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Curating Governor Brennan’s Legacy

///Curating Governor Brennan’s Legacy

Curating Governor Brennan’s Legacy

2018-09-11T11:08:31+00:00November 30th, 2017|Categories: Winter 2017-18|Tags: , |

William Hardiman ’19 and Raymond Mosca ’19

By Patricia Erikson

The Maine Irish Heritage Center (MIHC) in Portland and Saint Joseph’s College share at least three things: Irish roots, people dedicated to preserving history, and a formal partnership that has created internship opportunities for students. William Hardiman ’19 (Brockton, MA) and Raymond Mosca ’19 (Augusta, ME)—both Political Science majors—served as interns in the Governor Joseph E. Brennan Archives this spring. Under the mentorship of Archive Committee member Charlie Lane, Mosca and Hardiman dedicated themselves to making the archives more accessible to the public.

Born and raised on Portland’s Munjoy Hill, once an East End Irish neighborhood, Governor Joseph E. Brennan (Hon. ’82) graduated from Boston College and went on to serve Portland and Maine as State Representative, Attorney General, State Senator, U.S. Representative, and as a two-term Governor. Brennan donated a portion of his records to MIHC and the archives opened for research and display in 2016.

As Hardiman and Mosca neared the end of their internship, the two enjoyed an opportunity to meet the former governor himself in Portland. Once they settled around a conference table, Hardiman and Mosca took the opportunity to ask the questions that had bubbled up during their research: what drove you to run for office? How did you stay involved after losing an election?

Brennan leaned forward and met their curiosity with as much humor as intense reflection. “If you want to make life better for people there is no better place than political service. It’s an exciting life. If I can get elected, anyone can! But, if you lose, just get up and keep running. Believe in something. Argue for it, but don’t get committed to it until you hear the other side. You must listen to the other side! I accomplished what I accomplished by getting people smarter than me on my team, building a rapport, and giving them a long leash. If you’re getting credit to work in the archives, you’re already a politician!”

Photo caption: Raymond Mosca ’19 (left) and William Hardiman ’19 (right) enjoy an opportunity to meet with former Governor Joseph E. Brennan (Hon. ’82) in Portland near the end of their internship in the spring and ask him questions about his more than a five-decade career in politics.

Reflections on the internship:

“Working with the Governor Brennan Archives this semester has been a remarkable opportunity- from studying old speeches to analyzing polling data, to discovering documents of historic significance. This internship has truly provided a unique perspective on Maine politics. As an individual with aspirations in the public sector, proximity to such relevant documents has provided an insider’s look at the issues that Maine people care about. What impressed me most about meeting Governor Brennan was his humility and keen insights into the world today. For over 40 years, he has been committed to public service and helping the people of Maine and the United States. Through our work at the Maine Irish Heritage Center, it was extremely rewarding to contribute to his legacy,” said Raymond Mosca ’19 of Augusta.

“The Brennan Archives was one of the most interesting things I have ever experienced. It was amazing to see how Governor Brennan was able to be a congressman, but also still feel the pulse of his constituents’ concerns, especially in his second term in Congress when he decided to run for Governor a third time. It was amazing to see all of the hard work it took to run congressional offices, while at the same time seeking the governorship. It showed this was just not a one-man operation. Meeting the man himself, I could see why it could be balanced; he was extremely humble and intelligent. He was able to let others take large responsibility within his administration. He knew when people knew more about something than he did. He was a lawyer prior to being a politician which was very interesting as I plan to go to law school after graduating here at Saint Joseph’s. Overall the Brennan Archives was a rewarding experience. By working on this project, I hope that I have helped keep the legacy of Governor Brennan live for generations to come,” said William Hardiman ’19 of Brockton, MA.

The Political Science curriculum covers topics in American government and politics, international relations and globalization, counter-terrorism, research methods, and more. For further specialization, a Political Science major may choose from one of four areas of concentration in history, international, statistics, or law. A minor in Political Science is also available.