Seventy-three years ago, on April 14, 1948, Seton Hall University’s award-winning radio station, WSOU, aired its inaugural broadcast. It was the first college-owned FM station in New Jersey and one of the first FM stations in the United States. Broadcasting on 89.5 FM, WSOU was founded on a directive by the forward-thinking and indefatigable Monsignor James Kelley, who served as president of the university from 1935 until 1949. Monsignor Kelley is credited with transforming Seton Hall University from a small college into a large and distinctive university with a burgeoning student body. The student-run station was intended to provide experiential learning opportunities in a professionally managed radio station and continues to do so presently.
The task of starting the station fell to Monsignor Gillhooly, who got WSOU up and running in under three months. Assisting Monsignor Gillhooly with this monumental task was chief engineer Tom Parnham who would remain at the station until his death in 1994. The radio station was originally located on the first floor of the university’s recreation center. In 1998, the station moved to a new state-of-the-art facility where it continues to broadcast to an estimated on-air audience of 120,000 listeners each week within an approximate 50-mile radius that extends to all five boroughs of New York City and most of northern and central New Jersey. 
For over 70 years, WSOU has been nurturing on-air talent and many students have gone on to very successful careers in broadcasting. Notable WSOU alumni include Anthony Delia, national manager of Atlantic Records which has represented talent like Aretha Franklin and Bruno Mars; television producer Christina Deyo who worked on the Martha Stewart Show and The Rosie O’Donnell Show; Emmy Award winning New York Yankees broadcaster Ed Lucas; and Matt Loughlin, New Jersey Devil’s sportscaster. The yearbook page below features student disc jockeys (center right) Don Cheek, Jack Ferry and Roy Lamont. Cheek would go on to teach in the Africana Studies Program at California State University at Fresno, while Lamont would continue in the business as an independent media broadcaster, settling in North Carolina.
In 2009, Seton Hall University’s Walsh Gallery hosted “The Loudest Rock: 60 Years of Pirate Radio,” an exhibition commemorating WSOU’s 60th anniversary. The exhibition was curated by Jake Calvert, Brooke Cheyney and Katherine Fox, then graduate students in the university’s Museum Professions Program. The exhibit featured artifacts including gold records, original technology such mixing boards and tape decks, as well as memorabilia from the university’s collections. The students worked with station manager Mark Maben and engineer Frank Scafidi to create interactive exhibition components. Maben continues his work as the station’s general manager, while Scafidi continues his work as the chief engineer.  The Walsh Gallery’s exhibition catalogue is available for download on their website.
The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476.
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: email@example.com 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.)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Not only is December the month when the world celebrates the dawn of the Lord Jesus Christ, but within the annals of Seton Hall history, the last part of the year is also known for the birth of our first (and third) College President (from 1856-57 and 1859-66), Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid. Born on December 15, 1823, McQuaid was an important figure in the christening of the Catholic College of New Jersey during its early years and the impact of his vision and belief in the worth of higher education lives on through his early and enduring initiatives and memorials in the latter day including McQuaid Hall (Home to the School of Diplomacy) and the McQuaid Medal (the highest honor bestowed on those affiliated with the University) among other landmarks outside South Orange.
According to The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911) and the seminal work The Catholic Church in New Jersey of 1904 (found online within the Library Guide – https://library.shu.edu/nj-catholic-history and in hard copy form within our Rare Book Collection, Call Numbers – BXZ841.C25 and BXZ1415.N5 F6 1904 respectively), the following highlights have been recorded in relation to the life and legacy of Bishop McQuaid. The trailblazing president of Seton Hall, McQuaid (1823-1909) was born in New York City and his parents were of Irish Catholic origin and the family made history as they played host to the first Mass said in Powel’s Hook (presently known as Jersey City) in 1829. Inspired by his practice in the Catholic faith, McQuaid was educated in Quebec and later at St. John’s Seminary at Fordham prior to his ordination in 1848. He was assigned as a priest to the Diocese of New York and preceding the creation of the See of Newark (five years later) and was made a curate at St. Vincent Martyr in Madison, New Jersey.
When Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley became the first Bishop of Newark he assigned McQuaid to cover multiple missions including the rectorship of St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral in Newark, and co-founding of Seton Hall College along with aid in establishing the Seton Sisters of Charity in Madison during the 1850s prior to becoming Vicar-General of the See in 1866.
During the mid-nineteenth century, the accomplishments made by McQuaid at Setonia were often tied into school firsts. Seton Hall College was initially located in Madison, New Jersey, and commenced operations on September 1, 1856 with an initial enrollment of five students. Those who were included on the registration rolls under the leadership of McQuaid could expect to endure a structured seven-year Classical, Liberal Arts program (three year prep and four year college study) with heavy emphasis on Theology, Philosophy, Latin, Greek and Foreign Language offerings. during his second term as chief executive, McQuaid helped with the move of the Seton Hall College campus from Madison to South Orange in 1860. The College was Incorporated by Act of the New Jersey State Legislature on March 8, 1861. McQuaid also belonged to the first Board of Trustees and co-authorized approval of the first Bachelor of Arts degree (A.B.) that was awarded to Louis Edward Firth in 1862. The earliest corporate seal included the Seton Family coat of arms and image of the Blessed Mary along with the enduring motto — Hazard Zit Forward — “No Matter What The Hazard, Yet Forward” was subsequently designed and adopted by the institution during May 1864 with sanction offered by McQuaid.
McQuiad was later appointed the first Bishop of Rochester (New York) in 1868 and continued forward with his primary cause of Catholic education in creating a strong parochial school systems, seminary, and was instrumental in working with the State university in the city on collaborative educational initiatives, all of which was generated in earnest during his time at Setonia and served the See of Rochester until his death in 1909.
More details on Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid can be found via our varied collections within the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and the Seton Hall University Libraries. Finding aids and lists can be found via the following links below . . .
For more information and to inquire about obtaining information off-site or looking into a future research appointment please feel free to contact us by phone at: (973) 275-2378, or via e-mail at: Archives@shu.edu