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IMSA Ornament Collection

IMSA Ornament Collection



Tradition of the IMSA Holiday Ornament
by Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall

December 12, 2007

When an institution is created "from scratch," there are few stories and no traditions. It quickly became apparent that we needed to both capture the powerful emergent stories of IMSA's courageous creation and begin to think about creating a legacy of traditions. So, as our first holiday season of 1986 unfolded, we decided that we would begin a tradition of holiday ornaments. Sometimes, the ornaments were made by hand; most often, they were purchased. But they were always hand-lettered with "IMSA" and the year. During the first few years, this was lovingly done by Valerie, Sometimes late at night. Soon thereafter, we asked Clay Sewell and his students to do the lettering, and with this change came his artistic touch of beautiful lettering in gold ink. Although the ornaments were not chosen with any particular theme in mind, the ornaments for 2001 and 2006 were different.

Following September 11, we decided our ornament for 2001 would be an apple to remind us of the resiliency and hope of New York City, the Big Apple. The ornament for 2006 was a silver snowflake proudly proclaiming IMSA20 and the unique contributions of each of us to IMSA's "bold ideas and world-class results." So, after just a few short years, a tradition was born, and annually, IMSA gives all staff and Board members the IMSA ornament for that year. I have been told that for some staff members, the IMSA ornaments are the first ones to be hung on their trees.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

Publication Date

Winter 1-26-2024


Aurora, IL




Archival Science | Collection Development and Management

IMSA Ornament Collection