Gold Stars on the Honor Roll: Remembering Then and Now

One of the larger sized items in the SPU Archives is the Honor Roll, or, more correctly, the Honor Roll of Seattle Pacific College Students in the Armed Service of Our Country.  It is a list of the students who served in various military branches during the Second World War.

Honor Roll

The top portion of the Honor Roll plaque held in the Archives – some of the letters have been lost

Looking for a way to honor their fellow students who had left school to fight for the United States, SPC students held a donation drive during the 1942-43 school year to fund a lasting tribute to those who served. An article in the May 27, 1943 Falcon newspaper states:

“The realization of the small part we [students still on campus] are playing in this great struggle for freedom as compared with the hardships you[students who enlisted] are enduring, has created a feeling about the campus that we must do more for you – honor you to the best of our ability.”

Out of this feeling arose the plan for a permanent plaque in your honor.That plan led to the plaque that is held by the Archives today. Subsequent issues of the Falcon mention adding names to the plaque as more students were called to serve.

Plaque Names

Some of the names of students who served – both men and women are recognized on the plaque

During the summer of 1944, the plaque was placed in the main hall of the Administration Building (Peterson Hall today) to help students remember their fellow students who were serving.

The Falcon, Nov 2, 1945The plaque on the wall in Peterson Hall, photo from the Falcon November 2, 1945.

Unfortunately, not every SPC student who served returned alive. Those who gave their lives had a gold star placed next to their names. Of the 309 names on the plaque, 10 names are accompanied by a gold star.

Names with Star

Some of the names on the plaque, including one gold star

The plaque is no longer in Peterson Hall; it is now housed in the University Archives. But the students’ vision of a permanent honor of those who served is still present on campus. The Chapel on the second floor of Alexander Hall has a memorial to all Seattle Pacific students who gave their lives in military service.

Alexander Chapel Memorial

The memorial in the Alexander Chapel – the bottom lines read: In honor of Seattle Pacific Veterans of Foreign wars/In Memory of Seattle Pacific Alumni who died/in defense of Liberty and Justice for All

Adrienne Meier, Social Sciences Librarian and University Archivist

Presidents Day booklist

The SPU Library hopes you enjoyed yesterday’s break from classes in honor of Presidents Day. While the rest of the campus was closed, the Library remained open from 3 – 11 p.m. to assist with your studying and research needs. Take a look at the booklist we compiled yesterday of items on our shelves that relate to United States presidents across the centuries:

Interested in learning more about the enigmatic William Henry Harrison, the only president to die after one short month in office? Try this book with library call number E392 .C65 2012.

 

In the wake of a series of movies featuring Abraham Lincoln, you might want to read more about his legacy before and after the Civil War. The call number for this book, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner James McPherson, is E457 .M46 2009.

 

Swartzenagger is not the first actor-turned-politician. Ever wonder how Ronald Reagan went from Hollywood actor to the presidency? This book, call number E877 .D54 2007, reviews the transition and explores the policies of our fortieth president.

 

Though this era had its controversies, Nixon is also known for ending U.S. involvement in Vietnam in 1973, launching the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and initiating a missile treaty with the Soviet Union. Read this biography with call number E855 .S63 1999.

 

The HBO miniseries highlights the tension between John Adams and his contemporaries as the country forged a path to independence, but it also allows us a glimpse into the affectionate relationship between the former president and the love of his life. This book, call number E322 .A4 2007, provides a deeper look into the world of John and Abigail Adams through their letters.

Born wealthy, Franklin D. Roosevelt may never have depended on a paycheck, but his charisma and determination in the wake of illness and subsequent lower body paralysis made him a man of the people during the Great Depression. Take a close look at his presidency in this biography, call number E807 .S58 2007.

February Reading List

Want to catch up on your reading list of works by and about African Americans in honor of Black History month? Drop by the SPU library and take a look at the book display adjacent to the Circulation Desk to preview some of our relevant items.

Book display organized by Stephanie Rubesh, Access Services

New books you might want to add to your list of must-reads include:

I have a dream, by Martin Luther King, Jr.Kadir Nelson
An illustrated edition of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.

 

Life upon these shores : looking at African American history, 1513-2008 by Henry Louis Gates
African American involvement in American history, society, politics, and culture.

 

Unspoken : a story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
A wordless picture book.

 

For more items, including ebooks, owned by our library and related to African American literature, culture, and history, click here to view a WorldCat list.

Almost there!

The library’s last day of extended hours is tonight. We’re open until midnight, so if you need to take advantage of the extra study time, feel free to drop by and instantly reserve a room for study time or to work on a project. If you’re looking for help finding resources, our librarians are at the reference desk until 8 p.m. In celebration of Advent and Christmas, come see our Christmas tree in the reading room and browse our Advent book display on the main floor.

The SPU Library blog will be on a brief hiatus during winter break and Christmas, but check back on the first Tuesday of the new quarter for more posts.

Work hard on your finals, and enjoy the break ahead!