Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day

We were excited to see an article in the Omaha World-Herald this week about Vice Admiral Tom Copeman, USN, who graduated from Creighton in 1981. He is about to complete a two-year tour as commander of U.S. Naval Surface Forces. As you read the World-Herald article, take a good look at the photo of the clean cut officer – and then see if you can pick him out of this Phi Kappa Psi photo from the 1980 yearbook.  (The answer appears at the end of this post.)

TomCopeman_1980Yearbook_cropped If you want to search for the answer yourself, all of the Bluejay yearbooks are available online.  In fact, they’ve been online for a while, but we recently launched a new and improved system for browsing Creighton Bluejay yearbooks online.*

1980yearbookTimelineHere’s a screenshot, but you can check the actual timeline out at our website here. We hope you’ll find the new interface to be easier and more efficient to use.

ANSWER: The young, mustachioed Tom Copeman is 4th from the left in the back row. Good luck and fair winds to Vice Admiral Copeman on his next adventure.


Patrick Murray (Class of 2012) came up with the clever title (and the bulk of the content) for this week’s blog.  If you don’t recognize the words, they come from “Anchor’s Aweigh.”  We also bid farewell to Patrick this week, who as I write this is driving across the country on his way home.  Twice now, a generous supporter has made it possible for Patrick to return temporarily to the University Archives.  Words do not adequately express my appreciation to Patrick for all he has done and to our donor for making it all possible.

* Special thanks to Katherine Joyce, who did excellent work to produce the timeline for us.  If you like it, leave a comment to let us know.  I’ll make sure that Katherine sees your good words.



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In Memoriam: Fr. Pat Malone, S.J. (1959 – 2014)

We were saddened to learn of the passing today of Pat Malone, S.J.  As pastor of St. John’s Church here on campus, Fr. Pat helped the University Archives several times.  He figured prominently in our efforts to find proper homes for religious relics that had been in our holdings.  He will be missed by many.  Rest in peace, Fr. Pat.

StMaryMagdRelicFr. Pat helped relocate this relic of St. Mary Magdalene to a parish here in Omaha.  Today is the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene.

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Deglman Hall 1950s

This week’s offering: A couple of favorite images showing dorm life in the late 1950s.  (For you younger readers, we used to call residence halls “dorms.”)  Both were taken at Deglman Hall.  I would guess at least one was staged – unless watching someone iron was considered fun back then.
1957, Students in Deglman Hall Laundry1957, Student Barber Shop, Deglman HallWe would be glad to know the names of the young gentlemen in these two photos.  Let us know if you recognize anyone.

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Summer Habits

The distinctive attire of women religious was a common sight at Creighton for decades of summers.  In 1913, Creighton started a Summer School largely to provide teacher training for nuns who taught in parish schools.  Sisters from several orders came to campus to take courses that would help them when they returned to their own classrooms in the fall.

PhysInst1111_1965_1045_0019This pair participated in a Physics Institute in 1965.

It was common to gather for formal and informal group photos while on campus.


This 1922 photograph was taken just north of the main campus building (which we now call Creighton Hall), with the photographer likely positioned on the observatory platform.

SummerInst1111_1962_1045_0131This small group posed outside of Gallagher Hall in 1962.

1966Nuns1111_1966_1810_0048The women let a priest (near the back) join in this 1966 photograph.

Leave a comment to share your memories of seeing – or being – a nun participating in one of the summer programs at Creighton.

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Great Higginses of Creighton University, Part II

Last month,our D-Day post praised Andrew Jackson Higgins, a former Creighton high school student.  This week we celebrate Mary Higgins, CCAS ’73, who made an even greater mark on the University during her thirty-nine years here at Creighton.

HigginsMary1Here is a photo of Mary from the 1980s, during her seventeen-year tenure as head coach of the “Lady Jays” softball team. During this time she earned a unique spot in the NCAA record books for coaching in two of the three longest games in NCAA history: 31- and 25-inning games on consecutive days!  During her time on the hilltop, she also served as an administrator, assistant athletic director, and an academic adviser to countless Creighton students.

This week, Mary embarks on a new adventure as president of Omaha’s Marian High School. We congratulate Marian High School on their great choice. Best of luck, Mary!

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Ahead of their time

As you know, today is the fiftieth anniversary of President Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act, a landmark piece of legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Our hometown of Omaha has a fascinating, though checkered, history when it comes to race relations. One of the leaders in the fight against racism was the Omaha De Porres Club, led by Denny Holland and Fr. John Markoe, S.J., about whom we produced a digital exhibit in 2012.

We are pleased to announce that Matt Holland, a friend of the University Archives and the son of Denny Holland, has written and published a book entitled Ahead of Their Time: The Story of the Omaha De Porres Club. You may remember that Matt Holland gave last year’s Archives Lecture about the Club.

Check out the book on Amazon here. Congratulations, Matt! We can’t wait to read it.

For those interested in learning more about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the National Archives has a terrific blog post today with photographs, links, and other materials for your perusal.

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Austin Miller, SJ

Every so often, I come across photos or mentions of Austin Miller, SJ.

1111.0114.4045.0098Father Miller’s years at Creighton included stints as Dean of Men, head of the Creighton Institute of Industrial Relations (also called Institute of Labor Relations), director of the School of Adult Education, and founder of the Institute of Social Order.  He also is the focus of several intriguing photos in our collections.
dMaster1111_0114_1810_0121This 1951 model shows him with a model of an ear that he used to teach a class for parents of deaf children.
dMaster1111_0114_1057_0084I’m not sure where or when this photo was taken, but Father Miller (in long sleeves) apparently had some connection with ROTC.
1111.0114.4045.0104Here he is performing his priestly duties in the pulpit at St. Cecilia’s Cathedral in Omaha.

Please leave a comment to share your personal memories of Father Miller.

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Summer vacation photos

If you wondered last Friday where our blog entry was (and I’m going to delude myself that people noticed that there was no entry last week), here it is a few days late.  I was on vacation in our nation’s capital, and I took some good archives-related photos to share with the readers of Creighton’s Attic.

NatlArchivesThe National Archives

ArchivesStatueQuoteA great quote on the statue at the base of the National Archives steps.

While I was in DC, I did some research in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, which houses outstanding collections of manuscripts and personal papers from presidents and other prominent individuals.  The Manuscript Division reading room is located in the Library’s Madison Building.

MadisonStatueStatue of James Madison in the Madison Building

MadisonQuoteA great quote by James Madison

As a bonus, I will throw in a photo of the Library of Congress Jefferson Building.  The Jefferson Building’s Main Reading Room (which I didn’t visit this time) is one of my favorite places in the country.

JeffBldgJefferson Building of the Library of Congress

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June 14th is Flag Day

Observatory1914This photo, which those of you who follow us on Twitter (@CreightonArchiv) may recognize, was taken in 1914.  The patriotic event shown is either Decoration Day (the former name of Memorial Day) or Flag Day.  We do know that the flagpole, seen here holding the Stars and Stripes, was a gift to Creighton from the Creighton High School Class of 1914.  After the high school moved in 1958 to Creighton Prep’s current location at 72nd & Western Ave., the flagpole moved, too.

PrepFlagpoleMay2014crIt now sits on the edge of the new Dennis P. Circo Memorial Plaza (featured last month).  I’d say that the century-old flagpole still looks pretty good.  Happy 100th!

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(Update) Creighton Prep Memorial

Quick update to our June 2nd entry: Creighton Prep has put some photos of the dedication ceremony on Flickr.  Mr. Jim Hughes (Creighton Prep ’51) gets the credit for taking these great images.

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