Veteran Appreciation Week

This year, Pace University will celebrate Veteran Appreciation Week from November 8–13th.

The commemoration of veterans’ service and sacrifice is nothing new at Pace. Here is a brief look back.

World War I – known as “The Great War” – came to an end at the 11th hour of the 11th month of 1918. In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of what was then called Armistice Day. It was a day to remember those who had fought in the war, those whose lives were lost and those who returned.

World War I was supposed to be “the war to end all wars”, but we all know it did not. Veterans of World War II and the Korean War were also to be commemorated on November 11th... President Dwight D. Eisenhower made this official, issuing a proclamation on October 8, 1954 officially changing the name to Veterans Day. Its purpose was “to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary” and he invited “all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry… to join hands in the common purpose.”

Homer Pace was never in the military. His father, John Fremont Pace, had served in the Union Army during the Civil War, but he, himself, was too old when World War I began. However, he was extremely patriotic, organizing a number of programs and events at Pace Institute in support of the war effort. Homer’s son Robert, who became Pace’s second president upon his father’s death, interrupted his presidency to enlist in the Army in 1942. After his return in 1946, he saw to it that all Pace students fighting for their country were acknowledged. This included  PFC William Regan, Pace’s first Korean War casualty.

This November, we take a moment to remember them all as we commemorate Veteran’s Day.

Today’s photographs are:

1) John Fremont Pace, taken during the Civil War

2) “Patriotism”, an article on the front page of the April 1917 issue of The Pace Student, a magazine edited and published by Pace for its students and alumni

3) Normandy, 1944 – a photo taken by Robert Pace in Normandy shortly after D-Day

4) “First Pace Casualty in the Korean War”, an article from the February 1951 issue of the Pace Alumni Magazine, and an article remembering the first Pace casualty in the Korean War, PFC William Regan.

– Ellen Sowchek, University Archivist

John Fremont Pace, taken during the Civil War“Patriotism”, an article on the front page of the April 1917 issue of The Pace Student, a magazine edited and published by Pace for its students and alumniNormandy, 1944 - a photo taken by Robert Pace in Normandy shortly after D-Day“First Pace Casualty in the Korean War”, an article from the February 1951 issue of the Pace Alumni Magazine, and an article remembering the first Pace casualty in the Korean War, PFC William Regan.

An Eventful Semester

The fall semester has seen the Birnbaum Library Fishbowl put to good use as an event space. In November, Communication Studies Professor Julian Costa read from his book, David Campbell: Story of a Career, about the pioneering work of educator David Campbell. In December, the Fishbowl hosted a zine workshop and pop-up art fair organized by students and art department faculty; and most recently students affiliated with Aphros, the student-run literary magazine on the New York City campus, read selections of their writing. We look forward to more events in the spring.

Prof. Julian Costa photo by Dahveed Wilkins.


Art fair photo by Waleska Laureano


Aphros event photo by Kristina Bilello


A Visit from a Former Library Student Worker

On Wednesday, May 2, 2018, the staff of the Birnbaum Library was delighted to welcome Pace alumna Mary Carey (Class of 1970). Mary, who majored in English and worked as a student worker in the library, shared fond memories of her student experience. At the time, Henry Birnbaum, after whom the library is named, was Library Director; as she recalls in the audio clip below, Mary witnessed the notorious Hard Hat Riots, which occurred in and around Pace; and she often found herself on the same trains and buses as legendary basketball player and coach, Phil Jackson. This was no mere coincidence, as they lived on the same block in Bayside, Queens, and while Mary worked and studied at Pace, Jackson and the rest of the New York Knicks practiced in the gymnasium of the newly opened One Pace Plaza. Those were the days!


Test Print Pop Up Shop

On Thursday, April 19, the Birnbaum Library hosted Test Print Pop Up Shop, an event in the Collaborative Learning Room featuring Pace students displaying and selling original artwork. Among the 20 or so artists tabling was Birnbaum Library student worker Netzy Martinez. The more than 200 people who attended browsed and bought zines, books, photos and prints and enjoyed a nice spread of snacks.

We thank David Almodovar, Assistant Director of Library-based Technology, for his contributions, Professor Derek Stroup, and the Art Department for co-sponsoring the event. The Library welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with other departments and campus groups.


New in the Birnbaum Library

Over the summer, the Birnbaum Library underwent the following renovations:

The Collaboration Theatre moved to a new location at the top of the stairs on the second floor.

New Group Areas:

We created space on the east side of the second floor of the library to accommodate approximately 100 more seats. This was accomplished by weeding and consolidating the collection, removing stacks and relocating microfilm cabinets. The area was re-carpeted, and furniture from the student union was relocated.


All new outlets were installed on the second floor of the library in the new group study areas and along the outer walls by the windows. Altogether 544 outlets and USB charger were installed (272 electrical outlets and 272 USB ports).

New in the Mortola Library

This summer has been a  busy time in the Mortola Library making improvements for the start of the Fall 2017 semester.  As a part of the new Campus Wellness Initiative, we are making three FitDesks available so that students can keep active while studying.  We will also be increasing the therapy dog visits to every other week during the semester instead of just at the end of the semester.  During 24/7 exam time in December, the library will have cots available as napping stations to help improve sleep options for students.  In terms of the library building itself, new blinds were installed during the summer along with and new computer chairs.  Utilizing previously collected space use data, the library also created two new computer collaboration stations for small group work and added a large collaboration table that will seat 8 people.  We’re excited to have everyone back and look forward to a great 2017-18 academic year!

March Events in the Birnbaum Library

To commemorate Women’s History Month, join us in the Birnbaum Library Fishbowl during common hour (3:25-4:25) on Thursday, March 23 as comics creator Elvis Bakitis discusses their work in the independent zine Homos in Herstory and offers an interactive zine-making workshop. On the following Thursday, March 30, join us for a common hour film screening of The Beauty Myth: The Culture of Beauty, Psychology and the Self with Naomi Wolf.

Dr. Edward J. Mortola Centennial

This year marks the centennial of the birth of Dr. Edward J. Mortola, Pace’s third president and only university chancellor, who was born on February 5, 1917.

Dr. Mortola gained international recognition during his years of leadership at Pace, a period of phenomenal academic and physical growth. He came to Pace in 1947, recruited by President Robert S. Pace, son of founder and first President Homer St. Clair Pace.

Born in New York City, Dr. Mortola received a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in 1938, majoring in mathematics; a master’s degree in education in 1941; and a Ph.D. in education in 1946. Prior to joining Pace, he served as a graduate fellow (1938-1939) and assistant registrar (1939-1941) at Fordham University’s School of Education; a mathematics instructor at The Cooper Union and at Townsend Harris High School (1941-1942); and as assistant registrar and registrar at Fordham, and part-time faculty member at St. Peter’s College (1946-1947).

During World War II, Dr. Mortola entered the U.S. Navy as an Ensign and taught at the Midshipman’s School at Columbia University. He also served in the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C., and during his last year of service was director of the Registration Division of the U.S. Armed Forces Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. He attained the rank of Commander before returning to civilian life.

Dr. Mortola was then recruited by Dr. Robert Pace, joining Pace as assistant dean in 1947. He served, successively, as dean (1949), provost (195-54) and vice-president (1954-60), before being appointed to succeed Dr. Pace as president in December 1960. His inauguration on January 19, 1961 took place one day before that of President John F. Kennedy.

Dr. Mortola led Pace during its greatest period of academic and physical expansion, vastly increasing its size and scope. In 1984 he retired as president and was named chancellor. He remained chief executive officer of Pace until February 1987, when, upon reaching his 70th birthday, he became Pace University Chancellor, a position created just for him by the Board of Trustees. He retired completely from Pace in 1990 and enjoyed more than a decade of retirement before passing away on October 22, 2002.

Just prior to retirement, Dr. Mortola was interviewed for Pace Magazine. He looked back on his years at Pace as follows: “The job never failed to be thoroughly enjoyable; indeed, it has been fun. The constant change, growth and development of the University and its people have provided the stimulus to devote my life fully to Pace. These have been good years at Pace and good years for me, as I have seen so many staff, faculty and alumni chalk up such remarkable achievements. My tenure at Pace has been one in which many people have shared in bringing Pace forward, a tenure in which remarkable loyalty and support have always been present.”

The Edward and Doris Mortola Library on the Pleasantville campus and the Mortola Courtyard on the New York Campus were both named in his honor. A centennial celebration is to be held at the Mortola Library on February

Corporate Reports Collection

Did you know that the Birnbaum Library has a large collection of corporate reports (Annual Reports, 10K, etc.) in both paper and microfiche? The collection, which includes filings by Bear Stearns and Enron among many other companies, should appeal to anyone doing historical company research. For more information, visit the reference desk or our online research guide.