Friday, December 9, 2011


I'll miss you Harry

Edward K. Eckert

I had not expected to write another musing for a couple of months, but the news of Harry Monaco’s death shook me to my roots. Truly, the good die young. But why Harry? He only wanted to do good for so many people and he wanted to find a meaningful life for him to live. I know he found it, but I wish he stayed with us longer so that we could learn from him.

Every so often a student touched me deeply. Harry Monaco was one of those students. Harry had taken my classes while he was a history major at Bona’s in the early 1980s. He was a good student, far above average, but was never the brilliant student-scholar or, thankfully, a history nerd. What Harry was was a caring individual. He was a man with deep interests who pursued them to the fullest. I remember when he and his best friend Chris stopped after class to chat with me. They were not looking for extra points; they were discussing far more important issues. They both were seeking meaning in the future lives they would lead. Both men wanted to be more than materially successful. They wanted to be men of character, honesty, and concern. They were men who would contribute more to society than they would receive.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Beginnings of St. Bonaventure College
By Edward K. Eckert

It has long puzzled me why anyone would build a college “in the middle of nowhere,” as my father used to say. Although there are tales about Nicholas Devereux dreaming of a college in Western New York that would be modeled after institutions in his native Ireland, the truth was that he had not anticipated building a college nor did Buffalo’s first bishop, John Timon. Both men, however, hoped to populate the area with Catholic immigrants. They knew that to succeed would mean finding priests to tend to their spiritual needs. It was priests they wanted, not a university.

But perhaps I am getting ahead of the story. The time was the middle of the nineteenth century. It was an era of enormous growth in the United States. The American population more than doubled, not only due to many immigrants who came to the United States from Europe, but also through natural growth among Americans. The demographic surge came alongside a booming economy based on industrialization, new roads, railroads and canals, commercial banks, and lots of factory and construction jobs. The American dream was to buy enough land to grow ample food to feed a family with surplus crops to trade for the many new items created by industrialization. To attain that goal most people had to borrow money to buy land, tools, and seeds to plant a crop. The annual harvest would pay off the debt so a family would own the property free and clear.

Monday, December 5, 2011

SBU History Newsletter no. 5 (Year 17)


YEAR 17, NO. 5 5 DECEMBER 2011


1991 History Grad as Guest Speaker

Recently I have become reacquainted with a History major who graduated in 1991. He is James I. McAuley. After leaving St. Bonaventure, he attended law school and then pursued a career that took him to various places around the country. In 2005 he decided to return to his roots, and he opened a private law practice in Franklinville. Among other things, he is the attorney for five towns in this area. In the first conversation that we’ve had in twenty years, Mr. McAuley mentioned how valuable his History courses were in preparing him for a professional career. He volunteered to come to talk to current students about the practical values of a liberal arts education. Tomorrow, Tuesday, the 6th, he will visit my Research Methods class. This class starts at 11:30 am in Plassmann 310. There are seats for extra people. If you wish to come, please join us.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

News from 2010 History Grad Rachel Engl

After graduating from St. Bonaventure in 2010 with a degree in history and French, I moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to attend graduate school at Lehigh University.  I am in a Master's/PhD program for history.  I am interested in Colonial American history, especially during the Revolutionary period.  While at Bonas, I wrote a honors thesis under the direction of Dr. Robbins and Dr. Schaeper about the relationship between the marquis de Lafayette and George Washington.  This year I am writing my Master's thesis which was somewhat inspired by my thesis at Bonaventure.  My Master's thesis is focusing on the relationship between soldiers in the Continental Army during the American Revolution and what their relationships (or lack there of) tells historians about masculinity during the Revolutionary period.  I am lucky to live in Bethlehem, which is close to New York City and Philadelphia, which has made research much easier!  After I finish graduate school, I hope to become a professor.  This past summer I got married to a fellow Bonaventure graduate -- Bob Taggart, also class of 2010.  

News from 1991 History Grad Amy Sayward

Amy Sayward graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1991 with a B.A. in History.
With the sage counsel of her advisors (especially Drs. Thomas Schaeper and
Joel Horowitz), she pursued her Ph.D. in U.S. Diplomatic History at Ohio
State University, where she graduated in 1998. She has worked for the
History Department at Middle Tennessee State University since then, serving
as Chair of the department for four years (2007-2011) and eventually being
promoted to Full Professor.

Dr. Sayward has published two books. The first, based on her dissertation,
was published by Kent State University Press in 2006 and entitled The Birth
of Development: How the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization,
and the World Health Organization Changed the World, 1945-1965. It was the
subject of a roundtable on development in the newsletter of the Society of
Historians of American Foreign Relations and led to her being named the
Sherman Emerging Scholar in International Affairs from the University of
North Carolina, Wilmington. Her second book was co-edited with Professor
Margaret Vandiver and was entitled Tennessee's New Abolitionists: The Fight
to End the Death Penalty in the Volunteer State. Published in 2010 by the
University of Tennessee Press, it married her academic endeavors with her
current activism.

Dr. Sayward continues to reflect on how well her education at St.
Bonaventure prepared her for a career. She presented her first academic
papers at the regional Phi Alpha Theta conference in Western New York, and
this year she is hosting the Phi Alpha Theta regional conference in
Tennessee for the second time at Middle Tennessee State University. And she
seeks to impart the key research and historical ideas that she learned in
her classes then to the classes that she teaches today. Someday she hopes
to match Dr. Schaeper's book production and Dr. Horowitz's enthusiasm in the