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Cordier Auditorium on the North Manchester campus is named for Andrew Cordier, who played a major role in founding the United Nations and was a stalwart advocate for peace.
A condensed version of an undergraduate thesis about Cordier by Kelley Brenneman, a 2014 Manchester University graduate, is featured in the “Hidden Gems” series of the Church of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives.
Brenneman is a paid archival intern at the BHLA in Elgin, Ill., processing collections, preparing books for cataloging in the library and answering research questions. She is currently processing the personal papers of Ralph Smeltzer, who was involved in working for peace and social justice in the Church of the Brethren.
Brenneman has applied to library of science programs with an archival program, and her hope is to eventually work full time in archives.
Cordier, who graduated from Manchester and served there as a professor, was at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference to help write up the proposal for the United Nations and later officially joined the UN as executive secretary to the president of the general assembly.
Brenneman took the MU historiography and research methodology class with Professor Katherine Tinsley during her senior year and was intrigued by Cordier’s many letters.
“I jumped on the idea since I worked in archives,” she said. When she got into the project and started reading the letters, it opened her eyes.
“A war-worn world needs our philosophy and examples of peace, a luxury-mad world, with yawning chasms between rich and poor, needs our examples of the simple life,” Cordier wrote in 1929 about the role of the Brethren to Vernon Schwalm, who later became president of Manchester. Cordier at one time served as president of Columbia University.
Manchester University is one of six colleges across the nation grounded in the values and traditions of the Church of the Brethren.
January 28, 2015