March 20, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: March 20, 1998

The March 20, 1998 Observer editorial urged, “Implement online registration soon.” Columnist John D. Giorgus opined, “Current physical education standards are a waste.”

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Music critic, Ryan Smith offered his own rating system.

Headlines included:
• Merger may increase train traffic in UC four-fold
• Residence hall restructuring announced for 1998-1999
• Brooten appointed Dean of Nursing
• Eyes On: Urban Asylum
• Dickerson and Wiechers name Truman finalists
• Senior Week fun planned
• Boogie Benefit to fund renovations
• GE, OSCS, CSU form tutoring program
• Take Back the Night protests violence against women
• Makin’ Music: CWRU students to sing and strum at Spot
• CBS scores hit with new “George & Leo” sitcom
• Shakespeare feast to be served tomorrow night at Harkness Chapel
• Creed’s debut album swings and misses with too much hard rock
• Hessler Street Fair poetry contest announced
• Spartans win UAA Championships
• Baseball team starts season on down note
• CWRU holds First Annual Winter Indoor Ultimate Tourney
• CWRU to leave NCAC and become a full time UAA member

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 3/20/1998


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

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March 17, 2017

CWRU’s First International Students

In 2012 7% of Case Western Reserve University’s first-time, first-year students came from outside the U.S. In 2013, Beijing was the hometown of the most members of the entering undergraduate class. By 2016, international students represented 16% of first-time, first-year students. [1]

As an archivist, my default reaction to these kinds of changes and trends is to wonder about historic antecedents. So I set out to identify the first international student from each of our schools. One of the obstacles is that the university recorded far less data about students in the 19th and early 20th centuries than we do now. That means fewer sources to consult, but less certainty about results. So, the necessary disclaimer is that I am identifying the first documented international student in each of our schools.

Because our first reference priority is responding to user requests, my international student quest has been confined to the occasional slow reference periods. So this search will be an ongoing process with additions to this blog entry as additional students are identified.

Here is what is known so far:

CWRU’s first documented international student was George Hall, from England, who entered Western Reserve College in 1839. He attended either one or two years (sources differ). He did not graduate from WRC, but received his A.B. from Princeton in 1845, according to alumni directories.

Case School of Applied Science’s first documented international student was Shin-ichi Takano, from Tokyo. Mr. Takano appears in the 1897/98 and 1899/1900 student rosters as a graduate student. He is also listed in the Case Differential 1901, the student yearbook for academic year 1899/1900, as one of ten graduate students. He is listed in the 1900 commencement program, receiving the M.S. in chemistry. The title of his thesis is The Chemical Composition of the Japanese Petroleums. Fortunately, the Archives has a copy of this thesis. Unfortunately, Mr. Takano does not appear in Case alumni directories, so we know nothing of his life after he graduated.

Case School of Applied Science’s first documented undergraduate international student was Alexander Maurice Orecchia, from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mr. Orecchia appears in the 1900/01 and 1901/02 student rosters. He appears in the 1902 Commencement program, receiving the B.S. in electrical engineering. Case students at that time wrote an undergraduate thesis. The title of Mr. Orecchia’s thesis is Influence of Salts in Solution on the Ampere Efficiency of an Electrolytic Cell. The Archives also has a copy of this thesis. Case 1927, 1958, and 1964 alumni directories list Mr. Orecchia as living in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Alexander Maurice Orecchia, 1902

[1] The class statistics are from Institutional Research's First-Year Class Profile. Information about student hometowns was reported in the August 20, 2013 Case Daily.

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March 10, 2017

World War I - summary of CIT campus activity in 1917

The United States officially entered World War I on 4/6/1917. This galvanized actions at Case School of Applied Science (CSAS) and Western Reserve University.

President Charles S. Howe
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In the CSAS President’s Annual Report for 1916/1917, President Charles Howe wrote:

“For some time previous to the declaration of the war there had been a great deal of interest among our students in military matters but it had not crystallized into any being. the National Defence Act [sic] of June 1916 made it possible for students in college to form voluntary organizations and for the government to send military officers to institutions where such organizations existed. Engineering students are always very busy with their college work. The demands upon them during the four years of undergraduate life are very much more severe than upon the students in academic colleges. It is, therefore, not surprising that only a few students were willing to take upon themselves work that was not required. After this situation had been explained to the Board [of trustees] a committee was appointed, consisting of two members of the Board and the president of the faculty [Howe]. The committee was asked to thoroughly investigate the question of military drill and the establishment of such military drill as a requirement in Case. The committee had several meeting one with the Secretary of War in Cleveland and another with him in Washington, the latter at his invitation.

“An effort was made to have a military unit established but it was not successful because the number of officers in the army was limited and all of them were needed in the new army about to be raised. We were, therefore, informed that our application was on file - that it would receive consideration just as soon as it seemed possible to supply an officer but that until that time nothing could be done. The committee also endeavored to find out whether it would be possible for us, with our engineering and scientific equipment, to train men as officers for particular scientific departments of the army, or rather, departments where engineering skill is especially needed, as, for instance, in the engineer corps, the ordnance department, the signal corps, etc. Our suggestions were very coldly received by the heads of bureaus but seemed to please the Secretary of War very much. He could, not, however, force the heads of bureaus to attempt work of this kind without their hearty consent and so we have never offered the use of our laboratories to the government.

“As a result of the work of this committee the Trustees, on March 3rd voted that military drill be made compulsory in Case School of Applied Science in accordance with the terms of the National Defense Act of June 1916, and that such drill begin at the opening of the college year 1917-18. It was also voted to increase the length of the college year by one week in order to partially make up for the time which would be taken from studies by the military exercises. Previous to this time, however, military marching had been taken up in the gymnasium as a substitute for gymnasium work. This was carried on under the direction of Professor Adamson who was a captain in the Reserve Corps and by the gymnasium instructors who very willingly took the necessary time to acquaint themselves with the drill manual. At first this work was merely called military marching but as soon as the trustees had taken formal action its title was changed to military drill. The Cleveland Grays kindly loaned us a hundred rifles which they were not using and we secured the services of Captain Lynn, the Adjutant of the Fifth Regiment, Ohio Infantry, as the military instructor. There was little if any objection on the part of the students, even after drill was given for two, three and four hours a day.

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Student Army Training Corps drilling, 1917-1918

“As soon as war was declared and the government had determined to establish officers’ training camps in various sections of the county [sic], the college work was badly disorganized. The greatest excitement prevailed. Almost every student in college wanted to go to the camps and my office was besieged from morning until night by the men who wished to secure recommendations. Of course many of the students were too young to be allowed to enter the training camps but in the upper classes the majority of them were over twenty-one and hence were eligible. A comparatively small number of seniors applied for admission to the camps because they hoped to be admitted to the engineering department of the army. About sixty of the students were appointed to the training camps, the number being about equally divided among the senior, junior, and sophomore classes, although three or four freshmen were admitted. One of the freshmen received the highest rank given to a Case man at the conclusion of the first training camp and is now adjutant of his regiment.

“The training camps were not the only opportunities for college men, and various other military activities were open to them, and the call from some of which seemed to be irresistible. Some entered the aviation corps, some went into the mosquito fleet, some became wireless operators, several went to France with the ambulance corps, and one or two took up Y.M.C.A. work with the army.

“Then came the call to the farm. Although we are situated in a large city some of our students come from the country and there was a very great demand on the part of their fathers to have them go home as soon as possible to assist in the farm work. In other cases young men thought that the farm offered them their best field for service. The faculty, therefore, agreed to excuse on the first of May, all of those who could get positions on farms and to give them credit for the balance of the year’s work if they continued the farm work until September first. About thirty students took advantage of this ruling of the faculty and left college on approximately May first.

“Several of the faculty left before the end of the college year, taking advantage of the action of the Trustees whereby they were given leave of absence during the period of the war and continued under fully salary until such time as the government would provide pay for men in the department which they wished to enter.”

Read WRU President Thwing's summary.

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March 06, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: March 6, 1998

The March 6, 1998 issue of The Observer announced its contest to predict the Oscar winners. Nominees for Best Picture were Titanic, Good Will Hunting, L.A. Confidential, As Good as it Gets

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Other Headlines:
• Pytte to retire in 1999
• Neff discusses CWRUnet at open forum
• Eyes On: Peer Helpers
• Students prepare for competition in Malta
• Eustis to lead library
• CEC wraps up week of engineering fun
• Schmiedl tells of her “Personal Memory of King”
• Moonwalkin’ Man: MR CWRU talks about the pageant, his Michael Jackson impression...
• Fencers are undaunted by competition
• Hoopsters drop out in quarterfinals
• Wrestlers compete at regionals
• Spartans to compete in nine-day UAA tournament in Florida
• Tennis team prepares to take on NCAC opponents

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 3/6/1998

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

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February 27, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: February 27, 1998

The February 27, 1998 issue of The Observer Focus section asked, “What makes a great movie?” The section examined films “which have had a unique impact on today’s releases and culture.”

In other headlines: RHA captures “School of the Year” award

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• Network problems plague students on weekends
• Eyes On: Adopt-A-Grandparent
• Students win Seiberling moot court competition
• Medical school alum confirmed as surgeon general
• ACM team competes in international competition
• Recial tensions promote violence in essayist’s world
• Free jazz ensemble to make music in Strosacker Auditorium Tuesday night
• Big Star was the best of “power pop”
• Still not convinces metal music is worth listening to? Read why Six Feet Under makes it well-worth it
• “World’s best” to perform at Harkness Chapel
• Meggitt dreams of order this weekend at Mather
• Wrestlers continue to regional competition
• Men’s basketball closes season on the upside
• Hoopsters eliminated from conference play
• Track teams place third at Baldwin-Wallace
• Men’s volleyball continues to top EIVA
• Hockey club battles for top division spot
• Fencers compete in UAA championships

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 2/27/1998

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

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February 24, 2017

Namesakes - Lemperly Bookplate Collection

One hundred years ago Western Reserve University received a gift of 540 bookplates, some engravings and books from Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lemperly in memory of their daughter, Lucia, who had attended the College for Women and had passed away in 1915. This gift was placed in the custody of the Adelbert College Library and became known as the Lemperly Bookplate Collection.

Lucia Lemperly was born 2/7/1886 in Cleveland. She graduated from West High School in 1903 and entered the College for Women with the freshman class of 1907. She pursued the Modern Language course. In January 1905 Lucia withdrew on account of health reasons. She died 5/20/1915 at the age of 29. Her father was a wholesale druggist and a collector of bookplates and books about bookplates.

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Lucia Lemperly

Soon after the gift was received, the bookplates, designed by Edwin Davis French, were exhibited in the English Library at the College for Women in Clark Hall. The exhibition was held from 2/10-2/17/1917. To commemorate this exhibition from 100 years ago, the University Archives and Special Collections have displayed some of the bookplates, copper plates, and books in an exhibit case in the University Archives. The exhibit is available during the months of February and March.

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1917 Exhibit invitation

Prior to the gift, Lemperly’s collection was exhibited at the Case Library in 1899 and the Rowfant Club in 1911.

French was a renowned American engraver. He was born in North Attleboro, Massachusetts in 1851. After studying at Brown University for 2 years, he became chief of the engraving department of the Whiting Company (silversmiths) in New York. In 1893 he designed and engraved his first bookplate for his sister-in-law, Helen E. Brainerd. He soon changed his career to copper engraving (leaving Whiting in 1894). He died in 1906.

The Lemperly Bookplate Collection contains bookplates designed by other artists as well as those used by celebrities of the day. Mr. Lemperly and Mr. French kept up a regular correspondence and the letters from French to Lemperly have been bound and are available in Special Collections along with the bookplates and related books.

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February 21, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: February 20, 1998

The February 20, 1998 issue of The Observer reported on the College Republicans’ week-long celebration. During “Nuts for Regan Day” they passed out peanuts to honor Ronald Reagan. The week ended with a gala at Wade Commons.

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Headlines:
• Krzesinski disqualified from USG exec board
• Parking garage, more housing planned for UCI
• George Wallace to perform at CWRU
• Eyes on: Society of Women Engineers
• Share the Vision searches for new Alma Mater
• Zins explores “Where has King’s message gone?”
• Cleveland Museum of Art exhibits rare treasures from Vatican collections
• Inter-religious council to explore on-campus religious diversity
• The wonderful world of engineering to be celebrated next week
• Ballroom dancers step, swing and trot to awards circle at third annual CWRU competition
• Spartans surge for Sudeck’s 300th victory
• CWRU hosts Claude B. Sharer tournament
• Defeat takes CWRU women to the brink
• Track teams compete at Oberlin College
• Archery Club hosts Ohio Indoor Championships
• Spartan Spotlight: Elie Gurarie, senior fencer

And here's the entire issue:The Observer, 2/20/1998

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

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February 14, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: February 13, 1998

The day before Valentine’s Day, the February 13, 1998 issue of The Observer announced Musicians of CWRU would celebrate the day with a release party for their new CD, featuring 70 minutes of original music. The event was free; the CD cost $3.00.

In other news:
• Krzesinski and Oyster named to USG exec board
• Taft wins Winter Carnival
• Plans make Euclid Avenue more “pedestrian-friendly”
• Eyes On: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
• CSE announces the merger of three departments
• Legendary bluesman to be honored in September
• Student Voices: What is your opinion of the death penalty?
• Mr. CWRU contest raises over $1600
• Orpheus descends on Eldred this weekend
• “NewsRadio” is the next great sitcom
• Wellness Week to feature educational programs
• CWRU hosts first ever indoor track meet
• Hoopsters ready to spark in final countdown
• Spartans unable to snap out of 10 game streak
• Spartan Spotlight: Sharon Sanborn, senior swimmer

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Civil Engineering’s high school Model Bridge Building Competition

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 2/13/1998

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

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February 06, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: February 6,1998

The February 6, 1998 issue of The Observer began a three-part series examining University Circle improvements. The first article took a ten-year look at CWRU’s 1988 master plan.

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Other Headlines:

• Over 850 vote for USG
• Forum discusses learning
• Eyes On: College Republicans
• CWRU S.T.O.P. gets makeover as CWRU Telefund
• Case engineers beware! Physics III is still required
• Alpha Epsilon Pi gets charter at CWRU
• Cleveland art, artists subject of web project
• Planet E opened at History Museum, fails to impress college visitors
• Reggae fest to honor Bob Marley Saturday
• Nine local photographers showcased in new exhibit
• Swimmers ready to challenge the NCAC
• Spartans sweep UAA with three conference titles
• Spartans drop a pair heading into final conference play
• Men’s basketball surrenders to tough NCAC rivals

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 2/6/1998

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

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January 31, 2017

World War I - summary of WRU campus activity in Spring 1917

The United States officially entered World War I on 4/6/1917. This galvanized actions at Western Reserve University (WRU) and Case School of Applied Science (CSAS).

President Charles F. Thwing
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In the WRU President’s Annual Report for 1916/1917, President Thwing wrote:

“The most outstanding feature of the second part of the academic year is found in the war. Until the declaration of a state of war with Germany was made by the President, the interest of the students in the world-conflict was not great. With the making of the declaration, interest was quickened. The interest of the student community, however, was constantly much greater than that of the general. In this condition, it was the endeavor of the Faculty - an endeavor which still abides - and of the administrative officers, first , to make and maintain the devotion of all students to their immediate duties, and secondly, to recognize with fullness and propriety their relation to their larger fellowship, national and international. The reconciliation and co-working of these two aims has not always been easy, but I think it may be justly affirmed that these two objects have been well ordered and fittingly co-ordinated.

“In respect to the great conflict, the Faculty of Adelbert College have passed these votes:

‘That every possible encouragement by given to the immediate inauguration of voluntary military training among the students, that steps be taken to secure military instructors at once for the remainder of the college year, and that we recommend to the Board of Trustees the appropriation of funds necessary to secure such instructors;

‘That some form of systematic physical training under the direction of the department of Physical Training be required of all students for the remainder of the college year, with the view to making our students physically fit for military service;

‘That in the event of a declaration of war and a call for volunteers by the President of the United State, it be suggested to the Athletic Association of the University that inter-collegiate spring sports be abandoned;

‘That it be recommended to the Trustees that students who enlist and are accepted by the government for service in any branch of warfare be given credit for the remainder of the year;

‘That Commencement exercises of a simple nature be held May 10th or 11th for all Seniors in good standing;

‘That compulsory military training be adopted in Adelbert College for the ensuing year;

‘That for the balance of the present college year the executive committee be authorized to grant leave of absence with credit only to students enrolled in military and Red Cross organizations, and that such leave begin upon receipt of mobilization orders, unless in the judgment of the executive committee earlier leave ought in fairness to be granted in individual cases in order to permit students to visit their homes or to adjust their personal affairs before mobilization;

‘That the executive committee be authorized to reduce the examination period to the shortest time possible consistent with the best interests of the students and the College.’

The significance of these actions is made more impressive by reason of the great number of the students of Adelbert College and the Law School who have enrolled, and also of the formation and departure of the Lakeside Hospital unit. The number of men, who have entered the army, navy, and other service, is in Adelbert College one hundred and sixty-two, and in the Law School fifty-four. The staff of the School of Medicine is represented in the Lakeside Hospital Unit by twelve men.

“These bare figures are replete with meaning. They represent the supreme fact that in the hour of the crises of the nation, or of the nations, the college youths are the first to respond. This University is simply repeating in its way the experience through which American Colleges, both north and south, passed at the time of the Civil War and also through which the universities of England, of France, and of Germany, are passing in the course of the present conflict. This result is not surprising. The highest motives, the noblest purposes, make the most important and strongest appeal to men of the worthiest type.”

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Officers of the first American contingent to arrive in Europe, General Hospital No. 9 (Lakeside Hospital unit)


Spring 1917 activity on the Case campus will appear next month.

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January 30, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: January 30,1998

The January 30, 1998 issue of The Observer made it clear that CWRU had winter on its mind. The schedule for Winter Carnival included snow flag football and snow volleyball. The Outdoor Wilderness Association planned a winter hike at the Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation. And the Fun Photo of the Week depicted a skier with the caption, Caution: Bare Spots. (I cannot describe this. You will have to look for yourself.)

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Alumnus Fred D. Gray speaks at MLK, Jr. Convocation

Other headlines:
• Trustees announce tuition increase of 3.4 percent
• Asian financial crises affect CWRU students
• Eyes On: Outdoor Wilderness Adventures
• Vote for USG February 3
• Sophomores: sick of CWRU? Found out how to get away
• See new lands with Junior Year Abroad
• Features: Peter Pan soars into Palace Theater; Rapper Ma$e delivers a “fresh” debut album with upbeat, groovy songs
• Cain Park to hold theater auditions
• Sports: Wrestlers take third in Thiel tournament; Swimmers stay strong in the face of defeat; Men attempt to recover from six game slide; Hoopsters begin to slide
• Spartan Spotlight: Gloria Hsieh, senior swimmer

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 1/30/1998

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

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January 25, 2017

CWRU’s Monuments Men

Theodore Sizer and Lester K. Born, former faculty members, were both members of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) subcommission during World War II. The work of this commission to protect monuments and other cultural treasures from destruction was highlighted in the 2014 motion picture film, Monuments Men.

Theodore Sizer served as Lecturer in Art at Adelbert College of Western Reserve University (WRU) in the 1924/25 and 1925/26 academic years. He had received the S.B. cum laude in Fine Arts from Harvard University. Sizer also was Curator of Prints and Oriental Art at Cleveland Museum of Art while in Cleveland, beginning that role in 1921. After leaving Cleveland, he became an Associate Professor of Art History at Yale University. While on the Adelbert College faculty Sizer taught An Introduction to the Fine Arts. See his Monuments Men biography.

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Lester K. Born

Lester K. Born served as Assistant Professor of Classics at Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University 1930-1934. He received the A.B. in 1925 and the M.A. in 1926 from the University of California. He was also a graduate student in Political Science in 1926/27. He served as Graduate Scholar in Classics at Princeton University 1927-1928, receiving the M.A. in 1928. He earned the Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1929. Before serving on the faculty at WRU, he was Assistant Professor of Classical Languages at Ohio State University for the 1929/30 academic year. Born taught a variety of Latin classes at WRU over his 4 years. These classes included: Introductory Latin Composition; Horace, Odes and Epodes, Catullus and Martial; Intermediate Latin Composition; Cicero, De Senectute, Seneca, Apocolocytosis, Pliny, Selected Letters, Selections from Latin Poetry; Advanced Latin Composition; Roman Private Life; LIvy; Roman Elegiac Poetry; Translation at Sight; and The Teaching of Latin. Born’s faculty colleagues in the Classics Department included Rachel L. Sargent, Clarence Bill, Robert S. Rogers, and Kenneth Scott. See his Monuments Men biography. One of Born's published accounts of his service appeared in The American Archivist, July 1950 issue.

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January 17, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: January 16,1998

In the first issue of the new semester, The Observer editors offered some New Year’s resolutions to CWRU: implement computerized registration, allow juniors to live off campus, end the mandatory meal plan, implement standardized training for academic advisors, administrative offices should not close during the lunch hour.

“If CWRU can follow just one or two of the above suggestions, the student population would be most grateful.”

Headlines in the January 16, 1998 issue included:
• Clinton declares MLK Jr. Day to be day ‘on’ service
• Student sexually assaulted on Case Quad New Year’s Day
• Sororities kick off rush
• Eyes On Downhill Ski and Snowboard Club
• ZBT Hosts Casino Night
• Dunbar speaks at CWRU
• New deans come and go with the new year
• WSOM’s Cowen prepares for Tulane
• CWRU professor questions Martian nanobacteria
• Letters to the editor: Kwanzaa deserves to be considered “religious”; Kwanzaa belongs in Holiday Festival; Treat students with respect
• Exhibit celebrates African-American heritage
• Sports: Spartans thrive as coach nears milestone; New year brings new hope for Spartans; Wrestlers compete in Heidelberg tournament; Spartan Spotlight: Joe Dietrich, civil engineering senior, wrestling & track

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Fun Page Photo of the Week: snowflakes taste good…

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 1/16/1998

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

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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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