As we reflect on the twentieth anniversary of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, the historical record is deep and reflects upon the many ranges of emotion for those who lived through that day and subsequent generations who are just now learning about its prevailing effects both past and present. When it comes to the legacy of 9-11 and learning more about the varied issues in published form that connect to this period, the educational benefit is considerable.
Resources preserved inside the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, the resources found mainly reflect on the student, alumni, and administrative perspective. For example, within the pages of The Setonian published right after 9-11 there are several articles that explore not only the basics of the attack on the World Trade Center, but also on a local level in salute to both the victims and heroes who had connections to the school. Additional articles appeared in the Seton Hall University Magazine and other communiqués produced campus-wide during this time and in subsequent years to mark the occasion.
Additional information can also be referenced within the many articles and books that have been penned about the subject found in our Rare Book and the University Libraries Main Collections. Special copies of the Thomas L. Friedman volume entitled: Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11. (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2002) and Superpower Syndrome: America’s Apocalyptic Confrontation With the World. (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2003) are found in our Special Collections Center. Other volumes include a work by former Writer-In-Residence Anthony De Palma whose work” City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance, and 9/11. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2011) is included with many other titles found via our SetonCat bibliographical system. Various print materials under the Library of Congress subject heading: “September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001” can be referenced via our homepage found within this site – https://library.shu.edu/home
When it comes to our Manuscript Collections, the Honorable Donald M. Payne Papers features a detailed file on September 11th from a U.S. Congressional standpoint. More information on the collection proper can be found via the following link – https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/archival_objects/34116 Other documentation and resources from different entities and Catholic New Jersey-centered outlets in particular are also available to our research community on many levels.
Graduation Day is a rite of passage for any senior who has fulfilled all coursework requirements necessary to earn a diploma, but this milestone is further seen as both recognition and reward for their dedication to educational achievement. Traditionally, the annual commencement ceremony is one that is seen as a high point and celebratory event as a capstone for any academic year at Seton Hall.
There is a primary graduation exercise that typically takes place during the month of May, but the experience for each graduate is typically enhanced through related ceremonies sponsored by each individual School and College on campus. The name of each graduate, their major and degree along with information about the rituals that are observed at each event. These details are memorialized through the pages of commemorative program booklets are often complimented with invitation cards, event tickets, and other documentation that have made for valuable archival resources that outline these multiple observances for future generations to reference.
Between the founding date of Setonia in 1856 to the present day, the planning and pageantry of all commencement exercises has a noteworthy history. Official ceremonies were held during the first few years that the campus was located in Madison through its move to South Orange. However, it was not until 1862 when the first graduate Mr. Louis Firth started a trend for thousands of other future alumni who would ultimately earn a diploma from Seton Hall. Printed programs of that era outlined the ceremonial aspects of each annual observance and these records show that musical and dramatic programming was a traditional feature along with the parade of those donning the gown, hood, and mortar boards which further enhanced the occasion for attendees through most of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
When it came to the choice of commencement venues over the years, the first ceremonies often took place off-campus at local Music Halls in and around nearby Newark. With the construction of Walsh Gymnasium (re-christened the Regan Recreation Center) by 1939 this central campus locale became the new home to ceremonies over the next several years for the few hundred students (on average) who earned their Latin-inscribed diplomas each year. Degree parchments would change over time, but most contain variations on the following wording . . .
(Latin Text): REGENTES UNIVERSITATIS SETONIANAE – Omnibus Has Litteras Lecturis – SALUTEM IN DOMINO – Testamur nos, pro factultate nobis summa Republicae Neo-Caesarienis protestate facta, unaniemi consensus provechisse – Ad gradum – Cum omnibus honoribus iuribus ac privilegis huic gradus adnexis. Quo malor sit fedis ac testimonium plerius, has litteras communi nostro Sigillo et manu nostra muniendas curavimus.
(English Translation): THE REGENTS OF SETON HALL UNIVERSITY – TO ALL WHO READ THIS DOCUMENT – GREETINGS IN THE LORD – We testify that, with the power given to us by the supreme authority of the State of New Jersey, we have promoted to the degree of <insert> with all the honors, rights and privileges appertaining to this degree. Wherefore, so that its authenticity may be greater and the attestation the fuller, we have undertaken to reinforce this document with our common seal and our hand.”
The number of degrees minted for each class would change with the large influx of students that enrolled at Seton Hall who took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights and tuition support after World War II. This resulted in a several-fold increase in the number of graduates that would increase in number from the late 1940s to the present day.
From the 1940s-50s and the succeeding decades, commencement-centered events were held on campus. The ceremonies were usually held in the shadow of the “Atom Wall” (or other historical campus building depending upon the year and number of guests) which hosted the graduates, families, administrators, clergy, faculty, special guests, and friends who set upon the University Green. During the mid-twentieth century with an increased number of graduates to account for and honor, multiple ceremonies were often scheduled usually a morning and afternoon session on the same day for example. This helped with logistics such as parking and making sure that ample space on campus was available for all in attendance on particular graduation day.
Counted among the most memorable and highly publicized of individual commencement exercises came in 1983 when U.S. President Ronald Regan received an honorary degree along with artist Ms. Pearl Bailey and television executive Mr. Gary Nardino which resulted in a memorable event in Seton Hall History.
The popularity of Seton Hall commencements throughout the early-mid 1980s led to the search for a larger venue by the end of this decade. This led the administration to book an off-campus venue which resulted in a long-term relationship with the Brendan Byrne-Meadowlands Arena (now known as the IZOD Center) in East Rutherford. This lasted until the 2010s when the Prudential Center in Newark became the primary choice and central place for graduation exercises to this day. Due to restrictions brought on by the Global Pandemic, the 2020 ceremony was cancelled, but has returned this year as a hybrid and multi-session event with both live and video elements alike.
Regardless of the year, the commemorative program booklets produced for each graduation ceremony show their own distinctive artwork, content, and uniqueness for those representing Seton Hall by a particular academic year. Within the Monsignor William Noe’ Field Archives & Special Collections Center, the University Archives proper contain copies of many annual Commencement Programs dating back to the nineteenth century. Within the pages of these guides, the names of each graduate and degree they received along with the commencement committee, marshals, order of events and individuals involved with the event including professors. In addition, honorary degree recipients have been recorded over the years and usually give the keynote speech along with the valedictorian(s) who represent the student body. Overall this is a day for the graduate and their families and the printed materials generated in their honor is an important part of our collection.
In addition to programs, various literature including invitation cards, press clippings, photographs, diplomas, and other materials of note that have memorialized one of the most special days within any academic year. From the earliest graduation paraphernalia to the inclusion of present-day resources (including multiple ceremonies due to COVID-19 precautions) through the most recent editions during May of 2021 have been documented in various ways. For example, the following links below provide additional specific information and context in regard to various graduation events in different forms and formats including catalog links and video presentations alike . . .
Commencement – Seton Hall University (ArchiveSpace)
For more information on Graduation Ceremonies, Seton Hall History, and related subjects please feel free to reach out to us. We can be contacted via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378. Thank you in advance and congratulations to all members of the Class of 2021!
Throughout the formative years of Seton Hall, the classroom experience found among the student body who experienced a highly traditional liberal arts curriculum with required classes connected to English Language instruction as an integral part of their curriculum. Individuals were expected to learn from a number of literary classics which helped to provide a solid foundation on proper grammar and traditional writing styles along with sharpening their own writing and rhetorical skills in the process. This was especially evident during the turn of the twentieth century.
Fortunately, examples of self-expression and creativity among many several undergraduate scribes survive within our annals. The 1900-30s was a time when student publications were beginning to emerge, most notably The Setonian which served as not only a news outlet for the undergraduate crowd, but also served as the earliest “literary journal” on campus with dissemination of the first poetic work which was ironically entitled: “The Beginning of Life” featured in the October 16, 1925 edition of this periodical . . .
THE BEGINNING OF LIFE
To-day is my journey ended,
I have worked out the mandates of
Unarmed unaccompanied, undefended,
I knock at the Eternal Gate,
Bereft is life and its longing
It’s trial, its pain, and its sorrow,
Beyond is the Infinite Morning
Of a day without a to-morrow.
Return to dust and decay,
Body ! grown weary and old.
You are no longer my soul can you hold.
I desert you gladly forever
For a life that is better than this,
I go where partings ne’er sever
You in Olivion’s Abyss.
Lo ! the gate swings wide at my knock-
Across endless reaches I see
Lost friends, with langhter, come back flock-
To give a warm welcome to me,
Farewell the maze has been threaded!
This is the ending of strife,
Say not that death should be dreaded,
‘Tis but the Beginning of Life.
ARTHUR F. GRIFFITH
It was not long before a regular column was included in each monthly edition of The Setonian which featured a number of short pieces which ran the gamut in style from lyrical to elegy to light prose to rhyme, and other forms in-between. An example of the latter is evident within the following textual illustration from February of 1927 which touches on the popular subject of remembrance which is often what an author strives for when it comes to their respective audience . . .
Do you ever sit and ponder
On days that are no more,
And again in fields o’er yonder,
You wander as of yore.
Do you try to catch the glances
Of friends you’ve lost awhile,
And with joy that near entrances
You recognize the smile
Of one you loved and cherished,
But who now has gone away,
Do you try to slowly linger,
Lest your memory start to stray?
If you have, you’ve tasted sweetly
Of the bounteous gift of God,
Who has left us blessed memories,
While the weary earth we trod,
Some glad day beyond life’s misery,
‘Twill be ours the joy to hold
The ones we seek in memory,
And to our hearts enfold
But now as on life’s pilgrimmage
We wend our weary way,
Thank God that those we’ve lost awhile
In our memories still may stay.
This period in history was also known for an overall artistic renaissance and this was evident with the creative works that were regularly featured not only the earliest campus publications (aside from The Setonian alone) included SPIRIT which was a bi-monthly journal of the Catholic Poetry Society of America. This periodical would ultimately had administrative and creative ties to Seton Hall for a number of years and this is recognized as we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the inaugural issue this year. (More about the history of SPIRIT can be found via the following link – http://blogs.shu.edu/archives/2016/01/the-spirit-an-85-year-celebration-of-catholic-poetry/)
Hundreds of different poems have survived over the years as student produced publication journals were established specifically to feature poetry, short stories, and related art works of various kinds that represent the respective eras in which they were created. This included such examples as Whither (1942), Wings (Paterson Campus – 1960s), Puddle Wonderful (1969), and post-1970 titles such as: Mutterins of the Muse, Phoenix, and Arcadia, among others. Over time the legacy of these examples of diverse verse does survive, and through the reader each line has another chance to resonate and shine.
For more information on the poetic and literary history of Seton Hall University and any related topics please feel free to contact us by e-mail: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
Within the month of March and various commemorations honoring both Women’s History and Irish American Heritage, the Monsignor William Noé Archives & Special Collections Center houses a number of resources that represent these corresponding subject areas. In regard to specific examples, our repository also plays host to the legacy of Miss Rita M. Murphy (1912-2003), one of the most prolific figures in the annals of school history and Irish educational circles alike.
Miss Rita Murphy is one of three women born to Irish émigrés – Edward Murphy formerly of Drominarigle, Newmarket, County Cork and Mary (née Collins), a native County Longford, Éire. Rita lived most of her early life with immediate family on Wegman Parkway within the Greenville neighborhood of Jersey City, New Jersey. The Murphys were proud of their ties to Hudson County as Edward worked for several years as the Chief Clerk for the Jersey City Fire Department.
The formative academic years for Rita consisted of embracing learning opportunities offered throughout the 1910s and 20s. This included enrollment at the Sacred Heart Grammar School located in her hometown prior to her graduation from nearby St. Aloysius Academy in 1930.
Miss Murphy was a lifelong advocate of schooling for all which became one of her more serious passions upon receiving a B.S. in Education from the State Teacher’s College in Jersey City (presently known as New Jersey City University) during the early 1930s. Miss Murphy was later part of the vanguard as a member of the first class of women to enroll at the Seton Hall Urban Division in Jersey City during the Fall of 1937, and later counted among the earliest female graduates of the institution one year later. Just after receiving her diploma, Miss Murphy complimented the Urban Division personnel roster when she became the first female head of an information center on campus when named Director of the Urban Division Library during the 1938-39 academic year. Her studies at Setonia did not end here, as Miss Murphy later earned a master’s degree from the school prior by the start of the 1940 semester.
Education ultimately became a full-time vocation for Miss Murphy when she was hired as an instructor at the Sacred Heart School of Newark and then as a History Teacher at Snyder High School also located in Newark. Miss Murphy rose to the position of Department Chair during her later career after many years in a classroom setting. She was also an Assistant Professor of American History at the Seton Hall Urban Division for several semesters which complimented her work at the preparatory school level.
Miss Murphy and her legacy not only centered around the students she touched in the course of her academic life, but also as a passionate advocate and devotee of celebrating the story of Ireland, the heritage, and the people associated with her ancestral homeland.
In many ways, the most memorable contribution to campus life and academics made by Miss Murphy came with her leadership efforts as long-time director of the Institute of Irish Culture with most classes held at the Jersey City and Newark campuses from the 1950s through the transition to South Orange by the 1970s. This initiative offered individuals the opportunity to study for course credit, or on a non-matriculation basis depending upon the preference of the applicant. Miss Murphy herself taught the two credit – “INTRODUCTION TO HISTORY OF IRELAND” course on Tuesday evenings during the school year. She also gave a number of independent talks and lectures around New Jersey especially during the month of March for all age groups on a number of specific topics related to Irish History and Culture. This included a specialization in folktales including her own creation entitled “The Lonely Leprechaun” among other popular themes that made Miss Murphy a widely sought speaker around the state.
Miss Murphy also hosted a long-time weekly Irish Music Program on W-S-O-U FM entitled – “Pageant of Ireland” that was christened on St. Patrick’s Day 1957 at the request of Msgr. John L. McNulty, University President. Drawing upon the popularity of this single show, Miss Murphy created a weekly 25-minute program that regularly aired on Monday evenings from 7:05-7:25 p.m. between 1957 until its final sign-off in 1994 having accounted for over 1,100 individual shows in the process. When discussing the longevity of the show with local writer, Mr. Jim Lowney during the early 1980s, Miss Murphy noted that: “When I first dedicated to do the weekly shows. I feared I would run out of themes and songs. I didn’t. Overall all those years (almost 22) every program was new and different. I found that one program idea often led to another . . .”
When it came to other areas of mass media, Miss Murphy wrote occasional newspaper articles, reports, and was enlisted for book reviews in regard to a number of Irish texts. She was also a pioneer in broadcast television when she served as a regular panelist on the “Ireland’s Heritage” television program airing over Newark-based station W-A-A-T (later W-N-E-T) TV, Channel 13 between 1955-57.
Her work continued to impact on a number of individuals moving into the following decade as Miss Murphy earned the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award from Pope Paul VI in 1968 for recognition of her work on behalf of the Archdiocese of Newark for her work on behalf of religious education connected with the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine within the Archdiocese of Newark.
During her lifetime, Miss Murphy divided time between homes in Jersey City and Allenhurst. It was in Allenhurst where she kept most of her personal library of books and record albums which encompassed significant square footage across three floors of the house. These resources were a constant companion both in her active years and during her retirement as the new millennium approached. Miss Murphy passed away in West Long Branch, New Jersey in 2003 and is buried at Mount Calvary in Neptune. However, her personal motto lives on: “The day you cease to burn with love, people will die with the cold.”
Seton Hall is the beneficiary of the largesse provided by Miss Murphy and various family members prior to her death with the donation of the papers, book and record albums that represents her various research and teaching aids for over half a century. Her collection of nearly 1,000 book titles is complimented by a collection of record albums and subject files including biographical data and early-mid 20th century Irish press pieces including pamphlets, clippings, letters, and other print matter with a particular emphasis on the Irish Institute, Eamon De Valera, Consulate General of Ireland, Friends of Irish Freedom, Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Book Reviews, and other relevant materials.
This collection has since been organized into one of our signature assemblages on Ireland and the Irish Diaspora. The following abstract provides an introduction to the “Rita Murphy Papers and Phonographs Collections” (MSS 0015) which dates from 1898-2001. “Scope and Contents – The Rita Murphy papers documents her interest in Irish culture and history. There are two series within this collection; series I consists primarily of letters, newspaper clippings, and book reviews and information, series II consist of phonographic records. In series I, the letters document communication between Ms. Murphy and various Irish people of importance and the newspaper clippings document Irish cultural history. In series II, the phonographic record holdings (1908-73) include folk and classical Irish music selections along with popular Western music and spoken word recordings.”
For more information about Rita Murphy, Seton Hall University History, and any aspect of the Irish experience and/or related topics please feel free to contact us via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
In honor of Lá Fhéile Pádraig (St. Patrick’s Day) and Women’s History Month, the name Alice Stopford Green is one that has a prominent place in the Scoláireacht Stairiúil ar Éire (Historical scholarship on Ireland) as one of the earliest twentieth century intellectual chroniclers who was able to write in depth with the benefit of diverse and multi-subject based primary sources about varied aspects of Irish history. In addition, she made her mark not only as one of the first female, but overall trailblazing members of Seanad Éireann (Irish Parliament) with the birth of the Irish Free State during the 1920s. The Archives & Special Collections has collected a number of her works which are featured a part of our Irish Book holdings library within the Archives & Special Collections Center.
A native of Kells, Alice Sophia Amelia Stopford entered the world on May 30, 1847, the seventh of ninth children born to Edward Adderley Stopford, who three years earlier was appointed the Archdeacon of Meath under the authority of her grandfather Edward (d. 1850), who was a former Bishop of Meath (1842-50), as part of the Church of Ireland (Anglican) hierarchy. (Johnston; Wikipedia). The Stopford family proper were long standing residents of Éire as contemporaries and acknowledged scholars who traveled with Oliver Cromwell and his adherents during their conquest of Ireland.
The migratory history of the Stopford clan also included ties to various family members residing in London. Periodic visits made by Alice to the largest city in Great Britain led to her meeting John Richard Green (1837-83), a combination cleric and scholar who would eventually become a noted historian in his own right with the publication of Short History of the English People (London: Macmillan, 1874).
Alice and John married in 1877 and she assisted her husband in his research and writing as a documenter of Irish heritage and she adopted his methodology in the process. Although John passed away in 1883, Alice rallied from this loss to become an active presence in the publishing world and began sharing her own work with the public (R.B. McDowell).
After repeated sojourns across the Irish Sea during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in 1918 Stopford Green permanently moved back to Ireland. Stepford Green would become a very passionate supporter of the Gaelic Revival and its goals for the preservation and proliferation of Irish language, scholarship, and political independence. As a result of her passion and persuasive nature Stepford Green helped to create and maintain a Celtic Studies program located in Dublin (Johnston).
Stepford Green also became involved with international movements in Africa, studied the colonial policies toward that continent, and advocated justice for the indigenous populations in relation to the quest for Irish independence.
After the initial publication of her seminal work – The Making of Ireland and its Undoing, 1200-1600 (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1908) where she explores the history of economics and education in the Irish experience, Stopford Green wrote two subsequent patriotic-themed books entitled: Irish Nationality (1911) and The Old Irish World (1912). These works written pre-Easter Rising continued in the nationalistic, yet scholarly vein (Wikipedia). Ironically, Stopford Green served as the first female president of the British Historical Association (1915-18), turning her pen towards producing essays and articles attempting to heal the escalating divisions in Irish society (Wikipedia).
Stopford Green was celebrated for her hopes for a distinctive Irish constitution, a parliament controlled by the Sinn Féin party (“We Ourselves”) and for re-examing the “Dominion Status” model found in Canada prior to their own independence (Wikipedia). She was also a confidant of Michael Collins and others in the Home Rule movement, along with being an occasional gun runner for the underground (Wikipedia). After the partition and Civil War (she was pro-Treaty) during the early 1920s, Stopford Green lived adjacent to St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin and kept up a busy social schedule, including frequent visits to the North of Ireland to keep in contact with friends across these counties and the Free State alike (Johnston).
In addition to her attention to intellectual and social affairs, Stopford Green was a co-founder of the Cumman na Saoirse (The League for Freedom) a female Irish Republican organization, along with becoming one of the first individuals nominated to serve in the newly formed Senate of Ireland (Seanad Éireann), and in the process she became one of the first four women elected or appointed to this chamber in 1922 and served as a member of this body until 1929 (Wikipedia; Mitchell 15). Stopford Green passed away on May 28, 1929 and was buried at Deansgrange Cemetery in Dublin. Her grave marker reads: “Historian of the Irish People” (Mitchell 15)
Within the holdings catalog of the Irish Book Collections found Archives & Special Collections included the following first edition volumes written by Alice Stopford Green . . .
The Making of Ireland and its Undoing 1200-1600 (London: Macmillan 1908), Do., 2nd ed., with add. Appendix (Oct. 1909; rep. 1913),. xxiv, 573 pp.; Do. [another ed.] (London: Macmillan 1924), 573pp.; and Do. [rep. of 1st Ed.] (NY: Books for Libraries Press 1972), xvi, 511 pp.
Irish National Tradition (London: Macmillan 1923), 31 pp. [rep. from History (July 1917)
Irish Nationality [Home University Library of Modern Knowledge, No. 6] (London: Williams & Nordgate , 1922, 1925), 256 pp.; [another ed.] (London: T. Butterworth 1929), 252pp. [also Irish trans., as infra].
History of the Irish State to 1014 (London: Macmillan & Co 1925), xi, 437 pp., ill. [front. map; maps, plan].
The Old Irish World (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son 1912), vii, 3 lvs., 197 pp., ill. [pls., maps (1 fold.); 23cm.].
The Irish and the Armada (Dublin: Cumann Léigheacht an Phobail 1921), 27 pp.
An Irish School (London: Macmillan and Co. St. Martin’s Street, London, 1926), 15 pp.
For more information about Alice Stopford Green and her works (The Making of Ireland and its Undoing 1200-1600 in particular) please consult the following link to the journal Critical Inquiries Into Irish Studies – https://scholarship.shu.edu/ciiis/ under the Téacsúil Fionnachtain (“Textual Discovery”) entry, and/or you can contact via the following e-mail address: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
The annual commemoration of Black History Month is officially celebrated during February within the United States and Canada. The significance of this tribute has led other nations to celebrate the African Diaspora at different times throughout the year including the Netherlands, Ireland, and the United Kingdom for example. These instances of wider tribute across the globe have been supported through the altruistic activities undertaken by Donald Payne, Sr., an alumnus of Seton Hall and New Jersey Congressman. Representative Payne was a noted advocate on behalf of education and human rights endeavors, but he also spent several years learning about, and lecturing upon a myriad of Black-centered history issues on both the local and international level during the course of his lifetime.
Donald Milford Payne (1934-2012) was a native of Newark, graduate of Barringer H.S., and an alumnus of Seton Hall University earning his diploma in 1957 prior to doing post-graduate education at Springfield College (MA). He was an executive at Prudential Financial Services; Vice President for Urban Data Systems, Inc., and also taught within the Newark Public Schools system prior to entering the political arena.
Congressman Payne spent a major portion of his public career as a United States Representative for the 10th District covering Newark, South Orange, and other neighboring communities from 1989-2012. He was a strong advocate on academic-related issues of various types including the School-to-Work Opportunities Act and National Literacy Institute. Counted among his many board-appointed accomplishments include a stint on the Democratic Steering Committee (2002) along with membership as part of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. In addition, Congressman Payne was very active with peace negotiations in Northern Ireland and as a two-time (first ever individual re-appointed to this body twice) as a Congressional delegate to the United Nations (2003-2007) among other respected committee assignments.
The work undertaken by Congressman Payne in Africa was particularly keen as he became an advocate for the citizens of Darfur, Sudan, the Western Sahara, and other parts of the continent as a former Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. In addition, a highlight included a six-nation tour of Africa with President Bill Clinton during the 1990s along with leading a separate political mission to Rwanda. Congressman Payne was also a member of the Board of Directors for the TransAfrica Forum, and involved himself with ending the Somalian conflict of the 2000s.
Congressman Payne was also a trailblazer in his own right as the first African American President of the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations (YMCA) during the early 1970s, and later as Chairman of the World YMCA Refugee and Rehabilitation Committee between 1973-81. He was also the earliest African American U.S. Congressman to represent any district in New Jersey history and served as the 14th Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (founded in 1969) and first ever from the Garden State.
During the course of his life and legislative career in particular, Congressman Payne addressed noteworthy remembrances related to various African American individuals, institutions, events, and eras. Solemnity and respectful reflection in relation to such celebrations as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Douglass Day in addition to Black History Month. Congressman Payne also brought important perspective about his activities in the African American community to his alma mater and local constituents over the last several decades.
The most lasting memorial related to Congressman Payne from a Seton Hall perspective can be found within the preservation of his legislative records within the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center. School officials acquired his files in 2013, a year after his death. Various web pages and blog posts related to the local connections have been archived for public reference over the past decade . . .
Within our collection, one can find that Congressman Payne left behind a significant amount of quality documentation in the form of legislative briefs, speeches, correspondence, and other informational contents of note. In more detailed terms, the Donald Payne Papers date from 1988-2012, and are primarily related to the legislation and advocacy of his lifetime of work. The Scope and Content notes from the Congressman Payne Papers reads in part:
“The collection includes materials related to . . . legislative work, particularly for the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as on behalf of his district and state . . . There are significant files of material on Congressman Payne’s trips abroad, which included trips to a number of African nations as well as nations in Europe and elsewhere . . . materials cover Congressman Payne’s years in Congress including his African journeys and diplomacy and international relations work, national and legislative process efforts a good study in congressional protocols in general and local and national representation in particular.”
As outlined above, there are several areas of research value, but in this month of February, it is important to note his work within African nations in particular and on behalf of Black History in its varied forms. When conducting a search that involves “Black History Month” within this collection, the results page yields a number of different file folders that focus upon various tributes are documented within such formats including correspondence, notes, reports, memoranda, and other types of materials including details on the commemorations from 1995 and 1997 along with “Speeches 1989-2011;” “African American History, 1992-2011;” “Black History, Undated;” “Black History, 1990-1995; and other subject areas found across this assemblage.
In more specific terms, Congressman Payne also left behind a myriad of background information on African American History along with specific files including speeches and background notes for his lecture appointments in particular. Examples include . . .
Congressional Research Service – Black History Month (IP 344B) Library of Congress, Washington, DC. (* Opening Text: “Since 1976, February has been celebrated as Black History Month, but the origins of this event date back to 1926, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson set aside a special period of time in February to recognize the heritage, achievements, and contributions of African-Americans.” . . . Each year the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History selects a theme for the Black History Month celebration, and in 1995 it is “Reflections on 1895: Douglass, Du Bois, Washington.”)
“Reflections on 1895: Douglass, Du Bois, Washington,” by Janette Hotson Harris, Ph.D., National President, ASALH Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH), 1995.
CRS Report for Congress. “African-American Contributions To American Society in Selected Fields of Endeavor,” Corey Ali Jennings – Analyst in American National Government, Government Division. January 21, 1993. Congressional Research Service – The Library of Congress.
Tangela G. Roe, Senior Bibliographer, Government and Law – Library Services Division. “Black History and Culture: Bibliography-in-Brief,” CRS Report for Congress. Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, January 13, 1995.
Special Edition. Black History Is No Mystery. Special Edition, Winter 1993-94. Malcolm X, History of Black Spirituals, Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois, etc. Boston MA.
Statement for Congressman Donald M. Payne. House Joint Resolution 320. Establishing the First Memorial Honoring African-American Civil War Veterans. Tuesday, June 9, 1992.
Remarks – Black History Month. S. District Court – Trenton, February 14, 2006. Judge Anne Thompson, NJ State. MLK and Coretta Scott King. Homer Plessy v. Judge John H. Ferguson. Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Rights Acts of 1950s and 60s. Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston – Howard Law School Dean. Congressional Black Congress. South African Apartheid and International Human Rights, etc.
Chairman Donald M. Payne – African American Civil War Memorial Breakfast – Draft #2 – African American Civil War Memorial and Museum – Washington, DC 9/21/2011.
Remarks – Commerce Department, Black in Government. Including mentions of the first statewide African American Convention – Trenton Zion AME church (1849).
Resources created and saved by Congressman Donald Payne, Sr.* provide an insightful look at the African American experience and are available for reference to our entire research community.
Information about African American History, Congressman Payne, and Seton Hall University please contact us via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378. Thank you in advance for your interest.
(* Looking both to the past and future, the work started by Congressman Payne lives on through the efforts of his son, Donald Payne, Jr. who was elected to Congress in 2012. Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. has been an important part of the House of Representatives over the course of his tenure and has made his own significant contributions to this body through his work with domestic issues, labor, and Homeland Security among other subjects of importance.)
During the Centennial Year of Seton Hall University in 1956, this milestone date in school history led to the planning of a number of public programs that commemorated not only the evolution of the academic-based legacy of Setonia found in the classroom, but also the contributions of her students, faculty, and alumni to American society at large. The presentations and specially-themed events scheduled throughout the 1956 Academic Year not only touched upon the ties Seton Hall nurtured in relation to religious life and educational enlightenment, but also linked to industry, commerce, medical support, science, publishing, and a number of other disciplines that touched upon community support. Additionally, the most visible area of community public service in which Setonia had a long history of connections was that of political science and governmental affairs.
Event program cover from the Centennial of Seton Hall University (1956)Beyond having a long and productive relationship with a number of local and national politicians alike, the school and its cognizance of the United States Presidency is one that has been one that has been studied via courses campus-wide over the last several semesters and the campus has hosted various candidates for the highest office in the land over the last several decades. When it comes to sitting Chief Executives and their appearances within the Seton Hall story, the most famous example was the visit of President Ronald Reagan at the Commencement Exercises held on the University Green in 1983. However, another chapter that is notable was the invitation extended to President Dwight David Eisenhower by University President Monsignor John McNulty to be a part of the Centennial Convocation in 1956.
The invitation to “Ike” was a logical idea since it was a major anniversary celebration for the institution, but the Deputy White House Chief of Staff and Appointments Secretary to President Eisenhower was noted lawyer, Mr. Bernard Shanley, a native of Newark who served in this capacity from 1955-57 and had established ties to Seton Hall and the Archdiocese. Ike was also connected to the values of higher education as the former President of Columbia University (1948-53) along with his prestige as a war hero and leader of the country all made for the hope that he would be a part of this anniversary pageant. However, President Eisenhower would ultimately send his regrets via telegram that he could not attend ceremonies in South Orange that year.
When retrospectively looking behind the reasons why Ike would not grace center stage at the podium, or the strains of “Hail to the Chief” were not heard, were various and understandable. In conducting research through the diaries of Bernard Shanley held within the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and various Seton Hall-centered resources a picture of the inner-workings of scheduling during late-February through early March emerges. Ike was a popular president, but he was facing the unknown when it came to re-election and the Democratic primaries going on at that time which included candidates Estes Kefauver (TN), W. Averell Harriman (NY) and eventual nominee Adlai Stevenson (IL). This took on greater significance as rumors as to the ill health of President Eisenhower were reported nationwide through the early months of 1956. On February 29th, Ike made a public pronouncement that he would seek re-election that November. Otherwise, during that first week of March, Ike was in conference regarding a letter written by FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover on the topic of Civil Rights (3/1), preparation for a Summit Meeting with leaders from Canada and Mexico later that month with input from former President Herbert Hoover (3/3), a speech to the Fourth Annual Republican Women’s National Conference (3/6), taking time to send a birthday greeting to Pope Pius XII, and other duties along with sending the telegram of regrets to Monsignor McNulty and the Seton Hall community.
Although he did not physically visit our campus, this gesture of recognition by President Eisenhower was well-received by the Seton Hall community at the time and his place although directly fleeting in terms of personal contact with the school would be helpful through various initiatives such as the first White House Commission on Education (1955), various Higher Education initiatives (1950s-1960), and the Federal Aid Highway Act (1956) for commuters, among other imprints made by Ike and other Chief Executives over the years as we remember them on as part of this President’s Day observance.
For more information about our Manuscript Collections including the Bernard Shanley Papers, and other aspects of U.S. Political and Seton Hall University history we can be reached via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
In respect of the recent commemoration of National Catholic Schools Week, Seton Hall has a long and honored tradition of hosting countless students who have their academic roots in parochial-sponsored classrooms across New Jersey and around the world. Our institution is no exception to showing its support of pre-secondary level education. Between 1901 and the late 1920s, Seton Hall established the Bayley Hall Grammar School initiative to help students prepare for more advanced study with anticipation that pupils would better continue their educational journey at the Preparatory Academy and College in subsequent semesters.
Founded by Msgr. John A. Stafford, President, the following overview is the first notice of the school with the details extracted from the 1901 Seton Hall College Catalogue and signaled a renewed look at youth-centered instruction after the school attained its first accreditation status four years previous . . .
Over time, the Bayley Hall Grammar School received consistent support and regularly hosted an average of 40-50 students per academic year. Over its approximately three decades in operation, the school prospered and by the mid-1920s, the description of the school touted its accomplishments, but also provided full disclosure in their approach in print as the following notice from the 1924 Seton Hall College Catalogue was heralded within its pages at a time when the institution was male-only and highly structured in almost every manner . . .
“BAYLEY HALL GRAMMAR SCHOOL – CHARACTER AND PURPOSE . . . in the few years of its existence has won for itself a position second to none among the preparatory institutions of the country. It has its origin in the realization, forced on the President year after year, that many of the students who sought admission to the High School were, in some one or other of the required studies, inadequately prepared. It was evident that a department which should take students at an earlier age and give them a thorough grammar school course would not only serve a useful purpose in itself, but would in addition facilitate the more difficult work of the High School. This ideal has been fully realized. The graduates of Bayley Hall have, almost without exception, demonstrated by their work in the High School the need and the value of the training given them in the preparatory department.
Such an institution has, of course, to struggle against the difficulties which inevitably arise when boys are for the first time taken from parents and home. And it is in this particular that Bayley Hall has achieved its greatest success. The occupations of every hour have been so apportioned that mind and body are given useful work and healthy play from the morning bell at half-past is to the last bell at half-past eight. Periods of recreation alternate with periods of study; every species of athletics is encourages, and every means is employed to develop a sound mind in a sound body. One of the Reverend Fathers, resident in Bayley Hall, immediately supervises the work in this section. The discipline is firm, as discipline must always be; but harshness is never permitted to mar the relations of teacher and pupil. As in the other departments of the institution, the development of the moral character is looked upon as equally important with the acquisition of knowledge; and no pains are spared to lay the foundations of that combination of culture and religious virtue which constitutes the Christian gentlemen.”
The school building was named in honor of James Roosevelt Bayley (1814-1872), the first Bishop of Newark and hosted the Grammar School, hence the name of the institute and separate from the College proper. As further described in the catalogues of the era: “The study-hall, class rooms, reading and recreation rooms, and dormitories are all neatly and tastefully furnished, and everything tends to foster in the minds of the young a desire to cultivate habits of cleanliness and neatness in keeping with their surroundings.” Aside from the well-appointed surroundings, the model of having classes in one space led to consistency and a logical pattern of instruction. The following synopses provide the typical path of pedagogy found among the first three years encountered by the Bayley Hall student of yore . . .
ENGLISH. Grammar Reviewed; Punctuation; Elementary Precepts of Composition; Forms of Style.
LITERATURE. Reading of Masterpieces in Prose and Verse; Spelling; Studies in Critical Analysis; Memory Work.
ELOCUTION. Special Exercises.
SCIENCE. Physiology and Hygiene.
ARITHMETIC. Advanced Arithmetic Completed and Reviewed; Business Forms.
ENGLISH. Grammar, Etymology Reviewed; Sentences; Essentials of Syntax: Letter Writing; Elementary Composition.
LITERATURE. Selections in Prose; Spelling and Analysis; Studies in Etymology and Use of Words; Word Formation.
READING AND WRITING. Special Exercises.
ARITHMETIC. Written and Mental Exercises.
HISTORY. Elementary United States History.
OPTIONAL SUBJECTS. Music, Drawing, Type-writing
As the individual progressed through the system, they reached the end of their time at Bayley Hall during the Eighth Grade. It was at this point, that pupils had the option belong to a host of clubs and societies including the Athletic Association which promoted competition in billiards, handball, and competition between neighboring schools. The Library Association was active in collecting and establishing a top flight reference center for the student body. In addition, the Saint Aloysius Society hosted weekly meetings in order to: “. . . instill into their minds an appreciation and tender regard for this illustrious patron of the young.” Which offered many students a preview, and a wider selection of extra-curricular activities when the reached the high school level. This was designed to educate the “whole person” as consistent with the goals of the instructors and administration from the start of the program.
The parting wish for graduates from Bayley Hall when they entered the Eighth Grade led to the following prescription: “The object of this organization is to transact the business of the class, to foster in the pupil the idea of self-reliance in the management of his affairs, and to prepare him for the more formal organization of the High School and College classes.” Although long defunct, the legacy of the Bayley Hall School lasts and remains a part of the history of Catholic parochial education annals and within the story of specialized schools hosted by Seton Hall over the last century and a half.
For more information on Bayley Hall and other aspects of Seton Hall history please feel free to contact us via e-mail at: email@example.com or by phone at: (973)275-2378.
January 23rd marks National Handwriting Day which was established in 1977 to promote and celebrate the usage of writing instruments from the quill to ballpoint pens along with the paper upon which such methods as cursive, script, and other self-expression is put into print for posterity. This particular date was also chosen to commemorate the birthday of John Hancock, first Autographer of the Declaration of Independence who arguably has the most famous signature in American History. However, the story of handwriting can be traced further back in time.
Written communication can be traced back to Ancient Rome (c. fifth century AD) that was built on contributions from other founding civilizations and in the process became an important means of non-verbal communication and by extension preserving the word of the author for future reference. As this practice caught hold and moving forward to other eras, the Medieval period has been noted for manuscripts reproduced by cloistered monks who patiently and expertly provided copies of texts (mainly Christian and classical-based) as an important service to humanity as a means of promoting literacy and inspire deeper learning opportunities than ever before. With the advent of the Printing Press during the sixteenth century this lessened the need for handwritten, mass produced works and ushered in a new era of mass-produced writings. Despite this invention the trade art of “penmanship” still became a sought after skill set especially in the documentary establishment of the American Republic and as the nation grew in size and population where school systems, mail service, and other forums for handwritten communication were created.
With the establishment of the United States and moving into the nineteenth century, a bookkeeper named Platt Rogers Spencer who adopted a method to teach cursive writing that was captured in various textbooks and made its way to various schools and colleges to help students improve their respective writing styles. Eventually print and cursive developed into various methods side-by-side in the dawn before typewriters and later computers would help with journaling and interpersonal communication. Overall, expanded technology has superseded the need or want to write as a matter of preferred course. More information on the historical evolution of handwriting can be referenced via the V-Letter and History Channel sites found via the links located below . . .
Although handwriting is not in vogue in the present day except for the most part among those who prefer traditional forms of communication and to “jot down” information, but if nothing else a personal signature and/or requested autograph are at the very least a form of handwriting that has held on as a mark of personal identification and shows that the practice has not departed altogether. These examples are true to life within the world of Seton Hall academic life where note-taking is now mainly done via a computer laptop, etc. But there is always a place for handwriting to remain even though it is rarer to find schools that teach this craft in full, or even the elementary level basics nowadays.
When looking at historical textbooks and examples within our Rare Book Collection there are a pair of texts found that show how the student of the nineteenth century learned the finer art of taking their writing skills into advanced applications. The following works include the following texts . . .
A volume entitled: Five Hundred Mistakes of Daily Occurrence in Speaking, Pronouncing, and Writing the English Language, Corrected. (New York: D. Burgess & Co., 1856) [Call Number: PE1460 .B8 1856] is one that saw print in the same year that Seton Hall College was founded. Within this book, the modern reader can see what some of the most common errors and correct approaches were made among the student body of yore.
Within this volume you can see five hundred individual examples from the first . . .
“THE business would suit any one who enjoys bad health.” [From an advertisement in a daily newspaper of New-York.] Few persons who have bad health can be said to enjoy it. Use some other form of expression: as, one in delicate health, or, one whose health is bad.”
Through to the five-hundredth on their list . . .
The last direction which this little book will give on the subject with which it has been occupied, is one that long ago was given in the greatest of books – “Let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ.” If obedience to this injunction may not guard him who heeds it against the commission of such mistakes as are numbered in this catalogue, it will not fail to lead him out of the way of errors more grievous and solemn.”
More specific to Setonia, is the book entitled – How to Write Letters: A Manual of Correspondence Showing the Correct Structure, Composition, Punctuation, Formalities, and Uses of the Various Kinds of Letters, Notes, and Cards by J. Willis Westlake (Philadelphia: Christopher Sower Co., 1876) [Call Number: PE 1485 .W4 1876] Our version was once owned by a former student – Thomas Raftery, ’93 who not only possessed this copy, but along with the book, but also found within the text block was a letter from his mother that shows a perfect example of cursive writing from that period.
Along with their primer in tow, Mr. Raftery would have encountered a core curriculum that was totally structured and included detailed classes in English Composition along with optional instruction in stenography and/or drawing (for $50.00 per annum apiece) to help with his writing practice and perfecting his form. Even though Mr. Raftery attended the school for a brief time without graduating he did have the basic tools to aid with his writing efforts. This is one of many examples that features unique handwritten registers, letters, and other documents based content that have been transcribed and preserved in our repository. These materials are available to researchers for exploration and perspective on handwriting styles and content that have been created through sight and hand alike.
For more information on the other 498 Mistakes, see other examples of handwriting in the name of academic life and administrative business, and other aspects of handwriting along with the Rare Books and Seton Hall History feel free to reach out to us via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
The impact that the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) had on society is manifest especially when it came to his legacy in regard to the Civil Rights movement. The individuals, writings, and imagery that captured his life and impact is extensive. However, it is also noteworthy to reference and reflect upon those who influenced his own philosophy and teachings.
Among the more famous individuals that Doctor King has cited include Indian lawyer and ethician Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi (1869-1948) and his embrace of nonviolent resistance to unjust laws along with the political writings of American statesman, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) found in his pronouncements on “liberty,” “democracy,” and “equal rights” in particular.
In addition to notable secular figures, another individual cited as part of the early education is the prophet Moses (1391-1271 BC) who was seen as a living symbol connected to the law of God. In American historical annals, when it came to slavery such figures and role models as Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman each became a latter-day Moses in leading their people to a promised land of freedom and grace. Ironically, Doctor King would not only quote Moses on a regular basis within his sermons, but he was equated by many of his adherents as another Moses for his efforts to achieve freedom and equality within American society. More on the relationship between Doctor King and Moses can be found within the Stanford Freedom Project site accessible via the following link – https://stanfordfreedomproject.com/multi-media-essays-on-freedom/the-biblical-exodus-in-the-rhetoric-of-martin-luther-king/
Connections to Doctor King, Moses, and/or Seton Hall have been made within the Archives & Special Collections Center. Along with records relating to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Program (MLKSA) is the oldest and most prestigious Servant Leadership Program on campus and one of the first in the United States having been founded in 1970. This initiative deals with tuition funding, management, leadership skills development, and research opportunities covering social justice, spirituality, critical thinking, and community service.
In regard to Moses, various theological-centered volumes are found in the Rare Book Collection including a 1752 edition of a text entitled:
For more information on Doctor King, Moses, and other figures of note that are connected to the history and academic curriculum of Seton Hall University please contact us for information. E-Mail: Archives@shu.edu, Phone: (973) 275-2378.