Following two successful Ogontz School reunions in the 1980s, sentiments were running high and the time was right to conduct a campaign to create archival quarters for memorabilia that remained at the campus and items that had been donated by Ogontz girls over the years.
With the assistance of local architect Leon Clemmer, whose mother, Maizie Steele Clemmer, graduated in the Class of 1912, two alumnae—Babette Liversidge Grala and Barbara Belfield Keenan (both High School Class of 1950) headed the project. More than $70,000 was raised to create the room.
Even more significantly, Bette Huber (Junior College Class of 1940), then owner of The Ogontz White Mountain Camp, had rescued a great deal of the school’s memorabilia from Penn State in the early ’60s, and expressed willingness to turn it over to the archive collection.
Among the items donated by Miss Huber were most of the yearbooks from 1900 to 1950, bound Mosaics (the school magazine) from 1883 to 1950, Abby Sutherland’s own Memory Books (scrapbooks of everyday events at the school), many framed and unframed photographs including large portraits of Frances Bennett and Jay Cooke, class plaques dating from the Cooke estate to the school’s closing, silver athletic trophies, and miscellaneous print ephemera.
Alumnae have added several military drill uniforms from various time periods, a drill “gun” and officer’s sword, medals, class rings, and lots of print materials. A few original home movies are in the collection as well. An on-going project is the collection of oral histories. Items are added periodically from private donors, and are gratefully welcomed.
Visits to the room, located within the Penn State Abington library, can be made by appointment by calling the library at 215-881-7424.
Inquiries concerning The Ogontz School or the Archive Room collection can be addressed to:
Dolores Fidishun, Ed.D.:
Penn State Abington College Library