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Alumnus shares life-long love of maps with Muhlenberg community

Spanish trip "muy bien" for economics students

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Alumnus shares life-long love of maps with Muhlenberg community

A   reception was held in September to recognize Ray Brennen '35 and his generous gift to the Trexler Library.

Brennen, who says his American history studies at Muhlenberg and his naval service during World War II triggered a life-long interest in maps and map-making, donated to the College an impressive collection that includes 55 maps, seven land deeds, five prints and nine atlases. An independent appraiser has valued the gift at approximately $70,000.

An unusual part of the collection is a series of land deeds, or patents, issued by William Penn and other members of the Penn family for tracts of land in what are now Bucks, Berks and Northampton counties. They date from the late 17th through the mid-18th century. In addition, Brennen donated dozens of books, many of which have been added to the library's circulating collection to make them easily accessible to all members of the College community.

Initially Brennen, an Allentown native, focused his collection on a sequence of maps illustrating the growth and development of the Lehigh Valley. From there his interest expanded to include collecting seminal books on cartography, cartographers, and map collecting.

While Brennen's interest in maps remains strong, he says a desire to share his collection with a wider audience prompted his gift to the College.

Brennen, who practiced law in Allentown for many years and was a long-time chairman of the Lehigh County Democratic Party, is married to the former Peggy Lieberman.

Spanish trip "muy bien" for economics students

The nine students who traveled to Spain in June as part of a new Muhlenberg course focused on the culture and economy of Spain had little time for siestas during their 15-day journey, which covered 11 different cities.

The course, delivered entirely in Spanish, was team taught by economics professor Dr. Donna Kish-Goodling and Spanish professor Dr. Joan Marx. The trip overseas was a required part of the class.

Photo of students in Spain
The group poses for a picture at the Plaza de Espana in Madrid. Front row, left to right: Laura Garland, Alexandra Quirke, Katherine Powell, Joan Marx, Ludwig Schlecht; Middle row, left to right: Sunil Bengali, Donna Kish-Goodling, Jeffrey Goodling, John Tomascek, Nicole Orlando, Tracey Cetel; Back row, left to right: Matthew Goodling, Eric Rhoades, Lisa Valerio.

Based on the success of this pilot offering, Kish-Goodling says that it is likely that she and Marx will offer the course again in the future, adding that a trip to Paris, in addition to time in Spain could be part of the itinerary down the road.

Kish-Goodling, her husband Jeffrey Goodling and their 10-year-old son Matthew, as well as Marx and her husband, philosophy professor Dr. Ludwig Schlecht, accompanied the students on their whirlwind tour.

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