Women in Historical Research

After examining a yearbook from 1933, I found an image titled “Historical Research.” This image found in The Litany 1993 edition pictured College Misericordia students conducting research on political and social issues. I neglected to take a photo of this image; however, the image featured several students pictured in what appeared to be a library. The yearbook picture featured the students with serious facial expressions, dressed in modest clothing in the school library. The description below this image states that the Women in Historical research club analyzed post World War I political, economic, and social issues. The Historical Society examined issues such as war debt, its direct and indirect impacts on the United States, and the troubling economic times. Other worldly concerns the club researched included the Catholic attitude toward Mexico, and the Japanese. I would be interested in examining the works and publications of this group. Researching the references used, the time-frame of their research, and the impact on their findings on the College Misericordia and Dallas communities, would also be interesting to study. I would also like to know the angle of their research; for example, if they expressed bias towards a group or policy.

Map of College Misericordia 1964

Map of College Misericordia (1964), in Miss Recordia (September 1964). CMA 830 Box 3 (1965-1983) Newspaper, Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle University Archives, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA

This image was feature in the Miss Recordia newspaper’s September 1964 edition. This map and partially cut off directory of College Misericordia, provides a visual representation of the college for new and returning students. Buildings featured in this image include the Administration building, McAuley Hall, Walsh Auditorium, Merrick Hall, Alumnae Hall, the Science building, and McGann Hall. Classes took place in the Administration and Science buildings. The library, post office, various offices, the Chapel, the switchboard, and faculty lounge could all be found in the Administration building. McAuley hall contained the Infirmary, the Gymnasium, the Alumnae office, and the Dean of Residents’ office.  I would like to examine when and why the names of certain buildings were changed. Another factor worth researching is why and when McGann and Merrick Hall were demolished. I would also like to research the dates of renovations for buildings which still exist, and how the expansion of the University impacted the directory of the campus. After living in Alumnae Hall my first year at Misericordia, I would like to know the original design and elevation of the building, since it has experienced changes to the landscape due to weathering and renovations.


Misericordia’s Silver Jubilee

During my service project, I found a beautifully written letter from President Truman to College Misericordia in the Silver Jubilee Brochure written in 1950. It marked the twenty-fifth anniversary or “silver jubilee” of Misericordia. I was very impressed and interested that President Truman was aware of a small Northeastern Pennsylvania college, recognized its place in the realm of education and took the time to write an eloquent letter. The twenty-fifth anniversary was an important mile stone and President Truman graciously acknowledged and congratulated College Misericordia. I was also interested to read that it was addressed to Sister Annunciata who had a PhD, which indicates a high level of education especially in 1950. She was a Sister of Mercy who was obviously intelligent and a leader and forward thinking because as a female, became the head of the institution.

As a history major, I enjoyed reading about Misericordia’s past and seeing how we have evolved and grown from a college to a university. In 1950, the school had a very small graduating class. I also enjoyed the surprise of finding a prominent historical figure on the first page of Misericordia’s Silver Jubilee Brochure yearbook. The letter and photograph made me, as a student of the university, proud of our position in education. I felt as though I was on a history treasure hunt and I enjoyed the process.

The letter was eloquently written and President Truman opened by saying that it would be a proud year for the college and would be memorable for many reasons. As quoted, Truman said, the college had “modest beginnings” and all should “focus attention upon the great contributions which the institution has made to higher education.” He further said that he hoped the college “will ever go forward with progress.” I was touched by his letter.


“The White House Washington,” College Misericordia: Silver Jubilee Brochure (16 May 1950), College Misericordia Yearbooks RG 820, Misericordia University Special Collections, Dallas, PA.




Engagement Announcements

One of the most interesting things I saw while going through all of the archived newspapers was the announcements that the paper made. One of the interesting sections of the newspaper was the spot where they focused on the seniors. A lot of papers would post about where the seniors might be going after graduation, but the Miss. Recordia posted about what the seniors did each weekend or trips they took. I thought it was very interesting that the paper would post about what other schools students had gone to visit over the weekend and other activities. It’s amazing that this campus was once so small that it could post things such as this in the newspaper. I also thought it was interesting how they would post death announcements of previous students who had left the school. Also, it was really interesting how they posted about engagements. Was it because of the size of the campus that they could post things such as this in the paper? Now we would never be able to post any of these things due to the fact that it is not really considered news.

Sister and Communism

I found a compilation of newspaper articles dating from the years 1949 to 1955. The article that interested me most was about Sister Mercita Reginata C.S.B. who traveled from a Communist country to further her education at College Misericordia. The title was Sister Speaks on Russian Life. I was so impressed that Sister Mercita came from a difficult situation, a Communist country, she survived, persevered and valued education so much that she made her nursing the focus of her life. I went to an international high school with students from Vietnam, Rwanda and Kosovo and I always admired their strength when I heard their individual stories about their struggles.

Sister Mercita described her hardship at ten years old when her father, because he was a politician, was sent to a prison camp. She and her brothers and sisters were also sent to a prison camp in Siberia that was ironically called “Home.” They were being indoctrinated to not believe in God and Sister Mercita led a protest, because she was being taught “false doctrine.” She was severely punished and put in a frozen room without food, water or clothing for twenty-four hours. She barely survived. But in 1942, she fled Communism and joined the Bernadine Sisters in 1947. In 1949, she furthered her education as a nursing student at College Misericordia.

At the end of the article, Sister Mercita Reginata expressed how wonderful American freedoms are. It made me realize how fortunate we are to be educated and to have religious freedom, and how much we take for granted in the United States.


“Sister Speaks on Russian Life,” Miss Recordia (November 1949 – May 1955). University Newspaper Collections RG 830, Misericordia University Special Collections, Dallas, PA.

May Day 1942- College Misericordia

Miss Recordia 1942. May Day Celebration. University Newspaper Collection, CMA 830 Box 1 (1931-1949) Newspaper. Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle University Archives, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA

This image was featured in the 1942 May edition of the Miss Recordia newspaper. The May Day celebration featured in this image displays the May Day Queen, Katherine Kirchner and her May Day Attendants, Frances McCann and Eudenia Zaleta. May Day celebrations in North America carried the tradition of crowning the Queen of May. In this image, the May Day Queen wears a white gown and a flower gown to symbolize purity. The picture was taken on the front lawn of Mercy. In the background lies the statue Mary and the American flag. Behind the May Day Queen, we see an altar decorated in floral arrangements. Each participant in the May Day festivities is wearing a light colored, or floral gown, and is holding a bouquet of flowers. The only women not holding a floral bouquet are the May Day Queen Attendants, Ms. McCann and Ms. Zaleta. Most of the participants are wearing a floral headpiece. The gowns are all floor length and have sleeves of varying lengths. May Day celebrations throughout Europe, specifically in Great Britain, were celebrated to welcome springtime fertility. Many of the Miss Recordia papers I examined show images of May Day celebrations and portraits of the May Day Queen. An interest of mine would be researching the specific practices of the May Day Celebration at College Misericordia. I’d research how and who started the celebration of May Day and for how many years was it celebrated. Additional factors I would research include: who was in the running for May Day Queen, how the Queen and Attendants were chosen, what were the duties of the Queen and the Attendants, and how long the preparation period for the celebration was.


Students participating in Sleep-Out Protest, 1973

After reading the newspapers that so many people think was so long ago, it’s crazy to see the similarities. In recent years and even months protesting has been in the news often. In these pictures students were participating in the Student Sleep Out Protest in 1973. What was the protest actually about? Did they accomplish anything by protesting? Where they allowed to protest on campus or did they have to protest somewhere else?

Students participating in Time-Out Day

Another protest that was on campus was Time Out Day in the early 1970s. This protest took place in the cafeteria at Misericordia. What were they protesting about? Why did they choose to protest on campus? I just find it very interesting that protests actually took place on campus. I think that today, protests like this on campus would not be handled so well.

This photograph is a picture that was in the newspaper. The students were demonstrating for peaceful cooperation of Misericordia. What was Misericordia not cooperating with? Did this protest accomplish what the students wanted to accomplish?

Cartoon of Monseigneur John Joseph Curran

This image is from the Miss Recordia Newspaper, January 1937 edition. The political cartoon is of Rev. Mons. John Joseph Curran, and this edition of the paper was published in his memory. In the center of the image lies a headshot of Reverend Monsignor Curran. This headshot pictures Reverend Monsignor Curran wearing traditional priestly attire, with a serious and proud expression on his face. To the left of the headshot is a smaller image of Rev. Mons. Curran playing golf. Below the image is a description of his favorite hobbies, golf, calisthenics, and reading. It also describes his involvement with the Board of Catholic total abstinence Union of America, and states that he was the first Vice President of the Anti-Saloon League for many years. The image to the left of the headshot is of Rev. Mons. Curran speaking to Union workers. The paragraph below describes how Rev. Mons. Curran strove to settle strikes and “create a spirit of brotherly love between rich and poor.” The image in the bottom left pictures Rev. Mons. Curran at a church. The description below the image states how he was the Pastor at St. Mary’s. It also states that in 1895 he was appointed first pastor of Holy Savior East End City, Wilkes-Barre, and how he was appointed Pastor of St. Mary’s in 1919 and was made Monsignor in 1932. The final image in the bottom right corner shows Rev. Mons. Curran teaching in a classroom. The description below this image gives a short biography of his hometown and his aspirations as a student. This cartoon honors Reverend Monsignor John Joseph Curran’s legacy and his impact on local organizations and individuals.

“Mons. John Joseph Curran,” Miss Recordia (January 1937). University Newspaper collection, CMA 830 Box 1 (1931-1949), Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle University Archives, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA.

College Misericordia & World War II


A subject I enjoyed finding and reading about was Christmastide correspondence during World War II. I found the articles in a compilation of newspaper articles in the Miss Recordia. I like the title “Miss Recordia” because it has a double meaning for an all-girl’s college. The articles had many different subjects about the College Misericordia’s involvement in World War II.

One of the most interesting clippings was labelled A Letter to Camp written in 1942 at the start of the war by Sadie Morris. Although it was not a personal letter, it was sent to a soldier to give hope and encouragement. It reminded me of a George M. Cohan song, “Over There.” Miss Morris encouraged the soldier by writing a supportive, patriotic letter. It was very short, but she expressed her pride in the United States’ war effort.

In another clipping, there was a poem titled A Soldier’s Dream by Kay Matterson written in December 1944. The poem was far more somber than A Letter to Camp because it described an exhausted American soldier wistfully thinking of his loved ones back home during Christmas. The soldier reflects on his family and fiancée. There was a sorrowful, haunting feeling to the poem that conveyed the message that perhaps this soldier was one of the many that did not return home.

There also were several articles written by Misericordia graduates called Alumnae Musings. They were general articles about the various activities that women did for the war effort. The interesting one was the war bond drive that Misericordia held because it raised forty thousand dollars in 1942. In 1942, a medium income for a year was two thousand dollars. Even today, raising forty thousand dollars is impressive. Because I was reading about Misericordia’s past, I felt connected to World War II sentiments and struggles. Personal accounts make history come to life.


Morris, Sadie, “A Letter to Camp,” Miss Recordia (November 1934 – May 1949), 1-15. University Newspaper Collections RG 830, Misericordia University Special Collections, Dallas, PA.

Matterson, Kay, “A Soldier’s Dream,” Miss Recordia (November 1934 – May 1949), 1-15. University Newspaper Collections RG 830, Misericordia University Special Collections, Dallas, PA.

“Alumnae Musings,” Miss Recordia (November 1934 – May 1949), 1-15. University Newspaper Collections RG 830, Misericordia University Special Collections, Dallas, PA.


Have Times Really Changed?

One of the most interesting articles that I found in the newspaper was an issue that we are still dealing with on this campus today. The entire article is about parking and students complaining about it. It was interesting how they approached parking at the time. It wasn’t the same as it is now, but yet we still have so many issues. Was there ever a time when parking was not an issue? It’s interesting because before even entering this school year the issue of parking was addressed. The school sent an informing the students that there where parking spots being removed and then added to another spot. I just think it’s interesting that all of these years later that we are still dealing with the same issues. I also think it interesting that parking was so different. There was A,B,C, etc parking stickers. Is there a reason we got away from that system? What was the new system that was put into place?