One of my favorite Winter Olympic sports is speed skating. I love watching the athletes sprint around the oval on their narrow blades where one false move will find them spinning out on the ice. But it wasn’t until I was exploring the University Archives collection the other day that I realized how many St. Thomas alums were noted speed skaters.
Everett McGowan, 1920
A multitalented athlete, Everett McGowan lettered in football and baseball as a student at St. Thomas from 1919 to 1920. But he is best known for his speed-skating prowess. McGowan won the national and international speed skating championships in 1920 as an amateur. His success continued during a professional career in which he beat veteran speed skaters such as Norval Baptie in the 1921 Northwest Championship.
Leo Freisinger, 1937
Leo Freisinger attended the College of St. Thomas from 1937 – 1938. Prior to enrolling at St. Thomas he won a bronze medal in the 500m race at the 1936 Winter Olympic games. He continued to compete in national and international speed skating events after that, wearing the St. Thomas colors in the 1938 International Speed Skating Championships in Oslo, Norway.
Bob Fitzgerald, 1946
Bobby Fitzgerald won several indoor, outdoor and North American speed skating championships as a teenager. But, his skating career was interrupted by World War II and a injury he suffered while in the Army. After returning to civilian life, he finished his college degree (graduating from the College of St. Thomas in 1946) and resumed his speed skating career. He later won the silver medal in 500m the 1948 Winter Olympics and was a member of the 1952 Olympic speed skating team.
To explore more of the history of the University of St. Thomas, visit the University Archives webpage.
(This post was first published on February 3, 2014. )
The University of St. Thomas Libraries are pleased to announce that we recently added America; the Jesuit Review of Faith and Culture to the list of the periodicals the University of St. Thomas students, faculty, and staff may read online via Flipster.
The University of St. Thomas’ students, faculty, and staff may read a number of popular periodicals we make available on this digital newsstand, which may be accessed anytime on computers or mobile devices. Periodicals in Flipster have true-to-life layouts with all the full-color images and advertisements one finds in the print version of the same periodical.
Suggested reading: “A Christian Funeral Classic” by Colleen Dulle, in the January 8, 2018, issue of America. The article tells of the work of the University of St. Thomas’ Artist in Residence, Fr. Michael Joncas, whose hymn, “On Eagle’s Wings” achieved global popularity 38 years ago.
Fr. Michael Joncas, Theology Department, October 2004, Classroom images
By Sophia Wolf
A beloved tradition in the St. Thomas community is the annual Christmas concert. Each year this concert takes place in Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The concert has performances by the Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Liturgical Choir, Donne Unite, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, Brass Ensemble and the Guitar Ensemble. In recent years, the event has become so popular that the concert has been expanded to two performances, though it oftentimes still sells out.
If you missed this year’s concert, you still have an opportunity to listen to wonderful holiday music by the musicians of St. Thomas! Recordings of past concerts are available at the Music & Media Collections in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library. These recording are a great way to get in the Christmas spirit!
Below you can find selected recordings of past UST Christmas concerts. Recordings from many other years are also available in the Music & Media Collections.
O Come Let us Adore Him : University of St. Thomas Christmas
M 2065 .U55 V465 2012
Love Came Down at Christmas: University of St. Thomas
M 2065 .U55 L68 2011
Christ is Born Today: University of St. Thomas Christmas
M 2065 .U55 H63 2008
As much as I dream of traveling to New York City and catching a show on Broadway, as a busy college student it does not seem to be in the cards (at least for the next few years). However, I can still satisfy my musical cravings with CDs of original cast recordings for all of my favorite shows. The Music & Media Collection has a wide variety of music genres available for check out or streaming, meaning there is something for everyone’s interest. For a musical geek like me, here are a few of my favorite Broadway picks from the collection:
By Sophia Wolf
Call Number: M1500 .P67 A5
Anything Goes is set aboard the ocean liner S. S. American, where nightclub singer and evangelist Reno Sweeney is en route from New York to England. Her pal Billy Crocker has stowed away to be near his love, Hope Harcourt, but to his dismay, Hope is engaged to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.
Once Upon a Mattress
Call Number: M1505 .R621 O5 1993
Due to an unhappy curse, King Sextimus is unable to speak. Meanwhile, his terror-of-a-wife, Queen Aggravain, has taken over control of the kingdom. Most importantly, in an attempt to keep her son Prince Dauntless single, she has decreed that only a true princess that can pass her impossible test may marry him. Will the unrefined princess Winnifred the Woebegone finally be the one to pass the queen’s test?
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Call Number: M1505 m.W54 U57 1993
Molly Brown is determined to rise from her country roots and marry a rich man. She finds one in Johnny Brown, who has just sold off his lucrative claim on a Colorado silver mine. Johnny again strikes it rich, this time in gold, making the pair Denver royalty. However, money does not ensure happiness and, with their union on the rocks, Molly travels to Europe — before making an eventful return trip on the Titanic.
By Sophia Wolf
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I believe that no one can rightfully say that it is too early to listen to Christmas music. The St. Thomas Music & Media Collections are a great place to access CDs or streaming audio for all of your festive favorites. As a self-proclaimed expert, who has been listening to Christmas music since November 1st, here is one of my top picks from the Collections:
American Folk Songs for Christmas
Call Number: M1629.S44 .A54 1989
This compilation of less-commonly known Christmas songs represent a variety of folksongs that find their origins in European and British Isles Ballads, several African-American spirituals that express a deeply spiritual celebration of Christmas, as well as several classic, better-known Christmas favorites. This lively recording is sung & played by sisters Peggy, Barbara, and Penny Seeger, assisted by a group of children from the South Boston Music School.
Selected songs from this CD can also be accessed through:
Music Online: Smithsonian Global Sound: American Folk Songs for Christmas (streaming audio)
By Sophia Wolf
The classic Thanksgiving tale is that of collaboration and friendship between the Pilgrim settlers and the Wampanoag tribe. However, there is much more to the history of this iconic American holiday than simply this, so take the opportunity to learn more and explore the multiple perspectives of those who took part in the first Thanksgiving. As students, faculty, and staff take a well-deserved break from courses, be sure to check out the resources available at the Music & Media Collections to find the perfect film to enjoy with your Thanksgiving leftovers!
Call Number: F 68 .P55 2015
Commemorated each year at Thanksgiving, no chapter in American history has been more clouded in myth, legend, and venerable cliché than the story of the Pilgrims. This film explores the story of a small group of English Separatists whose determination to worship God as they saw fit planted the seeds of the American dream.
We Still Live Here
Call Number: PM 2544 .A86 2010
The Wampanoag are celebrated at Thanksgiving as the Indians who saved the Pilgrims from starvation, but their linguistic heritage remained largely forgotten until Jessie Little Doe Baird discovered hundreds of documents written in their ancient language. Her efforts, which led to the reclamation of the Wampanoag language and culture, are explored in this documentary film.
We Shall Remain: America Through Native Eyes
Call Number: E 77 .W47 2009
When Europeans arrived in North America, they encountered the Native people. Throughout history, Native peoples resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture. Follow Native American history from the Wampanoags of New England in the 1600s, to the bold new leaders of the 1970s who harnessed the momentum of the Civil Rights movement. Spanning almost four hundred years, this three-part documentary series tells the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective.
By Sofia Wolf
Did you know that November is Native American Heritage Month? This month provides an opportunity to celebrate Native American culture and traditions. We can also use it to raise awareness about the unique challenges facing Native American communities, both in the past and present. There are many resources offered by the Music & Media Collections to learn more and appreciate the rich Native American history in the state of Minnesota.
Ojibwe Music from Minnesota: A Century of Song for Voice and Drum
Call Number: M 1669 .O45 1997
Hear traditional Ojibwe music, sung in both English and Ojibwa, with early recordings as dating from 1899-1910, as well as more recent field recordings.
Manoomin: A Minnesota Way of Life
Call Number: E99.C6 M3 2005
This documentary is a part of the campaign to prohibit the introduction of genetically-engineered wild rice in the State of Minnesota. A group of Ojibwe people voice their opinions, providing contrast between scientific progress and the rights of indigenous people to protect their food source, biodiversity, and way of life.
The Woodlands: The Story of the Mille Lacs Ojibwe
Call Number: E99.C6 W6 2000
This film explores the 400-year history and culture of Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Native Americans through narration, historical footage, music, and personal interviews with tribal elders.
Author Will Cavert
Reading and Book Signing
Monday, November 13, 2017
7:00 pm O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Room 108
London in the early modern period was one of the world’s most polluted cities impacting everything from the health of its citizens to how the politics and culture developed during this time.
Dr. Will Cavert, assistant history professor at the University of St. Thomas, will speak about his recently published work: The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City which takes a closer look at how the people who lived and traveled to London adapted to London’s “smoky air.” London in the early modern period was one of the world’s most polluted cities impacting everything from the health of its citizens to how the politics and culture developed during this time.
- The John Ben Snow Prize from the American Conference on British Studies
- The Whitfield Prize from the Royal Historical Society
- The Turku Prize from the European Society for Environmental History and the Rachel Carson Center of the University of Munich.
About the Author:
Dr. Cavert is a historian of Britain during the early modern period, c. 1500-1800, with research interests in urban and environmental history. He is the author of The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City, published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press, as well as studies in The Journal of British Studies, Urban History, and The Global Environment.
He came to the University of St. Thomas in 2014 from The University of Cambridge where he was a post-doctoral fellow at Clare College, having taken a Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 2011 and an M.A. at Loyola University Chicago. Before that he completed his undergraduate studies at Carleton College, and is a native Minnesotan. He teaches classes on The Modern World Since 1550 (HIST 112), British social and political history, early modern European history, the history of science, and the history of climate, environmentalism, and natural disasters.
Reading is free and open to all – books will be available for purchase – refreshments provided!
By Sofia Wolf
As many people celebrate Halloween today, another holiday is being celebrated: Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. This holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico, particularly in the central and southern regions of the country, where the celebration originated. Day of the Dead is also observed in other regions where people with Mexican ancestry live, especially in the United States. This multi-day celebration, which takes place from October 31st -November 2nd, is a day of remembrance for loved ones and a celebration of their lives.
If you would like to learn more about the Day of the Dead or other holidays celebrated throughout the world, the Music & Media Collection has vast databases with documentaries about world religions, anthropology, sociology, language, art and many other subjects.
Below are links to several documentaries about Day of the Dead:
Festivals: Day of the Dead, Mexico
Mexico: Day of the Dead – My Americas
Day of the Dead: A Mexican Celebration
G. K. Chesterton’s fictional detective Father Brown is one of his most popular fictional creations. While initially produced as contributions to periodicals like the Pall Mall Magazine and McClure’s Magazine, the Father Brown stories soon gained great popularity and were later compiled into anthologies.
The hero of the stories – a short, squat, helpless appearing Catholic priest – was based on an actual priest, Father John O’Connor. O’Connor was a lifelong friend of Chesterton and contributed to his conversion to the Catholic faith.
The original inspiration for the stories was Chesterton’s discovery of Fr. O’Connor’s profound knowledge of the depths of human depravity. This came about through a conversation at a dinner party at which two Cambridge University students commented sarcastically about the naïveté of modern Christian priests. Chesterton was struck by the paradox of the outwardly innocent appearance of his priest friend and a his friend’s deep understanding of sin and evil.
Father Brown’s detective pursuits are truly Chestertonian in that they shun the techniques of science and the undiluted rational powers of man. “Mere facts are commonplace,” says Father Brown. The sleuth depends on a deep knowledge of the human heart instead of methodical observation to solve mysteries.
The Chesterton-Belloc Collection housed the Department of Special Collections features over 1200 works by the English author G. K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936). Among the materials in this collection, you will find a variety of editions of works from his Father Brown detective series.