“The story of the College of Santa Fe is a BIG story,” SFR founder Richard McCord says. In his latest book, No Halls of Ivy: The Gritty Story of the College of Santa Fe 1947-2009 to be presented today at SFUAD, McCord traces the institution’s origins to 17th century France and chronicles its ultimate demise.
What a-ha moments did you experience whilst researching the book?
There were hundreds of them. I though this was just going to be a tame little story about a small college started in a small town that only held on for 62 years and then went broke, but it was so interesting.
What were some of the eye-opening details?
New Mexico became an American territory in 1848 and then a few years later, Archbishop Lamy came and then he brought the first Christian Brothers teachers out here and they started the first school and it grew and grew. [College of Santa Fe] had more than a fifth of the people who wrote New Mexico’s first Constitution when it became a state, and it just goes on and on.
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
I hope they learn that this little tiny school that started in an abandoned military hospital—its first buildings were military barracks—educated thousands of students, and that it was very, very important to Santa Fe, to New Mexico and to education.