Finding Keepsakes in an Unusual Place!

You never know what treasures you’ll find in an old file cabinet!

Recently, while cleaning out several old file cabinets in Falk Library, Administrative Specialist Nelson Galloway came across two class rings, a 1971 Sewickley Area High School ring and a 1982 McKeesport High School ring. He also found a 1967 St. Francis School of Nursing pin. Galloway decided to try to locate the owners.

Galloway started with the nursing pin which included the engraved initials J.A.K. Through an Internet search, Galloway located Alexis Weber, former director of the St. Francis School of Nursing. She is now director of the UPMC Mercy Hospital Schools of Nursing. Weber searched the St. Francis Alumni database and located a possible match. She then contacted the nurse. It turned out the pin did belong to that nurse, who was very excited to hear the news. She sent Galloway an email stating that she “did lose her pin at Falk and thought that it would never be found.” Galloway mailed the pin to its grateful owner.

Some 38 years ago, a young lady lost her high school sweetheart’s Sewickley Area High School ring while attending college at Pitt. Galloway found the ring in one of the file cabinets and called Sewickley Area High School to no avail. Based on the inscription inside the ring, he then searched the Internet and local telephone directories and came up with one possibility. He contacted the man and much to Galloway’s surprise, the man confirmed that the ring was his. The man wrote, “it would be very nice to have that ring back to bring back the memories of that period of my life.” Galloway promptly mailed him the ring. By the way, that girlfriend is now his wife!

There was one ring left, from McKeesport High School. The inscription inside the ring indicated that it belonged to a woman. Galloway contacted the McKeesport Area School District. Using the inscription information, a helpful employee searched the 1982 Commencement Book. There was only one match. Knowing it was very possible the woman had married since graduating from high school; the Alumni Book was also searched. That book listed the woman’s married name and address. Galloway contacted her and she, too, was very surprised and grateful. Incidentally, she currently works at Pitt, so returning the ring was easy.

Through hard work and persistence, Galloway was able to return all of the treasures to their rightful owners.

~ Jill Foust