What do you do with an idea? As with many things, this idea started with a question, followed by taking a risk. More than a year ago, a small group of library staff started thinking about creating a display to honor Women’s History Month, which takes place every March to celebrate the contributions of women to American society. We considered an advanced timeline in order to be ready for March 2016, but decided to wait a year and plan in order to do our best job. It was not lost on us that waiting until 2017 had the possibility of coinciding with our first female President of the United States.
Our project gradually came to be focused around the role of women, the contributions of women, and the most notable “firsts” from women at St. John Fisher College. Many in the SJFC community are aware of the lasting effect of Fisher’s first and only female President, Katherine Keough, on the campus, but we wanted to draw attention to other types of “firsts”. We narrowed our focus to three areas: Athletics, Faculty and Staff, and Students.
We realized that it would take some time to pull together artifacts covering the long span of the College’s history. We worked together over the last year to put this display in place.
Uncovered in the College Archives were many curiosity-provoking images, documents, and papers. Who were these women? What was it like to be a woman on this College campus? We may not have all of the answers to these questions, but the College Archives is the place to start to piece together their stories. We also reached out to campus staff and faculty to gather names and information.
We hope you enjoy the First Women of Fisher display in the Library’s Main Floor Learning Commons. One or two females from each category are highlighted, along with posters. The display will be available from Monday, February 27 through Monday, March 27, 2017.