Processed in 2014 by Jodi Boyle.
Access to this collection is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Roger Conant donated the collection to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives in 2013. After digitizing all images, the Department returned the campus protest photograph to the donor per his request at the time of donation.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Roger T. Conant Papers, 1971. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Conant Papers).
Roger Conant, a graduate student in the Department of History, met Vasiliki "Vicki" Gekas when he arrived at the University at Albany in the 1970 winter semester. Both lived in Brubacher Hall, the graduate student dormitory on Alumni Quad. Born in Greece, Gekas emigrated to Rochester, NY as a child. She received her bachelor of arts degree from the University at Albany in 1969 and returned for graduate studies. Both she and Conant received master of arts degrees from the University in 1972.
Gekas was the inspiration for the main character inLas Isla de los Jacinto Cortados (The Island of the Cut Hyacinths)(1980) by award-winning Spanish novelist Gonzalo Torrente Ballester. Torrente Ballester joined the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University at Albany in 1966 and remained until 1972. During this period, he met Gekas and later wrote about her in the novel which is partially set on and near the University at Albany campus, features some real professors and other students (some named, some with pseudonyms) and focuses on a love triangle.
Today Conant is a historian and filmmaker specializing in the cultural heritage of East Central Europe.
This small collection contains photographs of Vicki Gekas retained by Roger Conant and correspondence from Gekas to Conant while both were students at the University at Albany. Five of the photographs of Gekas were taken in Brubacher Hall during an April 1971 celebration on International Students' Night. A sixth (digital image only) is from an April 1971 campus protest seeking an end to United States support of the Greek military junta.
For additional materials about Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, please see the Gonzalo Torrente Ballester Papers (MSS-029). Additional photographs of student activities are found in University Archives.
Please access the photographs from the International Students' Night celebrationin LUNA. The digital image of the campus protest is foundhere.