Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WWII and Montevallo

World War II has descended on Montevallo this spring. At the beginning of March, Jason Cooper posted a blog titled Women's History: The Original Flygirls. Jason's entry highlights a piece that aired on NPR's Morning Edition about WASP, Women Airforce Service Pilots.

On April 19th, we will pay tribute to UM Professor of Biology and author, E. B. Sledge. The event will be held at Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo. Dr. Sledge's book With the Old Breed is considered by many to be one of the finest war memoirs ever published. The book is used heavily by researchers and serves as a major foundation piece for HBO's miniseries The Pacific.

UM's History Department offers many classes that focus on World War II subject matter and this semester is no exception. Two of these courses are Dr. Ruth Truss' History 481/581 "The United States 1900-1945" and Dr. Clark Hultquist's History 411/511
"Europe 1914-1945.

Finally, UM's University Archives and Special Collections contains a small, but interesting group of WWII materials. Located primarily in the Helen Parrish Collection and the Presidential Papers of Dr. Arthur Fort Harman, the items offer a real sense of what the home front was like during the war years. Harman's Papers contain documents and letters about salvaging items and donating them to the war effort. Scrap paper and tin were highly sought after material. Items in the Helen Parrish Collection include personal correspondence with soldiers stationed in Europe, a piece of Vmail, and war ration booklets (with some stamps still intact). Helen was a student and employee at Alabama College, in the 1940s, and her keepsakes were part of a recent donation to our Archives.

Special thanks to Jamie Rawls for processing the Helen Parrish Collection and to Dallas Hanbury and Kathy Ratcliffe for their research on this project. Also thanks to Hunter Tinsley and Joel Bullock for their digital image work.

April 1st is Census Day

Tomorrow, April 1st, marks Census Day. This is the day that the Census Bureau hopes to have all surveys completed and in the mail.

According to the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce, each person counted is equivalent to more than $1700 in funding for Montevallo's local government, schools, libraries, and more. And here's another reason to send in your form: due to the cost of training census takers* the Census Bureau estimates that it would save $1.5 billion if 100 percent of households mailed them in.

As of today, 50 percent of Census forms have been returned nationally. Alabama lags slightly behind that rate of return at 48 percent. You can track your own town's participation rate from the Census Bureau's Take 10 Map page.

If you haven't already done so, take ten minutes today to complete your survey and send it in. As the Census Bureau says, "we can't move forward until you mail it back."

* Also known as enumerators! I love that word.

Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 Women's History Makers Breakfast

The 2010 Women’s History Makers Breakfast will take place tomorrow, March 30th from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the Montevallo Room of the Anna Irving Dining Hall. Tickets are required but free and can be picked up from the Office of Multicultural Affairs (6023). Deadline for ticket pickup is March 29th by 5:00 p.m.

Three women will be honored tomorrow morning including Carmichael Library's own Barbara Belisle. The 2010 Women’s History Makers Breakfast honorees are:

Dr. Judy Merritt
Jefferson State Community College
On December 1, 1979, Judy was appointed President of Jefferson State Community College. This appointment marked the first time a woman had been appointed as president of a two-year college in Alabama.

Barbara Belisle
University of Montevallo
On the first day of classes in 1967, Barbara Belisle walked into Montevallo High School; the first African American to teach there.

Alyce Manley Spruell
Spruell and Powell, LLC
Alyce Manley Spruell is the 2009-2010 President Elect of the Alabama State Bar and will be the first woman to head the state bar

For more information contact Robert L. Robinson, Coordinator of Multicultural Affairs by phone at 6023, or by e-mail at

Friday, March 12, 2010

University of Montevallo MBA Program is official

The Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) Friday morning, March 12 approved UM's proposal for a master of business administration degree. The MBA will be offered by the Stephens College of Business beginning this fall.

More information

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Library Catalog is Now Available

Maintenance on the library catalog is complete. The catalog will be available tonight, tomorrow, and into the Spring Break.

2-1-1 Connects Alabama

What is 2-1-1 Connects Alabama?

Are you facing difficult times and don’t know where to turn? Are you looking for help with everyday needs? Are you wanting to volunteer? Dialing 2-1-1 is your first step. 2-1-1 is a free, easy to remember number to dial for information about health and human service organizations in your community. By dialing 2-1-1, information is much easier to find.

At 2-1-1 Connects Alabama , you will speak with a real person every time. Call Specialists will assess your needs, help to problem solve and refer you to community-based organizations, government programs, support groups, and other local resources that can help. 2-1-1 Connects Alabama is:

  • A local call from anywhere in Alabama.
  • Confidential telephone assistance.
  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Access for persons who have special needs.
  • Accurate information about community resources in Alabama.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Women's History: The Original Fly Girls

"Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls."

Susan Stamberg of National Public Radio's Morning Edition read an excellent piece on the brave women who flew planes for the United States during World War II. The group of female pilots was called the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP. While women were not allowed to serve in combat roles, 38 of these pilots lost their lives in the service of their country.

NPR highlights the tragic death of 26-year-old Mabel Rawlinson, who lost her life in a training accident. Because she was not technically a member of the military, the government was not required to pay for her burial costs. Also, the American flag was not supposed to be draped across her coffin. (Mabel's fellow WASPs pitched in to provide an honorable burial service and her family draped their lost one with the flag anyway.) These stories were common during this period.

At the start of the WASP program in 1942 the commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Henry "Hap" Arnold, stated that he was unsure "whether a slip of a girl could fight the controls of a B-17 in heavy weather." Such was the competence and bravery of this group of women that Arnold declared two years later that "it is on the record that women can fly as well as men."

The pilots weren't granted military status until the 1970s. Tomorrow, 65 years after their service, the WASP will receive the highest civilian honor given by the United States Congress. Last July, President Obama signed a bill awarding the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal. The ceremony will take place on Capitol Hill.

Related on Carmichael Blog:
Photo credit: Helen Abell, a student of the Springfield Aviation Company and later a member of the WASP. Photo uploaded by the Lincoln Library, Springfield, Illinois as part of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Digital Collections and Content (DCC).

Monday, March 08, 2010

Carmichael Switches to E-mail Notices

You've been asking for it, and we've been working on it. Starting last week, the library has been sending e-mail notifications to most members of the UM community. This includes overdue notices, recall notifications, and more. The change is part of the library's commitment to more sustainable operations. As you can see above, the traditional method of generating notices used a lot of paper!

UM students, staff, and faculty will see library notifications appear in their ForUM email account. Notices generated after the spring term ends, in early May, will be mailed to students' permanent physical addresses.

Photo by Joel Bullock.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Catalog to Be Unavailable March 11-12

Our catalog will be unavailable this coming Thursday, March 11th for planned system work. This outage is expected to continue through Friday, March 12th. For these two days, we will still have access to some holdings information on WorldCat. Feel free to contact us should you need assistance searching for items on those days. We'll post here once the system is again available.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

UM Board names Montevallo's 15th president

The University of Montevallo Board of Trustees selected Dr. John W. Stewart III as the University’s 15th president at a special meeting of the trustees this afternoon. Dr. Stewart is vice president for institutional advancement at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. He will take over as president of the University of Montevallo Aug. 1.

George Walker, chairman of the Montevallo Board of Trustees, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Stewart to lead the University in these challenging times. He has expressed and has demonstrated his commitment to the important mission of the University, which is to provide students from throughout the state an affordable, geographically accessible, ‘small college’ public higher educational experience of high quality with a strong emphasis on undergraduate liberal studies and with professional programs supported by a broad base of arts and sciences.”

Walker expressed his hope that the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University will join the trustees in welcoming Dr. Stewart to Montevallo and in supporting him as he leads the University and carries on its tradition as Alabama’s public liberal arts university.

Dr. Stewart was selected as vice president for institutional advancement at Flagler in 2005. He previously served as vice president for development at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss.

He brings a unique mix of experience to Montevallo, including marketing, fundraising and even teaching. He received a doctorate in English with a focus on African/Caribbean and Harlem Renaissance literature from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also has an M.A. in English from Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and a B.A. in history from Wake Forest University.

His credentials also include service as director of capital giving at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and as director of major gifts and director of development operations at USM.

Earlier in his career, he held a number of administrative and academic positions at William Carey, beginning there in 1997.

Dr. Stewart was marketing representative and project manager for J.W. Stewart Inc. Industrial Contractors in Delaware from 1983-1997. He was vice president of operations and business development for the company from 1990-1997.

A frequent speaker at conferences, Dr. Stewart has published scholarly articles and book reviews. Recipient of a number of awards and honors during his career, he was selected as the Mississippi Humanities Council/William Carey University Co-Professor of the Year. He has held leadership roles in a number of community and arts organizations, including the Small Business Development Committee in Hattiesburg, United Way and the Florida Ballet.