Couple more pictures worth 1,000 words each

Last year during Women’s History Month, I shared one of our favorite photos in a post entitled “A picture that’s worth at least 1,000 words.”  To us, it seems like a short story waiting to be written.  (If you didn’t see it last year, . . .  why not?)

Here are a couple more in that same vein.

2012_01_17_00678CROPPEDThis 1920s-era basketball team likely was from one of the nursing schools affiliated with Creighton.  The uniforms are a treat, right down to the shoes.  When I show this photo, people usually comment on the way the woman in the front row shows off attitude – the look, the stance, the belt, even the daring way she ties her bow.

1111_1939_1810_0053CROPPEDI wonder what stories this late 1930s photo might inspire?  Those interested in fashion may notice the hats and fur coats.  (They might also notice the woman in the center who is wearing a carrot on her dress.  This woman, in the same dress with the same carrot, appeared in the photo from the post “I’ve never understood fashion” in 2013.)  Some interesting facial expressions here, too.

If either of these photos inspire a great piece of literature, please let us know.
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We normally post to Creighton’s Attic at the end of the week, but we will be closed the end of next week for Good Friday.  Truth be told, I’m taking Thursday as a vacation day, too.  Rather than skip, though, we have decided to post on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  To give you a hint of what to expect, we will paraphrase an old wedding rhyme.  We’ll have

Something borrowed,
Something Creighton blue,
And big announcement about

Something new.

(The topics of the posts won’t necessarily follow that order.)

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Aloha, Hui O Hawaii

This weekend – on Saturday, March 21, starting at 5:00pm, to be precise – Creighton folk will gather at the Kiewit Fitness Center for Hui O Hawaii’s Annual Luau (more info here).  Hui O Hawaii formed at Creighton in October 1948, and the club page in the 1949 yearbook indicates how large the group was.

Hawaiians3Hawaiian students had been coming to Creighton for a long time before the club started.  The first may have been a young man in the first decade of the 20th century, but a consistent connection traces to Hawaiian dental students in the 1920s.  Numbers increased significantly following World War II, in part because of our institution’s acceptance of Asian-Americans during the war, and the Hawaiian presence remains strong.  Creighton is sometimes called the Maui of the Midwest because so many young men and women from Hawaii study here.

HawaiiansWOWTVMusic figures prominently in our shared heritage, too.  The photo above shows Hawaiian musicians performing for local television station WOW-TV circa 1950.  (Apparently, if you couldn’t play an instrument, you just stood and smiled for the camera.)

1960HawaiianQuartetThis quartet performed in 1960 – and we would appreciate any information you can give us about the event, location or names of participants.

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Some numbers

Tomorrow is Pi Day – March 14th, or 3.14.  One of my sons* pointed out that this year you can extend Pi Day more since this is 2015, so 3.1415 – and even more if you celebrate at 9:26 (and 53 seconds) to 3.141592653.  To be honest, I am more interested in the excuse to eat pie than I am in counting the numbers, but I still took this as inspiration for a numbers-themed entry this week.

1111.0119.4057.0015#1.  After a very long time, the University Archives finished the digital capture phase for one of our photographic collections.  By digital capture, I mean creating a digital file of an existing photographic image.  This will make it easier to search and provide copies, and it will protect the originals better.  For this particular collection, we used a digital camera on a copy stand for at least 19,525 original negative and print images.  The negative above shows Fr. Joseph Zuercher, SJ (Creighton’s president from 1937 to 1943) and his dog.

For some of us – especially Beth and Katherine – the completion of this stage is cause for jubilation.  The next step for this collection, which is ongoing, is to enter metadata (i.e., information about the photos) into the digital files to make searching easier.  Another next step, already started, is to digitally capture another photographic collection.

IMG_3656cropped#2. A December post about film and video preservation noted that the University Archives has “several hundred reels and cassettes of a variety of media formats” in permanent holdings.  That number got a lot bigger last month with a donation from one of the offices on campus.  The photo above shows just the VHS tapes lined up in our Annex.  To give you a different perspective of how many cassettes are there, the line on the right measures about 13 feet long.  I’ll let you estimate how long the other two lines are.

ClockHands#3.  A while back, some of my students suggested that I should post the photo of the hands being added to the Creighton clock whenever we change our clocks because of daylight savings time.  They suggested it could be a good reminder.  I forgot to do that with last week’s post, so here’s your reminder – a week late.

If any of the students on Spring Break are reading this, be careful and come back safe.
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* Yes, my sons are as nerdy as I am.

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Servant leaders

It was my honor and pleasure to break bread with Fellows of the NE LEAD Program, a leadership development program for Nebraskans involved in agriculture.  After the dinner, the LEAD folks were kind enough to listen to me talk about different aspects of Creighton’s history that relate to servant leadership.  Part of what I shared with them are examples of Creighton students serving in the community, and I figured I should share those with those of you who value Creighton’s heritage.

Article - Id= 4 :When a tornado struck Omaha on Easter in 1913, Creighton students responded immediately.  The article above, which appeared in the Creighton Courier in April 1913, describes various ways that the student body helped in the aftermath of that disaster.

Christmas service 1941The Creighton community often provides material support to families during the Christmas season.  The photo above shows Creighton students in 1941, during the early days of World War II, getting ready to deliver Christmas presents they had gathered for people who otherwise might have gone without.

1111_1952_1810_0099When floods threatened Omaha and the surrounding area in the early 1950s, Creighton students turned out literally by the truckload to do whatever was needed to reinforce the levees.

Today Creighton students left campus for Spring Break.  Many of them are headed on service trips, including: 16 students and 3 staff from the Office of Multicultural Affairs will be heading to Texas to study, worship and work with migrant workers – a trip in collaboration with the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network; and over 130 students from the Creighton Center for Service and Justice* will be heading to 15 sites around the country (after 220 CCSJ students went to 25 sites in the fall) for a variety of service projects.

* Creighton announced this week that the Center will be renamed for John P. Schlegel, SJ.  Fr. Schlegel was Creighton’s president from 200o to 2011.

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Whitney Young, Jr.

Let me start by confessing that this started out to be the most boring post ever to appear in Creighton’s Attic, but then I came across something that I consider exciting.  (At the very least, it decreases the boring-ness quotient of this entry.)

I was checking a digitization project when I saw this image
INFO FROM SLEEVE: Young, Whitney M., Jr.LLD '64INFO, BACK OF PHOTO:* handwritten, pencil (dark) "Whitney M. Young Jr [/] Commencement Speaker 1964"* handwritten, pencil (light) "P. S. Magazine [/] Page 5"* stamp, "4 Jun [/] Olander Studio [/] 304 1/of Whitney Young, Jr., speaking in front of a Creighton banner.  According to the back of the photo, this was taken in 1964 when Young was Creighton’s commencement speaker.  At the time, Young was the Executive Director of the National Urban League.

Before this civil rights leader was prominent nationally, he spent time in Nebraska in the early 1950s as head of the Urban League’s Omaha chapter.  I searched our online Creightonians and found this article) that Young had been hired to teach a sociology class at Creighton starting in 1951.  According to Dennis Mihelich’s The History of Creighton University, 1878-2003, Young was our institution’s first African-American faculty member, albeit an adjunct.  If you, or someone you know, was in one of his classes, please email me or leave a message in the comment section.  I would love to know more.

Okay, now for some of what I was going to post originally . . . . Last August, Creighton’s Attic reported on two campus construction projects, St. John’s Church and 24th Street,* with a promise to post some photos when these were completed.  As promised:

St. John’s ChurchStJfromSWThe new addition on the west side of St. John’s Church opened a few weeks ago.
StJfromWYou’ll have to visit the church to see what it looks like inside, but I can tell you that the elevator located just inside the door greatly improves accessibility.

24th Street retaining wall

24thStWallThe retaining wall that runs along 24th Street was fixed in 2014, and it looks much better than the cracked, gray concrete that was there before.  I took this pic this morning.  The work was done sometime in 2014, although I am not sure when.  (Truth be told, I can only get so excited about looking at retaining walls.)

Next month, Creighton’s Attic will be back to University Archives business with a few exciting (for us, anyway) announcements.
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* We highlighted renovation and construction for St. John’s Church in an August 2014 post, then included an update in October.  Our post about refurbishing the 24th Street retaining wall also first appeared in August 2014.

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William H. Gordon, M.D.

1112.1900.0002In honor of African-American History Month, we honor William H. Gordon, M.D., who in 1901 received his medical degree from The John A. Creighton Medical College.  To the best of my knowledge, Dr. Gordon was the first African-American to graduate from any of Creighton’s schools.  Dennis Mihelich’s The History of Creighton, 1878 – 2003 states that Gordon was probably the first African-American student at our institution.Med1900catalogdesc002arrowIf Dr. Mihelich is correct, then it is likely that the 1900 medical college bulletin photo of the Histological Laboratory shows young Gordon (indicated above by the arrow), sixth from the left.

Med1900catalogdesc004Here is a closer look, with the arrow removed.

I don’t know much of Dr. Gordon’s career before or after his time at Creighton.  From the bulletins (and also A Century of Teaching and Healing, the history written for the School of Medicine’s centennial in 1992), it appears that he was from Nebraska and he stayed in the area after graduating.  The list of alumni in a 1913 bulletin still has him living in Omaha.

Let me know if you have other information or memories of Dr. William H. Gordon.  I’d like to have more about him in the Archives.

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Thank you, IRENE

This week’s blog post comes with a “Thank You” to Deb Sturges from Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library.  Earlier this week, Deb forwarded a link to a piece about a Northeast Document Conservation Center project that uses IRENE (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.) technology to preserve old audio recordings; and the case highlighted in the story involved a WWII bombardier, Lt. Ray J. Skryja, interviewed by a radio station in his hometown of Omaha.  Deb knows that University Archives is assessing our audio and video materials and thought the information might be handy; and the Omaha connection made it more interesting.

After a couple of quick looks at our online newspapers and yearbooks (see the “Links” section on the right), I think Lt. Skryja from the interviews is the Raymond J. Skryja who graduated from from Creighton Prep in 1937 and from Creighton’s College of Pharmacy in 1954.
1954BluejayPg212

Here he is, clipped from page 212 of the 1954 Bluejay.

The best part (at least for me) is found near the bottom of the story, where you will find several clips – and then the entire interview – of Lt. Skryja speaking with Omaha radio station WOW.  This is possible because IRENE was able to extract sound from broken 78rpm records.  (Read more about IRENE at the NEDCC website.)

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Founders Week 2015: Day 5

It is time again for Creighton’s annual celebration of Founders Week.  As we did last year,* Creighton’s Attic will post daily (Monday through Friday) this week to feature individuals who started or built our institution.  On Day 1 we featured Edward Creighton and the Transcontinental Telegraph; Day 2 featured John A. Creighton and the Laetare Medal; Day 3, Mary Lucretia Creighton’s Will; and Day 4, Sarah Emily and Mary Lucretia Creighton Portraits.

If you’ve looked at this blog’s discussion last year of our institution’s founders, you noticed the post about Bishop James O’Connor.  Although he now is overlooked, early university publications always included Bishop O’Connor for two reasons: Mary Lucretia Creighton’s will (as we showed Wednesday) gave responsibility for starting our school to Omaha’s bishop; and Bishop O’Connor brought the Jesuits here to run it.

TransferDeedClasses began in 1878.  The following year, Bishop O’Connor transferred the property to the newly incorporated Creighton University, at which point he was relieved of direct responsibility for the school.  In the past couple years, University Archives received a copy of the original handwritten transfer document (shown above), complete with wax seal and ribbon.  (I should add that we were pleased and excited to add this to our collections.)

Let us know if you’ve enjoyed this Founders Week series.
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Founders Week 2015 in Creighton’s Attic
Day 1: Edward Creighton and the Transcontinental Telegraph
Day 2: John A. Creighton and the Laetare Medal
Day 3: Mary Lucretia Creighton’s Will
Day 4: Sarah Emily and Mary Lucretia Creighton Portraits
Day 5: Bishop O’Connor and the Property Transfer

* Last year’s Founders Week posts featured Mary Lucretia Creighton, Edward Creighton, John A. Creighton, Sarah Emily Creighton and Bishop James O’Connor

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Founders Week 2015: Day 4

It is time again for Creighton’s annual celebration of Founders Week.  As we did last year,* Creighton’s Attic will post daily (Monday through Friday) this week to feature individuals who started or built our institution.  On Day 1 we featured Edward Creighton and the Transcontinental Telegraph; Day 2 featured John A. Creighton and the Laetare Medal; and Day 3, Mary Lucretia Creighton’s Will.

The 35th annual Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily Creighton Awards† Recognition Luncheon was held earlier today on campus.  For the past few years, the University Archives has been privileged to exhibit items from our collections at the luncheon.

SarahEmilyCharcoalThis framed charcoal of Sarah Emily Creighton was displayed at the 2012 luncheon.  At almost 7-feet tall, it is perhaps the largest item in our collections.MLCportraitThis year we featured a portrait of Mary Lucretia Creighton that hangs in the Rare Book Room of the Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library.
MLCshoulderIt can be hard to see much in this dark painting, especially with bright sunlight in the background, but this closeup of Mary’s shoulder shows the detail in her dress.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients:  Meghan Bullard (student); Dr. Diane Cullen (professor); and Jim Flanery (women’s basketball head coach).  For more on the award, please visit the Committee on the Status of Women website.
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Founders Week 2015 in Creighton’s Attic

Day 1: Edward Creighton and the Transcontinental Telegraph
Day 2: John A. Creighton and the Laetare Medal
Day 3: Mary Lucretia Creighton’s Will
Day 4: Sarah Emily and Mary Lucretia Creighton Portraits
Day 5: TBD

* Last year’s Founders Week posts featured Mary Lucretia Creighton, Edward Creighton, John A. Creighton, Sarah Emily Creighton and Bishop James O’Connor

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Founders Week 2015: Day 3

It is time again for Creighton’s annual celebration of Founders Week.  As we did last year,* Creighton’s Attic will post daily (Monday through Friday) this week to feature individuals who started or built our institution.  On Day 1 we featured Edward Creighton and the Transcontinental Telegraph, and Day 2 featured John A. Creighton and the Laetare Medal.

People are often surprised to learn that neither Edward nor John actually started Creighton University.  That honor belongs to Mary Lucretia Creighton, Edward’s widow, whose will left money to start “Creighton College” as a memorial to her late husband.  The will explains, “I have selected this mode of testifying to his virtues and my affection to his memory because such a work was one which he in his life time proposed to himself.”

MLCwillBothThe image above contains the section (i.e., the outlined, enlarged portion) of Mary’s will that pertains to the creation of our university.  It was made from one of several copies of Mary’s will in our collections.

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Founders Week 2015 in Creighton’s Attic

Day 1: Edward Creighton and the Transcontinental Telegraph
Day 2: John A. Creighton and the Laetare Medal
Day 3: Mary Lucretia Creighton’s Will
Day 4: TBD
Day 5: TBD

* Last year’s Founders Week posts featured Mary Lucretia Creighton, Edward Creighton, John A. Creighton, Sarah Emily Creighton and Bishop James O’Connor

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