Although I have lived outside of New England all of the years since graduating in 1968, I always read the alumni magazine with interest. The latest issue, featuring an article about the College archives [Digging In, Winter/Spring ’16, p. 14], provoked me to write.
When others will wish to study the history of Stonehill and its people, I am struck by what may be a shortage of written memories by faculty, students, staff, donors, trustees and others who made Stonehill what it has become and who contributed to society in other important ways. The post-WWII period has not been noted for letter writing, diaries and other forms of paper communication beyond official documents and publications.
Future historians will be hard-pressed to understand what life actually was like at Stonehill if the Archives lack a rich collection of documents other than minutes of meetings, policy statements, speeches, event announcements and the like. Daily life on campus is only partially captured in sources, which by their nature focus on public and official news.
My idea is that Stonehill invite alumni and others, especially from the College’s early decades, to write a letter to the Archives about a few of their special memories regarding past events, conditions, relationships, club activities, academics and campus life. Some of these letters might answer the question: What did Stonehill mean to me? How did it impact my life?
My own inclination is to favor letters that take the form of eyewitness recollections. What was dorm life really like? What teaching moments were particularly valuable and memorable? What about club activities (not only sports)? How was Stonehill perceived by family, neighbors, friends? How did students pay for their education? What memories about spiritual life stand the test of time? How did Stonehill handle the protest years of the ’60s? These are merely illustrations.
What I am recommending is that alumni compose at least one detailed memory of an aspect of their Stonehill experience for the College’s historical record. I pledge to write one or two such letters to the Archives within the coming month. Perhaps others will do so if asked. The main goal here is to enrich the historical collection. If older alumni are not provoked to share their memories, we soon will have permanently lost the opportunity to reconstruct the finer points of Stonehill’s early years.
—Richard Yanikoski ’68
Alumni Archivists Dig In
EDITOR’S NOTE We appreciate this idea from Dick Yanikoski and encourage alumni to write letters to the Archives that recall any aspect of their time and experience at Stonehill. Please email your letters to Archivist Nicole (Tourangeau) Casper ’95 at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to the Archives at Stonehill College, 320 Washington Street, Easton, Mass. 02357.
When I read the wonderful article about Professor Mona Rowan [The Unstoppable Mona Rowan, W/S ’16, p. 19], it dawned on me that I had a lot of Arabic books and compact discs from an Egyptian friend. When I attended Reunion, I dropped them off in the Alumni Office just in case Professor Rowan might find them useful.
—Ann (Maxfield) Dunham ’71
South Carver, Mass.
Limited Bug Edition
If you enjoyed learning about campus bugs in last issue’s What’s Bugging You? [p. 6], we have 15 posters of the piece that we are giving away to our readers. First come, first served. Email email@example.com to receive your copy. To Read the article, visit here.
In Alumni Day [Winter/Spring ’16, p. 26-27], we regret that we inadvertently printed the same photo twice. Below is the photo that should have appeared with the caption of Kerry (Foley) Payson ’92 and her son, Mark ’18, at the information session for legacy families about networking hosted by Director of Career Services Christina Burney.