Friday, November 20, 2015

Treasures from the Archive: Graebner Memorial Chapel

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