Archival photographs, Regina Library

Research, Old-School Style

“Respect your parents.  They graduated without Google.” — Unknown

It’s the end of Exam Week, and most of our students are either finished for the semester, or nearly so.  We trust that our students did their very best and experienced a minimum of stress.

At the Regina Library, our services and resources are always available to you, and we will assist our students and faculty in any way we can.  Of course, those services and resources have evolved and expanded considerably since the days of the old card catalog, pictured below!

We wish the very best to those of you who still have exams to take, and hope everyone has a joyful, restful Winter Break!  See you in January!

1980s google
A Rivier College student, doing some research, 1980s style.
Studying hard in Regina Library’s Reading Room, 1978
Archival photographs, Christmas, Past and present, Regina Library, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary

A Christmas Gift

“Christmas…is love in action.  Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” — Dale Evans

It is December, and Rivier’s Regina Library is beautifully decorated for the holidays.  One of our most special decorations is our crèche nativity set, which is on display in our first floor sitting area.  There is a story behind our acquisition of this Nativity set, and it involves the two Sisters whose photographs we recently found while exploring in the Archives: Sister Albina Marie, and Sister Margaret Trudel.


According to Technical Services Librarian Elaine Bean, the story goes like this: After the Regina Library opened in 1958; Sr. Albina and Sr. Margaret decided they wanted to purchase a special nativity set for the new library’s display case.  So, in the early 1960s, Sister Albina Marie and Sister Margaret Trudel  set out for the Carmelite Chapel at the then-new Prudential building in Boston, which also sold some artifacts.  They were hoping to purchase a new Hummel crèche to display on campus.  When they arrived at the store, their eyes fell on the perfect baby Jesus figurine: one with an angel watching over him, To their dismay, however, the Sisters realized they only had enough money for that Baby Jesus figurine, and perhaps a few animals.  They would have to wait to purchase Mary and Joseph.

 A couple standing nearby overheard the two Sisters talking, surreptitiously purchased the Mary and the Joseph for the Sisters, and presented the two figurines to them as a gift.   They would not accept any money, nor would they provide any personal information about themselves… beyond their first names.   

And that is the story of how a mysterious couple in Boston, who called themselves Mary and Joseph, gave the Sisters from Rivier College an extraordinary Christmas gift.  That gift completed the Holy Family we now lovingly display at the Regina Library every Christmas.


Written by Christine Shearman 12/7/2018


Alumni, Christmas, Student talent

Goodbye November, Welcome December.

“The light of winter is the poetry of patience” — Monika Minder

Today is the last day of November. For many of us, the holiday season has begun in earnest; unless we’re careful, we can find ourselves overwhelmed with the activities of the season.  Therefore, on the eve of December 1st, we thought you might enjoy this sweet, simple poem by Ruth Marie Lange (’43), that was printed in the December 1939 issue of Rivier’s student paper.


Written by Christine Shearman 11/30/2018


Gone but not forgotten: Part 2

“Whatever good things we build, end up building us.” — Jim Rohn

We already mentioned that we at Rivier are happily getting ready to build a new science center here on campus.   As referenced in our last post, Gone, But not Forgotten, St. Joseph Hall and Annex was the first old building to be razed as part of this improvement effort; this week, it’s Mendel’ Hall’s turn.

It is bittersweet, seeing some old buildings being torn down; they contain more than classrooms, or desks….good memories are often contained within those walls.   We remind ourselves that these buildings have already served their purpose, and we hold those memories close.

Here’s a look back at Mendel Hall:

Mendel Hall, shortly after it was built in 1959



Rivier students taking a stroll; St. Joseph Hall is on the left, Mendel is on the Right.

Written by Christine Shearman 10/5/2018


Archival photographs, Past and present

Gone, But not Forgotten

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”– Winston Churchill

This week, crews began demolition on St. Joseph Hall and Annex in order to make room for a new science center here at Rivier.  While the future science center will be a wonderful, welcome addition to our campus, we thought it worthwhile to take a look back at the pretty stone building that served Rivier for many years:

Rocks for St. Josephs 1897

Sale of St. Joseph's 1943
At one time, the Annex was a two-family home. Over the years, it housed some of the Sisters, the Chaplain, and the Athletic Department’s office.


1954 hurricane St. Joseph
The aftermath of Hurricane Carol, 1954. Translated: “Damage to Rivier College: The grounds of Rivier College were a mass of debris and trees cut down by the raging elements of yesterday. We see above the nuns and a college employee studying the damage. To be noted, two giant trees fell at the foot of the statue of St. Joseph that can be seen in the center of the photo, without even touching it.”


St. Joseph's 1957
St. Joseph Hall, 1957

st joseph
St. Joseph Hall, 2016

st joseph destruction4
September 20, 2018.  The statue of St. Joseph stands tall amid it all.

Written by Christine Shearman 9/21/2018

Archival photographs

Welcome Back!

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” — Seneca

There’s a great energy in the air here at Rivier; we welcomed our students for the Fall 2018 Semester this week.   This is a brand new academic year, a clean slate, and we wish success to each of our scholars.

The start of the Fall Semester in 1941 was especially momentous for us, and an especially new start: at that time, Rivier left its original location in Hudson, NH to our present campus site.

Rivier’s original campus, which is now Presentation of Mary Academy, in Hudson NH. c. 1940

You can see some more photos of the original campus and first students  here.

Below are a few photos commemorating the move:

New Riv Campus 1941
Foundress Hall (now called Madeleine Hall).  Though most of the trees are now gone, the building still remains.

New Riv Students 1941.doc
Class photos of Rivier students on the new campus.

Written by Christine Shearman 9/7/2018



Archival photographs, Past and present

How’s the Air up There?

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.” — Sally Mann

It’s always fascinating to see something familiar from a different angle, and equally interesting to see how a place evolves over time.  We thought it would be fun to share these aerial photographs of Rivier, taken through the years:

Mid – 1950’s

1957, with notations


Detailed photo, 1964

aerial 1971


Written by Christine Shearman 6/5/2018

Archival photographs, Commencement

Commencement: Looking Back and Moving Ahead

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.  You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” — Steve Jobs

Another academic year has come to a close.  The campus is quiet this week; we trust that this means our students survived Exams and are now off enjoying summer vacation.  And our members of the class of 2018 are looking forward to Rivier’s 83rd Commencement, which will be held this upcoming Sunday.

To our Graduates: As you focus on the bright future before you, we hope you look back fondly at your days here at Rivier.  We are pleased to have been a part of your journey in life, and grateful for the connection we will always share.

To “connect the dots” between our past and present, we’d like to share a few photos of Rivier’s earliest graduates:

Rivier College, Class of 1939

Rivier College, Class of 1940

Commencement program 1936 part 2
From the cover of Rivier’s Commencement Program in 1936. This is the entrance to the original campus in Hudson, New Hampshire. The Presentation of Mary Academy now occupies the site.

Rivier College, Class of 1943. This photo was taken at Rivier’s original campus in Hudson; the site is now Presentation of Mary Academy.

Written by Christine Shearman 5/8/2018.


Archival photographs

Don’t Stress. Do your Best. Forget the Rest.

“Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do.” — Dr. Benjamin Spock

Final Exams are about to begin, and although we do our best to provide “Relaxation Stations” to our students, there is a little bit of tension in the air.   All we can say to our students today is: we wish you success, and we have confidence that you will make it through and reach your goals.  Study hard, take a deep breath, and conquer those tests!

In honor of exam week, we thought we’d share a vintage photo of some Rivier students studying hard, circa 1940.

Rivier students studying for exams, c. 1940


Written by Christine Shearman 5/1/2018


Archival photographs

A Tranquil Place

“Wisdom grows in quiet places.” — Austin O’Malley

This April has been unseasonably cold and icy thus far, even by New Hampshire standards.  But, hopefully, warm spring days will come our way, and we can enjoy some of the lovely outdoor spaces on Rivier’s campus.   Our Sunken Garden, located behind Madeleine Hall, is one such spot.  It has undergone a few changes over the years, yet has always been a lovely, peaceful area:

The Sunken Garden, c. 1955

Sisters praying, c. 1955

Sisters praying, c. 1955

A tranquil scene in the sunken garden, 1989

“Lasting Impressions” bricks, commemorating Rivier’s 75th Anniversary, 2008

The original “Rivier College” Arch was relocated here in 2014; as referenced in our earlier post, Beginnings

Written by Christine Shearman 4/17/2018