The Sisters of Mercy were founded in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland by Catherine McAuley, a woman who sought, through her service to the poor, the sick and the uneducated, to reveal the mercy of God in our world. Catherine’s particular concern for women manifested itself in her efforts to help women to recognize their inherent dignity, to become self-directing and self-sustaining. Education was at the heart of this effort as was a desire to meet needs not being addressed by others.
Thus, when the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Pittsburgh in 1843, their first ministries arose from the needs presented by this burgeoning city – education and health care. Saint Mary’s Academy and the Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh (now UPMC Mercy) were established within two years of their arrival.
In the late 1920’s, another need presented itself – the lack of baccalaureate level education for the Catholic women of the city. After consultation with the bishop and the heads of the already existing institutions of higher learning, the Sisters of Mercy founded Mount Mercy College (now Carlow University) on September 24, 1929.
These Mercy traditions of a particular focus on the concerns of women and of response to unmet needs have become hallmarks of the University.
Carlow University is now sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas through the Conference for Mercy Higher Education. (CMHE) This Conference, comprised of 16 Mercy sponsored colleges and universities was created for “the preservation and development of the core Catholic identity and mission of Mercy higher education in accord with the spirit, mission and heritage of the Sisters of Mercy”.
History of Carlow University
•1843—On December 21, the Sisters of Mercy from Carlow, Ireland, arrived in Pittsburgh.
•1894—The Sisters of Mercy purchased a 13-acre site in Oakland as the location of a new motherhouse and Our Lady of Mercy Academy for K-12 students.
•1929—On September 24, the Sisters of Mercy opened Mount Mercy College.
•1933—The first Commencement ceremony for Mount Mercy College was conducted, and the college’s seal and motto—Ad Superna, non Superba (“To the Eternal, not the Perishable”)—was established.
•1936—Aquinas Hall was built to house the library and administrative offices.
•1941—Trinity Hall opened as the science center for the college.
•Following World War II, men were admitted to the school under the G.I. Bill. One of these men was the late Pete Flaherty, former mayor of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Commissioner.
•1948—Antonian Hall opened with office, classroom, and theater space.
•1961—The Frances Warde Hall dormitory was opened. Prior to this, students lived in houses or halls on Darragh Street, Terrace Street, and on Fifth Avenue.
•1968—Grace Library opened. Also in 1968, the college offered the first Black Studies course.
•1969—Mount Mercy College’s name was changed to Carlow College.
•1970—Curran Hall was renovated to house the nursing school.
•1975—Carlow’s mission statement was drafted.
•1978—The Women’s Studies program and a weekend college were established.
•1983—The Carlow Hill College (also known as the Hill Education Center) opened in the Hill House Association. In 1994, it moved to its own office space on Bedford Avenue, and, ten years later in 2004, it moved onto the Carlow campus.
•1989—Carlow began offering an accelerated learning program for working adults.
•1999—The A. J. Palumbo Hall of Science and Technology opened.
•2004— Carlow College officially became Carlow University.
•2005—Carlow appointed its first lay president, Dr. Mary Hines.
•2006—The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics named Carlow a "Champion of Character" school for the fourth consecutive year.
•2007—Carlow received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer its first doctoral program, the PsyD in Counseling Psychology.
•2007—Carlow received approval to offer an MBA program.
•2007—A revision of the Carlow mission statement was approved by the Board of Trustees.
•2008—Carlow’s Adult Degree Center celebrated its 30th anniversary.
•2008—Carlow University announced its new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.
•2008—Carlow University was selected for the U.S. President's Community Service Honor Roll.
•2009—Carlow University became a sponsor of the Yellow Ribbon Program.
•2009—Carlow Laureates awards program was created and its first recipients were honored.
•2009— Margaret McLaughlin, PhD, was appointed provost.
•2009—Carlow University was again selected for the U.S. President's Community Service Honor Roll.
•2009—The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics was named Carlow a "Champion of Character" school.
•2009—Carlow Unviersity began the observance of its 80th Anniversary year.
•2010—The Mercy Center for Service was created.
•2010—The 2nd annual Carlow Laureate Awards were presented.
•2010—A celebration of Carlow University's 80th Anniversary continued.
•2010—The 2010 Women of Spirit® Award recipients were honored.
•2010—The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics named Carlow a "Champion of Character" school.
•2010—Carlow University awarded its first doctoral degrees to 10 Doctorate in Nursing Practice students.
•2011—Carlow University announced its online Master of Science in Fraud and Forensics degree program — one of the few such programs in the world.
•2011—Carlow University was selected for the U.S. President's Community Service Honor Roll.
•2011—The University received the largest alumna/trustee gift in its history to endow the "Michele R. Atkins Endowed Chair for Ethics Across the Curriculum."
Posted by Michael Bell at 1:21 PM
Carlow University has purchased the building and grounds of the former St. Agnes School, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Robinson Street in Oakland, from the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The sale was finalized on December 20, 2011 for 1.25 million dollars.
"Carlow University's enrollment and programs have grown significantly in recent years, and this expansion led to our prior purchase of St. Agnes Church and Rectory on Fifth Avenue. The acquisition of St. Agnes School fulfills our strategic vision for the institution by providing additional contiguous space to serve our learners," said Dr. Mary Hines, president of Carlow University. "While we have not yet decided on the specific purpose for which we will use St. Agnes School, the space creates opportunities for the placement of academic programs on our Oakland campus, thus strengthening Carlow's presence in Oakland."
St. Agnes School, which housed a Diocesan Extra Mile Foundation elementary school until June 1, 2011, sits on a half-acre site adjacent to Carlow University's campus. This year, St. Agnes School merged with St. Benedict the Moor elementary school in the Hill District. Students from both schools were moved to the former Vann Elementary School building, which is now called St. Benedict the Moor School.
"The purchase of St. Agnes School is a strategic move in keeping with the goals of our institutional master plan," said Tyler Kelsch, Carlow's vice president for finance and operations
Posted by Michael Bell at 1:19 PM
The Boys Go Bare
Maybe it was coincidence, maybe it was just the Italian willingness to flash the flesh at play, but during the menswear shows in Milan, we couldn't help but notice that there were a few more toned pectorals on display.
It started with Madonna's beau Jesus Luz strutting down the Dolce & Gabbana catwalk with his shirt open and tucked into a pair of briefs and the trend continued all the way through to a bare-chested BMX rider on the Emporio Armani catwalk. Even the usually restrained Bottega Veneta couldn't resist revealing a bit of sculpted skin.
Click Here to See the Bare Chested Men of Milano
Posted by Michael Bell at 12:50 PM
|Sir George Mallory|
George Herbert Leigh Mallory was an English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s.
During the 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition, Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew "Sandy" Irvine both disappeared somewhere high on the North-East ridge during their attempt to make the first ascent of the world's highest mountain. The pair's last known sighting was only a few hundred metres from the summit.
Mallory's ultimate fate was unknown for 75 years, until his body was discovered in 1999 by an expedition that had set out to search for the climbers' remains. Whether or not Mallory and Irvine reached the summit before they died remains a subject of speculation and continuing research.
Dingle defends Sir Edmund Hillary's eventual conquest of Everest, adding that "Some have said the flaw of Mallory's character was he chose Irvine because of a possible gay relationship, an not based on good, sound mountaineering judgement."
Posted by Michael Bell at 10:42 PM
While thumbing through a book that I had purchased a while back called, "Who's a Pretty Boy Then?", I stubled across a photograph of a young man who was photographed in the nude and next to his photo was a semi nude photograph of a a man holdng a basket on his head. The caption beneath read "Duncan Grant's Lover as Phototographed by Duncan Grant." The photograph was dated "circa 1930." The book in which I was browsing is a sort of bibliograpy of queer culture in Brittain starting out in the 1900's up until the 80's and focuses specifically on photographic images of men in drag which was quite rare to be captured on film in those days. Who the hell is Duncan Grant, I wondered?
It seems that Duncan Grant was a quite famous painter and a very well known homosexual in his day. The following article discusses his life and his homosexuality......
Writing at Charleston in a small Rowney drawing book in 1960 at the age of 75, Duncan Grant clearly recalled his childhood days in India when he was only six years old : ‘I think in the Himalayas being dressed for a party I suppose in black satin knee breeches, lace ruffs and white wig, and sitting dangling a silver-handled cane a strong feeling overcame me which I can only describe as an aristocratic feeling, suggested I suppose by my get up [...]. At this time of course, no sense of poverty had entered my life. We had many native servants. I had an English nurse. I was devoted to my mother and liked the company of the army officers, friends of my father. With this sense of security and background, it was easy to loll and to dream of power, and to believe that to observe life was the way to live’. It was an inner self-confidence that he would need to draw on in later life.
Duncan Grant was born six months before the passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, better known as the Labouchère amendment, which was rushed through parliament in August 1885 without debate, criminalizing all male homosexual sex in England regardless of any question of consent. Used in 1895 to convict Oscar Wilde, it remained in place for 82 years. It would be difficult to exaggerate its impact, not only on homosexuals, but on British society as a whole, where sexual bigotry was given full license in ways which were to blight the lives of generations of British gay men. Part and parcel of the aggressive sexual hypocrisy of late Victorian England, it sat alongside the rigorously enforced censorship laws and the legalised second-class citizenship of women.
Dubbed ‘the blackmailer’s charter’, it is simply not possible to discuss the life of any British gay man in the twentieth century without some kind of reference to its effects. These ranged from the gross realities of imprisonment and suicide to the less measurable but no less material siege-mentality of stress, shame and duplicity, rooted in the constant fear of exposure that it encouraged, together with the wider social context of sexual ignorance and double standards it sustained. Sanctioning violence and hatred, it represented the most frankly sordid aspect of the long British legacy of Puritanism. Its long-term fall-out may be felt to this day, not least in the sneering attitude of many British critics towards Bloomsbury as a whole, and to Grant in particular. Indeed, queer-bashing Bloomsbury remains a legitimate national pastime, as many of the reviews of the 1999 Art Of Bloomsbury exhibition at Tate Britain plainly reveal.
Unsurprisingly, this punitive sharpening in the 1880s of the prejudice of
centuries further encouraged a long-established urban subculture of secrecy and dissimulation. At the same time the press, and bigots of all persuasions, latched onto any evidence of homosexuality as irrefutable proof of the supposed threat of degeneracy from which the self-righteous legal moralists of Victorian Britain sought to protect the nation. Of course no one could predict how resourceful individuals might respond to such a climate of permanent ‘moral panic’, but it could hardly be ignored. As Neil Bartlett has noted with characteristic insight, the uniquely isolated gay men of the late nineteenth century, lacking any possibility of a shared public voice, ‘wanted to believe that they had existed before. They searched for proofs of their own existence, ransacking their libraries with a scholarly enthusiasm for Classical or Renaissance culture, reciting the names of their ancestors, proving their own existence.’
Whatever else the Aesthetic Movement was about, this was always one powerful aspect of its subtle, life-affirming cultural values. Aestheticism was the nearest thing most late-Victorian and Edwardian homosexuals had to a recognisable social identity. Its style was assumed by almost everyone opposed to the harsh and hypocritical moral climate of the times, and it was surely one of the most important factors shared by the members of Bloomsbury long before they came together as a group of friends, regardless of sexuality. In one way or another they all came to Picasso and Proust via Plato and Walter Pater.
The youngest and also the longest-lived of ‘Old Bloomsbury’, Duncan Grant grew up in the long shadow of the trials of Oscar Wilde and survived to witness the emergence of the modern gay movement in the early 1970s. A series of photographs of him taken around 1912 by another slightly older childhood prodigy, the American photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn, do not require much by way of explanation. They show a startlingly handsome young man whose beauty appealed to women and men alike. What they do not show is a dandy, and his appearance is decidedly un-fin-de-siècle. A host of anecdotes concerning his lifelong lack of concern about his clothes and personal appearance reveal something of his personal reaction to the homosexual style of Wildean aestheticism. This tells us something important about him, and about Bloomsbury in general, which was distinctly not dandyish[NB], by contrast to the slightly later Sitwell circle, and all those others who reprised the sensibility and postures of the 1890s in the grim wake of the First World War, as so tellingly and self-revealingly described by Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited.
Very early on Grant had considered the artist Maxwell Armfield too mannered – ‘a being that really belonged in the Ricketts and Shannon age’, (Memoir of Paris) – thus defining himself as a new and different type of homosexual. According to Virginia Woolf he disliked homosexual society ‘when it’s self-conscious, as at Raymond’s’, referring to the critic Raymond Mortimer and his friends. He much preferred E.M. Forster’s policeman boyfriend Harry Daley to Forster himself. With no inherited model for how homosexuality might be openly lived, his early sexual adventures in London, Paris and Florence suggest much about his personal confidence, quite distinct from the tortured queer martyrology one associates with later British artists such as Christopher Wood or John Minton, or Colquoun and McBryde. In retrospect one of the most striking aspects of the early twentieth- century international modernist avant-garde was its seemingly relentless heterosexuality. Indeed, one can only compare Grant’s position to that of the contemporary American artists Charles Demuth (1883–1935) and Marsden Hartley (1877–1943), the latter a much darker character whose European connections between 1912 and 1915 were primarily with Berlin.
None of this explains Grant’s prodigious creative gifts or his great personal charm, but it goes some way to help us understand how he responded to the limited personal choices available in his private life. It also helps explain how easily he fitted into rationalist Bloomsbury, and throws light on his disconcerting modernity. As he wrote in a letter to his then lover Maynard Keynes Letter from Stromness in the Orkneys in 1908 : ‘You cannot imagine how much I want to scream sometimes here for want of being able to say something that I mean. It’s not only that one’s a sodomite [but?] that one has to hide one’s whole philosophy of life; one’s feelings even for inanimate things I feel would shock some people. Here I am surrounded by them, not a soul to speak to . . . it’s so damnable to think that they can only think me a harmless sort of lunatic or a dangerous criminal whom they wouldn’t associate with at any price.’
Whilst he and his cousin Lytton Strachey and both the Keynes brothers all ended up living with heterosexual women, they did so in very different ways, and on very different terms, and I should like to end with a few words concerning his relationship with Vanessa Bell, which changing social mores continue to make seem only the more remarkable, lasting as it did for more than half a century. They stayed together out of deep mutual love and loyalty, and it is simply wrong to dismiss their relationship out of hand as if it somehow lacked its own validity and authority. When all is said and done, they were much the most important people in one another’s lives. She was often jealous, and he doubtless felt guilty, but this hardly exhausts the depth of their feelings for one another. In any case, do we know of any lifelong relationship in which jealousy and guilt do not at some time sooner or later raise their heads? There are certainly ugly double standards at work in the repeated negative assessments of their relationship, including a peculiarly unattractive vein of feminist prejudice, which is not entirely unlike similarly belittling and dismissive judgments of the marriage between Leonard and Virginia Woolf, as if he had somehow been her gaoler. Such judgements are both unfair and untrue.
Even such a normally sensitive critic as Hermione Lee seems to me to succumb on this particular point, greatly exaggerating Grant’s supposed ‘promiscuity’, with a striking unwillingness or inability to consider the relationship from his point of view as well as from Vanessa’s. They doubtless both made sacrifices for the sake of the relationship, but only hers seem to be widely recognised or accepted. Besides, Vanessa could not have tolerated so resolutely masculine a presence as Leonard Woolf at the centre of her life, and Duncan was nonetheless her equivalent of a rock. It does not require much by way of human sympathy to appreciate that the familiar Delphic image of Vanessa – placid, implacable, silent – amounts to an identity always close to symptomatic depression. Perhaps she always unconsciously opposed her father’s values? One certainly senses that ordinary analytic self-reflection was beyond her, but again this is hardly unusual, let alone culpable.
Singularly free of sexual shame, stunningly sexy, modest and charming, it is hardly surprising that Grant had many relationships with men, which in retrospect appear strikingly like the model of serial monogamy sought by most young people today, regardless of gender or sexuality. Throughout his long life he was periodically attracted by and was vulnerable to heterosexual and bisexual Narcissists including David Garnett, George Bergen, and others, and he suffered considerable anguish as a result, but again in this he was hardly unusual or in any sense blameworthy. He had numerous affairs involving varying degrees of sexual and emotional passion with men such as Angus Davidson, Eddie Sackville-West and the glamorous, dangerous Peter Morris in the 1920s. He also had sex over many years with younger black models including Jack Moore, Charles Boyle and Pat Nelson, whom he met in about 1940 and helped for many years after a nervous breakdown following his experience as a prisoner-of-war, until his death in 1963.
He remained lifelong friends with his gay prep school contemporary Leigh Farnell and others such as the artist Eardly Knollys. For many years after the war he regularly visited a young working-class gay couple in south London, and his drawings of John and Iain (I do not know their surnames) are among the most eloquently erotic expressions of his own gentle, romantic sexuality. Equally telling was his long friendship with ‘H’, who worked in the drapery department at the now defunct Jones Brothers’ department store on the Holloway Road. ‘H’ had been the boyfriend of sculptor Stephen Tomlin (who eventually married Barbara Bagenall), and when he and Tomlin had visited Lytton Strachey at Ham Spray in the 1930s ‘H’ had been obliged to sleep downstairs with the servants. Retired and unwell, Duncan helped him financially right up to his death in the late 1960s, after which the sister with whom he had lived unceremoniously burned all his papers, including numerous drawings by Tomlin, Duncan and other artists. Such is the world we are now hopefully fast leaving behind us, and the story of ‘H’ – as much in its way as that of Duncan Grant – reminds us, again in the words of Neil Bartlett, that: ‘a gay culture is something to be struggled for, not dreamt or bought. At this point, our rewriting of history becomes a truly dangerous activity.’
(This article is based on part of a talk given at Charleston on 4 August 2005 as part of Brighton Lesbian & Gay Pride Week. Simon Watney was a co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front group in Brighton in 1970, and is the author of The Art of Duncan Grant, John Murray, 1990 and 1999.)
Posted by Michael Bell at 10:04 PM
|Sunflower Fields near Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia.|
After a jaunt to Trader Joes today, and also after picking up someting called "Sunflower Butter" and discovering that it is even more delicious than peanutbutter, I decided to investigate this seemingly innocuous plant.
The story of sunflower (Helianthus Annuus ) is indeed amazing. The wild sunflower is native to North America but commercialization of the plant took place in Russia. It was only recently that the sunflower plant returned to North America to become a cultivated crop. But it was the American Indian who first domesticated the plant into a single headed plant with a variety of seed colors including black, white, red, and black/white striped.
|Sunflower Back to North
By the late 19th century, Russian sunflower seed found its way into the US. By 1880, seed companies were advertising the 'Mammoth Russian' sunflower seed in catalogues. This particular seed name was still being offered in the US in 1970, nearly 100 years later. A likely source of this seed movement to North America may have been Russian immigrants. The first commercial use of the sunflower crop in the US was silage feed for poultry. In 1926, the Missouri Sunflower Growers' Association participated in what is likely the first processing of sunflower seed into oil.
Canada started the first official government sunflower breeding program in 1930. The basic plant breeding material utilized came from Mennonite (immigrants from Russia) gardens. Acreage spread because of oil demand. By 1946, Canadian farmers built a small crushing plant. Acreage spread into Minnesota and North Dakota. In 1964, the Government of Canada licensed the Russian cultivar called Peredovik. This seed produced high yields and high oil content. Acreage increased in the US with commercial interest in the production of sunflower oil. Sunflower was hybridized in the middle seventies providing additional yield and oil enhancement as well as disease resistance.
|Back to Europe|
U.S. acreage escalated in the late 70's to over 5 million because of strong European demand for sunflower oil. This European demand had been stimulated by Russian exports of sunflower oil in the previous decades. During this time, animal fats such as beef tallow for cooking were negatively impacted by cholesterol concerns. However, the Russians could no longer supply the growing demand, and European companies looked to the fledging U.S. industry. Europeans imported sunflower seed that was then crushed in European mills. Western Europe continues to be a large consumer of sunflower oil today, but depends on its own production. U.S. exports to Europe of sunflower oil or seed for crushing is quite small.
The native North American sunflower plant has finally come back home after a very circuitous route. It is the Native Americans and the Russians who completed the early plant genetics and the North Americans who put the finishing touches on it in the form of hybridization. Those early ancestors would quickly recognize their contributions to today's commercial sunflower if they were here.
The reference for this summary was taken from: Albert A. Schneiter, ed. Sunflower Technology and Production, (The American Society of Agronomy No. 35, 1997) 1-19.
Posted by Michael Bell at 9:39 PM