Raymond H. Bateman. Despite being considered the underdog in the race, Byrne won by a large majority.  During his two terms time as governor, he created a legacy that includes the Meadowlands Sports Complex, development of Casinos in Atlantic City, dedication to the environment exemplified in the Pinelands Preservation Act, and a commitment to improving public education.

After stepping down as governor in 1982, Byrne returned to the private sector as an attorney, co-wrote a column in the Newark Star-Ledger with his gubernatorial successor Thomas Kean, and taught classes at various colleges prior to his death on January 5, 2018.

Governor Byrne receives an Honorary Degree from Seton Hall University on May 18, 1974.
Governor Byrne receives an Honorary Degree from Seton Hall University on May 18, 1974.

This exhibit (which will run throughout the Spring of 2018 and viewable at the Archives & Special Collections Center, located on the First Floor of Walsh Library) shows the ties Byrne had to Seton Hall as a student prior to the call to service in World War II.  In addition, included are his debate stop during his first gubernatorial campaign, honorary degree ceremony (1974), and aid with the Meadowlands Development project which bore his name during the 1970s-80s where Seton Hall sponsored a number of events from Men’s Basketball games (held regularly between 1982 until 2007) to Commencement and other activities of note. Additionally, select materials that provide an overview of his campaigns, work among the citizenry of New Jersey, summary of initiatives, and related items that provide a look at the man and his work on behalf of the Garden State and its citizens encompass this display.

More information on the Brendan T. Byrne Collection at Seton Hall University can be accessed via the following site link – http://academic.shu.edu/findingaids/mss0007.html  or you can contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist/Education Coordinator by e-mail at: <Alan.Delozier@shu.edu> or phone: (973) 275-2378.

Setonia in 1918 – Educational Life on Campus One Hundred Years Ago

Administrative Building (i.e. President’s Hall), c. 1918

When looking back at the world one hundred years ago, fighting had ceased to end the “Great War” and the United States proper was returning to a time of peace and budding prosperity.  Counted among the highlights of 1918 included the hope for creating a unified League of Nations to ensure world peace as advocated by President Woodrow Wilson. The creation of distinct time zones along with daylight savings time was enacted via the United States House of Representatives, and also watched was a continuation of the Progressive Era that featured  increased social, economic, and labor reform measures all marked this transitional period in the American experience.

In South Orange, Seton Hall College was in the midst of its sixty-second year of operation and played host to a student body numbering 87 during during the 1917-18 academic year (down from 105 the year before and rising to 96 by the Fall of 1918 most likely caused by enlistments with the American Expeditionary Forces [AEF] during World War I) with another 106 enrolled in the prep division and 54 seminarians on-site.  These individuals encountered a school year consisting of two terms of five months apiece beginning in September that ended by June of the following calendar year.  The Christmas recess was twelve days long and a week without classes was also provided for Holy Week and Easter much like the scheduling of today.

Administratively, the school was headed by the Right Reverend John J. O’Connor, D.D., Bishop of Newark (1901-1927) and Head of the Board of Trustees and the Right Reverend Monsignor James F. Mooney, D.D., LL.D., President of the College who had one of the longest tenures as chief executive in school history serving as leader from 1907-1922.

When it came to defining aspects of building community and academic standards, the administration made sure the institution had its own guidelines that were followed closely by the Setonians of 1918.  This included recognition of the organization scheme for the school which was outlined in the following manner . . .

“Seton Hall at present consists of Seton Hall College, Seton Hall High School, Bayley Hall Grammar School and the Theological Seminary of the Diocese of Newark.  The College prepares for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.  The High School prepares for either the Classical or the Scientific Course of the College. Bayley Hall offers thorough instruction in the last three grades of the grammar school course.  The Theological Seminary prepares candidates for the priesthood and gives a four years’ course in theology and the other Sacred Sciences.”

The ideals and overall goals for the school and its student body were summarized in the following manner . . .

“The aim of Seton Hall is to impart a good education in the highest sense of the word – to train the moral, intellectual and physical being.  The mere imparting of knowledge is looked upon as but a small part of the work of the institution.  The training of the heart and the formation of character under the guiding influence of Christian principles, the development of the intellectual faculties, the encouragement and guidance of laudable ambition, the acquisition of habits of logical thought, correct methods of study, self-discipline and refinement, the realization, in a word, of the highest ideals of excellence in the cultured Christian gentleman – these are the ends that Seton Hall keeps steadily in view in the arduous and sacred office of educating youth.”

Another aspect of the collegiate life that appealed to the student body was its location within the densely populated suburbs of Newark and within manageable travel range of Gotham.  The following description of the campus and its environs was outlined in the following manner . . .

“The College is situated in the village of South Orange, N.J., on the line of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, fourteen miles west of New York City.  No more healthful and inviting site could be chosen for the College buildings, situated as they are in full view of the Orange Mountains, on high ground and surrounded by fine shade trees and well-kept laws that afford charming fields for recreation and sport.  The College property embraces about seventy-five acres.  The buildings are grouped together in a natural surrounding that makes Seton Hall one of the most attractive sites in the State.”

When it came to actually “educating youth,” the student of 1918 had the choice of following a “Classical” or “Scientific” course of study which entailed more of a liberal arts or naturalistic path of research respectively.  Please consult the illustrations for more details on the overview of each major . . .

Otherwise, the cost of education was also a concern especially to the parents and sponsors of students attending Seton Hall in an age of low wages and pre-inflation pricing which is highlighted here.  The following details show what a Seton Hall student of 1918 usually paid yearly . . .

For Resident Students

  • Tuition, board, washing and mending clothes and line –  $330.00 per annum
  • Physician’s attendance at physician’s charges.

For Day Scholars

  • Tuition – $75.00 per annum
  • Dinner at College = $100.00 per annum

Extra Charges –

  • Italian or Spanish, each – $25.00 per annum
  • Stenography and Typewriting – $50.00 per annum
  • Piano, Organ, Violin, Guitar, Cornet, each – $60.00 per annum
  • Use of Piano – $10.00 per annum
  • Use of ORgan – $15.00 per annum
  • Private Rooms – $75.00 per annum
  • Graduation Fee and Diploma – $10.00 per annum
  • Books, stationary and other incidentals will be supplied from the College stationary department at the lowest possible rates.
  • Articles of clothing, etc., will not be furnished to students without special instructions from parents or guardians; but it must be noted that in such cases a sum sufficient to defray these expenses and the expense of books, stationary and other incidentals must be deposited with the Treasurer in advance.”
  • Bills are presented at the beginning of each term and are payable in advance.  The Trustees of the College have instructed the Treasurer to enforce rigidly this rule of payment in advance, and in no case will any exception be made.

As with the student of today, those who attended Seton Hall during the teens contributed to the development of school life and left a legacy that continued through the last several decades as higher education and society within South Orange and on a global scale alike.  In providing a prelude to the students of today regardless of what time zone they hailed from, the students of 1918 also echoed the school motto of “Hazard Zet Forward” as part of the Seton Hall legacy that continues to this day.

For more information about this, and other periods in Seton Hall history please feel free to contact University Archivist, Alan Delozier – Alan.Delozier@shu.edu / (973) 275-2378.

Pictures and Prose of the Season – Christmas Cards and Setonia

Christmas has been an event traditionally embraced by generations of    Setonians as a special time in their lives both in experiencing campus traditions leading up to the celebration and looking back at memorable days of yore.  This prelude and embrace of the holiday is not only clearly expressed in such Seton Hall traditions as the Nativity Scene constructed outside of the Immaculate Conception Chapel, the presence of Holly Wreaths on entrance ways on many iconic buildings from South Orange Avenue to Ward Place, Musically-Themed Concerts, Pageants, Plays, and other artistic endeavors that highlight Holiday Music, and other signs of the season are evident across campus throughout December.  In recent times, the lighting of the Christmas Tree found outside of President’s Hall has grown into a major event each year and officially signals the beginning of celebrations campus-wide.  The popularity of these and other rituals are not only anticipated, but are typically announced or memorialized in that most customary of seasonal gifts – the Christmas Card.

The University has issued a number of different seasonal greetings over the years and these posts have offered not only joyful wishes and expressions of peace, but also featured illustrations or photographs that capture the feeling of the school community in collective celebration.  These cards often link to the spirit of Christmas Past or Christmas Present in their look along with expressing the positive wish for New Year and Christmas Future in word and sentiment.  A few historical examples are provided here to show some of the shared experience.

For more information about Christmas and other aspects of University History please feel free to contact us at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378

 

Archives News: Conservation and Digitization of 17th Century Illuminated Manuscript Qur’an

Page from the Qur'an with intricate designThe Archives & Special Collections Center in collaboration with the Digital Humanities Committee recently had conservation work and digitization performed on a 17th century illuminated manuscript Qur’an from the rare book collection. The Qur’an was originally brought from Lebanon by Edwin D. Hardin, who was a missionary stationed at the American University of Beirut from approximately 1900 to 1915. It first came to Seton Hall in 2003 when it was featured in a Walsh Gallery exhibition entitled The Beauty of Sacred Texts: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Institute of Judeo-Christian Studies. The lender, Mr. Peter Kennedy, had intended to gift the volume to the University and in 2016 donated the Qur’an to the Archives & Special Collections Center.

Qur'an's binding before conservation
Before conservation
Qur'an's binding after conservation
After conservation
Marginal decoration with handwritten annotation
Marginal decoration with handwritten annotation

The Qur’an was sent out for conservation in order to stabilize it for digitization and handling. The volume had undergone some previous repairs and was re-bound sometime during the 18th or 19th century. The envelope flap, which extends from the back cover of the volume and folds up to cover its fore edge, was very weak at the hinges and became detached during the conservator’s examination. The binding was also failing, causing some leaves to loosen and begin to detach. We sent the volume to Etherington Conservation Services in North Carolina, where conservators reattached and reinforced the envelope flap, repaired minor damage to the covers, re-sewed the binding, and re-covered the spine. While the binding was removed, they scanned the pages to create a digital copy of the book.

 

 

Decoration within the text
Decoration within the text

As a result of this work, this historic Qur’an is stable enough for handling and display, and the digital images can be made available online. This will allow researchers to view the Qur’an’s beautifully illuminated pages and intricate marginal decorations without putting stress on the volume. It will also open up many possibilities for research projects, such as a potential project to decipher and translate the annotations that appear throughout the volume. The digital collection is coming soon!

Page with marginal decoration and decoration within the text

 

Saints In Print – An Example From Our Rare Book Collection

The commemoration of All Saint’s Day (also known in some quarters as “All Hallows’ Day,” “Hallowmas,” “Feast Of All Saints,” or “Solemnity of All Saints”) recognizes the lives and legacy of saints and martyrs in history and is celebrated not only in the United States, but globally.  It is a Christian-based holiday that is observed every year on November 1st among Western Churches and the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Rite Churches.  The traditional rituals found to be connected with All Saints’ Day include personal reflection and formal remembrance combined with a religious service to honor those who are recognized for their exceptional piety.  Their tales are often recounted in print form and available to future generations to discover.

In our Rare Book Collection, a number of texts on individual saints dating back to the 15th century which are worth reading in a wide-range of languages including Latin, French, German, and others.  Among our earliest American published volumes is the work entitled – Christ In His Church: Her Dogmas and Her Saints, With Moral Reflections, Critical Illustrations, and Explanatory Notes (New York: Thomas Kelly, 1875) by noted author Henry Rutter.  He provided the context of how the work of saints was instrumental in the overall work of devotion to the Catholic Church with a particular emphasis on female deities including St. Brigid, St. Margaret, St. Cecily, St. Lucy and others.  This volume is a prime example of a mid-19th century devotional text that highlights the contributions of saints with their influence on Church teachings.     

For more information there are many books, articles, and other resources including the Internet where more information can be found regarding the sainthood and the holiday of All Saints’ Day.  The following a few starting works, but not limited to these examples, for those who want to learn more can connect to the following link –

http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/results?vid=0&sid=d3248b17-f009-493f-8072-85abf8698d21%40sessionmgr101&bquery=%22saint*%22&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPWNvb2tpZSxpcCxzc28mdHlwZT0wJnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d

Individual saints can also be researched by name and as part of a collective narrative on the history and contributions of those whose legacy endures to this day.

For more information please feel free to contact us at (973) 275-2378 or via e-mail at: archives@shu.edu

Golden Anniversary Geography – The Seton Hall Campus in 1968

With the current architectural-centered projects taking place on campus including the Student Center addition and the new Welcome Commons, the look, feel, and function of Seton Hall will be enhanced event further once these projects are completed in the near future.  As with any new structure, each has its own evolving story and functionality as part of the “brick and mortar” story of Setonia history from 1860 to the present day.

 

Aerial View of the South Orange Campus, 1968

 

Looking back 50 years ago, the view of the campus is different than it is today as the school continued to make additional blueprints as the evolving need for various structures including classroom buildings, dormitories, and administrative centers took shape and form.  In 1968, the year full Co-Education occurred on the South Orange campus and the establishment of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), a new Humanities Building (now known as Fahy Hall in honor of Father Thomas Fahy, former President of Seton Hall from 1970-76)  featuring needed classroom and office space for the College of Arts & Sciences in particular was completed and complimented other structures on the grounds stretching from Ward Place to South Orange Avenue.  Along with edifices such as Fahy Hall still in use, those which have replaced or modified over the semesters including McLaughlin Library, Parking Lot (in front of Walsh Gymnasium), the Veterans/R.O.T.C. Barracks, and others hold just as many milestones for those who have a connection to these spaces over the course of time and memory.

 

Campus Site Key for Seton Hall University, 1968

 

For more information about University History during the late 1960s and any time period, please feel free to contact us via e-mail at – archives@shu.edu or by phone at – (973) 275-2378.

The United States Constitution and Early Imprints From The Seton Hall Collection

Select Minutes from the U.S.                  Constitution Congress of 1787

On September 17th, 1787, the United States Constitution was approved by delegates to a special convention with the goal of creating a set of reasoned legal standards for those who would be elected to lead and share in the welfare of their new nation.  Since its ratification, the Constitution has provided the framework for a democratic form of government that has distinguished domestic leadership and its impact on the American populace over the past 230 years.  In more specific terms, the content found in this document outlines the continued aspiration for shared and balanced authority between the three branches of government – executive, judicial, and legislative not only nationally, but also on the state and local level.  The original authors were also aware that changes might be needed over time, and to date there have been 27 separate amendments made with the first ten comprising the Bill of Rights and the rest covering different aspects of civil equality.

Since its introduction, the Constitution has not only been a part of secular society since its official release, but from an academic perspective this text has been studied widely and given rise to special courses and independent study that stands alone, or paired with various disciplines from law to sociology to history among others.  A major part of this rise in wider interest came after the American Revolution concluded with the need for schools, growing literacy rates, and spread of print media as a means of educational outreach. These incentives helped to create the means of inform the public about legislative developments that impacted upon the citizens of a new and developing country.

Banner from the first pubic presentation of the United States Constitution (September 19, 1787)

 

The first unveiling of the Constitution to the masses came two days after it was finalized through the efforts of John Dunlap (1747-1812) who was the founding editor of The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, the first daily newspaper in the United States.  This milestone gave rise to a series of printed books that offer full-text treatment along with details on the process of different sections were crafted, commentary on the subject matter, and significance of the final content depending upon each individual volume and its particular focus. The examples presented in this exhibit represent not only the first published copy, but also select early nineteenth century works that cover the words of first president George Washington, early amendments, and perspective from the New Jersey delegation representing the third state to officially ratify the Constitution.

The Federalist, on the new constitution. By Publius. Written in 1788. To which is added, Pacificus, on the proclamation of neutrality. Written in 1793. Likewise, the Federal Constitution, with all the amendments. 2 vols.  (New York: George F. Hopkins, at Washington’s Head, 1802)

Select bibliographic examples and relevant pages from our collection can be found not only within this post, but in the bound volumes located within our collection.  These include – The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, No. 2690, 19 September 1787 (Facsimile extract from: Farrar, Frederic B. This common channel to independence: revolution and newspapers, 1759-1789. (Garden City, NY: Farrar Books, 1975); The Federalist, on the new constitution. By Publius. Written in 1788. To which is added, Pacificus, on the proclamation of neutrality. Written in 1793. Likewise, the Federal Constitution, with all the amendments. 2 vols.  (New York: George F. Hopkins, at Washington’s Head, 1802); and Eliott, Jonathan. The debates in the several state conventions on the adoption of the Federal Constitution, as recommended by the general convention at Philadelphia, in 1787. Together with the Journal of the Federal Convention, Luther Martin’s letter, Yate’s minutes, Congressional opinions, Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of ’98-’99, and other illustrations of the Constitution / collected and revised from contemporary publications by Jonathan Elliot. Published under the sanction of Congress. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1836)

In addition to these aforementioned works, further information on the United States Constitution and resources related to this subject area are accessible via the University Libraries through the following link –

U.S. Constitution – University Libraries Resources

More detail on the titles featured in this exhibit and additional volumes found within the Archives & Special Collections Center related to the United States Constitution can be referenced here –

U.S. Constitution – Archives & Special Collections Resources

 

  • Examples from our collection will be on exhibit through the end of September, 2017 in the Reading Room of the Archives & Special Collections Center located on the First Floor of Walsh Library.

For additional background on the United States Constitution and questions about relevant holdings and other research topics please feel free to contact us at – archives@shu.edu or (973) 761-9476.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archives News: Conservation of Pope Paul V Papal Bull

The Archives and Special Collections Center recently had conservation work performed on an early 17th century Papal Bull issued by Pope Paul V, who was Pope from 1605 until his death in 1621. The Papal Bull is a large vellum document with a lead seal attached by a cord. It was donated to the Archives by Dr. Herbert Kraft, a Professor Emeritus of anthropology at Seton Hall and director of the Seton Hall University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Pope Paul V was born Camilo Borghese in Rome in 1550. He studied jurisprudence at Perugia and Padua and became a renowned canon lawyer. He was made a cardinal in 1596 by Pope Clement VIII and was elected as Pope Leo XI’s successor in May 1605. Pope Paul V was most famous for persecuting Galileo for his defense of the heliocentric theory of Copernicus. He also canonized St. Charles Boromeo, Frances of Rome and Albert de Louvain and beatified Ignatius Loyola, Philip Neri, Teresa of Avila and Francis Xavier.

Before treatment - folded vellum obscuring text and decoration
Before treatment – folded vellum obscuring text and decoration

 

Prior to its conservation, the Papal Bull was folded several times and remained in a folded condition for so long that it was impossible to unfold without risking damage to the document. Conservators at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia were able to use a process of humidification, which is the controlled introduction of moisture, to increase the suppleness of the vellum and to allow the document to be unfolded and safely flattened. Once the document was flattened, they cleaned its surface with soft polyurethane sponges and mended a small hole in the vellum. Finally, the document and seal were housed in a custom-made mat designed to support the heavy lead seal and framed for easy displaying.

Flattening the document revealed intricate text and decoration
‘After treatment – flattening the document revealed intricate text and decoration

 

Before treatment - hole in velllum
Before treatment – hole in velllum
After treatment - hole repaired with mulberry paper and dilute gelatin
After treatment – hole repaired with mulberry paper and dilute gelatin

 

Conserving the Papal Bull revealed its text and intricate design. However, the beautiful, ornate script presented a challenge for translators. We consulted Dr. Michael Mascio in Seton Hall’s Classics Department for assistance with translating the document. He was unable to decipher the script, and conferred with a few colleagues around the country who also were unable to decipher it. On his recommendation we contacted a specialist in this area of script analysis, the Reverend Doctor Federico Gallo of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Italy. Rev. Dr. Gallo was able to work on the text during the summer months to provide us with a translation from the archaic Latin script to modern Latin. Dr. Michael Mascio is now working with Dr. Frederick Booth, also in Classics, to translate the modern Latin to English.

Archaic Latin script
This archaic Latin script proved difficult even for experts to decipher and translate.

Setonia in Stage and Song – Fall 2017 Exhibit

John Barrymore, famed actor and former Seton Hall College student, c. 1891.

On display during the Fall 2017 semester is an exhibit entitled: “Setonia in Stage & Song – South Orange & New Jersey Perspectives (1856-Present)” that features connections between the artistic legacy of early Seton Hall and how the contributions of students and alumni along with special visitors to campus have made the campus a perpetual home for creative expression.  The earliest examples of musical inclination came through the rental of instruments by students during the early 1860s which complimented classroom and public recitations along with a thriving Drama Society that produced programs in honor of different school, church, and national holidays. Counted among the most prolific individual actors of the late nineteenth and early-mid twentieth century who attended Seton Hall include John Barrymore (1882-1942) who was accepted by most critics as the foremost English-speaking actor of his time for his mastery of Hamlet and Richard III among other Shakespearean works, and Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954) known for his motion picture roles most notably in Dr. Kildare and It’s A Wonderful Life. A contemporary of theirs was Albert “Raoul” Walsh (1887-1980) who came to South Orange in the 1900s, a famed director known for his work on High Sierra and White Heat among others.

Seton Hall College Drama Society Playbill, c. 1880s

From the turn of the century onward, Seton Hall was home to further dramatic productions with heavy patronage and perpetual interest. Those who belonged to student organizations often collaborated with local Catholic colleges for joint performances, campus visits, radio broadcasts (local radio stations, and over national networks – Mutual and CBS), but also the Seton Hall Orchestra, the Schola Cantorum (Choral Group that sing the Gregorian Chant and Polyphony for High Mass), and Glee Club under the direction of noted musicologist and Head of the Department of Music – Nicola A. Montani, K.C. St. G.) were in demand for events including the signing of signature school songs namely – “The Alma Mater” and “March Setonia” along with others at the “Annual Concert” in Newark and other venues throughout the East Coast.  From the late 1940s onward, campus radio station W-S-O-U (the first college-operated FM outlet to hit the air in New Jersey) offered listeners radio dramas and also played host to such noted entertainers as Vaughn Monroe and Connie Francis (from nearby Newark) along with regularly scheduled live musical programs. This ranged the gamut from early vinyl (and later CD) from classical and opera to religious to their current heavy metal format, many artists have been played on campus airwaves and keep the appeal of music alive.

The Seton Hall College Orchestra, c. 1927
“March Setonia” record produced in the studios of W-S-O-U FM radio and sung by Vaughn Monroe, c. 1953.

Over the last half century, Seton Hall has produced a number of individuals who have been active in the entertainment business including actors Ron Carey (’56) (Barney Miller), Kevin “Chuck” Connors (The Rifleman and Old Yeller), Josephine Siao (Hong Kong actress), and producer E. Duke Vincent (’54) (Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place).  Many others have a connection to the school, but also those who visited our site for special concerts or recitations are legendary.  A number of locally famous individuals including Bruce Springsteen (and the E-Street Band drummer Max Weinberg, a Seton Hall student) (Freehold), Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (Newark), Dionne Warwick (East Orange) and many others who graced our stages across campus over the last several decades.

The Four Seasons Tour Poster when they played Seton Hall University on December 10, 1967

Traditions have endured and adapted with the times with the Drama Society becoming known more widely as the “Theater-in-the-Round” with performances held in the Dougherty Student Center and as of the 2000s at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. Other groups including the Gospel Choir, Coffee House Concerts, Celtic Theater, and the Pep Band among others have kept alive traditions and brought new ones to campus to celebrate the creativity of our student population.  Like those early Setonians of the 1860s who were interested in music and expression, over the years the school has maintained a coursework in the applied arts (now known as Communication and the Arts) for those with an academic interest in the field.  Further concerts, productions, and related

Dionne Warwick of South Orange played Seton Hall in 1970.

contributions remain strong for the Setonia community to explore and share as we move forward into the 2017-18 semester and beyond.

This exhibit can be viewed on the first floor of Walsh Library (across from the stairway) through the Fall 2017 semester.  For more information about this and related school history please feel free to contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist by phone: (973) 275-2378, or via e-mail: <Alan.Delozier@shu.edu>

Highlights from the Catholic Right Ephemera collection: Fiat newspapers

The Archives and Special Collections Center recently acquired a small collection of Catholic Right Ephemera. Among these materials is an incomplete run of the rare Irish newspaper Fiat. Fiat was the monthly newspaper of the Maria Duce movement, which was a small ultraconservative Catholic group founded in Ireland in 1945. The group’s founder Fr. Denis Fahey was an Irish Catholic priest who was born in the village of Golden, County Tipperary, Ireland in 1883. He entered the novitiate of the Holy Ghost Fathers at the age of 17 and studied in France and Rome before returning to Ireland in 1912, where he was appointed professor of philosophy at the Senior Scholasticate of the Irish Province of the Holy Ghost Fathers at Kimmage, Dublin. Fahey is best known for his writings, which were widely distributed and controversial. He was forcefully opposed to anything he perceived as an attempt to go against God’s divine plan. Fahey was especially critical of naturalism, a philosophical viewpoint that proposes that only natural forces are at work in the world, discounting the spiritual or divine. This put him in conflict with systems that he felt promoted naturalism, including communism, Freemasonry, and Rabbinic Judaism.

Front page of Fiat newspaper showing Father Fahey obituary

The Maria Duce movement grew out of a study circle held by Fr. Fahey. There was some secrecy surrounding the group so exact membership numbers are not known, but it is estimated that at its peak it probably did not exceed one hundred members. One of the most notable activities of the Maria Duce organization was its campaign to amend Article 44 of the Irish Constitution of 1937, which recognized the “special position” of the Catholic Church in Ireland, but also recognized Jewish congregations and several Protestant groups. In his writings Fahey called for stronger recognition of the Catholic Church by the Irish Constitution, and objected to the fact that Article 44 placed it on the same level as other religions. From 1949 to 1951 Maria Duce members circulated petitions calling for the article to be amended to reflect the Catholic Church as the “one true church” of Ireland. However, the campaign was largely unsuccessful because it was not able to secure the backing of Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of Dublin. The movement lost momentum after the failed campaign and Fahey’s death in 1954. In 1955 Archbishop McQuaid ordered the group to change its name as an indication that it did not have official church support. The group continued publishing Fiat into the 1970s under the name Fírinne, and eventually dissolved.

Front page of Fiat newspapre showing the headline "Revolt Against God"

For more information about the Fiat newspapers or the Catholic Right Ephemera collection, visit the Archives or contact us at archives@shu.edu or (973)-761-9476.

References:

DELANEY, EDNA. (2011). Anti-Communism in Mid-Twentieth-Century Ireland. The English Historical Review, vol. 126, no. 521, 2011, pp. 878–903.

DELANEY, EDNA. (2001). Political Catholicism in Post-war Ireland: The Revd Denis Fahey and Maria Duce, 1945-54. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 52(3), 487-511.