Saint Joseph's College produces documentary about its history on 50th anniversary of move to Sebago Lake

"Small Steps, Great Strides: 50 Years at the Lake" is a documentary about Saint Joseph's College that weaves college artifacts, societal images and a lively soundtrack of period music to depict the transformation of a small, cramped-for-space women's college in Portland, Maine, to the present-day co-ed institution on 350 acres along nearby Sebago Lake. The 63-minute film covers in particular the period from 1956 - when the college relocated 18 miles away - to 2006.

The film incorporates video, stills, 8mm and 16mm film footage from local and national archives, including the Library of Congress, the Internet Archive of Moving Images, and The Open Video Digital Library. Communications professor Bill Yates, who narrated and co-wrote the film, says, "There's a power in taking things from disparate places and formats and using one tool - this DVD - to create history."

Sr. Mary George O'Toole, co-writer and Vice President for Sponsorship and Mission Integration at Saint Joseph's, commissioned the video to commemorate the 50th anniversary of relocating the campus to Standish. Her desire was "to capture history . to keep it from being forgotten and to put it in a stable form."

"This film is an historical document," says communications professor John Hufstader, who produced, directed, edited and co-wrote the documentary.

Personal interviews with alumni, faculty and administrators give the film a comprehensive depth. Hufstader says he is glad that he played a role in creating a film that pays tribute to the Sisters of Mercy, the founders of Saint Joseph's College. "They tend to keep in the background, yet they made things happen," he notes.

For more information or an educational copy of the documentary, contact Sr. Mary George O'Toole at (207) 893-7708 or

November 28, 2006 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail