June 2019 Letter from Dean of McFarlin Library

Dear Friends of McFarlin,

An exciting and, at times, intense academic year has come to a close at The University of Tulsa. Earlier this month, I had the honor of sitting on the graduation platform at spring commencement in Reynolds Arena as more than 800 TU graduates received their diplomas before a packed arena. I knew several of the graduates personally this year and had a chance to give them handshakes or hugs as they came onto the stage. Two of them, Bobby Frame and Molly McVey were our graduate assistants in special collections for the past year, and it was a pleasure to have them on that great team upstairs during their time at TU.

Last week, our Henneke Society members and visiting committee members met for an annual dinner, hosted this year by longtime library supporters Cheryl and Richard Groenendyke in their beautiful home. TU President and First Lady Gerry and Paula Clancy welcomed our guests as well. Also attending were two former special collections graduate assistants who told the group about their experiences working in McFarlin Library and how that work augmented their graduate studies at TU.

Dr. Kristen Marangoni was our first graduate assistant in 2008/2009 and chose TU for her Ph.D. in English in large part because of our rich literary archives at McFarlin. She said she never imagined she would actually have the opportunity to work in the archives and learn so much about how archives are organized and managed. As a professor and scholar herself now, she has helped her appreciate their value even more, she said.

Amanda Vestal received her M.A. in Museum Science & Management at TU a year ago and now works at a collection’s assistant at Gilcrease Museum. As a graduate assistant in special collections for two years, she had the opportunity to learn collections management firsthand in the library as she was studying all facets of museum management at the same time. She told the group that she felt much better prepared to start her first professional position in a museum last year as a result of that experience.

In this issue of The McFarlin Messenger, you can read about our lineup of speakers for 2019/2020. I’m very excited about this season, which begins in November with TU alumnus Tim Young, who now has one of the coolest jobs in all of rare books librarianship, at Yale University’s world-renowned Beinecke Library.

Also be sure to check out the information on an exciting new exhibit opening downtown at the Zarrow Center for Art & Education, sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for Humanities. “Lost Tulsa” is a fascinating photograph exhibit that opens First Friday, June 7, featuring many interesting images from McFarlin Library’s collections on local history. Don’t miss it!

Happy Summer!

Adrian Alexander

Dean of McFarlin Library