Mary Jeffries Bruce and the Sunday Evening Forum

Welcome back to campus everyone! I hope you’re having a good start to the semester and enjoying the cold weather (I’m from the valley, this is cold for me.)

Since I got back to work this year, I’ve been going through the collections to find materials for various projects, but while I’ve been doing this, I’ve stumbled across many interesting collections and items. One of which is the Mary Jeffries Bruce and the Sunday Evening Forum collection (MS 472).

Mary Jeffries Bruce was the program chairman for a small Young Adult Discussion Group in Tucson that became known as the Sunday Evening Forum. For about 40 years, Mary Jeffries Bruce invited political leaders, authors, famous entertainers, and other well-known people to speak or perform on a given topic at the University of Arizona. Some well-known names include Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Morris and Stewart Udall.

The collection contains several scrapbooks with photos, newspaper articles, and correspondence about the guest speakers and their contributions to the forum. I’ve really enjoyed looking at this collection because of the wide variety of speakers and their chosen topics. Mary Jeffries Bruce was able to gather so many prominent figures and provide Tucson residents with interesting and engaging performances. The scrapbooks are a testament to her ability to educate and engage her community and I am excited to keep exploring the collection!

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