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Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Library

  1. Lunch in the Library: Discussion on Cuba

    January 26, 2015


    Today, the Von Canon Library hosted the first in a series of lunchtime discussions this semester. The subject of the brown bag lunch was Cuba: People and Policy and began with Dr. Ariel Rodriguez, associate professor of family and child development, speaking about life as a Cuban American. Dr. Rodriguez, who happens to be my dad, is the son of two Cuban refugees, Enrique and Gloria Maria Rodriguez. In his remarks, he spoke of the conditions under which his parents left Cuba and started a new life in America, as well as his own experiences growing up in Southern California. His portion of the discussion ended with a brief question-and-answer session.

    After that, Dr. Jeremiah John, associate professor of politics, spoke about the history of Cuba from a political perspective, as well as what the current diplomatic arrangements between the U.S. and Cuba could mean for both countries. Students, librarians and the two professors asked questions, made comments, and had a lively discussion of the key issues, such as whether lifting the embargo will benefit the Cuban people, how increased tourism may affect Cuba’s economy, and what all of this will mean for Cuban Americans.

    At the conclusion of the discussion, Dr. Christopher Richardson, director of library services, described several new books on Cuba that the library recently added to its collection. I really appreciated this gesture by the library and checked out two of the recommended books. It was a great experience to be able to discuss a current event with knowledgable professors and others, and then to be able to follow up the discussion by learning more through the library’s updated collection of relevant books. Dr. Richardson also announced that the library will hold more of these lunchtime discussions throughout the coming semester. He said that the library plans to host discussions on a variety of topics and not just political issues. I look forward to the next time I can have such an elevated, informative discussion with the campus community.

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photo by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  2. Art After Dark

    November 7, 2014

    Let’s be candid. A Friday night event about reading poetry and prose while admiring art doesn’t exactly set the standard for students interested in the party scene. But that didn’t stop Southern Virginia’s literary magazine from producing an enjoyable and refreshing night of entertainment and refinement in the form of their second annual Art After Dark.

    Hosted by The Review and the Von Canon Library, Art After Dark is an opportunity for students to share their work, whether in writing or art.

    “The event’s purpose was to raise awareness about the literary magazine,” said Ruth Crook, editor-in-chief of The Review. “Really, our mission is to help students realize their ambition of being published in a professional magazine. Art After Dark prepares students to submit their work.”

    Essentially, Art After Dark is an opportunity for Southern Virginia students to come together to share ideas, refine thoughts, and inspire one another.

    (Post and Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  3. United States Constitution Day!

    September 17, 2014

    constitution-bToday is Constitution Day! That means that throughout this week, colleges and universities across the country will celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

    Here are a few suggestions for how you can celebrate Constitution Day.
    • The home of the primary author of the constitution — James Madison’s Montpelier. Montpelier is only a two-hour drive from campus and will be hosting various events including remarks on the Constitution, a horse parade, Constitution-themed games, hot air balloon rides, carriage rides, musical performances, and fireworks to celebrate Constitution Day on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.
    • The original copy of the United States Constitution on permanent display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. — a three-hour drive from our campus.
    • The Von Canon Library to see a special Constitution Day display — featuring books and DVDs from the library as well as information about the Constitution and its creation.
    Go Online
    • See how much you know about the Constitution. offers both a simple and an advanced quiz.
    • Educate yourself with a few Ted-Ed videos related to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
    (Post by Hannah King ’13.)
  4. Corps of Discovery

    August 20, 2014

    This week marks the 240th birthday of Meriwether Lewis, who along with William Clark, went on an expedition to explore the area west of the Mississippi River.

    President Thomas Jefferson charged Lewis and Clark to find out what lay in the West. “The expedition was meant to prepare the way for the extension of the American fur trade and to advance geographical knowledge.”

    That was 210 years ago.

    Lewis and Clark were both from Virginia — Lewis was born in Albemarle County and Clark in Caroline County. In 1793, Lewis graduated from Liberty Hall (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Va. Clark was like most young people of the age — he was tutored at home.

    William Clark

    William Clark (

    meriwether Lewis

    Meriwether Lewis (student

    While fighting in the Northwest Indian War, Clark began the lifelong habit of keeping a diary. (Read his diary of the Corps of Discovery, along with other records of the journey.) He also served as Lewis’ commanding officer in the Army. When Lewis was tapped by Thomas Jefferson to lead the Corps of Discovery, Lewis appointed Clark as his co-commander. (more…)

  5. Independence Day: Let Freedom Ring!

    July 2, 2014


    Everyone knows that we celebrate Independence Day on July 4 — with patriotic displays, parades, barbecues and fireworks — but it’s the wrong day, according to John Adams.

    John Adams wrote to Abigail that “The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the history of America,” because the Continental Congress voted for Independence on July 2.

    Here are some interesting Independence Day facts:

    • Not all states voted for independence that day — New York’s delegates abstained because they hadn’t been given permission by their state to vote on the question of independence. They approved the action of the Continental Congress July 9.

    Independence Hall

    Independence Hall (National Park Service photo)

    • The Declaration of Independence was officially signed August 2, 1776.

    John Trumball Declaration

    John Trumbull painting in the U.S. Capitol (Architect of the U.S. Capitol photo)

    • This is what the room looks like today. Not exactly as we saw it in the movie “National Treasure.”

    Independence Hall room

    Signing room (National Park Service photo)

    • In 1776, there were about 2.5 million residents of this new country. Now there are more than 310 million residents.
    • The “Dunlap Broadside,” or original printed version of the Declaration of Independence, consisted of 200 copies. Only 26 have been accounted for.
    • Independence Day has been celebrated since 1777 but didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870.

    loud bangs

    So this Friday, be sure to celebrate! My favorite part is the fireworks — the louder, the better. If you’re in Buena Vista for the summer, check out the annual ballon rally and firework show at the Virginia Military Institute.

    Some Von Canon Library resources about our declaration for independence:


    “Founding Mothers: the women who raised our nation”
    by Cokie Roberts

    “The annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence”
    edited by Jack Rakove

    “Foreign affairs and the Founding Fathers: from Confederation to Constitution, 1776-1787”
    by Norman A. Graebner

    “The faiths of the Founding Fathers”
    by David L. Holmes


    “John Adams”
    HBO Films (DVD)

    Columbia Pictures (DVD)

    “A More Perfect Union”
    BYU Productions


    “Suicide Pact: 56 men put their lives on the line by signing the Declaration of Independence”
    by William Hogeland
    American History August 2013

    “When in the course of human events it became necessary to celebrate July 4th”
    by James R. Heintze
    Phi Kappa Phi Forum
    Summer 2009

    (Post by Melissa Davis. Photos by Melissa Davis and Eryn Davis.)