Wednesday, May 25, 2016

CMU Activist Alumni in the Archives

by Marian Matyn

This past weekend, May 20-22, a large group of alumni who attended CMU between 1968 and 1974 and who all took part in anti-Vietnam War activism as well as other activist movements came back to Mount Pleasant for the Mountain Madness Reunion. I had a very interesting day this past Friday, May 20, showing them CMU publications from the time period they were students at CMU and numerous primary source collections concerning the CMU Vietnam Moratorium (October 15, 1969), protests on campus, John Westie’s Conscientious Objector status materials, and President William Boyd's papers (everyone in the group had a great deal of respect for him!). We heard a little of an oral history interview with President Boyd and saw a sample of the digitized film of the Vietnam Moratorium. I heard lots of interesting stories and comments. Everyone enjoyed the memories.

Next we went to visit Kim Hagerty and they learned about microfilming and digitizing. Then we visited the stacks and saw some treasurers in the vault. And everyone took lots of free pens, pins, and booklets about the Peace Flag and President Warriner’s involvement in the peace movement, courtesy of Professor Hope May and the Center for International Ethics

It was really nice to meet these amazing grads and hear their fascinating stories. I’m glad they appreciate all we do in the archives and microfilm/digitizing to document, preserve, and make available their history to researchers. They were delighted a younger generation at CMU finds their history fascinating and regularly researches it. Through their effort they had quite a positive effect on CMU and our national history. They remain firmly and proudly dedicated to their ideals of peace, peaceful protesting, and underground presses. Many brought pins, papers, newsletters, photographs, and other material that help document the period and enhance existing collections in the Clarke. Thank you to the alumni who brought materials to donate and for those of you willing to be interviewed for an oral history.