January 12, 2017

Title: Remembering 1997-1998: The Journalists

Last semester many of our blog postings described what was happening at CWRU during the 1997/98 academic year, as covered by our student newspaper, The Observer. We chose 1997/98 because those are the years many of this year's freshmen (Class of 2020) were born, We’ll continue that project in the spring semester.

The focus of those highlights has been on the stories, rather than the story-tellers. So, I’m taking this opportunity to salute the 1997/98 fall semester Observer staff who were responsible for this important record of the university’s history.

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Masthead from the December 5, 1997 issue of The Observer.

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December 16, 2016

“Adelbert at last to have Modern Lights - Fight for Electric Lighting System Finally Wins Out”

So read a small headline in the 12/17/1919 issue of The Reserve Weekly. The article read,

“When the fathers of Western Reserve University placed the word, ‘Lux’ on the emblem which has come down to us, they meant it as a motto, but it turned out to be a prophecy. After years of dark and gloomy waiting, lights are now to dispel the gloom that hangs over winter eight-fifteens. No longer will the ponderous brass structures used as chandeliers hang threateningly over the heads of sleepy students, for a new era of electric lights has arrived.

“Promises of lights have come regularly for the last few years, but, this time, wires, fixtures, and numerous electricians prove that the lights are almost here. Most of the wiring is done, so that it will be but a short time before the mere pressure of a button will flood a dark room with light.”

At the 10/13/1919 meeting of the Western Reserve University Board of Trustees, the trustees approved the measure, “Upon the recommendation of the Treasurer, it was voted that the electric light wiring equipment, be completed in the second, third and fourth floors of Adelbert College Building at an estimated cost of $2005.44.”

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December 05, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 13

In its December 5, 1997 issue The Observer issued final grades: B+ to CWRUnet services, C to Aramark, A to WRUW, D- to limited hours at Kelvin Smith Library during Finals Week, A to Engineering and Science Review, A to University Program Board, and more.

Other headlines in this last issue of the semester included:
• Joyce Fitzpatrick to step down as Dean of Nursing
• Federal government announces tax relief to students
• ESS plans move to KSL
• Women’s center planned
• Diversity class discussed
• MaDaCol breaks New Ground this weekend

Special section: Focus on Stress
• ESS works to alleviate stress of finals-stricken students
• Meditation provides means of finals enlightenment
• Simple, relaxing exercises can remove stress
• The Refuge offers asylum from pressures of college
• KSL relieves aggravations of laptop users
• Panhellenic Council helps first-year women deal with stress

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 12/5/1997

This is the last fall semester weekly blog posting describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born. We’ll pick up again in January with the first issue of 1998.

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November 29, 2016

Namesakes - I. F. Freiberger and Freiberger Library

01983D1 copy.jpg Plans for a new library building were announced as part of Western Reserve University’s 125th anniversary celebration in 1951. Trustees voted to name the new library in honor of Isadore Fred (better known as I. F.) Freiberger in 1953, ground was broken in 1954 and the new building was dedicated 2/5/1956 as the I. F. Freiberger Library Building. The cost of the building was approximately $1.6 million and was designed by Small, Smith and Reeb of Cleveland. Ralph Ellsworth (WRU School of Library Science class of 1931), director of libraries at the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa), was chief consultant on building plans. Its 80,000 square feet was designed for a capacity of over 500,000 volumes and a seating capacity to accommodate 600 students. The three story building plus basement, at the corner of East Boulevard and Bellflower Road, overlooked the Cleveland Museum of Art and Wade Lagoon. The exterior was of limestone to blend with Severance Hall and the Art Museum. Freiberger Library opened for the Spring semester 1956.

Freiberger Library centralized holdings from the university library housed in Thwing Hall and holdings in other campus buildings (Clark Hall, Harkness Chapel basement, Hitchcock Hall, and the Annex). The plan for the library was a modular design. There were few interior walls to allow flexibility in moving partitions and shelves as needed. Study areas were scattered throughout the shelving areas. Director of university libraries, Lyon Richardson said, “The library may be considered as a great browsing room of four floors. We consider the library not as a place for storing books, but as a place for arranging books and facilities to serve educational principles”

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Interior views of Freiberger Library

I. F. Freiberger, known as Izzy to his parents and Fry to his friends, was born 12/12/1879 in New York City, one of 6 children. His parents moved the family to Cleveland when he was 3 years old. Freiberger graduated from Central High School in Cleveland in 1898. He received his Bachelor of Letters degree from Adelbert College 6/13/1901. (A friend and classmate in high school and college was Winfred G. Leutner, president of WRU 1933-1949). As an undergraduate student Freiberger played on the class baseball team, class football team, and class basketball team. He was also a varsity member of the Reserve basketball team. He served as business manager of The Reserve (yearbook) and was class treasurer his senior year.

02973D1 copy.jpgI. F. Freiberger, ca. 1935

He received the LL.B. in 1904 from Cleveland Law School of Baldwin Wallace College while working at Cleveland Trust Company (where he started work as a clerk upon graduation in 1901). He worked his entire career at Cleveland Trust: Third Assistant Trust Officer (1909), Assistant Secretary (1913), Trust Officer (1914), Vice President (1915), Director (1939), and Chairman of the Board (1941). He married Fannie Fertel in 1903 and they had 2 children, Lloyd and Ruth Mae.

Freiberger was a loyal alumnus and served as a trustee on the Board of Cleveland College (1925-1943), Adelbert College (1934-1941), and Western Reserve University (1941-1967). He was named an honorary trustee 10/5/1967. Reserve awarded Freiberger the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 1947. He received the first Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Adelbert College Alumni Association in 1968.

Freiberger was also Chairman of Board of The Forest City Publishing Co., director of the Interlake Steamship Co., Richman Bros. Co., Youghiogheny & Ohio Coal Co., Island Creek Coal Co., and Wyoming Pocahontas Coal & Coke Co as well as other companies. He served on a number of philanthropic and educational boards including Goodrich Social Settlement House, Jewish Community Federation, The Playhouse Foundation and Mount Sinai Hospital. Freiberger received The Eisenman Award on the 50th Anniversary of the Jewish Community Federation, the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Cleveland Medal for Public Service, and the Distinguished Service Award of the Cleveland Community Chest. The American Heart Association honored him in 1957 with the Award of Merit for Distinguished Service.

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I. F. Freiberger with Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1968

After he died 4/20/1969 the CWRU Board of Trustees honored him with a memorial resolution which read in part,“His friends remember Fry in part for his success and for his leadership, but they remember him especially for his remarkable personal qualities of humility, humanity, and gentleness. He loved his fellow men and was a true friend to literally thousands of people of all ages and from all walks of life. A part of his humanity and warmth was revealed in his happy family life and his devotion to his wife, Fannie Fertel Freiberger, whose death in 1962 ended a most happy marriage of nearly sixty years.”

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Students playing softball on Freiberger Field

Freiberger Library was razed in 1996 after the Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) was completed. The Freiberger Pavilion on the second floor of KSL and Freiberger Field on the site of the old library were dedicated 11/16/1997 and continue to honor I. F. Freiberger’s memory. The portrait which used to hang in Freiberger Library now hangs in Freiberger Pavilion in Kelvin Smith Library.

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I. F. Freiberger portrait, 1955

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November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving at Reserve, 1911

The lead story in the 11/28/1911 issue of the Reserve Weekly concerned “Coming Events,” namely Thanksgiving Day and the big game against Case. Despite their best efforts, Reserve lost to Case 9-5 at Van Horn Field.

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See descriptions of Thanksgiving and the traditional Case vs. Reserve game in blog entries from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

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November 14, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 12

The November 21, 1997 issue of The Observer included this invitation to Gobble, Gobble ‘97. Sponsored by the USG Class Officers, the feast offered international cuisine for the quintessential American holiday.

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In other headlines:
• CES announces last minute curriculum changes
• Winter holidays of three faiths to be celebrated
• Freiberger Field dedicated this weekend
• Where does the money go? Activity fee reviewed
• Frank Gehry to design new Weatherhead building
• CWRU physics professor publishes fourth book
• Expectations high for women’s basketball

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 11/21/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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Remembering 1997-1998: Week 11

The November 14, 1997 issue of The Observer included a special focus section on money management. Articles included:

• CWRU students face 3rd highest debt in nation
• Merit based scholarship criteria revised
• Job opportuinities permeate the campus
• University offers topics for financial planning
• Tuition increases expected through 2000
• Student responses to the question, “How do you save money?”
“I don’t do laundry.”
“I stay out of the bars.”
“I buy necessities, not luxuries – or only a few luxuries.”
“I eat before I go to the grocery store.”
“I’m going to grad school – it’s hard to save money if one doesn’t have a job.”

Other headlines included:
• University continues search for library director
• Class officers are busy planning events for CWRU
• Phi Kaps are first to finish service hours this year
• Caroline Whitbeck joins CWRU as ethics chair

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 11/14/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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November 07, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 10

If it’s November, there must be elections somewhere. The November 7, 1997 issue of The Observer reported that the Undergraduate Student Government Assembly amended its election bylaws to “require election candidates to serve at the polling stations on the day of elections.”

In other news...

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Other headlines included:
• Historic Severance Hall plans massive renovation
• CSP brings Race in the Post Modern World to CWRU
• Don’t walk alone at night!
• Eyes On CWRU Habitat for Humanity
• Inaugural Hallinan lecture ends Humanities Week
• Odorless, tasteless rape drugs cause concern in the U.S.
• Spartan Spotlight features Libby Stansifer, junior cross country

And here's the entire issue: Observer, 11/7/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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October 31, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 9

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The 1997 Halloween issue of The Observer offered non-vandalism alternatives to trick-or-treating: haunted houses, horror movies, and theater.

In other news:
• Spartans win Homecoming game against Oberlin
• Pre Law Society holds forum (keynote address by Stephanie Tubbs Jones)
• Greeks form task force to improve faculty relations
• Editorial: Cast an informed vote
• Rusted Root rocks Adelbert Gym
• Spartan Spotlight: Dan Flanigan, junior soccer player

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 10/31/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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October 21, 2016

Archives Month in Ohio: Mock Political Conventions

October is Archives Month in Ohio. The theme this year is Ohio and Presidential Elections. As part of celebrating Archives Month we wanted to highlight student participation in mock political conventions.

To participate in the presidential election process, students have staged their own versions of political party conventions, selecting whether it would be a Democratic or Republication convention. Students made the arrangements for the convention, drafted the platforms and nominated candidates for president and vice president. The first mock political convention in the university’s history was held by Western Reserve University in 1908. Held May 2 at Gray’s Armory in downtown Cleveland, Wisconsin Senator Robert LaFollette was nominated as candidate for president. LaFollette was popular with students for many years. Though there was no mock convention that year, in 1924 LaFollette was the winner of the student straw poll.

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1908 program and 1924 cartoon

In 1932 a Mock Democratic Convention was held April 27 at Adelbert Gym. Newton D. Baker, former Cleveland mayor and Secretary of War, was nominated as candidate for president. The movement to hold a convention came from the Reserve Politics Club, composed of students from Adelbert College and the Law School. They invited the Mather College chapter of the League of Women Voters to participate. These groups set up a Committee on Arrangements and invited other student organizations university-wide to participate. Future Ohio congressman Charles A. Vanik served as secretary on the Committee on Arrangements for the convention. Vanik graduated from Adelbert College in 1933 and the Law School in 1936. He served Ohio’s 21st district 1955-1969 and the 22nd district 1969-1981.

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1932 convention floor and 1932 program

While WRU cancelled its 1948 convention, Case Institute held its first mock political convention - nominating Michigan senator Arthur Vandenburg. Subsequent CIT convention nominees included (among others) Dwight Eisenhower, Adlai Stevenson, and Governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania. Other activities, held as part of the mock conventions, included parades, election of a queen, picnics, and dances.

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1948 Case Alumnus magazine featuring the convention and 1972 poster

The conventions were intended to “provide political enlightenment and social entertainment.” Debates, speeches, and lectures would supplement the convention itself. In 1972 CWRU held its first mock political convention, nominating South Dakota senator George McGovern as candidate for president. In addition to the convention held April 21 and 22, California Senator John V. Tunney gave a lecture April 13 and Ohio Congressman Louis Stokes gave a lecture April 20.

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October 17, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 8

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In its October 17 issue, The Observer’s editors handed out fall grades, including: A to UPB and USG, B to CWRU’s new webpage design, C for the 4-day fall break, A to student athletes, F to anti-GLBA chalker and those who speculated about the recent rape, “W for World Series-bound to the Cleveland Indians!”

Some headlines in this issue:

• Theater department celebrates 100 years of Eldred
• GLBA’s Coming Out marred by anti-gay chalkings
• Annual week celebrates humanities on campus
• Nursing Professor spends a semester in Hungary
• President Pytte tells about university at annual speech
• CP & P hosts career fair
• Turkish Student Association presents Turkish Deserts Night
• Theatre of Voices to perform at Harkness
• Sand mandala to be built on-site at CMA
• Men in Black to be shown at Strosacker
• Volleyball squad ties school record for season wins
• CWRU graduate student to compete in American Weightlifting Championships

And here's the entire issue: Observer, 10/17/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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