National Library Week for 2023 will be celebrated nationally on April 23-29. Let’s look at library study spaces in the past at Defiance College. The above picture is one of the few we have of the library room on the second floor of old Defiance Hall. It is not dated but probably from about 1948. This has the look of a faculty or administrators’ meeting, but we don’t have a lot of information about the photo. The room was used as the campus library until the Anthony Wayne Library was built in the early 1950s.

This is Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat touring the interior of the Anthony Wayne Library in 1956. Nixon’s boss President Dwight Eisenhower laid the cornerstone of the building in 1953. Nixon came to speak at fall convocation for 1956. I haven’t been able to figure out where this space would have been in today’s Hubbard Hall. Hubbard was renovated from the Anthony Wayne Library during the mid-1990s, once the Pilgrim Library was constructed.

Two students studying in the Anthony Wayne Library, in a space today occupied by offices associated with Student Life, the side of the building facing the quad. Does the clock look familiar? Today it’s sitting in the historical niche in the Pilgrim Library next to the elevator. The clock had stood in the White House in Washington, and was given to Kevin McCann, DC’s President in the 1950s and early 60s, who donated it to the Library. The photo isn’t dated but we think it’s from about 1958.

This is another undated photo of the Anthony Wayne Library interior, but probably late 1950s. It’s probably taken in what today would be the area of the hallway leading to Student Services in Hubbard.

This one is from 1969, showing a study lounge with racks of magazines for students to browse. This area today is about where the booths are across from the Hive counter in Hubbard Hall. The curtains on the right cover large glass sliding patio doors that led out to the Ruth McCann Reading Court.

This photo is on the darkish side, but it’s the only one we have of this part of the building. The photographer would have been standing about where the above photo was taken, but turned in the opposite direction. The student studying in 1974 in this picture is sitting in what today is the kitchen part of the Hive in Hubbard Hall. The emergency door is still there today, as an exit from the Hive kitchen.

This is the reference room of the Anthony Wayne Library in 1989, where dictionaries, indexes to print magazines, and other reference books were kept in the days when research was done in print resources and the internet didn’t exist on campus yet. The students seated at the tables would be about where the hallway is in Hubbard today that leads back to Student Life offices.

Now we come to the present-day Pilgrim Library, which opened in fall of 1993. Do you recognize this area today? When we first opened, there were two circulation desks. This one was in front of the moveable shelves, which back then held many volumes of print journals and magazines. 1993 was before the internet, and students relied on print resources in that era. A student worker “personned” the desk to retrieve magazines for fellow students doing research. Once the internet took hold and more students began using online resources for research, we no longer had a need for this desk and it was removed. The moveable shelves are still used today for the few print magazines/journals we retained, and also act as a storage area.

Originally the Pilgrim Library’s circulation desk was to your left as you came in the front doors. Here in 2008 the desk area is decorated for Homecoming, and to complete the effect for the office decorating contest, Collette Knight (right) is dressed as a yellow jacket.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian/Coordinator of Metadata and Archives



In honor of March being Women’s History Month, let’s look at some important women in Defiance College history.


Alumni who attended DC between 1968 and 2007 will remember Lou Joost, DC’s long-time receptionist. In the photo above, she is wearing an old cheerleader sweater I loaned her from the DC archives and leading a spirit day/Homecoming week lunch for DC faculty and staff in 2005..

According to a profile of Lou from the Summer 1992 DC Magazine, she was like a mother to many students, and one former student came to an alumni gathering mainly to see her. According to the tribute to her in the 2007 Oraculum, Lou came to DC intending to stay long enough for her children to graduate, but stayed to help hand his diploma to her grandson Matt in 2002, and kept working until a few weeks before her death in 2007. Everyone on campus knew her car, with the license plate “Tel Lou.” In 1999, she was made an honorary letterman by the Varsity D Club. Here’s another profile of Lou, in the November 7, 1980 Defender.


The photo above shows Calisa Olds talking to alumni and other guests at Homecoming 1984, in Schauffler Hall. She came back to campus to deliver the Calista Olds Lecture, a series named for her on her retirement. During that visit she recalled being on campus when Weston Hall caught fire in 1960, the year she was hired to teach religion. Calista earned her doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (see Tom-Tom March 3, 1961). She retired from DC in 1977, and went to serve as a pastor in Chadron, Nebraska. DC awarded her the Pilgrim Medal in 1978. She returned to live in Defiance in 1988. and was very active on campus until her unfortunate death in a car-pedestrian accident when crossing Clinton Street near the college after dark.

Dosia Carlson (see below) wrote Calista’s obituary for the Spring 1993 DC Magazine, and said Calista had 700 names in her address book. Wow. Dosia wrote to tell them of her death, and replies came from all over the world, showing how wide Calista’s influence was.


Above is Ruth McCann, wife of DC’s President Kevin McCann, 2nd from right, in her capacity of acting DC President. Also in the photo from left: Hobart Adams and Max McKitrick, professors of business administration, L. Ward McReynolds, executive alumni secretary, and at far right, Jayne Taylor, instructor of typing and shorthand. The occasion was DC acquiring new equipment to use for business classes, typewriters (some of them electric), duplicators, calculators, and transcribing equipment. The same photo with a fuller caption appears in the October 1954 DC Alumni News.

According to an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and reprinted in the November 29, 1963 Defender, Ruth McCann was the only known female head of a co-educational Ohio college to that time. In the interview, she reflects on her time at DC and of being told by the Board of Trustees that she was named acting President, when Kevin was called to Washington more than once to serve as aide to President Eisenhower. Here is an official acting President’s message from Ruth printed in the December 15, 1953 Tom-Tom newspaper.

Ruth was born in Wisconsin, and after being widowed met Kevin McCann when they both lived in Midlothian, Illinois, where she ran a chain of small weekly newspapers, doing everything except run the presses.

Kevin retired from DC in 1964, and they moved to Gettysburg where Kevin served as Eisenhower’s assistant until Ike’s death in 1969, then the McCanns moved to Arizona. They returned to visit campus several times before Kevin’s death in 1981. DC awarded Ruth an honorary degree in 1984, as reported in the DC Bulletin of Spring 1984

I had the pleasure of sorting and filing the McCann papers a few years ago for the Archives, after they were discovered in a storage area on campus, and really enjoyed reading Ruth’s correspondence.



Above is Dosia Carlson, former religion professor, right, with Carolyn Small at left, at Homecoming 2007, to give a Schauffler symposium as part of the events that year.

Unfortunately, Dosia was a victim of the Covid-19 pandemic. More information about her can be found in the In Memoriam page I created for this blog in February 2021. Dosia was chosen to be profiled by PBS in a national report as one of five victims of the pandemic. You can view the video and read the transcript here.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian, Coordinator of Metadata and Archives


This is the only image we have in the Archives of the occasion when poet and activist Langston Hughes visited campus on February 4, 1960. He came as part of a “weekly assembly program” according to the February 8, 1960 Tom-Tom. He spoke on the art of creative writing and read some of his poems.

The photo above came out of the DC Bulletin from April 1960; that and the image in the above Tom-Tom issue are the only copies we have (the Archives doesn’t have the original photo), and the newspaper reproductions are rather grainy. I found this public domain photo of Hughes from 1943, taken by noted African American photographer Gordon Parks:

Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri but had Ohio connections in that he attended high school in Cleveland. We don’t have any records of the circumstances of how Hughes got invited to speak at DC, perhaps one of the English faculty at the time knew someone who knew him. The Crescent News did not have any further information, just a small picture and notice that Hughes was coming to campus to speak, published before his talk.

Wikipedia’s article on Hughes discusses his many accomplishments: playwright, novelist, and newspaper columnist.

It would be interesting to talk to alumni who went to Hughes’ presentation at DC to see what they remember.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian/Coordinator of Metadata and Archives


January 21 is National Hugging Day, which promotes “love and kindness through the power of consensual hugging.” So that gave me the idea to see what images we have in the DC Archives of folks hugging. The above picture is from circa 1918. We don’t have much information about it. I think that is probably Weston Hall in the background, and at the far left edge might be the base of the old fountain.

This photo of a group hug was donated by the family of Ruth Knoop (’50); that’s Ruth on the right. We think this must be from around 1947/48.

This one is in the 1965 Oraculum but there’s no caption. At a Homecoming event a few years ago, an alumnus identified the guy on the right as Joseph Nyanin.

This is from the fall 1997 welcome picnic. In back, center, is Lucy Perry, we don’t have names for the others.

This is in the 1998 Oraculum, but again, no caption identifying the members of this group hug.

This one IS identified in the 1999 Oraculum: Giancarlo Hoyte and Edith Forestal.

This is from Parent’s Day for football players in 2007.

A happy graduate in 2008 hugs a classmate.

This is from the sendoff for the softball team in May 2009 as they prepare to leave for the NCAA regionals. This may have been the year when the seniors on the team had to miss their Commencement due to being in the playoffs.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian/Coordinator of Metadata and Archives


We learned today of the death of Dr. Margaret Noble Mikula, former English faculty at Defiance College. The above photo is a yearbook proof from 2000.

The College hired her in 1971 to teach English courses, such as Milton and Shakespeare. Here is a link to the notice in Today at The Defiance College in September 1971 as one of several new faculty hired that fall. And here is a profile of her in the Winter 1992 DC Magazine where she talks about her childhood influences that guided her into the English field.

We don’t have many individual early pictures of the then Miss Noble in her first years of teaching at DC, but here are links to her photos in the 1972 and 1973 Oraculum yearbooks.

This is a picture of her giving a presentation on “The Brain” as part of Higher Education Week in October 1985.

Here in an undated picture (maybe early 1980s?), she is watching some kind of event at the athletic fields. Man in red jacket is probably Professor Bill Markel.

Here she is with a student in her office in 1987.

One thing I remember about Maggie was that in faculty meetings, she would never lose sight of the point of long, involved, or heated discussions, and was always able to bring the group back on track to get to the point of voting on the issue.

This is Dr. Noble Mikula at a Trustee event on the occasion of her retirement in 2003. At left is Dean Richard Stroede.

Here she is being named Professor Emeritus at the 2003 Commencement ceremonies. Dean Stroede is in the background, and President Wood at the podium, reading her citation.

Here she is, at right, with Drs. Marian Plant and M.C. Harper in the “afterglow” of the 2003 Commencement ceremonies.

And here she is posing with her husband, Dr. Bernie Mikula, in front of Tenzer Hall. This was part of a photo shoot for an issue of DC Magazine after they had both retired.

I feel I’ve had to write way too many “In Memoriam” posts for former DC faculty and staff who have passed in the last 12 months or so. And this one was particularly hard, as I lost a good friend.

Barb Sedlock

Lead Librarian/Coordinator of Metadata and Archives