Friday, November 20, 2015

Original chapel in Old Main, 1894-1918
Our campus has always had a chapel, but it has not always been the beauty of a building that it is today. In the earliest days of the school, the chapel was a large room on the first floor of Old Main. The pews were school desks, but it had a lovely pipe organ.

By 1914, enrollment had increased to the point of overcrowding in classrooms and dormitories. A new building, the Administration Building (or Meyer Hall as it is known now), was planned to house a new chapel-auditorium, a faculty room, a reception room, offices, seven new classrooms, a library, museum, and science laboratories.

The north end of the Administration Building was designated for the chapel-auditorium, or Aula. It was two stories high with a bank of beautiful stained glass windows facing Syndicate. The Aula was designed in the Renaissance style and featured elaborate ornamentation with Greek motifs. It had a stage, a gallery, and seated an audience of 350. The Aula served as the school’s chapel from 1918 until 1954.

Chapel-auditorium, Aula, in the Administration Building, 1918-1954
In 1953, construction began on the Lutheran Memorial Center—a new athletic facility. This created the opportunity for other remodeling projects on campus. The Aula was converted into 5 new classrooms and additional office space. The “old gymnasium” was transformed into the Graebner Memorial Chapel.

Graebner Memorial Chapel dedication service, November 13, 1955
As anyone who has been in our chapel can see, the renovations to the gymnasium made it almost unrecognizable as a former basketball court! Interior brick walls were added to enclose the vestry and sacristy; they were oriented to direct visual focus towards the altar. Stained glass windows and pews were installed. 

A new entrance and narthex were added to create a more “churchly” appearance. A steel bell tower topped with a cross was built near the entrance to house the old college bell and give it new life as the new chapel bell.
Exterior of the Graebner Memorial Chapel, 1955-2007
The addition of the Cross of Christ Fellowship Center and the slight renovations to the interior of the chapel make it the striking building that it is today.

As one of the oldest buildings on campus, Graebner Memorial Chapel has an interesting history. So, the next time you find yourself seated in the chapel, don’t be surprised if you think you hear the squeak of sneakers, the thump of a basketball being dribbled, the swoosh of the net, and cheers of fans… 

Friday, November 13, 2015

November is Native American Heritage Month

by Jackie Martini, Library Social Media Student Worker

November is Native American Heritage Month! First declared by George H.W. Bush in 1990, the month serves to draw special awareness to Native American history, culture, and social issues. 

Did you know? There are 11 reservations in Minnesota, 7 Ojibwe and 4 Dakota. Minneapolis is also the birthplace (and current headquarters) of the American Indian Movement.

The CSP library now has a Native American Heritage Month display on the main level of the library, featuring Native stories and many local authors. We've collected some snapshots here, but stop by the library to view the entire display and check out one of these interesting reads!

Louise Erdrich is an Ojibwe writer.  She writes poetry and children’s books, and most of her books have Native American themes to them.  Erdrich is one of the most significant authors of the second wave of the Native American Renaissance.  She is also a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.  She owns a bookstore, Birchbark Books, in Minneapolis.

Jane Katz has edited together several stories of special importance: those of Native American women. The women authors come from several different tribes and their stories vary widely; some are healers, some are mothers and grandmothers.  Daughters, dancers, modern women, and women remembering their roots all come together in Messengers of the Wind to tell their stories to the world.

Mary Crow Dog was born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  A Sicangu Lakota writer and activist, she was a member of the American Indian Movement in the 1970s and was involved in Wounded Knee. Mary’s memoir, Lakota Woman, won an American Book Award in 1991, and was later adapted into a film.  Mary Crow Dog passed away on February 14th, 2013.

David Treuer is the author of The Hiawatha, Little, Prudence, and Native American Fiction: A User’s Manual.  He was raised on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.  Treuer is the son of an Austrian Jew and survivor of the Holocaust; his mother was a tribal court judge.  He went to Princeton after high school, graduating with degrees in anthropology and creative writing.

Learn more about Minnesota's Native communities here

Monday, November 2, 2015

Q & A with a Student Worker: Patrick McCune

Psychology Major, Business Minor
Hometown: Maple Lake, MN

What year are you in school? Where did you transfer in from, and how did you choose Concordia?
I’m a junior this year. From Augsburg's Biology program. I chose CSP on a chance, actually.  I had a lot of help, and did a lot of online research.  Priscilla talked to me about the Psych program, too.

How do you like working in the library?
It’s a lot of fun; I’m new to campus so it’s nice to meet a lot of people and help them out.

How does library work compare to other on- or off-campus jobs you’ve had?
I don’t have any other on-campus jobs now.  I still work as a PCA at Augsburg, though--I help an individual, a client, with day-to-day tasks.  It’s a step down from Certified Nursing Assistant.  I help my client live as normal a life as possible.

That sounds like a very cool job.  Do you do any other extracurriculars?
I play saxophone in the concert band and the jazz band.  I’ll be joining the Business and Psychology Clubs too, and will hopefully get involved with intramurals soon!

You’ll be busy! What is your favorite time of day to work in the library?
Morning is kind of nice; it forces me to be here, attentive, and awake.  It makes me less likely to just go to bed and sleep for longer after overnights!

That’s my favorite thing about morning shifts! Last question--are you taking any “just for fun” classes?
I’ve always been big into communications; I’ve done a lot of com. studies, and I’ve read a lot of those books.  Those people make things happen.  We learn a lot from those who are successful and have a higher chance of getting there ourselves if we do choose to learn.

Interview conducted by Jackie Martini, CSP Library’s Social Media Student Worker

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Treasures from the Archive: Luther Statue

On October 30, 1921, our statue of Martin Luther was installed on campus. This week marks the 94th anniversary of the installation. We recently had a number of silent films from our archive digitized through Minnesota Reflections. This film is from the dedication ceremony of the Luther Statue.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween: Staff Picks!

by Jackie Martini, Library Social Media Student Worker

Halloween approaches and everything is getting spooky (and darker!)!  The CSP library staff is busily working away--not just in the aftermath of the Harry Potter trivia night, but on future displays and events as well--but I got some of them to slow down for a few minutes and talk to me about a topic near and dear to everyone’s heart: books.  I got all kinds of answers to my question, Do you have a favorite fall/Halloween/scary read, author, or genre that you pick up this time of year for a good read?

"Halloween makes me want to read anything by Neil Gaiman: Coraline, The Wolves in the Walls, and the Sandman graphic novel series are particularly great for the Halloween season." -Megan

"There’s nothing “themed” right now--I’m reading Harry Potter, of course, and I love to write fall-themed pieces.  I would say it’s a very creative time for me!" -Amber

"I don't necessarily do a favorite Halloween read, but I can tell you about the book that terrified me when I first read it: Salem's Lot by Stephen King. It was the first King book I read when I was a teen, and not really knowing anything about it, I brought it with me to a babysitting job --and this was back in the pre-cable days when broadcast channels all went off the air around 1 am, so no TV to watch.
So... two little kids asleep, strange house, middle of the night, creepy vampire book... it totally freaked me out! I had to stop reading and hide the book under the sofa cushion!" -Jeanine

"I increase the amount of theology I read this time of year, particularly about the Reformation.  For more, see my new display downstairs on where All Saint's Eve came from!" -Nathan

"This is a challenging question for me since I really dislike all of the creepy stuff and have no typical Halloween/Fall reading habits. Usually it's whatever happens to strike my interest. This year, it just so happens, I'm in the midst of rereading the entire Harry Potter series. Currently I'm in the middle of book 2." -Jennifer

"I don’t have anything themed that I read specifically at this time.  I try to read one book a week.  I’m falling down on that a little, but I really like Stephen King things!" -Patrick

"I don’t do any themed reading, but I do watch Hocus Pocus every year!"  -Priscilla

Do you have a favorite fall read? Share it with us in the comments!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Q & A with a Librarian: Pang Kou Yang

Hometown:  St. Paul

Position:  Evening & Weekend Reference Librarian

How did you end up working at CSP?
I'm an alum!  I was a student worker while I went to school here so it made a lot of sense to come back and take the reference position.

When did you decide to be a librarian, and what did you go to school for?
I started working at the circulation desk and got interested in my senior year, so kind of late.  I love working in the library and finding information!  I decided to take that extra step and get the degree--Master of Library and Information Science.

What's it like being part of a mixed student/adult staff?
It is different from my usual experience working in a public library setting. I like it. It brings back my college years working in the library.

What's your dream job?
I do love working here, but I would love to be a public librarian full-time.  Right now I'm working here at Concordia part-time, and also over at the Dale Public Library part-time.

What's your favorite part of your job?
I love helping people with the research for a paper!  Just helping someone is a good feeling, and I like meeting and talking to the students as well.

What is your favorite book?
I have many favorite books!  One of my favorite is a children's book, The Rainbow Fish.  I read it to some kids for a class assignment and had a lot of fun!

Interview conducted by Jackie Martini, the CSP Library's social media student worker.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Treasures from the Archive: Dick Siebert

As the professional baseball season is coming to a close, let’s highlight one of Concordia’s "claims to fame": Dick Siebert. Before Richard “Dick” Siebert played first base for the Philadelphia Athletics and became one of the greatest coaches in college baseball history, he played baseball for Concordia Academy and Concordia College.

College Baseball Team, 1929 or 1930. Dick "Lefty" Siebert is center of the seated row. 

“Lefty” was pitcher for the Concordia Comets. During the 1929 season, his junior year of college, he was approached by a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals; however, Dick had every intention of become a Lutheran minister and wanted to continue his education at Concordia Seminary. While at Seminary, baseball continued to tug at Dick’s heartstrings until he got an offer he couldn’t refuse and signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1932. Between 1932 and 1945, Dick played pro baseball with the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, and finally, the Philadelphia A’s as the first baseman. During the off season, Dick coached basketball for Concordia, Saint Paul high school and junior college.

1937 Concordia Comets basketball team. Coach Dick Siebert's first year as basketball coach.

In 1948, he took a job as head coach for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher’s baseball team. Over the next 30 years, Coach Siebert became one of the greatest coaches in college baseball history, was twice named as college baseball’s Coach of the Year, is a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the Lefty Gomez Trophy for outstanding contribution and service to college baseball.