Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Albion College Commemorates 150 Years of Co-Education

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
Albion College Faculty 1861

Albion College Faculty, 1861

Last Friday, the Albion College News published an article/photo gallery celebrating 150 years of Co-Educational Bachelor Degrees issued from Albion College.

On the heels of its 175th birthday in 2010, Albion marks the 150th anniversary of providing a college education to female students. On February 25, 1861, Michigan’s state legislature authorized the 26-year-old school to grant four-year degrees to women, making Albion one of the Midwest’s first co-educational institutions.  Read More…

Remembering MLK’s visit to Albion College

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. PortraitThis month’s blog article was written by Salaina Catalano, ’14.  She is a History and Political Science double major and works in the archives.

On January 24, 2011 Albion College had its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation in Goodrich Chapel.  Because I have a passion for history, I was very excited to attend an event designed to commemorate such an influential and legendary man.  Dr. Wesley Dick, the Chairman of the History Department, and Mr. Robert Wall, retired history teacher at Albion High School, both spoke at the convocation.  I learned that Professor Dick marched with Dr. King and is currently the Vice President of the Albion chapter of the NAACP.  I started to cry a little when I learned that Dr. King visited Albion College in 1963.  I was awe-inspired when I thought about MLK speaking in the very Chapel I was sitting in and meeting students and faculty in the very building I eat in every day.  As children we grow up hearing history lessons and memories of Martin Luther King, but it was surreal to know that I have walked where he has and that I have heard about the cause he peacefully fought for in the very place he once spoke about it.

Because not very much was mentioned at the convocation about Dr. King’s visit to Albion, I decided to utilize the resources of the College Archives, where I work.  The front-page headline of the Pleiad dated March 8, 1963 is “King to Speak on ‘American Dream’”.  The article includes a biography of Dr. King and information concerning his lecture, which was scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, 1963.  In the Pleiad dated March 15, 1963 there is a follow-up story entitled, “‘America Divides Personality’ Says Martin Luther King, Jr.”  The article includes notable portions of his speech.  According to the article, Dr. King spoke to over 1,400 in Goodrich Chapel about the problems with segregation.  King said that three things needed to happen before the American Dream could be possible for all people: “We must make [the world] a brotherhood”, the idea of superior and inferior races must end, and a non-violent action program must be started “to break down the barriers of discrimination and segregation.”  Dr. King mentioned two myths about civil rights: that time will solve all problems and the idea of “educational determinism” or believing that education, alone, will solve racial problems.   When speaking about the situation of race in the United States, Dr. King summed up by saying, “America has been a schizophrenic personality tragically divided against herself.  Racial segregation and the national philosophy that ‘all men are created equal’ are a strange paradox.”

In the College History Files there is a folder dedicated to the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day starting in 1963 with his visit.  The first item in the folder is a newspaper article titled “Northern Segregation May Be More Serious”.  Dr. King apparently concluded by further discussing regional segregation: “The South is largely segregated.  The North is desegregated legally, but integration is absent in both.  The North may develop more tragic segregation, for it is in the North that many Negroes suffer deeper frustration.”  The most controversial part of the evening was when President Louis W. Norris announced at the end of the lecture that Dr. King would now answer “discriminating questions”: the article asks if it “was a slip of the tongue or a subtle play on words”.

After the program there was a reception in the Mary Sykes room of Baldwin Hall where over 100 people had the chance to meet and speak with Martin Luther King.  The next document in the College History Files folder was a copy of a letter from Keith J. Fennimore, Associate Professor of English, to Dr. Martin Luther King, dated January 24, 1964.  The letter congratulates Dr. King on recently being named “Man of the Year” by Time and informs him that his “presence here is still felt among us”.  Dr. Fennimore said that the Albion community is “slowly working toward ‘The American Dream’ about which [Dr. King] spoke so movingly”.

I think that Dr. King’s legacy is embedded in the Albion community and throughout the rest of the country.  Perhaps his visit here changed the intolerant opinions of some, strengthened the honorable beliefs of others, and united the people of Albion College in a mission to end inequality.  In Dr. King’s words, we must believe in “an understanding, redemptive good will toward men, a willingness to go to any limits to restore community.”


“King to Speak on ‘American Dream’.”  Albion Pleiad 8 March 1963: 1.  Print

McCrea, Ron.  “‘America Divides Personality’ Says Martin Luther King, Jr.”  Albion Pleiad 15 March 1963: 3.  Print

Fennimore, Keith J. letter to Martin Luther King, Jr.  24 Jan 1964.  ARC-0061: College History Files – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (1963-2004).  Albion College Archives, Albion College, Michigan.

Photo of the Month- June

Monday, June 1st, 2009


Delta Tau Delta, 1969
Pay specific attention to the young man holding the dog on a leash, to the left of the woman in the center. This is Jim Whitehouse, ’69, and his dog Brutus. In 1968, Brutus became the first ever canine Homecoming Queen, much to the dismay of the young ladies in the running. The administration changed his title to that of Homecoming King.


Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson!

Monday, April 13th, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009, marks the 266th anniversary of the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, in 1743. In honor of Jefferson’s birthday, here is a look at one of the items in our rare books collection: Notes on the State of Virginia. Written by Thomas Jefferson. Illustrated with a map, including the states of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. London: Printed for John Stockdale, Opposite; Burlington House, Piccadilly, 1787. These “Notes” were written by Thomas Jefferson in 1781-1782. Click on the image to the left for additional views.