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International House Collection
Creator: International House
Record Series: 495
Repository: Tatyana V. Popovic Archives & Special Collections
Extent: 9 linear feet (18 boxes)
Language of Materials: English
International House was founded in 1963, and was initiated to serve as an international program for Le Moyne students. At its founding, members lived as a Christian community centered around a residence on campus, and made service trips to assist the underprivileged in the mountains of Mexico. The organization soon became a locus for students who felt passionate about social justice issues both home and abroad. The International House existed into the early 2000s. Contained within this collection are histories, correspondence, House minutes and reports, and articles. The collection also contains separate boxes of various memorabilia and ephemera.
The International House began as a community of Le Moyne Students who were dedicated to social justice and activism. It was founded in 1963 by seven Jesuits, including peace activist Father Daniel Berrigan S.J. The organization was a Christian community who were concerned with faith, community, and service. Initially, this mission took the International House students to Mexico, where they spent summers working with the Tarascano people of the Mil Cumbres Mountains. In order to prepare for their mission to Mexico the original six I.H. members, and others since, lived together in a house on Foxboro Road. It was here where they trained themselves both academically and spiritually.
In 1966, after the original founders and members or the house had left, the focus of the group shifted from Mexico to raising awareness of social and political needs around the campus. Under the new leadership of Fr. William Bosch S.J. the House began to devote its efforts to programs in inner city Syracuse such as soup kitchens, over night shelters, tutoring, and Jail Ministry. They also became involved in political issues such as protesting the Vietnam War, draft counseling, organizing and picketing on behalf of the United Farm Workers, and tutoring inner city youth. The international focus continued, however, with social projects conducted in Jamaica as well as Mexico.
It was also during the year of 1966 that the house found itself under new supervision, a man who would become a mainstay in the International House for thirty years. Fr. William Bosch, S.J. Bosch held the position of moderator (with only a few breaks, due to sabbatical leaves) until his retirement from the House in 1996. It was under his leadership that I.H. made its mark on Le Moyne by bringing awareness to the college about local and world issues. Over the span of three decades, with Fr. Bosch as the moderator, I.H. students were receiving two educations, that of Liberal Arts and Social Justice.
As the 1960s gave way to the 1970s, IH members continued to not only serve the people in foreign countries (although that was certainly a priority for the House), but also assisted the poor and downtrodden in local communities. The members did service at Unity Kitchen, for example, a Syracuse organization that provided delicious meals to homeless men. It was also during this time that the House organized and sponsored campus movies and lectures series that highlighted feminist issues, church reform, and third world perspectives. Members also conducted fund raising events like food and clothing drives. The House held these events to bring their peers’ attention to the hardships people was facing both locally and globally.
During the mid-1970s, several requests for co-ed housing at the International House were made. While females were already heavily involved with IH, it was housing policy that women were not allowed to live at the Foxboro Road residence. Citing Title IX - the landmark federal civil rights law that prohibits sexual discrimination in education – several house members argued that it was illegal to prevent females from living at the House. While the College administration was willing to listen to these requests, and even entertained these sentiments, they had doubts that women could safely live in the house. Because of this concern, the administration initially rejected this request. Peg Pavone and Val Rosenquist, dedicated House members, who were unsatisfied with this decision, subsequently made stronger calls for action, and even threatened legal action. Because of the efforts of Pavone and Rosenquist, along with other members, the administration finally changed the housing policy in April of 1978, and the following fall semester women began to live at the House.
Members who were active in the House were often so moved by their experience that they dedicated their careers and lives to social justice and change. Several members continued the mission of the House by joining organizations with a religious foundation such as the Jesuit Volunteer Corps., Franciscan Volunteer Ministry, Jesuit International Volunteers, United States Peace Corps., and taken vows in different religious orders. Former members have also generously given their time to multiple local Christian organizations, tutoring programs, the United Way, and Viva House in Baltimore. Members have also served their communities by holding public offices.
In the early 1990s, Father Bosch brought a new focus on Appalachia, which developed a strong connection between IH and places like Nazareth Farm in the impoverished region of West Virginia. There was also work done at St. Francis Inn in inner city ghettos of Philadelphia. These service projects were called “Alternate Breaks” because students volunteered time and effort during their academic vacations. The international focus was not completely lost, though, with service trips, led by Father Al Hennely, S.J., to Jamaica. These missions wouldn’t be possible if there wasn’t any spiritual training, which the House provided by annual retreats at such places like the Le Moyne Villa on Cazenovia Lake. There was also another change during this time; the International House no longer had a separate dormitory. The organization found its new home on campus in the rooms of the former Loyola Hall (currently Mitchell Hall).
In 1996 Father Bosch transferred control over to Mike Pasquale (’90), an alumni of the house. It was under Pasquale’s tutelage that I.H. again went through another change of focus. It was during this time that the I.H. house experienced high alumni involvement by the creation of two namesakes after former moderators. In the late 90s, the House established the Daniel Berrigan Peacemaker Lecture series and the William J. Bosch, S.J. Scholarship, both of which still exists today. There was also the return to political protest, reminiscent of the Vietnam War in the 60s and 70s. Members were involved with protesting the U.S./Iraq war, and created annual pilgrimages to Fort Benning, GA to protest the Schools of the Americas. Additionally, the house annually attended the Syracuse Crop Walk, which raises awareness to end hunger worldwide. House members also worked with clubs that had a bigger voice on campus, such as Amnesty International, their focus being primarily on social justice.
Eventually, the mission of the IH was institutionalized, with several departments and clubs taking up the services that IH provided. Consequently, the IH was disbanded in 2004. The work lives on, though, with the work of different departments. The Office of Service Learning, for example, was developed and carries on the tradition of Alternative Breaks, expanding from New Orleans to regions like Africa, Ecuador, and Dominica. These trips are preformed for students who want to get involved and help those both near and far who need it and deserve it. Buzz of the service activity happening here led Le Moyne to receive President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction awarded in 2007. This is leading proof that although the International House may no longer by here physically, the mission lives on.
Scope and Content
The International House collection is held in 18 archival boxes. Contained within this collection are various types of correspondence, house minutes and reports, applications for house membership, and articles. The collection also contains separate boxes of various memorabilia including mass kits, different artwork, and belongings handed over from members or past moderators. The materials in this collection provide a strong sense of the International House’s missions and accomplishments. It also gives insight into the changing of times with each moderator (Berrigan S.J., Bosch S.J., and Pasquale ‘90) and their strong-willed beliefs, as with each of them the house took a turn in a different direction.
This collection is contained into 22 series. The series are as follows:
· Series I. International House – Basic Documents/ P.R.
· Series II. International House- Histories
· Series III. International House – Annual Reports
· Series IV. International House Directories/ Lists
· Series V. International House—Mexican Project
· Series VI. International House Projects
· Series VII. International House- Publicity, Papers, Etc.
· Series VIII. International House = Liturgies
· Series IX. International House = Alternative Breaks
· Series X. International House Legacies
· Series XI. International House Anniversary/ Reunions
· Series XII. International House Alumnae/ Alumni
· Series XIII. International House Residencies
· Series XIV. Applications for Residency
· Series XV. International House- Similar Organizations
· Series XVI. Newsletter/ Web-Site
· Series XVII. Service Scholarship Proposal
· Series XVIII. International House- Learning v.s. Residential Community
· Series IXX. International House
· Series XX. International House- Car
· Series XXI. Ignatian House
· Series XXII. Jamaica Project
International House Collection, Record Series 495, Le Moyne College Archives, Box Number, Shelf Number, Folder Number
Arrangement was completed by Father William Bosch S.J. The finding aid was written by Dane Flansburgh & Jennifer Barcomb in April 2013.