Tag Archives: History

Linfield celebrates its long, successful history

Celebrating a birthday is something that only happens once a year. There will be a party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 27 in Fred Meyer Lounge to celebrate Linfield’s 156th birthday.

At Linfield College, the community takes pride in its school and the college’s motto, “The Power of a Small College.”

The Linfield community prides itself on being passionate about the college’s culture and it’s history. Getting students to become involved in campus life is a vital part of what makes the college’s small atmosphere impactful for its students.

There will be over five participating clubs and plenty of activities to choose from. Among these activities will be Linfield trivia games, a raffle with great prizes, a performance by rapper Cal Hal, and photos with the wildcat.

In honor of Linfield’s rich history there will be archives and artifacts on display and students are encouraged to bring pictures or memorabilia to contribute to the time capsule for 2013.

Pioneer Hall was the entirety of Linfield when the college first opened and currently houses the history and psychology departments along with an all women’s dorm.

The college has seen many changes since it was established in 1858, but has continued to promote the higher education of its students.

“The event Happy Birthday Linfield gives students a great opportunity to learn about the college’s history while enjoying cake, prizes, and music,” sophomore Katie DeVore said. For more information on this event, contact Student Alumni Association representative, DeVore at alumni@linfield.edu.

The Student Alumni Association is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of Linfield’s philanthropy and the effect it has on every Linfield student’s education and experience at Linfield.

There were over 300 students in attendance last year.

“It is important for students to see and recognize the importance giving back to Linfield has on the student experience. This shows students that without gifts to the college Linfield would not have as rich of a history.” 

Heather Brooks / Staff writer  and  Jon Williams / Opinion editor

Heather Brooks can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com

Jon Williams can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com


Author reveals life of slave woman during Civil War

When one thinks of the American Civil War, the common image in our minds is of dirty nineteenth century Americans firing muskets in bloody battlefields and carrying worn flags.

But does anyone ever think about the women of the civil war, especially the slave women?

Dr. Lois Leveen, of Portland, did to the impressive extent that she wrote “The Secrets of Mary Bowser,” published in 2012.

Nicholson Library hosted Leveen for a lecture and reading of her novel on Oct. 3.

Already an author of several academic publications, as a professor, Leveen was thrilled of the opportunity to write a novel that would be read by more than just academics.

“The Secrets of Mary Bowser” tells the story of a slave woman that was freed and sent north to receive and education, only to make the choice to return to the southern states in order to become a spy for the union.

Posing as a slave, Bowser worked in the confederate white house for Jefferson Davis and used her position and extraordinary memory, to deliver crucial secrets back to the union.

Unfortunately, Mary Bowser, despite her incredible story, had very little information saved about her. Leveen saw this as an opportunity to create characters that she believed their inspirations would be proud of.

“There was no conclusive evidence about Mary’s family, so I got to invent who they are,” Leveen said.

Leveen’s novel forced her readers to think about slavery, not just about the concept, but about what being a slave actually meant and what it must have been like.

Slaves lived and worked in more places than just large plantations in the Deep South, but also in urban cities, often as skilled laborers, a fact that Leveen pointed out in her lecture.

“Slave people were individuals. They were different from one another… I want people to think about being a slave, about the differences between urban slaves and plantation slaves,” Leveen said.

What must it have been like to have to be forced to leave one’s family in order to obtain freedom? Freedom, before the end of the civil war, was to be taken at the cost of solidarity.

Mary accepted this cost, which might have led to the accepted costs of the risks she took when returning to the south as a spy.

“One of the things that I realized while writing the novel is that being a slave is great training for being a spy… You are told that you are one thing, property, while you know you are another, human,” Leveen said.

Leveen’s telling of Mary Bowser’s heroic story is an inspirational blend of fiction and history.

Paige Jurgensen / Columnist Paige      

Jurgensen can be reached at linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com

Photo courtesy of loisleveen.com

Lois Leveen, an author from Oregon, held a book reading and discussion on her book “The Secrets of Mary Bowser” on Oct. 3 in Nicholson Library. The book’s plot takes place during the Civil War, which was also during a time of slavery in the U.S. The novel’s main character features a slave woman.

Presidential archivist gives insight to history majors

Kaylyn Peterson/Copy chief
Tom Branigar, class of ‘74, shares his experiences from working in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library from 1977-2008. He showed his coffee mug celebrating the library’s history.
Kaylyn Peterson/Copy chief Tom Branigar, class of ‘74, shares his experiences from working in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library from 1977-2008. He showed his coffee mug celebrating the library’s history.

Kaylyn Peterson/Copy chief
Tom Branigar, class of ‘74, shares his experiences from working in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library from 1977-2008. He showed his coffee mug celebrating the library’s history.

The decision of what to do after graduation is always a tough one. New graduates often follow their passion, and that is exactly what one alumnus did.

Tom Branigar, a 1974 Linfield graduate, shared his experiences of working in the presidential archives from 1977-2008, as well as the changes made to the record keeping process during the years, April 4 to a small number of history majors and other faculty.

Branigar took his passion for history from a history minor to working in the presidential archive at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kan.

“I was at the right place at the right time,” Branigar said. “It was a great honor to get to work at the Eisenhower Library.”

After finishing his degree at Linfield, Branigar attended Western Washington University, where he pursued his masters in Archives and Record Management. It was just as he finished his degree at Western Washington University when the news of three job openings at the Eisenhower Library reached him.

“[The Eisenhower Library] had Western Washington graduates work for them before, and so they knew the reputation of the school and the archive program. So I was lucky to be there at the time I was,” Branigar said.

Branigar had access to documents from the Eisenhower administration, and he explained that George Washington set up a rule that the presidential records of any given president were the personal processions of that president.

“George Washington took a very British idea and made it his own,” Branigar said.

It wasn’t until Jimmy Carter’s presidency that this would shift the ownership of the records to the federal government. This caused a divide in the collection of documents today.

Branigar said that much has also changed since the introduction of digital documents.

“Its a whole new age, and there was actually an incident when a bunch of documents had been destroyed, but since it was originally sent by email, they were able to recover them,” Branigar said.

According to Branigar, the main users of the Eisenhower Library are graduate students writing their dissertations, historians writing biographies and government officials.

While Branigar worked for the Eisenhower Library, he became an expert in the Eisenhower genealogy.

“In Germany, Eisenhower is like the last name Smith in America, everyone has it. So I have a lot of people who think they’re related to President Eisenhower,” Branigar said.

Branigar said that the most interesting document he came across was one he referred to as “the smoking gun” memo. This documented the destruction of all the files from Eisenhower’s transitional head quarters at the Commodore hotel in New York.

Kaylyn Peterson/Copy chief

Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewcopy@gmail.com.


Professor emeritus of history explores novelist’s life

Dr. Richard W. Etulain, professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico, came to Linfield on Feb. 22 and discussed the life of novelist Wallace Stegner, who Etulain believes to be the most important writer of the American West since John Steinback. Christina Shane/Staff writer

A collision of history and literature occurred Feb. 22, as students and scholars gathered in the Austin Reading Room of the Nicholson Library to hear a special guest lecture on a novelist’s life.

Thanks to the Ken and Donna Ericksen Endowed English Department Fund, nationally recognized scholars such as Dr. Richard W. Etulain, professor emeritus of history at the University of New
Mexico, are brought to Linfield’s campus.

Etulain gave his lecture, “Wallace Stegner: Wise Man of the American West,” bringing Western American history to life through the literary works of Wallace Stegner, who Etulain considers“ Our most important writer [of] the American West since John Steinbeck.”

Etulain has had an extensive career combining history and literature as he has been both president of the western History Association and the Western Literature

“Professor Etulain straddles the fence between the two disciplines,” David Sumner, professor of English and environmental  studies, said when introducing the historian.

“I was trying to ride two horses at one time,” Etulain said.

So was his fellow historian and novelist, Wallace Stegner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historiographer of the twentieth-century American West—who was the main subject of Etulain’s lecture.

Etulian’s lecture was teeming with academic stories—many of which were personal experiences with Stegner himself. In 1995, Etulain published “Stegner: Conversations on History and Literature,” which features intimate conversations between the two scholars.

His interviews encompassed not only historical and literary discourse, but also addressed environmentalism—a philosophy that Stegner reinforced in many of his novels.

“I thought the most interesting part was the fact that Stegner was fairly successful despite not publishing
novels under one specific genre,” freshman Summer Yasoni said.

Dr. Etulain addressed those who are familiar with his work and desire more information, as well as those who had never heard of him, which represented a fair amount of those who attended.

Roughly one-third of the audience raised their hand when asked if they had previously known the works of Stegner.

“I tried to show Linfield students and faculty members how much [Stegner] has contributed to our understanding of the American West,” Etulain said.

Etulain’s most recent work, “Abraham Lincoln and Oregon Country Politics in the Civil War Era,” is expected to be published next year.

Christina Shane/
Staff reporter
Christina can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com

Scholar shares Sufi history

Latif Bolat, a native of Turkey, gave a presentation about the history and development of Sufi philosophy, poetry and music, followed by a concert in which he played some of the music mentioned in his lecture Nov. 10 in Ice Auditorium.

In the pre-concert lecture, Bolat explained the origins of Sufi mysticism and its parallel but separate existence to orthodox Islam.

He told stories about Sufi’s first poets, its first martyr and the people who helped to develop its philosophy.

He also illustrated the differences between Sufi mysticism and mainstream Islam by comparing the buildings, lifestyles, methods of worship and views on music of the two denominations throughout history.

Bolat began the concert by giving an in-depth description of the development of Sufi music, which he called “troubadour music” and compared to the troubadours of Europe.

He said the Sufi word for troubadour translates literally as “the one who is in love,” a reference both to the musicians’ love for their god and to their tendency to start off as shepherds who have their hearts broken by young women.

“This is why there are 40,000 brokenhearted love songs,” Bolat said. “So many young men would begin making music for this girl, and then realize their true beloved was up there, not this woman who married someone else and had eight babies. There’s a Sufi saying that goes, ‘If you lift a stone, there’s a mystic poet under there.’”

Bolat read Sufi poetry in Turkish so that the audience could hear the sound of the language before rereading the poems in English.

He performed several Sufi songs and encouraged the audience to sing along with the refrain of one of them.

Two of the songs were 800 years old, while two others were about the bombing of Hiroshima and Robin Hood figures in Turkish history.

For the last part of the concert, Bolat put on a slideshow of Turkish landscapes. He accompanied the slideshow with more Sufi music.

Bolat has performed in concert halls, community centers and universities around the world and has led cultural tours to Turkey for the past 10 years.

“I like traveling,” Bolat said. “In order to host cultural tours, people get to learn every single stone of the places they visit. I enjoy getting to know places so well.”

Sharon Gollery/
Culture editor
Sharon Gollery can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.