The Catholic University of America

Oct. 3, 2006

School of Library and Information Science to Celebrate 25th Anniversary

Professor Emerita Mathilde Rovelstad Will Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

The Alumni Association Board of Catholic University's School of Library and Information Science will honor Professor Emerita Mathilde V. Rovelstad at a tea in celebration of the school's 25th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Catholic University's library and information science school is the only one in the District of Columbia.

Rovelstad, who retired in 1992 after 32 years of teaching at CUA, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the school's alumni board during the tea to be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the historic 19th-century Mansion on O Street in Northwest Washington, D.C.

"Dr. Mathilde Rovelstad inspired colleagues and students alike with her energy, enthusiasm, intellect and passion for librarianship, increasing the ranks and raising the bar of the profession," said Jerome Offord, president of the school's Alumni Association Board.

The award honors a woman whose life and career were intertwined with CUA and the School of Library and Information Science, according to Dean Martha Hale.

"Catholic University's School of Library and Information Science has been blessed over the years with excellent faculty," said Hale. "As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we honor Dr. Rovelstad because of the respect for her that comes from people who sat in classes she taught, who worked with her, who read her publications or worked with her on issues of international librarianship."

Rovelstad earned her master's degree in library science at CUA in the late 1950s, began teaching in 1960, and for a time even stayed on campus a couple of nights a week rather than commuting daily to CUA from her home on Gibson Island, north of Annapolis.

Rovelstad and her late husband Howard Rovelstad, who was director of libraries at the University of Maryland for almost 30 years, expressed their fondness for CUA with a generous gift in 2003 that established the Dr. Mathilde Rovelstad and Howard Rovelstad Endowed Scholarship Fund.

At the tea, attendees will have the opportunity to record their recollections of the school in several memory books. The books will be part of displays at the tea that will include biographical information about past deans as well as articles about senior faculty members and distinguished alumni from the early days of CUA's library science program up to the present.

CUA offered its first library science courses in 1911. They were taught by members of the CUA library staff and librarians employed by the District of Columbia Public Library. In 1937, CUA organized a Department of Library Science, which was housed in the John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library.

Over time, professors whose names would become synonymous with SLIS joined the faculty: Rovelstad in 1960, Elizabeth W. Stone in 1961, and Mary June Roggenbuck in 1978. In 1977, the CUA Board of Trustees renamed the department, to Department of Library and Information Science. Four years later, the department became the School of Library and Information Science.

As part of its 25th-anniversary celebration, the School of Library and Information Science opened its new Information Commons in Marist Hall on Sept. 27. On Thursday, Dec. 7, the school and the Alumni Association Board will co-sponsor a holiday party from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Information Commons.

Tickets for the tea are $45; the proceeds will benefit the school's Elizabeth Stone Scholarship. Those who would like to attend should R.s.v.p. by Monday, Oct. 9, by e-mailing or by calling the CUA Office of Alumni Relations at 202-319-5608.

InfoCurrent and LexisNexis - both longtime partners of the school - are providing corporate sponsorship for the event.

MEDIA: Reporters interested in learning more about Catholic University's School of Library and Information Science can call Katie Lee or Chris Harrison in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.


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Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,