Professor speaking on College’s 175-year history for Perspectives Series

Since its earliest days, Marietta College has never missed an opportunity to celebrate a milestone or anniversary. In fact, observances of important milestones have become integral to the history of the institution.

During the 2009-10 academic year the College is celebrating its 175th anniversary with special events and special speakers, including its own Dr. Jim O’Donnell, who will present “Pictures of Progress: 175 Years of Distinction” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19, in the Great Room of Andrews Hall as part of the Perspective Series.

O’Donnell, a McCoy Professor of History, joined the faculty at Marietta in 1969. Through his own research in the College’s archives in the Legacy Library’s Special Collections, O’Donnell has prepared a presentation that will look at how Marietta College has celebrated anniversaries of the past.

“Marietta College has been celebrating its founding anniversary in some fashion since President (Israel Ward) Andrews noted its 50th in 1885,” O’Donnell said. “By far the most illustrious guests attended in 1910 upon the observance of our 75th. The College awarded honorary degrees to the President of the United State and the Governor of Ohio.”

O’Donnell noted that other milestones, such as the one in the midst of the Great Depression, were marked in a more subdued fashion. “Upon our 175th it seems appropriate to reflect on the accomplishments we have achieved, noting how far we have advanced in the past 175 years,” he said.

Ann Bowser Bailey ’87, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, has provided the financial support for the program, as well as all previous Perspectives events, which began with Maya Angelou in 1997. Bailey said there will also be special music sung from a 1926 College songbook by the Men’s Choir, as well as a slide presentation of most of the 180 photos that are currently on display around campus depicting life at the College over the past 175 years.

All Perspective Series events are free and open to the public.