The Samuel C. Williams Library is launching Voices from Castle Point (VCP), an oral history project. VCP was initiated by Leah Loscutoff, Head of Archives and Special Collections: “I was initially motivated to start this project while looking through the archives here and finding little to no documentation on the women at Stevens. An oral history project is a great way to fill that gap, and I wanted to give these trailblazing women a chance to document their stories in the hopes not only to preserve their legacies here but also to inspire future generations of women at Stevens.” Loscutoff documents her subjects by interviewing them and recording their stories.
With the preparations for Stevens’ 150th anniversary in 2020, the Library has expanded the project to encompass all Stevens alumni, faculty, and community members. Each voice is important to the mission of providing a broader understanding of Stevens history with unique, individual perspectives for future generations.
Director of the Library, Linda Beninghove, remarks that "The Voices from Castle Point oral history project opens up an exciting opportunity for Stevens to preserve the experiences of alumni in their own words as they reflect upon the time they spent at Castle Point as a student and on their life and career as Stevens alumni. These stories will be preserved and accessible by future generations to provide context and understanding and to document the fascinating and important experiences of Stevens alumni."
The first of these stories begins with alumnae Malena Higuera, ‘75 who was the first Latin American woman to graduate from Stevens. Her story takes the listener through her journey from immigrating from Cuba, to her first impressions of Hoboken and why she chose Stevens as a college. The other alumnae is Martha Connolly, ‘75 who discusses her time at Stevens and what it was like to be amongst the first class of women admitted to Stevens in 1971. And lastly, Linda Vollkommer-Lynch reminisces about growing up in Hoboken, how she became interested in fencing, becoming the first tenured female faculty member, participating in a faculty strike, and getting a chance to meet Frank Sinatra at the 1985 Stevens commencement.
Stay tuned for announcements of new oral histories on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts or remember to visit our webpage here.
Only short clips of the oral histories are published online, for access to the full interviews and to learn more about our oral history project, or to inquire about participating, please contact Leah Loscutoff at [email protected].