Through the Gates: Eighty-Five Years of Menlo College and Its Times is Released
A full-color coffee table book on the history of Menlo College will be available September 1, 2014. Titled "Through the Gates: Eighty-five Years of Menlo College and its Times," the book sets the history of the college in the milieu of each decade. Author Pamela Gullard explained, "At the beginning of my two years of research, I had many more questions than answers." To get those answers, she researched the student life of each decade, contacted alumni who graduated as early as the 1940s, and gathered over 100 archival photos.
"Any history is only as substantive as the people it chronicles," Gullard said. "The letters and documents from early professors and administrators touched my heart, and I wanted others to experience their charm and deep commitment." She also wanted readers to see the reminiscences from alumni who submitted their memories of special moments during their college years. Gullard meticulously edited these and wove them into her narrative.
Gullard said, "I also hunted for data and obscure facts about Menlo College in archives throughout the Bay Area, such as the wonderful San Mateo County History Center." She explained that she also sought information on events of the times. "An institutional history shouldn't be an island. Rather, it should show the give and take between the institution and its era."
In 2012, the book was conceived as a means of celebrating Menlo College's 85th anniversary by sharing the College's rich legacy with alumni and friends in the community. Through the Gates traces the school's transformation from a two-year transfer school to the four-year, coed college of today. It reveals the inside story of Menlo's struggle through the economic depression soon after its founding, the debates over integration and the admission of women, and the effects of World War II, the Cold War, and other global events.
"I worked with the Menlo College archivist Cheryl Collins to show the downs as well as the ups," Gullard said. She remarked with a laugh that an institution begun in 1927 that survived for eighty-five years is going to have a remarkable story.
Gullard is an accomplished writer of local history. Previous to writing Through the Gates, she and co-author Nancy Lund wrote books about Palo Alto, Portola Valley, and their latest, Under the Oaks, Two Hundred Years in Atherton. The book, with hundreds of photographs, paintings, and drawings, is a permanent record of the town's early and modern history.
Gullard teaches literature and writing at Menlo College in Atherton. Her recent fiction has been published in the North American Review, Arts, and Letters, and TriQuarterly. She has a B.A. in philosophy with honors from Stanford University, and a master's degree in English from Notre Dame de Namur. She and her husband Mike have lived in Menlo Park for twenty-six years, raising their two sons, Erik and Ben.
"I love viewing history through the eyes of the 'people on the street' who lived it," Gullard said. "In Through the Gates, I was able to see ordinary people rising to extraordinary heights to meet the challenges of the day. And as a teacher, I see how my students continue to do this." She smiled. "Someday, someone will want to write a book about them."
"Through the Gates: Eighty-five Years of Menlo College and its Times" can be purchased online at http://www.menlo.edu/through-the-gates, at the Menlo College Campus Store, and Kepler's Bookstore in Menlo Park, beginning in September.
About Menlo College:
Menlo College, Silicon Valley's Business School, was established in 1927 and is located 30 minutes south of San Francisco. It is a private, four-year accredited, residential business college located in Atherton, California. http://www.menlo.edu