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mpm1In 1942, President Roosevelt established a presidential directive giving African Americans the opportunity to be recruited into the Marine Corps. The African Americans who responded to this call were not sent to the traditional Marine boot camps; instead they were segregated – experiencing basic training at Montford Point, a facility located at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Between 1942 and 1949, nearly 20,000 recruits moved through Montford Point.

Learn more about the Montford Point Marines when Sergeant Major Melvin O. Chestnut (retired) discusses “Fighting for the Right to Fight: A History of the Montford Point Marines” on November 6 at 3 p.m. in Room LL430 of the San Diego State University Library. The lecture is free, and reservations are not required. Sgt. Maj. Chestnut is quarter master, awards/scholarship at Montford Point Marine Association, San Diego Chapter 12 and is a speaker for the national organization.


The Marines who trained at Montford Point went on to serve as members of support units in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Some remained in the Marine Corps and later served in Korea and Vietnam. In 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal—the nation’s highest civilian honor—to the Montford Point Marines.

This talk is part of the Veterans and Student Success lecture series of the SDSU Library sponsored by the Aztec Parents. Project partners include the Student Veterans Organization and The Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center. Guests are welcomed to join the reception following the talk.


I don’t know about you, but I’ve been wondering what’s going on behind the fluttering green curtain and chain-link fence occupying the center of Centennial Walkway on the west side of Love Library. Curiosity got the best of me today, so—with camera and ladder in hand—I found out!

construction outside Love Library

The very non-exciting answer to my quest is, they’re repairing a steam tunnel.

Survival in Sarajevo ExhibitTwenty years ago this year, the Bosnian-Serb siege of Sarajevo began. Lasting from 1992 through 1996, it is among the longest in modern history. With electricity, water, and food supplies cut off, Sarajevans had to learn to depend on each other. As the siege raged, a group of Holocaust survivors and their offspring turned a synagogue into one of the most effective humanitarian aid agencies operating inside a war zone. This agency, La Benevolencija, brought together Jews and Muslims, Serbian Orthodox and Catholic Croats—people from different ethnic groups who worked together for the benefit of all.

In remembrance and celebration of this anniversary, the Jewish Studies Program and the Department of Religious Studies are presenting “Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Muslims, Serbs and Croats Working Together During the Bosnian War.” The exhibit, which is based on the book by Edward Serotta, will run in the SDSU Library’s Reference Services Area through November 6, 2012.

Survival in Sarajevo ExhibitThe exhibit features 10 aluminum-framed panels that contain images and text on both sides. The history of Jews in the Balkans is covered first, and their story is told through maps, old postcards, and archival photographs. Photographs of the Bosnian war were taken by Edward Serotta, who covered the conflict for Time Magazine, Die Zeitland, and Süddeutsche Zeitung and eventually published them in a book, Survival in Sarajevo. Other panels illustrate how the city survived during the shelling.

For more information about the exhibit and the Initiative for Moral Courage Symposium, please visit the symposium’s Website. Additional photos of the exhibit can be viewed on the library’s Flickr photostream. The exhibit is open during regular library hours.

In case you missed the opening ceremony for the Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory today, I’ve shared a few photos below. Enjoy!

Outside Love Library before the ceremony

Outside Love Library, waiting for the opening ceremony to begin.

Ribbon cutting ceremony

(Left to right) Dean Gale Etschmaier, Provost Nancy Marlin, Stephen Cushman, and Marjorie Cushman.

Alan Andrade and Harold K. Brown

Alan Andrade, associate director of development, speaks with Harold K. Brown before the opening ceremony

Dean Gale Etschmaier

Gale Etschmaier, dean of the SDSU Library and Information Access, addresses the audience during the opening ceremony.

Mayor Jerry Sanders and Michael R. Cunningham

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders gives a proclamation to Michael R. Cunningham, dean of SDSU’s College of Business Administration.

Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory

The Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory is now open in the SDSU Library!

Door to the Financial Markets LabSomething pretty spectacular is taking place this week in one of the old BATS classrooms (LL261) in the SDSU Library.  Created through a collaboration between the College of Business Administration, Wells Fargo, and the SDSU Library, the Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory is opening on September 21, and it promises to revolutionize the way professors teach finance and financial literacy.

Inside the Financial Markets Lab

The former BATS classroom, which is down a short hallway on the west side of the Student Computing Center,  contained rows of computers and was used by the campus ITS Department to teach basic computer skills to students, faculty, and staff. The old PCs are gone now, replaced by 12 Bloomberg terminals and the Wharton financial database and augmented by a stock ticker and monitors displaying worldwide financial news.

Inside the Financial Markets Lab The lab will offer students from all over campus the skills that are increasingly required to ensure their competitiveness for the current and future job market. It will function as a library resource as well as a classroom where students and faculty will retrieve, process, and analyze real-time economic and financial data.

More information:
Financial Markets Lab Coming to Library

Comic-Con co-founders Mike Towry and Richard Alf

Comic-Con co-founders Mike Towry (left) and Richard Alf (right) in the early 1970s.

Considering the mega-event that Comic-Con International has now become, it’s hard to believe that the engine driving its creation was a small but enthusiastic cadre of local teen-agers. But that’s exactly how it came about.

One of those teen-agers was Richard Alf, a San Diego native and son of an SDSU psychology professor. Richard not only had a galaxy-size knowledge of comics, he had three things his fellow co-founders did not—a car, some cash from an already thriving mail order comics business, and a genius for organizing. In 1970, he served as co-chair of what was then “San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con.” The following year, he became its chairman. Richard eventually gave up his volunteer positions at Comic-Con, opening his own comic book store—Comic Kingdom—in the mid-1970s, and later branching out into other businesses. However, he remained a well-known and respected authority on comics and all things Comic-Con.

Richard passed away in January 2012 at age 59. His mother, Martha Alf, gifted his papers to the SDSU Library’s Department of Special Collections in summer 2012. The new collection, “The Papers of Richard Alf,” consists of approximately 20 linear feet of various materials and document types related to Comic-Con conventions, his comic book business and store, original art by Jack Kirby and Scott Shaw, and material on the Empire Sign Company and other ventures he was involved in.

At Comic-Con 2012, a session titled “A Tribute to Richard Alf” was held on July 13, honoring the late co-founder. Rob Ray, the library’s head of Special Collections, served on this panel. The program description read: “Richard provided business sense, funds, transportation, energy, hard work, enthusiasm, good cheer, and social vision that proved essential to establishing Comic-Con as a viable institution.” The Alf papers should help document how Richard achieved this, and they’re a vital addition to the library’s unique and growing comics collection.

More about comics at the SDSU Library:
Comic Arts Committee Web Page

Harold K. BrownCongratulations to Harold K. Brown, the library’s 2012 recipient of the Monty Award! Brown was honored at an April 14 gala dinner and awards presentation at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego.

Brown is a prominent civil rights and community and economic development leader. He is an SDSU alumnus (class of 1959) who later became the first African American administrator at San Diego State University. While at SDSU, he organized the Black Studies courses into the Afro-American Studies Program and, as an associate dean in the College of Business Administration, he established the college’s Center for Community Economic Development.

More recently, Brown was instrumental in establishing the Harold K. Brown Civil Rights and African American Experience Collection, which is housed in the SDSU Library’s Special Collections and University Archives Department. The collection is an exceptional, full account of the struggles and progress of San Diego’s African Americans as told through unique, digitized personal papers, photographs, and oral histories.

Sponsored by the Alumni Association, the Monty Award is a symbol of achievement and success presented to distinguished alumni from each of SDSU’s seven academic colleges, Imperial Valley Campus and Library and Information Access. Distinguished service awards also are given to an exceptional alumni volunteer and an outstanding university employee.

If you would like to learn more about Harold Brown or the Collection, please visit the links below.

Harold K. Brown Oral History
Harold K. Brown Papers
SDSU NewsCenter Article on Harold Brown and the Collection
Creating Community Online Exhibit

Physical Plant, circa 1930
SDSU Physical Plant(Photo courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives)

Physical Plant, 2012
SDSU Physical Plant

The Physical Plant Boiler Shop was designed by Howard Spencer Hazen and constructed in 1930 on the northeast ridge overlooking Alvarado Canyon.

The plant contained oil-fired boilers that provided heat to the campus during the winter. Maintenance and repair shops were located in a wing adjoining the boiler room.

The plant underwent repairs between 1935 and World War II, and the western wing of the building was extended in the 1940s as part of a Works Progress Administration project.

The Physical Plant Boiler Shop still contains boilers for heating the campus in addition to housing the Lock Shop. It now is part of a larger physical plant and maintenance complex on the northeastern edge of the campus.

The Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series is sponsoring what should be a truly interesting panel on Monday, March 19. At 4 p.m. in Room LL430 of the SDSU Library, four individuals involved in small press and cooperative publishing will discuss the ins and outs of their trade and take questions on the subject. Later, at 7 p.m., they’ll read from their own works. The panel members are

Chris Baron received his MFA in poetry from SDSU in 1998. He is an editor with San Diego City Works Press and is on the executive board for the Border Voices Poetry Project. He also teaches English and writing at San Diego City College and consults on writing programs at other schools. His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and journals, including Pearl, Aethlon, The Journal of Sports Literature, Sierra Club Press, and City Works. Chris Baron
Tony Bonds has an MFA in creative writing from SDSU. He is the editor for Rainbow Publishers and Legacy Press, which publishes Christian children’s books. He has had short stories published in various online and print magazines, including Thieves Jargon, The Coffee Shop Chronicles, and A Year in Ink, Volume 5. Tony Bonds
Elizabeth Myhr is a managing editor for Marick Press, co-editor of Web Del Sol Review of Books, and online editor of Shining Horns at Raven Chronicles. She is an editor at Calypso Editions, which is an artist-run, cooperative press dedicated to publishing quality literary books of poetry and fiction with a global perspective. Her tasks at Calypso Editions also include online media, social marketing, and managing the day-to-day business. She also works as a freelance editor, and her writing has appeared in several journals including Alaska Quarterly Review and Poet magazine. She is the author of the vanishings & other poems. Elizabeth Myhr
Martin Woodside is involved with content production, finances, and development for Calypso Editions. His poetry chapbook Stationary Landscapes came out in 2009. He studied Romanian poetry on a Fulbright in 2009-10 and is currently translating Romanian poets into English. Martin Woodside

Whether you’re majoring in business, criminal justice, or biology, there’s a lot you can learn from these folks. Chances are, sometime in your future career, you’re going to need or want to publish, and it will benefit you to know what the editors, marketing people, and production people at the publishers of your choice actually do.

David MatlinAuthor David Matlin will read from his recently released novel, A HalfMan Dreaming, on March 14 at 7 p.m. in Room LL430 of the SDSU Library as part of the Spring 2012 Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series. The event is free and open to all.

Matlin is a novelist, poet, and essayist and the author of 10 books. His first novel, How the Night Is Divided, was nominated for a National Book circle Critics Award. Prisons: Inside the New America, published by San Diego State University Press, is based on a 10-year experience teaching in one of the oldest prison education programs in the nation. Matlin is an associate professor of English and Comparative Literature at SDSU and teaches in the MFA program.

For more information, contact Meagan Marshall at Additional information can be found on Facebook by “liking” The Living Writers Series.

Flickr Photos

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