Oral histories from the IU LGBTQ+ community play an important role in documenting the university’s historical record, while amplifying the voices that are so often silenced and under-documented in our history. The oral history clips shared in this blog are just four of the many voices in the IU LGBTQ+ community within the IU Bicentennial Oral History Project. You can search and listen to many more oral histories and read their transcripts by visiting oralhistory.iu.edu.
Gary Shoulders graduated from Indiana University in 2007 with a B.S. from the School of Informatics. He shares his story of coming out to his friends while attending IU in the following clip:
Bruce Smail is an IU alumnnus, as well as the Interim Director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center and the Special Assistant to the VP of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs at Indiana University. Bruce shares his memories of being involved in the LGBTQ+ Culture Center during his student years at IU here:
Doug Bauder is the former founding Director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center at Indiana University. Doug remembers the founding of the first GLBT Student Center at IU and the impact it had in the following clip:
Mara Bernstein is an IU alumna and the Advancement Associate for the IU Libraries. Mara speaks about her involvement with the IU LGBTQ+ Alumni Association and the IU Queer Philanthropy Circle here:
If you would like to share your story or obtain transcripts of the oral history clips in this post, please contact Kristin Leaman at email@example.com.
I processed a new accession for the Indiana University Latino Cultural Center (La Casa) records, which doubled the size of the original collection. Since this new accession was much larger in size and scope than the present collection, I was able to rework and alter the entire collection that resulted in the formation of new series, such as Administrative, Correspondence, and Publications, and consolidating old series to new reimagined ones, such as Associations, Events, Subject Files, and General Files. The newly updated collection now has eight boxes total, and it is my hope that it is better presented for researchers, students, and community members who have an interest in the Latino community in Bloomington and at Indiana University. While processing this collection, I came across a folder titled MEZCLA, as well as several sketches of a bicycle with Mezcla stylized across the top, and I was curious to learn what this was exactly. After looking through the folder and searching online, I learned that Mezcla is a Little 500 team, the first Latino Little 500 team to be exact. A year ago, I had the opportunity to look through and start processing the scrapbooks for the IU Student Foundation Little 500 event, so seeing this team, Mezcla, mentioned in the Latino Cultural Center records really stood out to me. Since the Little 500 race is happening again, I thought it would be fitting to highlight a piece of Little 500 history.
Since 1951, the Little 500 bicycle race has been a treasured student and university event and has seen many changes over the past 70 years. Originally, it was a male student dominated event but in 1988 the first women’s race was held. Starting out as a modest event where the bicycle race was the only attraction, in the decades that followed the Little 500 grew into a weeklong event of activities that included, at times, the Mini 500 tricycle race , concerts, golf tournaments, talent shows, fashion shows, and regattas. Over time, the event would also see historical firsts in terms of increasing the representation of underrepresented students and communities in Bloomington and at Indiana University.
In 1995, the formation of the first Latino team was a significant step in the diversification of the majority-white Little 500. The event can be costly for teams without sponsorships, so various letters of sponsorship were sent out to companies starting in winter of 1995. Jerry Gutièrrez, a member of the first Latino team, drafted numerous letters asking for sponsorship well into the summer of the following year. Unfortunately, most companies’ responses were rejection letters, but that did not discourage history being made. Some of the original riders who participated in the first race and interested riders included Jerry Gutièrrez, Ben Abney, Derrick Espades, Gus Chavez, Sergio Magan̂a, and Erik Teter. The 1996 race, the 46th annual race, was the debut race of the Mezcla Little 500 team. The men’s team qualified in this race with a time of 02:41.53.1, with a placement in the 11th row. At the race, Mezcla placed 31st and completed a total of 176 out of 200 laps.
In 1998 Mezcla became a student organization with the purpose of providing an avenue for Latino students to participate in the Little 500 race. For the next three years, Mezcla qualified and raced in the Little 500, with their best race in 1998, wherein they placed 12th and completed 195 out of 200 laps. After 2001, the men’s Mezcla team leading riders had all graduated, and it would not be until 2005 that the men’s Mezcla team would qualify again.
In 1997, a group of female students were ready to carry on the Mezcla legacy as the first women’s Latino Little 500 race team. That year the first women’s Mezcla team placed 23rd with a time of 01:11:08.889 and completed 93 out of 100 laps.
It was not until 2004 that the women’s Mezcla team would qualify again for the race, though the team would go on to compete in nine additional races through 2014, the last time they qualified. The riders from the 2004 team were Josefa Madrigal, Anette Soto, Liliana Cortez, Monica Reyes, Rosa Bonilla, and Barbara Alvarado. The women’s Mezcla team’s best race time wise was in 2005 with a time of 01:08:50, while their best race lap completion was in 2014 with 97 out of 100 laps completed, placing them 16th.
If not for the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 race would have been the 70th Men’s race and 33rd Women’s race. However, the race was rescheduled and is happening once again on Wednesday, May 26 in the Bill Armstrong Stadium.
While the IU Archives remains closed to the public due to the COVID-19 crisis, I have been digging into the collections available digitally through Archives Online to discover and highlight some of the great artifacts the IU community can explore from the comfort of their homes. I came across a scrapbook put together by a veteran’s group for IU students that was active during and directly following WWII that allowed me a fascinating glimpse into veteran student issues.
The Second World War transformed life at Indiana University in many ways, and these transformations extended into the postwar time as many men came back to attend college and start the next chapter of their lives. Many organizations were established to help veterans make their transformation from soldier to civilian, including a newly formed progressive veterans committee called the American Veterans Committee (AVC), originally formed as an alternative option to what some considered the more conservative veterans groups like the American Legion. The American Veterans Committee, formed at the national level in 1943 and disbanded in 2008, pledged to support veterans of all races and creeds and was notably offering racially integrated committees across the country when other veterans groups were not. Their political agenda included petitioning the local and state government to start or support legislation related to improving veteran support in all facets of life and supporting advocate groups like the NAACP that fought for civil rights and racial equality.
The AVC Bloomington chapter offered support to veterans on IU’s campus and in the Bloomington community as a whole. The collection is fully digitized and includes one scrapbook that includes clips of newspaper, photographs, and chapter items from the years 1946-1949, and offers an interesting glimpse of what life was like for veteran students during these years right after WWII.
Like the national organization, Bloomington’s chapter was committed to supporting all veterans on campus and in the community, regardless of nationality, race, or religion. Their main policies included fighting bigotry, which included a push to bar Bloomington restaurants from discriminating against people of color. They were supporters of the Bloomington NAACP. In 1948, the organization wrote an op-ed to the Indiana Daily Student that outlined their support for national integration of all colleges and to end all college discrimination.
The Bloomington AVC also focused on the financial aspects of IU veterans’ lives. In 1947, the AVC compiled the GI Subsistence Survey that asked 1500 current student veterans about their finances and the support they receive from the government; based on their results, they asked the university and local and national politicians to increase veteran subsistence pay, arguing that veterans were paying more for housing and food than they should be.
The American Veterans Committee also hosted social and educational events on campus to support their initiatives. In 1947 the group hosted an Autumn Festival informal dance at the Indiana Memorial Union. The AVC also hosted speakers for their members and the general public, including history novelist Howard Fast, sports writer John R. Tunis, and the famed IU professor Dr. Alfred Kinsey right after his release of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male at an AVC meeting in 1948. It was one of the only public lectures he gave on campus after the release of the book.
The scrapbook is a fascinating glimpse into a few of the issues that student veterans faced as they returned from war, adjusted to life back home, attended university, and moved forward in their lives. Aspects of life that affected veterans as they transitioned back into society are deeply compelling to see from the student perspective. Check out the finding aid and the full scrapbook here!
Devoted, driven, and dauntless. These adjectives describe Mary Elizabeth Campbell’s persona perfectly. She devoted much of her life to make an influential impact on Indiana University. Mary’s driven personality propelled her to publish several original works which includes a popular favorite: Scandal Has Two Faces. Finally, Mary’s dauntless acts throughout her life include serving in World War II, confronting problems that faced professional and educated women, and teaching the first comparative literature course offered at Indiana University.
Although Cambridge, Ohio was Mary’s birthplace, she had a connection with Bloomington early on in her life. When she was around thirteen years, Indiana University offered her father a position as a professor. As a result, her whole family moved to Bloomington. Just three years later, her father became a professor at Harvard. Nonetheless, IU remained a short-lived, yet inspiring experience and held a special place in Mary’s heart. In fact, after finishing school from Cambridge Latin School and Radcliffe, Mary became an English instructor at IU in 1927 and rose through the ranks, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1973. Talk about devotion! Throughout her time as a faculty member, Mary took the time to advance her education at Yale, where she gained her PhD in the year 1938. As seen in the clipping from The Kokomo Tribune, Mary along with other notable IU faculty members discussed an English literature series called British Men of Letters. Not only did Mary devote her time as an English professor at IU Bloomington, but she also participated in spreading her knowledge to a broader audience.
Mary made the most use of her time as a professor at Indiana. She always had a passion for writing and took it upon herself to publish something. In the year 1938, the same year she gained her PhD, Mary published her first book named Defoe’s First Poem. This publication focuses on Daniel Defoe, a writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and even spy who was seen as an early and passionate proponent of the English novel. Defoe must have been an inspiration for Mary as they share a passion for English literature and novels, and ultimately helped drive Mary to publish her own works. Actually, in 1943, she published yet another book called Scandal Has Two Faces, which sparked more popularity. This murder mystery came out before academic novels were considered popular, so it intrigued critics and scholars. Set in academia, this novel excited all ages with its clever humor and plot. The fictious story takes place on a college campus, making it even more enticing for students. It allowed them to engage and feel a part of the story. Even in the Hoosier Accent, as seen in the clipping, Mary receives much praise on her novel. This hopefulness ande ncouragement the article displays further fuels Mary’s drive for writing. There was a lot of positive feedback on the novel, and for some time Mary seriously considered writing a sequel to the mystery, but ultimately could not because of unplanned yet critical events. This goes to show how great of an impact Mary made on English literature at Indiana, mainly because of her driven personality.
Shortly after the publication of her mystery novel Scandal Has Two Faces, Mary took a year’s leave for the unplanned, yet critical event mentioned earlier. It was to serve and help in World War II. Mary specifically went to serve in Italy. There, she worked with the Overseas Hospital Service of the American Red Cross. In all of the hospital service units located in Italy, the nurses and medical teams worked long hours and their time and effort was very much appreciated. One article stated that many units had “periods when the patient load was heavy” (Merrick 40). Mary’s dauntless acts as a nurse and the whole experience impacted her views and thoughts of women, but specifically the importance of their duties. Thus, after returning to the United States in 1945 and Indiana University for the spring semester, she started to engage in the Indiana University Bulletin called “What Makes an Educated Woman.” As an editor, Mary tackled and addressed problems facing professional woman. What makes this so inspiring and daunting, is the fact that these issues were not relevant yet. Amidst all these events, when Mary was at Indiana University, she taught comparative literature, which was actually the first comparative literature course ever taught at IU. Because “literature was alive and exciting” for her and “she was able to communicate its vitality to her classes,” Mary had an innovative style of teaching (IU Bloomington Faculty Council). All of these daunting acts contribute to the moving life-story of Mary Campbell.
Mary Elizabeth Campbell passed away on February 21, 1985 at the Meadowood Retirement Community in Bloomington, Indiana, as seen on her death certificate. Mary retired as an IU professor after almost fifty years of teaching in 1973. No surprise when she received emeritus status by the university at that time. She never married, but instead lived an unselfish, courageous, and admirable life. Not only did she inspire and impact her own students, but also faculty across IU and the audience who read her publications. This can be seen not only through her connection to IU from an early age, but also her role as a professor, a writer, and a nurse. Mary Campbell’s devoted, driven, and dauntless personality will continue to live on and influence others not only at Indiana University, but across the United States.
“Archives Photograph Collection of Mary E. Campbell.” Indiana University Bloomington, webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do?itemId=P0067323.
“Indiana Death Certificate for Mary Campbell.” Ancestry.com, www.ancestrylibrary.com/imageviewer/collections/60716/images/44494_351913-00535?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=88f0b9ea827548f57ffb54872139d3db&usePUB=true&_phsrc=kXW1&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=2793800.
“The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on October 27, 1943 · Page 12.” Newspapers.com, The Indianapolis Star, www.newspapers.com/newspage/104924129/.
IU Bloomington Faculty Council. “Memorial Resolution Professor Emeritus Mary Elizabeth Campbell.” Bloomington Faculty Council Minutes, 24 Sept. 1985, webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/bfc/view?docId=B06-1986.
“The Kokomo Tribune 6 Mar 1957, Page 11.” Newspapers.com, The Kokomo Tribune, www.newspapers.com/image/2451840/?image=2451840.
Merrick, Ben A. “The 56th Evacuation Hospital (Baylor Unit) Overseas in World War II.”
Taylor & Francis, 28 Jan. 2018, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08998280.1992.11929794.
As soon as new students step on to Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, they are officially christened as Hoosiers. This name unites every single person who attends our diverse school under a common title, and with that title comes a network of past and present Hoosiers ready and willing to support each other. As Hoosiers, we have a duty to reflect on our university’s history and to remember the individuals who helped shape Indiana University into the institution it is today. The Covid-19 pandemic is shaping, and will continue to shape, our university, and during these unprecedented times, many Indiana University students contemplated taking a semester or year off, either for safety reasons or to delay schooling for a time in order to hopefully see the world return to some form of normalcy before going back to the college experience. Nearly eighty years ago, students also had the choice of returning to school or taking time off, but for those students, the choice was not a simple matter of finding a part-time job or some other way to pass the time. No, for them it was a matter of life and death, a matter of continuing their education at IU or risking their lives by enlisting to fight in the second World War.
One such student faced with this decision was Charles Herbert Broshar, a native Hoosier born and raised in Lebanon, Indiana. He started college at Indiana University and began working toward a business degree for a few years. However, seeing that the entrance of the United States into World War II was inevitable and fast approaching, Broshar, like many others, decided to enlist. On November 1, 1941, Broshar officially became a cadet in the United States Navy Reserve, serving as a storekeeper rank third-class. As storekeeper, his duties would have included purchasing and procuring the proper supplies for the ship and making orders for new shipments. Storekeeper duties also included the issuing of equipment, tools, and other consumable items to the men. On November 14th of that same year, Broshar was called to active duty as a crew member on the USS Griffin. The USS Griffin was a submarine tender, a type of ship that is tasked with keeping submarines stocked with food, torpedoes, fuel, and other supplies. Some submarine tenders, the USS Griffin among them, were also equipped with workshops to repair the submarines. After it was successfully converted into a submarine tender, the USS Griffin conducted a quick shakedown or test cruise off the East coast then headed to Newfoundland with a small sub squadron of submarines. While in Newfoundland, the ship was recalled to Newport, Rhode Island.
This Atlantic-based ship was ordered into new waters when, on December 7th, 1941, after Japan infamously attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, the USS Griffin was assigned to the Pacific Fleet. This attack officially brought the US out of isolationism and into the war, and Broshar’s assignment to the Pacific Fleet right after the Pearl Harbor tragedy must have made the war feel very real. The USS Griffin, with Broshar aboard, then departed for Brisbane, Australia on February 14, 1942 and arrived at her destination two months later on April 15, 1942. In Brisbane, the crew of the USS Griffin repaired and restocked submarines that were used to disrupt Japanese shipments. As the submarines were disrupting shipments from below the surface, the rest of the Pacific Fleet was busy preparing for the first Pacific offensives above the surface.
After approximately nine months of supplying, repairing, and escorting submarines around Oceania, the USS Griffin arrived back in the United States on January 20, 1943, and on February 4, 1943, Broshar finally made it back to Indiana after being away from home for two years. Broshar made the most of his brief eleven day leave by marrying his college sweetheart Marjorie Ann Bicknell on February 10, 1943 at First Christian Church in Sullivan, Indiana. He returned to San Francisco on February 14th to rejoin the crew of the USS Griffin, and Marjorie followed him out west several days later in order to spend a few precious weeks with her new husband before he headed out to sea again. After leaving San Francisco, Broshar and the USS Griffin headed back to Australia and rejoined their submarine squadron before sailing closer to Japanese shipping lanes at Mios Woendi, New Guinea where they repaired many different crafts. They stayed in New Guinea until February 1st, 1945, at which point they headed to Subic Bay, Leyte, Philippines, where they set up the first submarine repair facility in the Philippines. The submarines that Broshar and the USS Griffin supported basically destroyed the Japanese merchant ships and were instrumental in the success of the Pacific Offensive. After the official Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri on September 2nd, 1945, the USS Griffin departed the Pacific and started its return to San Francisco, where it arrived on September 20, 1945. Broshar eventually found his way back to Indiana University where he completed his school and earned a bachelor’s degree in business on February 2nd, 1946.
Charles Broshar made a choice to serve his country when it needed him most. This act of selflessness is an example to us and future generations of Hoosiers. I am proud to call Charles Herbert Broshar a fellow Hoosier, and it is people like him, people who are willing to risk life and limb for the good of others, who have brought glory to old IU.
Chen, C. Peter. “[Photo] Submarine Tender USS Griffin with Unidentified Submarines (Possibly USS Piranha, USS Lionfish, USS Moray, USS Devilfish, or USS Hacklebak), Midway Atoll, 26 Aug-1 Sep 1945.” WW2DB, ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=16856.