Professor Coburn and the Avila CSJ Archives and Research Center
On August 25, 2014, Avila University dedicated the Martha Smith, CSJ Archives and Research Center. The picture is of the Heritage Wall, and can be viewed in person at the new Avila Learning Commons. Professor Carol Coburn was intimately involved with the design and implementation of the Heritage Wall. You can read more about Sister Martha Smith here, and you can read a little more about Avila’s initiative in this regard at The Catholic Key. Dr. Coburn on her involvement:
As one of the creators of the Heritage Wall and the Director of the CSJ Heritage Center, I am honored to highlight the contributions of the Sisters of St. Joseph from their beginnings in 17th Century France to their global presence today in 56 countries on six continents. Seventeen years ago, Sister Martha Smith and I began collecting books and materials on the lives, activities, documents, images, and stories of Catholic women religious. The work of American Catholic sisters is unparalleled in education, healthcare, and social service. Over the years, we laughed that the archive had become our “Field of Dreams” but we persevered and reality finally caught up with our vision. The challenge for creating the Heritage Wall was making choices on what to feature in image and text from this remarkable story – a story too big for one wall to hold. Ultimately, we wanted to present the sisters’ story as a “living legacy” – a gift from the sisters to the world.