South Orange and Seton Hall – Local Research Ties

Seton Hall has enjoyed a historical relationship with the Village of South Orange since the school established their campus within its boundaries after moving from nearby Madison in 1860.  The original land which constitutes the present-day South Orange was purchased by Robert Treat (also acknowledged as the founder of Newark) from officials of the Lenni Lenape tribe around 1666. This led to official settlement by the Brown brothers (Joseph and Thomas) who built a farmstead along the present-day South Orange Avenue by 1680 that ultimately set the stage for the development of Setonia in due course.

Over the next few centuries this area experienced steady development in terms of a resort town during the 1800s and subsequent year-round residential growth.  This was in large measure made possible when South Orange became a transportation hub for the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad as of 1869 when the area was also incorporated as South Orange Township (that originally contained present-day Maplewood before this municipality became independent) and made for a prime destination that appealed to commuters, visitors, and students from across the metropolitan area.  South Orange is also known for its distinctive gas light posts and these illuminations served a symbolic and practical purpose for both hometown citizens and those affiliated with the college.  These milestones and others have led to many joint landmarks and project building initiatives over time.

Beyond this brief overview of local history, there are many layers of research potential that bond “town and gown” together including prominent individuals, property data, shared events, and many other topics of note.  Specific examples of collections found within our repository include, but are not limited to various files related to past University Presidents, Velotto South Orange Postcard Collection, Our Lady of Sorrows Parish files, and many other examples found through our Rare Book and various manuscript-based holdings.  More information and leads can be found via our homepage-based search engine – https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/search?q[]=south+orange&op[]=&field[]=keyword&from_year[]=&to_year[]=&filter_fields[]=repository&filter_values[]=%2Frepositories%2F2

Along with our own resource base and work in preserving historical school records within the context of the town has been a constant.  Research tools of various types are available within the University Libraries and through its book catalog, databases, and different electronic-based sites.  Specialized connections have also been made with the South Orange Public Library, South Orange Historical Preservation Society, and other organizations and individuals around the area have provided valuable research connections over the years Further details can be located within a specially created Library Reference Guide devoted to South Orange resources found within the following link – https://library.shu.edu/south-orange

For more information on resources related to Seton Hall, South Orange, and other aspects of local history please feel free to contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist via e-mail at: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or by phone: (973) 275-2378.

Studying Ireland, Irish Resources in the Archives and Special Collections Center

With March upon us an increased interest in learning about the culture, history, individuals, events, and traditions associated with the Irish experience is both evident and welcome!  However, when it comes to finding resources related to both Éire proper and Irish-America alike we offer year-round opportunities to study a wide-range of subject areas related to, and inspired by Ireland proper.

The Archives & Special Collections Center at Seton Hall University features a group of printed volumes from the collection of Irish literary figure and noted book collector Michael Joseph (Meagher) MacManus (1888-1951) who wrote various nationalist-themed books and worked as editor of the Irish Press from 1931 until his death two decades later. This library includes over 3,000 titles dating from the seventeenth century to the present day and covers several different aspects of Irish and Irish-American life including culture, geography, literature, politics, biography, history and religion. Nearly all editions are printed in either English or Irish (Gaelach).  The core of this collection consists of acquisitions secured by MacManus during his lifetime, but arrangements have been made to add latter day works to what has become a continuously expanding bibliography.

Most of these volumes of the volumes found in the MacManus Collection are housed in our repository, but many non-rare titles featuring a connection to the Ireland and Irish-American experience in some manner are also included via our databases (including the JSTOR Irish Studies Collection – https://www.jstor.org/subject/irishstudies and the digital Irish Times and Weekly Irish Times [1859-2015] – https://search.proquest.com/hnpirishtimes/index?accountid=13793) along with various e-books or print volumes in our Main Collection and assorted Reference Collection holdings.  More information can be found via our Irish Studies Research Guide – https://library.shu.edu/Irish-studies

and complimented by one specializing on Irish Literature: Past and Present – https://library.shu.edu/irishlit compiled by Professor Gerry Shea.

Another collection donated by Rita Murphy (1912-2003), achieved status as one of the first female graduates of Seton Hall in 1937, prior to becoming a long-time director of the Irish Institute at Seton Hall during the 1950s and 1960s.  She also hosted a weekly Irish Music Program on W-S-O-U FM, South Orange and frequently appeared on local television.  Her collection of nearly 1,000 titles are complimented by other important works donated by prominent donors of Irish titles including the recently acquired Emmet-Tuite Library of volumes focusing on varied aspects of the Irish experience printed between from the 16-19th century, noted New Jersey based journalists Barbara O’Reilly; Jim Lowney and noted advocate Jim McFarland whose bequest centers on focused materials related to political issues in Northern Ireland over the past few decades.

Counted among our major subject collections featuring Irish subject matter include the reference papers of John Concannon (1924-2011) former author, publicist and National Historian of the Ancient Order of Hibernians whose voluminous source material on Ireland and Irish-America is especially detailed with particular emphasis on parades, noted political and military figures.  In addition, the Center houses microfilm editions of the National Hibernian Digest (1905-97), Hibernian Journal (1907-69), and Convention Proceedings of the AOH in America (1888-1990).  Various materials including ledgers, documents, and other items representing the New Jersey AOH have also found a central place within our collection.

When it comes to family ties and Irish-connected genealogy, the presence of church census data, select religious community information, educational files and various institutional and parish records are also found within this collection. Original and microfilmed nineteenth and early twentieth century sacramental registers from both current or closed parishes and various local cemeteries provide a wealth of data for those conducting genealogical research for their Irish and Irish-American ancestors either on-site or via mail inquiry. Supplementing these distinctive resources are bound or microfilm copies of Catholic Almanacs and Directories dating from 1851 onward.

Governor Richard J. Hughes greets President John F. Kennedy at Mercer County Airport – Trenton, NJ, c. 1962

In terms of manuscript collections individual figures with Irish surnames have also been featured prominently in the organization of archival collections featured at Seton Hall through University connections including such academics and former presidents as Bernard J. McQuaid (1856-1857 and 1859-1867); James H. Corrigan (1876-1888); James F. Mooney (1907-1922); Thomas H. McLaughlin (1922-1933); Francis J. Monaghan (1933-1936); James F. Kelley (1936-1949); John L. McNulty (1949-1959) and John J. Dougherty (1959-1969).  Other prominent collections include resource materials from the laity including Congressman Marcus Daly (1908-1969) of Monmouth County, the first Catholic Governor of New Jersey Richard J. Hughes (1909-1992); and Bernard Shanley III (1903-1992), political advisor to President Dwight Eisenhower to name a few.

For more information about these, and other resources, and/or to schedule a research appointment please contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist/Education Coordinator via E-Mail:  Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or by Phone: (973) 275-2378

Women of Accomplishment and Authority Honoring the First Female Administrators and School Leaders of Seton Hall (1928-1959)

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Archives & Special Collections Center is proud to present an exhibit that honors some pioneering female professionals who made a difference in the building of a stronger administrative and educational institution over the last several decades on campus.

List of First Female Faculty at the Urban Division of  Seton Hall College (1937)

The varied contributions made by women in the annals of Setonia have always been significant from her earliest days forward. A portent of success was found when Mme. Chegary, a successful school mistress sold her academy to the Diocese of Newark in 1856 on land in Madison that served as the first home of Seton Hall.

Upon establishment of the school, the work of the Sisters of Charity was enlisted to provide spiritual leadership and nursing care and supervision of the infirmary during the 19th century.  The mothers of the all-male Seton Hall student body also provided a strong influence as role models and support for their college-bound sons.  The accomplishments of women during the early years of Seton Hall was rarely documented and mostly done in the shadows, but their varied and valuable contributions cannot be denied.

When it came to individual females who began the trend of administrative leadership on campus, Ms. Marie K. Fitzsimmons began her affiliation with Seton Hall as the College Registrar in 1928 and lasted through most of the 1950s.  Her work defined who would ultimately attend Setonia and she also oversaw the dawn of co-education when women were first admitted to the Urban Division of Seton Hall (Newark and Jersey City) in 1937.

Marie K. Fitzsimmons (Registrar)

This move towards admitting female students also paved the way for the first women faculty (either adjunct or full-time) members.  This included a number of subject experts including – Sr. M. Aloysius, O.P., Ph.D. (Psychology); Sr. M. Anthony, O.P., A.M. (Education); Sr. Catherine Jonata, M.P.F. (Modern Languages), A.M.; Mary A. Colton, LL.B. (Law); Sr. M. Ines, O.P., A.M. (English); Blanche Mary Kelly, Litt.D. (English); Julia Killian, B.S. (Library Science); Mary T. Mooney, A.M (Sociology).; Dorothy I. Mulgrave, Ph.D. (English); Mary C. Powers, A.M. (English & History/Social Studies); Aileen Reilly, A.M. (English); Elizabeth Scanlon, Ph.D. (Education); and Sr. Teresa Gertrude, O.S.B., Ph.D. (Education).  Complimenting this roster of instructors was Ms. Rita Murphy who became first head of an information center when she became Director of the Urban Division Library during the 1938 academic year.

Blanche Mary Kelly, Litt.D. (English)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary C. Powers, A.M. (English & History/Social Studies)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership opportunities arose shortly afterwards when Professor  Anne E. Murphy, B.A., B.S. was named as the first Dean of Nursing.  She became the first-ever female department head at Seton Hall in 1940. Her example led the way to the hire of other professional women who continuously led the School of Nursing in succession to the present day.  Other milestones initiated across campus included creation of the Dean of Women positon first held by Ms. Ruth Dugan, A.M. during the early 1950s.

When it came to national recognition, Seton Hall instituted its Law School in 1951 and school administration selected Miriam T. Rooney, LL.B. as the inaugural Dean who served in this capacity until her retirement in 1959.

Eventually more women served as key managers, faculty, vice presidents, deans, trustees, and within the last few years assumed top  positions within the administration.  Provost and Executive Vice President, Karen Boroff, Ph.D. and Acting University President appointed in 2016 and Mary Meehan, Ph.D. named in 2017 who serve in their respective capacities have made history and continue to blaze trails in the process.

Examples from our collection will be on exhibit from February through May of 2019 in the First Floor foyer of Walsh Library located across from the stairs and elevator.

  • For additional background and more information on this topic and other aspects of Seton Hall please feel free to contact University Archivist, Alan Delozier at: alan.delozier@shu.edu  or by phone: (973) 275-2378.

Remembering Monsignor Francis R. Seymour, KHS (1937-2018)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Monsignor Francis R. Seymour, KHS who served for many years as the first Archivist for the Archdiocese of Newark when he was named to this position in 1969.  He was also a founding member of the New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission in 1976 and became Chair of this organization in 2009.  The contributions Monsignor Seymour made to the Monsignor William Noe’ Field Archives & Special Collections Center were many and memorable.  Counted among his most important and lasting works include his careful organization of research files related to the priest community, collecting of important documentation from autographed photographs to memorial cards to parish histories and many other items and objects related to the story of Catholic New Jersey.

It was also in the personal sharing of his knowledge and recollections where he really brought history to life.  His memory for details was remarkable and brought both enthusiasm and a gentle touch to his interactions with the many people he touched during the course of his life.  On a personal level, Monsignor Seymour will be remembered fondly and missed greatly by the many individuals who and had the privilege to learn from his example and had the privilege to call him a colleague and friend.

Among those associated who treasure his kindness are Tiffany Burns, Assistant to the Dean of University Libraries who remembers “My first job on the SHU campus was as an employee with the Archdiocese of Newark. Monsignor Seymour hired me to process sacramental requests in Archives and Special Collections twice a week. During my time in the Archives my brother passed away suddenly. It was Monsignor who most comforted me with words of kindness and his gentle explanation of the Church’s teaching during the saddest days of my life. I always felt that when Monsignor Seymour entered the room he brought the Lord with him.”

Sarah Ponichtera, Assistant Dean of Special Collections and the Gallery, adds, “Monsignor Seymour was a font of knowledge about the history of the Archdiocese.  He knew off the top of his head what would take an average researcher days to track down.  His passing is an enormous loss for historians of the university, the Archdiocese, and the region.”

Monsignor Seymour with Mother Teresa of Calcutta, c. 1981
  • More information about the life and accomplishments of Monsignor Seymour can be found via the official announcement issued by the Archdiocese of Newark.

St. Nicholas Illustrated – Christmas Stories & Beyond

Within the Rare Book Collection of the Seton Hall University Archives & Special Collections Center are a number of volumes from the St. Nicholas Illustrated series.  Although no longer published, St. Nicholas was a popular children’s monthly that achieved popularity during the late 19th century.

First published in 1873 by Scribner & Company publishers, this magazine dedicated its pages to featuring quality short stories, poems, and other creative writing examples about a wide-range of topics penned by novice and experienced writers alike including Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, and Joel Chandler Harris to name a few.  Pieces that saw print were often accompanied by stylized black and white illustrations and wood engravings that complimented the text.

During its peak years, single issues St. Nicholas arrived in mailboxes monthly and achieved an average subscription rate of 100,000 readers.  Publishers worked on other ways to attract further readership and show its aesthetic quality throughout its run.  This manifested itself through the option of purchasing bound copies for a particular year(s) with a specifically designed cover to better showcase the magazine as shown above.

After seven decades, the magazine ceased operations by 1943 as readership diminished during the war years, but the existing copies that have been preserved offer an illuminating insight into juvenile literature of another age.  Additionally, St. Nicholas and its Christmas-centered themes that were written in honor of the holiday and celebrating a wide-range of aspects that touched on everyday life is part of its lasting legacy.

For more information on St. Nicholas Illustrated and our Rare Book collections please contact us at: Archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.

 

John C.H. Wu Papers Open to the Research Community

The Archives & Special Collections Center is proud to announce the opening of the John C.H. Wu Papers for access to our research community through the generosity of John and Theresa Wu and the entire Wu family.  Dr. Wu was a scholar, author, and jurist who spent several years as a member of the Seton Hall faculty who made significant contributions to the studies of law, philosophy, religious studies, and other subject areas during the course of his lifetime which are reflected in part through the original manuscripts, printed works, photographs, notebooks, sketch books, subject files, and other materials that represent the intellectual life of Dr. Wu.

Counted among the highlights from the work of scholar, author, and jurist include the following highlights from his educational and professional life.  John Ching Hsiung (C.H.) Wu (Chinese – Wu Jingxiong, 吳經熊) was on March 28, 1899, in the city of Ningbo, Jiangsu Province. His early education focused primarily on the teachings of Confucius along with the study of Daoism, Buddhism, and notable poets of ancient China. At age fifteen, Wu entered a local junior college, where he was exposed to the field of physics which he continued to study at the Baptist College of Shanghai. A change of educational path occurred during the spring of 1917 when Wu began studying law and transferred to the Comparative Law School of China.  Wu completed his degree by the fall of 1920 and subsequently attended the University of Michigan Law School for post-graduate work and earned his JD in 1921. From here he began writing articles that largely compared the legal traditions of China and the Western World. In May 1921, Wu earned a fellowship from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which enabled him to study at the Sorbonne and Berlin University prior to his return to the United States where he became a research fellow at Harvard Law School in 1923.

Page of an unpublished manuscript –
“Philosophical Foundation of the Old and New Legal System of China” by Dr. John Wu

During the mid-1920s, Wu moved back to China and settled in Shanghai where he began teaching at the Comparative Law School of China, and helped to co-found the China Law Review. During the World War II years, Wu became a writer for the cause of Chinese freedom and re-located to Hong Kong and was enlisted by Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek in 1942 to translate the Christian Book of Psalms and the entire New Testament into Chinese. In the spring of 1945, Wu attended the inaugural United Nations conference in San Francisco as an adviser to the Chinese Delegation and also became lead author of the Nationalist Constitution that same year. He also helped to work on their Charter and by the end of the year he was appointed the Chinese delegate to the Vatican which took effect on February 16, 1947 and lasted through 1949.

         

Upon leaving China, Wu became the Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii in 1949 where he also wrote his autobiography entitled – Beyond East and West (New York: Sheed and Ward and Taipei: Mei Ya Publications, 1951). After his tenure in Hawaii, Wu began teaching legal studies at Seton Hall University and helped in the founding of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies during the 1951 academic year and remained a member of the faculty until his retirement in 1967.  His legacy survives through regular interest in the scholarship that has been left behind for present and future scholars to discover.

This collection is available for study by appointment and more information about what is featured within the John C.H. Wu Papers can be found via the following link –

https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/402

For more information on this collection and to schedule a day and time to visit please contact the Archives & Special Collections Center via e-mail: archives@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 761-9476

1968 : A Year in the Life of Seton Hall University – A Pictorial Retrospective Exhibit

The Archives & Special Collections Center is proud to present an exhibit that shows scenes from the Seton Hall campus from half a century ago to celebrate student life, academics, activities, and the school within the context of one of the most pivotal years and times in national and world history.

 

Counted among the highlights that happened at Seton Hall in 1968 include the following milestones . . .

  • The South Orange campus of Seton Hall becomes fully Co-Educational.
  • The Humanities Building (today known as “Fahy Hall” named in honor of Rev. Thomas Fahy) houses offices and classroom space is dedicated.
  • The Boland Hall East Dormitories were also dedicated on October 23.
  • Bishop John J. Dougherty serves as the University President (1959-69).
  • Commencement takes place on June 8th of that year.

  • Sister Agnes Reinkemeyer is appointed Dean of the School of Nursing on July 11th of that year.
  • University Council approves Voluntary R.O.T.C. Program on campus.
  • Business School starts plans for a new structure (ultimately completed in 1972).
  • Spring Weekend at Seton Hall called the “Biggest and Best Ever” at the time.
  • New Core Curriculum plan for the College of Arts & Sciences is discussed in December.

 

Examples from our collection will be on exhibit from October through December of 2018 in the First Floor foyer of Walsh Library located across from the stairs and elevator.

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.

U.S. Constitution – Examples From Archives and Special Collections

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 September, 2018 in the First Floor foyer of Walsh Library located across from the stairs and elevator.

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.

 

Douai-Rheims Bible – Revolutionary Catholic Text in Context

Counted among the earliest and most influential volumes found in our Rare Book Collection is the Douai-Rheims Bible which is the English language translation of scripture designed specifically for Catholic readership from the original Latin Vulgate that was created by theologian and historian Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, or Jerome (345-420 AD), the present day patron saint of translators and librarians.
The enduring title for this work comes from the geographical connections to the adapted work hosted by the English University at Douai (Northern France) and Reims, France where the Old Testament and New Testament were evaluated from the translations made by St. Jerome centuries earlier.  The first mass published volume was created in 1582 which featured the New Testament proper.  This served as a prelude to the companion Old Testament version that was published in two volumes between 1609-10 by the University of Douai.  This particular compilation illustrated here encompasses the Books of Genesis to Job (first volume) and transitions to the Psalms, Machabees, and Apocrypha of the Vulgate (second volume) and includes source notes on the translation process via the Hebrew and Greek versions of the Latin Bible.
With a proliferation of Protestant-created bibles including the King James version (1604-11) and many earlier examples from the 16th century, the primary rationale for the creation of the Douai-Rheims Bible centered around the need by Catholics in England to create a clearly legible sacred text as a means of helping to discourage conversion in the face of conversion temptation brought on by Counter-Reformation preachers and to clearly articulate the articles of faith in a vernacular that could be easily understood and interpreted.
This work was first published through the intercession of Lawrence Killam at Douai and the text once it went through the printing press came in a flat case leather binding measuring 6 1/2 x 9 in.  Examples of the title page and frontispiece can be found in the illustrations provided.  Subsequent reprints and editions have been made of this trailblazing work making it one of the read religious-centered tomes over since its first appearance over 400 years ago.  For more information contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist/ Education Coordinator via e-mail: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.

Seton Hall Community College – The Associate Degree Experience (1952-64)

From its first semester forward, Seton Hall has offered students the option of pursuing a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree through its undergraduate studies program which on average typically lasted four years to complete. However, there have been exceptions to this traditional approach as educational trends changed over time.  For example, Seton Hall offered not only collegiate level instruction, but a preparatory school option during the earliest decades which encompassed a seven-year curriculum until this was discontinued in 1897 with “Seton Hall Prep” establishing its own identity.  Otherwise, during the twentieth century, Setonia began to develop various professional, or extension schools (not only its South Orange campus, but also in Newark, Jersey City, and Paterson) outside of the customary post-secondary model including such study options as certificate programs, distance education, graduate degrees, and other specialized curricula.  In general terms, many of these programs were designed to help educate and build specific skill sets for those who wanted to learn outside of the undergraduate model.  In many cases, these programs usually last two-three years (or less) depending on the major and curriculum involved.  This led to an experimental school known as the Seton Hall Community College which helped train a number of individuals for work in the white collar world.

Seton Hall Community College (SHCC) followed a wave of other accredited two-year schools (also known as junior colleges) that were established nationwide. During the post World War II and Korean War-era when the GI Bill helped pay for tuition for college education this led to an explosion in college attendance and offered increased learning opportunities for veterans, but also others who wanted to explore different vocational options.  On a more local level within New Jersey, for a number of years SHCC shared company with independent junior colleges that featured Catholic-affiliation including  the now defunct Alphonsus, Don Bosco, Englewood Cliffs, Maryknoll, and Tombrock Colleges for example.  Today most accredited community colleges are public institutions administered on a county-wide basis, but although no longer in operation, SHCC still retains its place in the annals of junior college history.

SHCC was founded in 1952 as a two-year school that offered classes at its original campus located within the 12-story structure situated at 31 Clinton Street in Newark or in the building situated at 3055 Boulevard in Jersey City.  From its start, SHCC was co-educational and mainly designed for those who worked during the day as classes were typically held during late afternoons, evenings, and on Saturdays.  However, before anyone could enroll they had to meet admission requirements.  As noted in SHCC catalogs of the period the school  offered “young men and women” who attended high school and had adequate grades along with good “ . . . health (and) character . . .” along with passing “ability (and) placement” tests and a post-exam interview helped to assure admission.  Furthermore, the individual had to complete an official application and offer official transcripts for board review.

When contemplating a course of study the prospective student had a limited amount of offerings at the start as SHCC granted diplomas in either Business or Secretarial Studies when it began operations.  During its first years within the framework of  different concentrations including General Business, Accounting, Selling, Personnel, Retailing, Insurance, General Secretarial, Medical Secretarial, Insurance Secretarial, or Legal Secretary work were available.  When it came to the core curriculum, the first semester that a typical freshman faced included a total of 9 required credits which included one credit courses in “Apologetics I,” “Survey of the Catholic Religion I,” or “Religion and Reason” and partnered with such two credit offerings as – “Principles of Rhetoric I,” “History of the United States I,” “Voice and Diction I and II,” and “The Natural Sciences.”  During the mid-1950s, a new major was established an Associate Degree in Applied Police Science. For this path of study, he same type of classes were required at the start along with Moral Philosophy and eventually led to such courses as “Traffic Control,” “Swimming and Life Saving,” “Principles of Investigation,” Psychology of the Criminal,” and others.  Along with required and topical classes, optional classes available through the College of Arts & Sciences, Education, and General Studies were also available in subsequent semesters.  When it came to costs, the fee structure for the SHCC included the following: Matriculation Fee (payable once)  – $10.00, Tuition per credit – $13.50, Graduation Fee – $20.00, Registration Fee (per semester) – $3.00, Student Activities Fee  (per semester) – $1.00, Laboratory Fee (Typewriting) – $5.00 and a comprehensive $125.00 for the Applied Police Science program.

In order to make the experience more well-rounded, the school offered students personnel counseling, various extracurricular activities, a student council, placement bureau, and various facilities for Ex-Service Men among other options.  In addition, the ability to transfer into a four-year program either for those who earned the requisite 68 credits (36 in the basic core and 32 in electives) was in the offing for those who wished to advance further.  Once all required coursework, costs, and other goals were met, this led to an Associate of Arts degree for the graduate.

For those who attended and the message after graduation was outlined for the student in the following practical manner:  “Earning A Living.  The practical world today requires that young people acquire skills and understanding if they are to succeed in the highly competitive situation which prevails.  Seton Hall has selected general fields of training that grow out of the needs of the great metropolitan area.  Particular attention has been paid to those fields in which there are the greatest shortages of adequately trained personnel at present.  The programs planned, however, are sufficiently fundamental so that adaptability to general business as well as specific ability in one field may be expected . . . “ Therefore, the SHCC strove to meet this goal for its students and those who called it alma mater.

Although admissions and attendance peaked during the mid-1950s, the days of the SHCC were numbered as more schools were established and Seton Hall concentrated more on its undergraduate division and looming full co-education options on the South Orange campus which occurred in 1968.  The last days of SHCC came about around 1964 when the last two graduates of the program earned their A.A. degrees, but all who attended, taught, or were impacted by the Seton Hall Community College remain part of the institutional history and are pioneers in the educational development of the school.

For more information on Seton Hall Community College and other aspects of school history please contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist at: <Alan.Delozier@shu.edu>  or (973) 275-2378