October 15, 2018

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight - Alfonso Miguel Alvarado

In 1965 Alfonso M. Alvarado became Assistant to the Provost for International Programs at Case Institute of Technology. He was head of a program of assistance to Mexican colleges and universities.

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Alfonso M. Alvarado

Born in Cartago, Costa Rica in 1900, Alvarado came to the United States as a boy, living in New Orleans. He received his B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University in 1921. He attended graduate school at the University of Iowa, receiving the M.S. in Industrial Chemistry with minors in bacteriology and water analysis in 1922, and the Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry with a first minor in Organic Chemistry in 1924. Dr. Alvarado married Bertha V. Couture in 1924, and they had 3 children: Donald M., Shirley L., and Nancy E. He became a naturalized citizen in 1935.

After completing his education, Alvarado served as Professor and Head of the Department of Science at Waukon Junior College in Waukon, Iowa, 1924-1925. He was Associate Professor of Chemistry at Loyola University in New Orleans for 2 years, 1925-1927, before beginning a 37-year career as a Senior Research Chemist in the Central Research Department at E. I. duPont deNemours Co. After his retirement from DuPont, Dr. Alvarado joined CIT.

The Ford Foundation had approved a grant of $70,000 to CIT for a “1 1/2 year participation in the Foundation’s program for Technology Manpower Training in Mexico....The Case program involves working with educators in Mexico to help the development of higher education in engineering and science. Case already has a program in Monterrey, Mexico under which seven Case juniors study for a year at the Institute of Technology.”

After Dr. Alvarado’s retirement from CWRU in 1968, he was retained as a consultant in patent matters by the Office of Research Administration. During his career at DuPont he received 15 patents.

He was a member of Gamma Alpha Honorary Scientific Fraternity and the American Chemical Society. At CIT he was a member of the Provost Council and the Steering Committee Representative for the Indo-American Program at the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, India.

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September 27, 2018

Namesakes - Charles B. Storrs and Storrs House

Charles Backus Storrs
The northside dormitory, Storrs House, was named for the first president of Western Reserve College, Charles Backus Storrs. Storrs was born 5/23/1794 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He was the son, grandson, and nephew of ministers. He attended the village school and then Monson Academy where he graduated in 1810. He entered the College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton University) in 1810 at the age of 16. He had to withdraw his junior year on account of ill health. He returned home and taught at the village school. He began the study of theology as a private student of a clergyman on Long Island. When he was 20 he was licensed to preach. In 1817 he entered Andover Theological Seminary and graduated in 1820. He served as a missionary in South Carolina and Georgia for a year and a half before suffering ill health again. While returning to Massachusetts he stopped in Ohio to visit a friend.

When he arrived in Ravenna, Ohio in 1822, a new church was being established. Storrs became the new pastor and served 6 years. On 7/6/1823 he married Vashti Maria Pearson of Avon, New York. They had 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. His first son (second child) died as an infant and his last child died a month before President Storrs himself.

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The Western Reserve College President's House in Hudson, built 1829-1830

Storrs was offered the professorship of Theology at Western Reserve College in 1828. Before that time the faculty consisted of tutors. As the only professor he also performed administrative duties for the College. He was offered the presidency in 1829 but declined. In 1830 he accepted the presidency and was inaugurated as the university’s first president 2/9/1831.

He had been anti-slavery and was a Colonizationist. He became an ardent abolitionist some time in 1831. He was also an advocate for temperance. On 5/8/1833 Storrs gave a 3-hour long sermon on the subject of abolition; after which he became extremely ill. His health had been failing for some months. He was given a leave of absence by the trustees and went to his brother’s home in Braintree, Massachusetts. He never recovered and died from tuberculosis on 9/15/1833. John G. Whittier published 2 poems referring to slavery in 1833. According to university historian Frederick C. Waite, “In November, 1833, Whittier wrote a poem which ‘sounded through the abolition ranks like the notes of a trumpet.’ It was in memory of Charles Backus Storrs, who at that date was the only college president that had publicly advocated abolition. This was the first poem that Whittier published in Garrison’s journal, the Liberator. Its opening stanza, which indicates the place President Storrs held in the early abolition movement, is as follows:
Thou hast fallen in thine armor,
Thou martyr of the Lord!
With thy last breath crying, - ‘Onward!’
And thy hand upon the sword.”

Storrs House
Storrs House was built as part of the Adelbert I dormitory complex, which consisted of 4 dormitories and 1 commons building. The dorms were named for the first 4 presidents of Western Reserve College: Charles B. Storrs, George E. Pierce, Henry L. Hitchcock, and Carroll Cutler. The commons was named for the 8th president, Winfred G. Leutner.

Financing for the $3.3 million Adelbert I complex was through a loan from the Housing and Home Finance Administration ($2.6 million) and university funds. The Adelbert Alumni Association conducted a three-year $200,000 fundraising campaign to furnish the new men’s dormitories. There is a donor plaque in each of the 4 dorms to commemorate the donors. Some rooms may still have the original small plaque outside the individual doors.

Ground was broken in 1963 and Storrs House was completed by 10/15/1964. Instead of being ready for the Fall 1964 semester as planned, there was a delay in the completion of Storrs House and the rest of the Adelbert I complex and the Mather II complex because of a strike by the building trades workers. Students were housed in the old dorms and some were accommodated in local hotels. The dedication ceremonies included the Adelbert I, Mather I (Cutter House, Smith House, Taft House, Taplin House, and Stone Dining Hall) and Mather II (Norton House, Raymond House, Sherman House Tyler House, and Wade Commons) dormitory complexes on Sunday, 3/7/1965 at Leutner Commons. Storrs House has been in continuous use as a dormitory since its opening 54 years ago.

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Gravestone for President Storrs

President Storrs is the only university president for which there is no portrait or likeness in any format. According to correspondence with his descendants, there never had been a portrait or other image of him. The Archives has a photograph of one of his brothers and of his gravestone. On Friday, 9/15/1933 a wreath was laid on Storr’s grave on behalf of Western Reserve University to mark the 100th anniversary of his death. University historian Frederick C. Waite had visited the site to make the arrangements.

For more information on abolition at the university see our 2009 Archives Month webpage, Taking a Stand: Abolition in Ohio (scroll down the page), and the Institute for the Study of the University in Society story, The College and Abolitionism.

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August 31, 2018

School of Medicine’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

As the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, let us look back at the 100th anniversary celebration held in 1943.

Planning for the centennial began in 1938 when President Leutner appointed a committee “to consider and to lay plans for a celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the School of Medicine.” Arthur D. Baldwin served as honorary chair and Howard T. Karsner served as chair. Committee members included Robert H. Bishop, Jr., Mrs. A. A. Brewster, Victor C. Myers, Frank A. Scott, Torald Sollmann (Dean of the School) with President Leutner serving ex officio. Members added to the committee included Harold E. Adams, Willis E. Corry, James C. Gray, Harold D. Green, William W. Hurst, Edward Muntwyler, and E. D. Whittlesey.

Originally the celebration was planned for 4/5-4/6/1943 in conjunction with the meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (which was planned to meet in Cleveland). However, this meeting was cancelled because of the war. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) was meeting in Cleveland on 10/25-10/26. It was thought by the planning committee that the AAMC meeting would be held “because the work of the Association is directly concerned with the war program, and certainly will not be proscribed by the Office of Defense Transportation.” The centennial celebration was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, 10/27 and 10/28. The days were packed with activities as seen in the program. (Download pdf)

05304D1.jpgWednesday began with a scholarly lecture, “Blood Plasma Proteins, Their Production, Function, Substitution and Replacement,” by Dr. George H. Whipple, Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. A buffet luncheon followed for delegates to the centennial celebration and delegates for the AAMC meeting and invited speakers. The University Convocation was held in Severance Hall at 3:30 p.m. An academic procession led by President Leutner entered through the front entrance with an honor guard of medical students enlisted in the Navy and Army lining the steps. In addition to the president, deans, faculty members, Medical School students in uniform, and 159 delegates from colleges and universities, national societies, state societies and philanthropic foundations made up the procession. After the National Anthem and the invocation were 2 addresses. Howard Karsner, professor of Pathology and director of the Institute of Pathology, spoke on “The Public Service of the School of Medicine.” Dr. Alan Gregg, Director for the Medical Sciences at the Rockefeller Foundation, gave the address “The Matrix of Medicine.” Honorary degrees were awarded to 5 people: William Thomas Corlett (Doctor of Humanities), Reginald Fitz (Doctor of Science), Torald Sollmann (Doctor of Laws), Frederick Clayton Waite (Doctor of Humanities), George Hoyt Whipple (Doctor of Science). Dr. Gregg, though nominated, was unable to receive the degree because of the policies of the Rockefeller Foundation. At the convocation President Leutner announced “the gift of a fund of $50,000 by the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the income to be devoted to fellowships in surgery for postgraduate students chosen by the Faculty of Medicine of the University. The fund is to be named for Drs. Frank E. Bunts, George Crile, Sr., and William E. Lower, former members of the Faculty, who founded the Cleveland Clinic in 1921.”

Following the convocation was the One Hundredth Anniversary Celebration Dinner. Dr. Karsner served as toastmaster. Cleveland Mayor Frank J. Lausche gave a welcome, followed by President Leutner who gave a brief history of the School, and then Dean Sollmann who gave an address of welcome which featured a poem written by Emilie Chamberlin Conklin in honor of the celebration. The main address, “The Crimson Thread,” was given by Reginald Fitz, Lecturer on the History of Medicine at Harvard University Medical School.

The Thursday program - a series of lectures given primarily by alumni - was organized by the alumni. It concluded with Dean Sollmann’s address, “Farewell 1943, Hail 2043.” That date is now only 25 years away!

Graduation exercises were held Thursday afternoon. Because of the war, the Medical School was operating under a compressed schedule and 2 classes graduated in 1943 - one in February and one in October. The Alumni Banquet was held in the evening. It featured a business meeting and election of officers of the Alumni Association, the reception of the graduating class into the Alumni Association, and 2 addresses, including university historian and professor emeritus Frederick C. Waite talking about “Episodes in One Hundred Years” of the Medical School.

For 3 weeks the Cleveland Health Museum hosted an exhibit co-sponsored by the Cleveland Medical Library Association and the Western Reserve Historical Society, “100 Years of Medicine.” A preview of the exhibit was held the evening of Tuesday, 10/26. Chauncey D. Leake, Dean of the Medical School at the University of Texas gave a talk, “Milestones in Medicine,” illustrated with lantern slides. Guided tours were provided by Dr. Howard Dittrick, Director of the Museum of Historical Medicine of The Cleveland Medical Library Association.

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Invitation to the exhibit preview

Coverage of the events appeared in various newspapers such as The Plain Dealer and Cleveland Press,The Clevelander, the Clinical Bulletin of the School of Medicine, the Bulletin of the Academy of Medicine, in the Reserve Tribune student newspaper of 11/12/1943(Download pdf) and the alumni newsletter Voice of Reserve. There was also a radio tribute and a broadcast speech by Dr. Harry Goldblatt.

Chairman of the Centennial Committee Howard Karsner concluded in his final report on the Centennial, “Many communications have been received from those who attended the celebration and all have spoken in highly complimentary terms of the occasion. The fact that the country is at war limited the exercises to a considerable degree, but in spite of the handicaps and difficulties, it may be said that the celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the School of Medicine, Western Reserve University, was wholly successful.

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August 15, 2018

Mini-History of the School of Education

In her 1938 “History of the School of Education,” Helen Harris Graebner wrote,” Perhaps the history of the present School of Education of Western Reserve University could best be expressed by a jig-saw puzzle - so many elements have gone into its making and so complicated does its story seem.”

Ms. Graebner was absolutely correct. The simplest part of the story is that Western Reserve University had a School of Education from 1928/29 through 1944/45. The more complicated antecedents are outlined in the timeline below.

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School of Education students depicted in 1937 yearbook, L'Annee

Some Key Dates
1874 Cleveland Normal Training School was established by the Cleveland Board of Education.
1894 Cleveland Kindergarten Training School was established.
1915 A joint summer program between WRU and the Cleveland School of Education was established.
1916 Education Department was established in the College for Women.
1919 Cleveland Normal Training School was renamed the Cleveland School of Education.
1920 The joint summer program was renamed the Senior Teacher's College of Western Reserve University and the Cleveland School of Education.
1922 Cleveland Kindergarten Training School was renamed Kindergarten-Primary Training School.
1927 Department of Nursery-Kindergarten-Primary Training was established by WRU after the program was transferred by the Cleveland Day Nursery and Free Kindergarten Association of Cleveland.
1928 School of Education was established by WRU, combining the College for Women Education Department, the Nursery-Kindergarten-Primary Training Department, the Cleveland School of Education, and the Senior Teacher’s College of WRU and the Cleveland School of Education.
1945 School of Education closed.
1979 The successor Department of Education closed.

Curriculum
In its early years the school offered three curricula: Kindergarten-Primary, Intermediate Grades, Junior-Senior High School Grades. Over time additional curricula were added: Art Education, Music Education, Commercial Education, Industrial Arts, and Nursery School. During the early 1930s a program in Library Service for Children was offered with the School of Library Science.

Degrees Offered and Awarded
In 1928/29 the school offered both 2-year and 3-year diplomas and 4-year degree programs. From 1928/29 through 1944/45 the degree offered was the Bachelor of Science. The diploma programs ended in the mid-1930s.
Master’s and doctoral education degrees (Ed.D., M.A.Ed., Ed.M.) were offered by the School of Graduate Studies.
From 1929 through 1945 the school awarded 2,151 degrees, ranging from 51 in 1929 to 209 in 1939.

Tuition
1928/29-1935/36: $250/year
1936/37-1942/43: $300/year
1943/44-1944/45: $10/credit hour

Enrollment
From 1928/29 through 1944/45 enrollment in the school totaled 10,202, ranging from 260 in 1935/36 to 1,139 in 1938/39. Enrollment peaked at over 1,000 in four years 1936/37-1939/40.

Deans
1928-1933 Charles W. Hunt
1933-1945 Harry N. Irwin

Locations
1928/29-1935/36: 2060 Stearns Road
1936/37-1944/45: 11217 Bellflower Road

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August 03, 2018

The 1975-1976 Commemorative Year: CWRU’s 150th Anniversary

During the 1975-1976 academic year, CWRU celebrated its sesquicentennial, commemorating 150 years since the State of Ohio granted the charter to establish Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio on 2/7/1826. Since 1976 marked both the sesquicentennial, and the United States Bicentennial, the Board of Trustees designated the academic year 1975-1976 as the university’s “commemorative year.” In honor of the occasion, the CWRU community celebrated with a year-long series of events.

The festivities kicked off during the fall of 1975. On 10/19/1975, ceremonies celebrating the founding of Western Reserve College took place at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio. Known as the “Hudson Pilgrimage,” this event included a walking tour of the Academy and historical sites in Hudson, a Glee Club musical performance, and a picnic. The Hudson Pilgrimage was followed by the Commemorative Year Opening Festival on 10/25/1975, which included a ceremony to dedicate the banners for CWRU’s Schools and Colleges that took place at Amasa Stone Chapel. The dedication ceremony consisted of classical music performances, the presentation of the bicentennial flag, an address on the evolution of the university given by Chancellor Emeritus, John Schoff Millis, the presentation of the banners, and an address by President Louis Toepfer.

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Dedication of the Banners

The recognition of the commemorative year was not exclusive to Cleveland. In honor of the sesquicentennial, President Toepfer invited several nationally prominent individuals in higher education and national affairs to assist the CWRU community in reflecting upon the university’s and the nation’s past and future by serving as guest lecturers. One such individual was James B. Reston, a well-known New York Times columnist, who was invited to serve as a visiting Sesquicentennial Professor from 11/10/1975 to 11/21/1975. In addition, part of the year’s celebrations included events for alumni and friends that were held in key cities across the country in order to highlight the role that CWRU played in American education for 150 years, not only in Ohio, but across the nation. One such event was a reception hosted by President Toepfer and his wife, Alice Toepfer, for all alumni and Congressional representatives in Washington D.C. at the United States Botanical Garden on 10/20/1975. Another event was a Sesquicentennial Weekend for alumni and friends that took place at The York Club in New York City from 11/14/1975 to 11/16/1975. The weekend included a dinner and dance on Friday night, and a symposium on Saturday and Sunday that was conducted by key faculty members, and focused on Science and Technology, Medicine, and The Renaissance Man. Other cities across the country that held similar events for CWRU alumni and friends included Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Akron, Youngstown, Canton, Toledo, Dayton, and Philadelphia.

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President Louis A. Toepfer

Activities and events in honor of the commemorative year continued into 1976, beginning with a Festival of Arts and Sciences that was held on campus in January and February. The festival featured lectures from prominent faculty members, a bicentennial exhibit at Mather Gallery, musical presentations, a winter dance program, art history programs, and a theatrical performance. The sesquicentennial celebration also included the recognition of Charter Day, to commemorate the day when the university was founded. Held on 2/15/1976, the Charter Day Convocation included brunch for the university governing boards and special guests, the presentation of the University medal and new University Fellows, and introduced the new history of CWRU. This important work was written by Professor Emeritus of History, C. H. Cramer, who delivered the keynote address for the convocation, entitled “Reflections on a Sesquicentennial.”

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Charter Day Convocation

Discussions regarding the creation of an official institutional history began after Federation in 1967. To that end, the first CWRU president, Robert Morse, outlined a project to write such a history, which was recommended by the University Chancellor and approved by the trustees. When he assumed the presidency in 1970, President Toepfer continued the project. In 1972, Secretary of the University Carolyn Neff and University Archivist Ruth Helmuth recommended that the history should be published to coincide with the university sesquicentennial, and they recommended Professor Cramer as the most suitable historian to complete this work. Throughout the early 1970s, President Toepfer actively supported Cramer’s efforts by encouraging professors from various departments across campus to use their knowledge of departmental histories to aid in his research. Carolyn Neff oversaw the project to completion in time for the sesquicentennial by serving as the administrative coordinator.

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Clarence H. "Red" Cramer

Commemorative year celebrations continued into the spring of 1976, beginning with a Festival of American Jazz in March, in which concerts were given by area colleges’ jazz bands. On 4/28/1976, Alice Toepfer hosted a walking tour of CWRU campus buildings, ranging from Adelbert to Gund Hall. The tour began at Amasa Stone Chapel, and included tea in the Mather Gallery, which housed an exhibit on the sesquicentennial that featured the University Print Club Collection and pieces of Victorian furniture from Guilford House.

In early May 1976, the spring term ended with the University Showcase, which included alumni reunions, departmental open houses, University Circle tours, an antique car show, a flea market, and the Hudson Relay. In addition to the traditional Hudson Relay, a new event, the first annual Western Reserve Marathon, took place on 5/9/1976, and was sponsored by CWRU in honor of its 150th birthday, in cooperation with Revco Drug Centers, Inc. The marathon was run over the challenging and historic Hudson Relay course, which stretches 26 miles and 385 yards between Hudson and Cleveland. It was also considered an official United States Bicentennial event, and was open to all amateur athletes who carried a valid AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) registration card and a current medical certificate. Everyone who finished the Western Reserve Marathon was given a souvenir award, and running shirts were provided to all official entrants.

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Hudson Relay, 1976

During the commemorative year, CWRU enrolled nearly 8,000 students in two undergraduate colleges, a graduate school, and seven professional schools: Applied Social Sciences, Dentistry, Law, Library Science, Management, Medicine, and Nursing. In order to continue to improve upon the university’s mission “to prepare its students for a life of learning and professional responsibility by advancing knowledge and understanding through scholarship and research,” CWRU took an important step in addressing the future in honor of the sesquicentennial by announcing a $215-million capital campaign in 1976, called the Resources campaign, to raise funds for endowment and operations support. By the end of its five-year timeline in 1981, one year after President Toepfer’s retirement, the campaign goal was reached, and slightly exceeded.

For more information about the sesquicentennial and commemorative year events, please consult the University Archives. In addition, the digital exhibit “180 Events from 180 Years” on the Archives' website provides a useful timeline of CWRU history, and was created to celebrate the 180th anniversary in 2006. We look forward to celebrating the university’s bicentennial in 2026!

Written by Julia Teran

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July 31, 2018

Faculty involvement in the community - 1968

Many reflections and commemorations have been taking place this year as it is 50 years since the events of 1968. Here is a look back at how faculty members at CWRU were involved in several community related activities in 1968.

Faculty Families Needed to Tutor in Hough - reads a heading in the 5/3/1968 Faculty Announcements.
“Faculty and their families are needed to tutor children in the Hough area for this spring and summer. The Cleveland Tutorial Project has a waiting list of over 300 elementary to high school age students who have asked for tutors. The tutor is matched with one tutee; the tutor selects the age level and subjects in which he would like to tutor. The actual tutoring takes place in a church or recreation center near the tutee’s home one night a week.

“Age is no real barrier - a professor can tutor as well as his 13-year-old son. CTP would like to encourage more faculty families to participate. As a chemistry professor whose entire family has become involved in the project comments, ‘The rewards are presumably the same for tutors of all ages. For us parents, who are teachers anyhow, there is the luxury of devoting full attention to a single student, and in marshaling all our resourcefulness to deal with the unfolding responses...’”

The Poor People’s Campaign - the midwest caravan was scheduled to arrive in Cleveland Saturday, 5/11/1968 on its trip to Washington, D.C. Faculty and students were sought to volunteer to help the week of 5/13. “The response of those faculty offering to house the members of the march has been excellent.” Volunteers also donated food, performed office work and served as guides.

Cleveland: Now! - from 5/24 to 8/9, faculty, staff, and students contributed $12,900 to the Cleveland: NOW! campaign. As reported in the 5/24/1968 Faculty Announcements, “Although the University has long had a policy of soliciting employees for only one fund drive, United Appeal, each year, President Morse has endorsed the Cleveland: NOW! appeal and is asking members of the faculty and staff to support the fund drive.

Salaried employees were asked to give one day’s pay and hourly employees were being asked to give one hour’s pay. “The future of the University and the future of the city of Cleveland are closely linked. The Cleveland: Now! campaign is the first major step in getting Cleveland rolling.” On Tuesday, 8/6, Provost Alan R. Moritz presented Mayor Carl B. Stokes with a check for $12,900.

Upward Bound Program (a pre-college program for low-income and potential first-generation college students) - faculty members met informally with small groups of Upward Bound students to share information regarding their particular areas of specialization. Faculty members could also work with Upward Bound summer teachers in organizing learning experiences.

In January 1968 President Morse announced the creation of the University Urban Affairs Committee. The functions of the committee were: to review proposals seeking interdepartmental cooperation on problems of teaching, research, or service programs related to urban affairs; to act as clearinghouse of information about all academic projects within the university pertaining to urban affairs; to initiate and develop within the university interdepartmental research, service or educational activities appropriate to University’s increasing role in the urban field. The committee’s duties were refined throughout the course of the year. Louis A. Toepfer, then dean of the Law School, became chair in August and was also temporary director of the newly formed Office of Community Affairs.

As reported in Faculty Announcements, President Morse stated, “It is a fact of life that urban universities can only realize their goals and ambitions as educational institutions if the urban areas in which they are located can solve the agonizing social and economic problems they face. Urban universities have an obligation to their communities to contribute to creative solutions to these problems.”

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