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.