May Day

May Day is a ceremony recognizing and crowning a senior woman on campus that embodies true religious qualities. It appears that all of the other seniors wore generally simple white dresses, and the “May Queen” wore a dress along the lines of a wedding dress. In addition, the underclassmen attended the ceremony wearing caps and gowns. Personally, I think the whole concept of May Day was a combination of homecoming, a wedding, graduation, a garden party, and a coronation. In addition, May Day made me feel uncomfortable. I have realized that today, students are not that engaged in the traditional crowing contest, such as prom and homecoming. My generation has adopted a nonchalant attitude towards these competitions, and realized it is only 15 minutes of fame. Furthermore, today’s society has been trying to push “everybody is a winner” ideal, and to break down the stereotypical characteristics of those who seem to win these competitions. However, I did appreciate the dresses the other seniors wore. Their dresses were all long, loose fitting, and that ruffles, bows and frill was a common trend during that time. Lastly, the women were all wearing big spring hats that you would typical see women wearing to church or at a derby race.

May Day, 1950-1960. University Photo Collection RG905,  Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle Archives, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA.

Home economics fashion show

I came across a folder labeled “Home Economics Fashion Show”. These photographs showed a Home Economics class showcasing clothes the students designed. One particular student’s design caught my attention with the flower print, and sleek, fitted style. The pictures did not have a date on them, so I assume this fashion show took place in the mid to late 1960’s based on the style of the their clothes. In addition, the advertisements caught my attention and helped me determine the year as well. All of the posters were advertising Broadway plays located in New York City. I assume that every poster featured a Broadway play because the fashion show was held in the theater. Furthermore, all of the photographs were in black and white, but I could envision the colors of the ads. Advertisements in the 60’s featured large visuals, bold colors and minimal amount of copy in order to immediately capture the consumers attention. After analyzing the posters, I began to wonder what other posters/ads were on campus. 1960’s ads were also a tool to encourage materialism, but as a private catholic institution did the administration allow the students to be exposed to these ads on campus?


Home Economics Fashion show, 1960-. University Photo Collection RG905, Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle Archives, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA.

3 girls in McHale

A photograph I found in one of the archive folders labeled as “students”, shows three girls in a dorm room in McHale Hall. I was in awe because the rooms in McHale look exactly the way they do now! The picture shows three girls in the room sitting on the beds, and one is sitting at her desk. It was very interesting to see how their rooms were decorated because how simplicity. During my college experience, I am used to seeing girls’ rooms fully decked out in lights, tapestries, pillows, and other cute desk and table decor. In addition, a significant amount of their belongings looked homemade. For example, one of the girls had a knit pillow with very basic design. I made this conclusion because everything in the 70’s was loud and bold, and you probably would not find her pillow in a department store. I lived in McHale my freshman year back in 2014, and the picture was taken in 1979. Seeing this picture also brought up many memories of freshman year in McHale, which was such an open environment for everyone in the building. Just about every evening me and my roommates’ friends were constantly in each other’s rooms talking, or binge watching movies and T.V. shows!

3 girls in Mchale, 1979. University Photo Collection RG905, Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle Archives, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA.

Varsity Trumps Wilkes 47-17

The photograph is featured in a newspaper from 1955, and it is focused on a women’s basketball player dribbling down the court. I found this picture interesting and important because the player is a black woman named Dorthea Green. I have a personal connection to this picture because I am one of the two black women on the basketball team at Misericordia University. My freshman year, I was the only black girl on the team which was a very difficult experience. When I saw this picture, a flood of questions came rushing to my mind! First, I discovered that Dorthea is from North Carolina, so how did she find Misericordia University? Then, I was curious about when Misericordia began accepting students of color, and how were they treated on campus. During the 1950’s, the demand for black people to attend higher education institutions significantly increased. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled “separate but equal” for all educational institutions; however, we are aware that the black students were not awarded the same treatment and quality of products and services compared to the white students. However, I am giving Misericordia during the Jim Crow era the benefit of the doubt. We are a school founded on the principles and beliefs of the Sisters of Mercy, which addresses racism. After seeing this picture, and learning about Dorthea; I am very interested in exploring the topic of when Misericordia became integrated.