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Loyola University New Orleans Faculty Exhibit Research Collection at DNC’s “Politicalfest”

Loyola press release - July 22, 2016

Faculty from Loyola University New Orleans will exhibit rare historic documents and ongoing research about at the Democratic National Committee’s bi-partisan Politicalfest, which will be held in Philadelphia July 22-27, 2016 in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee convention. During these five days, Loyola University New Orleans Visiting Honors Professor Stanley Yavneh Klos and Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos, director of the University Honors Program, will exhibit a collection of letters, invitations, images and other ephemera at the National Liberty Museum, where the “core themes for young people and adults include leadership and good character; diversity and inclusion; peaceful conflict resolution; and civic engagement.”

The exhibit, entitled “American Hospitality: 1776-1976,” draws from the couple’s collection of founding documents, as well as the papers of Mary Edith Wilroy, who was manager of the Blair House, from 1961 to 1976. The Blair House, located across the street from the White House, has served as the President’s guest house since World War II. Visiting heads of state, ambassadors and other world leaders stay there when visiting the nation’s capital.

“The exhibit, entitled American Hospitality: 1776-1976, tells the story of how hospitality has shaped policy, and highlights how this arena allowed women to play an important role in public policy even when it was seemingly unthinkable for a woman to run for higher office,” Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos said.

“For example, Sarah Livingston Jay, wife of John Jay, developed close ties with the Marquis and Marquise de La Fayette during the negotiations of the Treaty of Paris, building important social capital for our nascent country, and, in fact, wrote the toast for the celebratory ball upon the Treaty’s signing. Sarah could not attend that event, however, because she had just given birth to a healthy baby girl. (Multi-tasking has always been a part of American women’s lives.),” the professor said.

“And we will also get to talk about the “Forgotten First Ladies” – the wives of the Presidents before George Washington,-- including the story of Lady Christina, daughter of the Earl of Traquair and wife of the last president under the Articles of Confederation. which Loyola undergraduate student Michael Pashkevich helped me to explore this year during his study abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, performing research and exploring historical documents archived at the Castle Traquair.”

In a Jesuit “twist,” Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos was contacted by Mary Edith Wilroy’s daughter, Jennifer Paquette, DM, Director of Mission at St. Joseph's Hospital, Tampa. Dr. Paquette will be coming to Philadelphia on July 25, to see the exhibit and share her mother’s story.

The exhibit draws heavily on current research funded through a university fellowship awarded to Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos. The Rev. James C. Carter, S.J. Fellowship, named for Loyola President Emeritus James C. Carter, was established to help Loyola faculty continue scholarship through research.

Dr. Yavneh Klos’ husband, Stanley, also created an exhibit for the 2000 Politicalfest, also held in Philadelphia in conjunction with the Republican National convention. He has keynoted numerous special events including the Franklin D. Roosevelt American Heritage Center Museum’s grand opening and the 2003 re-entombment of First Lady Martha & President Samuel Huntington.

Pictured in photo on homepage: Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos, professor and director of the University Honors Program at Loyola University New Orleans, greets former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell at the Democratic National Convention’s “Politicalfest,” where she is exhibiting her research.