June 17, 2019
by library

University Archives Displays Footage of 1966 Commencement Featuring Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara

The Chatham University Archives & Special Collections is pleased to share a selection from the Historical Film Collection featuring footage of the 1966 Commencement ceremony, the address given by then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and the protest that occurred outside the event venue.  Captured by WTEA News, a portion of this footage is currently on view through September 22 at the Heinz History Center as part of their engaging and thought-provoking exhibit, Vietnam War: 1945 – 1975.  The complete footage, including shots of an airport welcome by Chatham President Edward Eddy and extended views of the protests, is on view in the lobby of the Jennie King Mellon Library.  Stop by, use the headphones (or read the captions!), and take a few moments to consider this moment in history.

1966 Commencement Footage in the JKM Library Lobby

So, why was the Secretary of Defense speaking at the Chatham commencement?  Keep reading…

But first, a little background on McNamara.  Born in 1916, McNamara received degrees from the University of California and from Harvard Business School.  Disqualified from combat during WWII due to poor vision, he served in the Army Air Force developing logistical and statistical systems for a variety of war activities.  Following the war, McNamara rose through the ranks of the Ford Motor Company, serving as company president for one month before accepting an appointment in the Kennedy administration as Secretary of Defense in 1961.

Sec. McNamara at podium at 1966 Commencement, PCC003, Chronological Photograph Files, Chatham University Archives

McNamara is known for the controversial role he played in escalating US involvement in the Vietnam War.  Under McNamara’s leadership, the number of American troops—originally sent to Vietnam to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam—increased rapidly.  A fabricated “attack” on the American military in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 allowed the US military to justify increased engagement in the region and McNamara led President Johnson, Congress, and the American public to believe that this further escalation was necessary to prevent the expansion of communism. McNamara is believed to have privately questioned US military involvement as early as 1965 and he launched a secret investigation of the US commitment to the war.  Records of this investigation were leaked to the public in 1971 and are known today as the Pentagon Papers.  Having recommended, in a memo to President Johnson, that US involvement should be scaled back, McNamara resigned and became President of the World Bank.

US involvement in Vietnam continued and the sentiment of the American public soured.  In 1965, 64% of the American public approved of US involvement in Vietnam. Four years later, approval numbers had sunk to 39%, with 52% considering the war to be a mistake. Months and months of regular US troop deployments turned into years, while news broadcasts delivered a gruesome reality of war casualties and wounded soldiers into living rooms across the country.  Television broadcasts also presented the war’s impact on the Vietnamese population, many of whom became refugees after their homes were destroyed.

Newspaper Clipping showing protesters outside Chatham College 1966 Commencement ceremony.

In this video, captured by WTAE Channel four, you’ll see the anti-war protesters picketing in front of Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland, where Robert McNamara was gave the commencement address for Chatham College’s Class of 1966.  Kathleen McNamara, his daughter, was a member of the graduating class.  The video begins with McNamara’s arrival to Pittsburgh, where he was greeted by a crowd of cheerful people, including Chatham President Edward Eddy.  There is a stark contrast between the airport greeting and the footage of the protesters, who marched outside the commencement venue carrying signs decrying the military activity in Vietnam.  Protest signs were written in both English and Vietnamese.

The speech given by Sec. McNamara, titled “The Age of Protest,” acknowledges the controversies surrounding the Vietnam War.  McNamara’s speech discusses freedom of dissent as a “privilege” available to the American public, but only an aspiration for the citizens of Vietnam. In his speech, McNamara presents the victimization of both the East and the West through the “bureaucratic tyranny of technology and autocracy that’s gradually depersonalizing and aliening modern man himself.”

1966 Chatham Commencement materials on display in the Heinz History Center’s Vietnam: 1945-1975 exhibit.

The Chatham University Archives is honored to loan material to the Senator John Heinz History Center for their exhibition on the Vietnam War.  Combining material from the New York Historical Society and  the Detre Library & Archives’ rich collection, the exhibit presents this tumultuous period in world history with both a global and a local perspective.  In connection with the exhibit, the Heinz History is presenting a series of lectures by journalists, academics, and writers offering a variety of perspectives on the war and its aftermath.  The complete footage of the 1966 commencement address by Sec. Robert McNamara is on view in the library of the JKM Library, Chatham University, and the text of the speech is available through the Chatham University Archives.

May 31, 2014
by library

From Page to Screen Results (A Post of Lists)

Erich Von Stroher’s 1925’s “Greed” was the first motion picture made based upon a book. It is rumored that the director wanted to be as true to the book as possible, and the director’s original cut was nine and a half hours long.

Summertime is the time for relaxation and enjoyment- but we know better than that. Now that you don’t need to worry about answering questions that your professors are asking, you can ask some questions of your own. Big questions, nothing but the most pressing, most important questions- the ones that can keep you up late into the night.

Why are we here?

What are my responsibilities to the human race, the earth, the universe?

Is death the end? Is anything irreparable?

Is the book always better than the movie?

Recently, we asked you what was your favorite book that had been turned into a movie and we got an awful lot of different and interesting responses; running the Gambit from new, popular books and movies, like The Hunger Games and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid to classic pairings like Pride and Prejudice and The Count of Monte Cristo. Many of the books, and some of the movies we have here at the library!


The following lists encapsulate what you’ve written as your favorite books that have been turned into movies (or your favorite movies based on books). Hopefully these resources can help you in answering the question, Is the book always better?

Favorite Pairings that the Library has both versions of

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Book-The Lord of the Rings

 DVD- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

To Kill a Mockingbird




Listed items we have the Book for

The Hobbit

Pride and Prejudice

Downloadable E-Book

The Hunger Games Series

The Hunger Games

Catching Fire

Mocking Jay

Harry Potter Series

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Great Gatsby

The Watchman

Wise Blood


Schindler’s List

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

The Virgin Suicides

Ghost World

Snow White

The Count of Monte Cristo



Alice in Wonderland

Life of Pi

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest

Stories we have the movie version of, but not the book

The Godfather


Other favorites (As a temporary or full-time resident of Pittsburgh, you’ll likely be able to gain access to many of these titles through the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh System)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

The Princess Bride

The World According to Garp

The Shining

Howls Moving Castle

Whip It/Derby Girl

Never Let Me Go

Time Travelers Wife

The Host

The Fog

The Golden Compass

The Children of Men

Half of a Yellow Sun

50 Shades of Grey

A Walk to Remember

How to Train your Dragon


Here are some other book/movie pairing we have that were not mentioned

Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth

Dirt! The movie

Ben Hur: A Tale of The Christ (Book)

Ben Hur: Film (Movie)

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park (Movie)

The Lord of the Flies

The Lord of the Flies (Movie)

The Odyssey

O Brother, Where Art Thou (A Loose adaptation)

Sense and Sensibility

The Wonderful Wizard of OZ

The Wizard of OZ

Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek (Movie)

Movies at the JKM Library that you may not have known were originally based on books

American Splendor

Blade Runner

I, Robot

The Basketball Diaries

The Graduate

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Mystic River

The Notebook

Practical Magic




Upcoming movies based on books we have here at Chatham

The Fault in Our Stars

The Giver

Gone Girl

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Thérèse Raquin

A Book of Common Prayer

Far from the Maddening Crowd

April 16, 2014
by library

From Page to Screen

Do you have a favorite book to film adaptation? Weigh in on our window poll at the library during finals week, then make your way inside to check out a film from the collection. Just in time to unwind from finals anxiety, treat yourself to some down time with one of the following films or others on display on the First Floor:

Je4112For classics transformed for the silver screen try one of the many adaptations of Jane Austen’s Emma or Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. The first film version of Jane Eyre hit the screen in 1910 and the latest was released in 2011….Over 100 years of this Gothic classic!

Looking for an epic movie marathon? Check out the film adaptation of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The total running time for the extended edition on DVD is 681 minutes or 11.35 hours. Recommended for only the most stalwart movie watchers.


For those who enjoy comic books and graphic novels, try Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis or Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta. The former is told through Satrapi’s recognizable black and white illustrations in French with English subtitles. In the live action retelling, Hugo Weaving’s V brings to life the masked revolutionary.

9783145_detOn display are also a few lesser known adaptations. Did you know that the character Zorro first appeared as serialized stories in 1919? Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zita Jones starred in the film released in the mid-1990s. And don’t miss the Cohen brothers’ film, O Brother Where art Thou, which is loosely based on on Homer’s The Odyssey. Can you identify some of the familiar themes and images that were preserved in the film?



Image credits:





September 4, 2012
by library
1 Comment

Looking for an Interesting Movie?


If you are looking for a good movie to watch, Angela Wiley, one of the library’s fabulous student workers, suggests the following DVDs from the library’s collection:

Grizzly Man (2005)

I began watching this film one rainy afternoon, less than an hour before the Spring 2012 Minor Bird launch party/reading. As the launch party grew closer, my jaw dropped lower. The phone rang, the clock ticked, and I wanted to stop time so I could see what happened. I have since sat with a half dozen friends, watching Grizzly Man with them for the first time. Herzog demonstrates why he is a renowned media maker, and arguably toes the line with his control over the screen. My advice? Do not google Timothy Treadwell, do not start watching this right before the Minor Bird launch, and for heaven’s sake turn off your phone once you hit Play. This film will send you on a ride where you may end up with more questions about life than answers.

Good Bye Lenin! (2004)

Please don’t judge this film by its blank box. Inside you’ll find a rich story, capturing a son’s dilemma when the Berlin Wall falls and his GDR loyal mother awakes from a coma. If you have ever bent the truth to protect someone you love, this film will present the conundrum, beautifully. Our anti-hero salvages old pickle jar labels, draws the blinds tight, and coerces family to sing songs from the old Republic to keep his mother from her worst nightmare. Ultimately, I became as invested in the lie as the son, cringing at the implications if it should shatter. Give this film a chance for all the typical reasons: it’s gorgeous, heartfelt and most importantly, thought provoking.


~All reviews written by Angela Wiley.

February 14, 2012
by library

Looking for a Good Movie?

If you are looking for a good movie to watch, Angela Wiley, one of the library’s fabulous student workers, suggests the following DVDs from the library’s collection:

Well-Founded Fear (2000)

I know, you really want to grab Zoolander, or some Johnny Depp movie to calm your mind…after all, films are about escaping, right? Consider Well-Founded Fear, a documentary about people seeking political asylum in the United States. Their flight from ‘home’ finds them across the desk from a number of immigrant officials who have the power to grant or deny entry. You’ve gathered by this point that the escape of a political refugee is much different than the temporary peace one can find in a dark movie theater. While watching this film, I became fascinated with the role chance can play in such a high stakes meeting – your immigration official may be jaded, or an empathetic rookie. And what in the world constitutes “well-founded fear”? I still don’t know, but certainly stayed up at night thinking about it after watching this film.

Gasland (2010)

If this film were a person, it would put both hands on your shoulders, shake you, and shout “HOW CAN YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?!” The exploration of hydraulic fracturing in Gasland finds landowner Josh Fox up to his elbows in water samples, polluted landscapes, and powerful personalities. People affected by “fracking” tell the story here, because they live with it every day. After several decades in practice, the rules and ingredients of this extractive process remain contested in growing public debate. Receiving wide popularity in the Marcellus Shale region among activists, Gasland has also been recognized with an Oscar nod and special jury prize at Sundance. Do not leave Pittsburgh or Chatham without watching this!

Blade Runner (2000)

Before Lady Gaga, there was Daryl Hannah in a post-apocalyptic junk room with one haunting black stripe smeared across her eyes. Blade Runner presents breath-taking lighting, spectacular cinematography and just enough action to make you crave a little more. The story settles on pertinent destruction of replicants, a danger to society…it seems simple enough, but can be read from a political, gendered, or even biblical perspective. Alternatively, you can be wowed by the beautifully crafted film and dig no further for signs and symbols.


~All reviews written by Angela Wiley.

June 28, 2011
by library

Check out a DVD

Looking for something to do in all your summer free time?  Check out a DVD from the JKM Library!  From musicals like Mamma Mia! and Wizard of Oz to more educational flicks such as Food, Inc. or Guns, Germs, and Steel to movies that are just pure fun like The Big Lebowski or Drive Me Crazy or Zoolander, the JKM Library has an interesting selection!

Use our website to search for movies you’d like to see or browse the collection in the library (the DVDs are located to the left of the elevator).

January 28, 2011
by library

Library Newsletter

The Spring 2011 edition of Library News is now available.  Read about all the great materials and services being offered by the JKM Library, including:

  • A new, easier way to track down full text articles;
  • Three great new databases: Global Road Warrior, Counseling & Therapy in Video, and American History in Video;
  • News from the Chatham University Archives;
  • And much more!
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