This first day of May was long observed as a holiday celebrating the beginning of spring. The custom became especially popular in northern Europe, and, while its ancient origins were undoubtedly connected with the anticipation of agricultural fertility, medieval and early modern customs seemed to emphasize the ending of winter and the return of flowers and greenery. In England May Day was marked by dancing, especially about a May pole, and the crowning with flowers of a king and queen of the May. The Puritan settlers in American considered the observances pagan and promiscuous; as a consequence the practices were not part of American culture.
- In 1889 the International Socialist Congress designated May Day as a day in honor of workers. In the twentieth century, especially under the influence of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party, May Day was marked by parades and demonstrations, sometimes of a disruptive nature. The Catholic Church attempted to transform the nature of these observances by naming the day as a feast in honor of St. Joseph the Worker, thus combining the established recognition of the working classes with Christian ideals.
Today is the feast of St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church and Patriarch of Alexandria; he was a persuasive force in the condemnation of Arianism at the Council of Nicaea in 325.
- On this date in 1973, Archbishop Edward L. Heston, C.S.C., died in Denver, Colorado, while en route to the University to deliver the baccalaureate sermon. Heston, who at the time of his death was president of the Pontifical Commission for Social Communication for the Vatican, was awarded an honorary degree posthumously.
As early as 1905 this day was observed as Founder's Day in honor of Archbishop Alexander Christie, who conceived the idea of the institution and arranged the purchase of West Hall (now Waldschmidt Hall) and its adjoining land.
- Until the reform of the church calendar after the Second Vatican Council this day was also observed as the feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross after a tradition that recounted the discovery of the cross on which Jesus died by St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine. Today it is observed as the feast of the apostles St. Philip and St. James.
Professor Anne Ferlic, a member of the nursing faculty from 1958 until she retired in 1983, died on this date in 1992 at the age of 71. She had received the Culligan Award in 1969. Two days before her death she had made the annual presentation of the Anne Ferlic Award for Excellence in Maternal/Infant Nursing and had received a pin as an honorary member of the Class of 1992 on the fiftieth anniversary of her own graduation from the University.
On this day in 1975 the University bestowed on the president of the University of Notre Dame, the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., the degree doctor of humane letters honoris causa.
- Father Dominic J. Cannon, C.S.C., died on this date in 1939 at the age of 60. He served at the University from 1912 to 1924 and had the distinction of being the only Holy Cross religious ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Alexander Christie. The ordination took place in the chapel in Christie Hall. Father Cannon came to the University as a physics teacher but also directed a university orchestra.
Brother Camillus Lenahan, C.S.C., the first librarian of the University (1927-1928), died in 1935 on this date at Notre Dame, Indiana.
- In 1974 the University conferred its 10,000th degree on this date on Catherine Glidden, who earned a bachelor's degree in Nursing. And on this same day in 1974 Second Lt. Mary Curtis was the first woman commissioned at the University in its Air Force ROTC program.
In 2001 the University officially opened the observances of its centennial year at the Spring Commencement Exercises in which it bestowed honors on a group of men and women exemplifying the University's commitment to teaching, faith, and service. On his eminence, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S. J., theologian and teacher, the University bestowed the Christus Magister Award. The Board of Regents, president, and faculty also conferred honorary doctorates on the Most Reverend Gabriel Montalvo, papal pro-nuncio to the United States, on philanthropist and businessman Joseph Allegretti of California, on novelist Tony Hillerman, on physicist Gertrude Rempfer, on Portland community leader Julie Mancini, and on University of Portland regent and alumnus Al Corrado.
- Professor Donna Hansen of the School of Business Administration died on this date in 1994 at the age of 44. She had served on the faculty since 1983 although she had been on leave since 1991 due to illness. She was the wife of Professor Richard Gritta, also of the School of Business Administration.
In 1950 on this date Father Ernest Davis, C.S.C., died at the age of 66. He was assigned to Portland from 1910 to 1912 and returned in 1924 to join the faculty in chemistry. He remained at Portland until his death.
Robert Browning was born London on this date in 1812. He would become one of the most prolific poets of his time.
- And Johannes Brahms was born on this date in 1833 at Hamburg in Germany. He would die nearly sixty-four years later in Vienna renowned for his musical compositions. Almost from his earliest years he not only showed musical talent, especially as a pianist, but helped his family earn a living. He came under the influence of Hungarian Gypsy music before studying under Robert Schuman. Through the influence of Schuman he came to represent a conservative trend in classical composition, in contrast to the "neo-German" school dominated by Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner. A writer of symphonies and concerti as well as more than two hundred songs, he gained major recognition for his Deutsches Requiem composed in honor of his friend, Schuman, and completed in 1868.
- Professor John Dranchak of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science died on this date in 1994 at the age of 58. He had served on the faculty since his arrival in 1978, for several years as chair of the department, and had received the Culligan Award in 1984.
- In 1860 in Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland, this was the birthday of James Matthew Barrie, who would become famous as the author of the play Peter Pan, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, first produced in 1904.
On this date in 1967 the Faculty Association approved the Constitution and By-Laws of the Academic Senate.
- At a special convocation on this date in 1938 the University bestowed the degree doctor of laws honoris causa on His Excellency Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, then the apostolic delegate to the United States, later the cardinal secretary of state under Pope John XXIII.
- On this date in 1969 at the spring commencement exercises, the University conferred honorary degrees on six persons, among them actress Ann Blyth and church historian Monsignor John Tracy Ellis.
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On this date in 1857 papal approval was granted for the constitutions and rules of the Congregation of Holy Cross, placing the new community directly under the authority of the Holy See. The community had its beginnings in France in 1820 when Jacques Dujarie, the pastor of Ruille, a town within the diocese of Le Mans, formed a group of young teachers into the Brothers of St. Joseph. In 1835 Basil Moreau, a priest of the same diocese, had established a group of priests to assist in the parishes of the diocese especially by preaching missions. When he was asked to take over the direction of the Brothers of St. Joseph, he joined them to the society of priests and used a property he had been given in a suburb called Sainte Croix, or Holy Cross, as the headquarters of the new community. By the time of the 1857 approval, the community was already established in Canada, in the United States, in Italy, and in the Indian province of East Bengal as well as France. Today in addition to establishments in these countries the Congregation is also active in Haiti, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, India, and Bangladesh.
- Brother Ulric Zehender died on this date in 1943 at the age of 68. He first came to the University in 1903.
Vernia Jane Huffman, Dean of the School of Nursing from 1961 until 1973, died on this date in 2008 at the age of 92. She was first appointed acting dean, but was confirmed to a full appointment in 1962. All previous deans had been Sisters of Providence. She had served as a nurse in the U.S. Navy during World War II and for part of the Korean war. She had come to the University in 1960 to begin a course in public health nursing. During her tenure as dean, the School of Nursing first received national accreditation. An award is given annually in her name for outstanding service by a graduating senior in the area of Community Health Nursing.
- The band of soldiers, scientific observers, and explorers that would come to be known as the "corps of discovery" left St. Louis on this date in 1804 under the leadership of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. They would reach the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River on November 15, 1805 and arrive back at St. Louis on September 23, 1806. A small party led by Captain Clark may have visited Waud's Bluff, the present site of the University, in the spring of 1806 as the expedition was making its return to the East, though this claim has been disputed.
- This date in 1935 saw the first appearance of the University's annual under its new name, The Log, selected to reflect the newly adopted nickname, the Pilots.
- In 1951 KDUP began the broadcast of regular programming with "Morning Melodies" at 8 a.m.
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- Professor Margaret Ann Vance (known familiarly as Peg) died on this date in 2008 at the age of 82. She had come to the University of Portland in 1966 after receiving a bachelor's and a master's degree in music from the University of Nebraska and a doctorate in education from Columbia University in New York City. She composed the University's alma mater ("Upon the Bluff") in 1977 and received the Culligan Award, the University's highest honor for service, in 1978. She was promoted to the rank of Professor of Music in 1983. As Chair of the Academic Senate, she served briefly on the Board of Regents, but left after herself voting in favor of a resolution denying membership on the Board to any employee of the University except the President and the Superior of the local Holy Cross community. For ten years she served as organist at Rose City Presbyterian Church. She was chair of the department of Performing and Fine Arts from 1980 to 1987. In 1987 she retired from the faculty and from the University but was persuaded to return for the 1988-89 academic year to serve as acting Dean of the School of Education.
Father Michael J. Gavin, C.S.C., died on this date in 1969 at the age of 60. He had served at the University from 1939 to 1961. From 1952 to 1954 he served as its thirteenth president.
- Professor Richard Harris died on this date in 2004. From his arrival in Portland in 1975 until his retirement in 1998, he had led the criminal justice program at the University. His study and interests gave him unusually wide contacts and influence within the greater Portland community. While students liked to joke about the exotic details of his course in deviant behavior, colleagues and students alike remarked on his charm and generosity.
- The University of Portland Almanac presently offers no specific entry for this date. If you wish to suggest material that would appropriately be listed under this date, please contact the editor.
- Father Charles F. Hamel, C.S.C., died at Notre Dame, Indiana, on this date in 1991 at the age of 85. He had taught French at Portland from 1947 until his retirement in 1973. After a brief time in California as a high school chaplain he returned to the community at the University and lived at Holy Cross Court until 1987 when he moved to Holy Cross House at Notre Dame.
Father John W. Scheberle, C.S.C., who had served on the faculty of the University from 1934 to 1961, died on this date in 1977. He was 72 at the time of his death.
Brother Tobias O'Brien, C.S.C., who had served at the University from 1907 to 1923, died on this date in 1930 at the age of 70.
- Arthur Conan Doyle, the inventor of Sherlock Holmes, was born in Edinburgh on this date in 1859.
- The University of Portland Almanac presently offers no specific entry for this date. If you wish to suggest material that would appropriately be listed under this date, or corrections, please contact the editor.
- This date marked the birth at Gdansk in 1646 of Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, who developed the standard thermometric scale that bears his name.
- This day is celebrated as the feast of St. Bede the Venerable (673-735), Doctor of the Church. A Benedictine monk, he is regarded as "the Father of English History" because of his book, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, but his learning was much broader. His experiments in time-keeping led him to conclude that the church calendar in use at the time seriously misdated the central feast of Easter. The remedies he recommended were not acted upon until the Gregorian reform of the calendar more than seven hundred years later.
- This date marked the death in 1994 at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Indiana, of Father George L. Dum, C.S.C., at age 87. He had come to the University in 1934 and for more than fifty years thereafter he was an important figure in campus life. Although he was assigned to teach philosophy, music was an avocation that nearly became a profession. He conducted the men's glee club, and, after the nursing school at St. Vincent Hospital became a part of the University, he conducted a chorus of women students as well. His musical compositions included an early version of the alma mater as well as a "fight song." He conducted other musical groups in the city and became well known in Portland's music community. He was for many years a nearly legendary rector of Christie Hall. In 1989 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University that noted that his "love of singing and cabinet making were combined in a life that left time for daily trips to Blanchet House with food left over from the Commons for the homeless and hungry poor."
John Calvin, the French Reformation theologian whose interpretation of Christianity greatly affected European and American culture, died at Geneva, Switzerland, on this date in 1564 at the age of 54.
- In 1961 President John F. Kennedy announced on this date NASA's goal to put a man on the moon and safely return him to earth before the end of the decade. The mission was accomplished on July 24, 1969, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after having stepped onto the surface of the moon four days earlier.
- At the spring commencement exercises in 1967 the University conferred an honorary doctorate in fine arts (Artium Elegantium Doctor) on the actress Rosalind Russell.
- In 1874 this date was the birthday in London of Gilbert Keith Chesterton (known to his readers as "G. K."). Chesterton was first of all a journalist who wrote on political and social issues, but he became known as an essayist in a broader sense as well as a writer of fiction and poetry. He had written on religious issues early in his life, but after his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1922 his writings took on an apologetic tone that increased his popularity, especially among Catholic readers. He wrote well respected biographies of Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw, and Robert Louis Stevenson, and of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Thomas Aquinas. He also wrote humorous pieces and a series of detective novels featuring a crime-solving priest, Father Brown. During a visit to the United States he gave a lecture at the University of Notre Dame. He died in London in 1936.
Dr. Terry Misener, dean of the University's School of Nursing, died on this date in 2007. Before coming to the University in 1998 he had served twenty-two years in the Nurse Corps of the United States Army and had retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He held a bachelor's degree in nursing science from the University of Colorado and a doctorate in nursing from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. During his tenure as dean, the school of nursing had enjoyed considerable growth. Graduates in nursing had numbered about 55 per year prior to Misener's arrival; there were 150 baccalaureate graduates in nursing in 2007. Much of this growth has been attributed to a partnership with Providence Health System that has brought millions of dollars in scholarship funds to students in the program. Misener was also successful in gaining approval from the Academic Senate to institute a program leading to a Doctorate in Nursing Practice scheduled to open in 2008.
On this day in 1948, while the University community was gathered for the spring commencement exercises, the flooding Columbia River broke through the dikes around Vanport. Over 18,000 were left homeless, some of them graduating seniors and their families. (James T. Covert, A Point of Pride, p. 169)
- On this day in 1937 the University of Portland dedicated a new Science Hall, the building which now stands to the east of Buckley Center. Until the opening of Swindells Hall it served as the primary science facility on campus.
On this date in 1998 University of Portland professor Tom McGlinn was killed while climbing Mt. Hood. McGlinn was taking part in a training exercise with the Mazamas, a club of mountain climbers. He was caught by an avalanche. McGlinn had come to the University in 1993 as a faculty member in physics. He was known for his enthusiasm in the classroom and for his love of the out-of-doors. His father had long served as a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame.
The University awarded its first doctor of philosophy degree, in psychology, on this day in 1953 to Edward Michael Scott.
At commencement exercises on this day in 1959 the University bestowed an honorary degree on the industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, Jr.
- Walt Whitman was born on this date in 1819 on Long Island. A self-described poet of the people, he popularized a less formal poetic style. He was also one of the first public figures to carefully manage his own public image so as to become widely known as "the good gray poet."