January 12, 2015

Re-orientation Party, 1/16/1987

The rock band The Guess Who was the headline act for the Re-orientation Party at Adelbert Gym on 1/16/1987, 9 p.m. -1 a.m. According to UPB executive chairman Brian Conrad, “Everyone has been gone for three weeks and are kind of disoriented. The party is a way to start off the semester. It’s a good way to get everyone together at the beginning of the semester.”

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The Guess Who playing at Adelbert Gym, 1/16/1987. Photo by Larry Stephan.

Opening for The Guess Who was Passion Play (the band that played at the Orientation party in the Fall). The event was free for undergraduates with ID, $2.00 for graduate students, and $5.00 for others. Over 2000 people attended the Re-orientation party, making it the largest UPB sponsored event up to that time. According to the yearbook (1987 Annum), “The good turnout for the party dispelled the myth that CWRU can’t host a successful concert. The free concert was a good example of the student activity fee hard at work.” Besides the Re-orientation party, other events for the day included the band Company playing at Thwing Center during lunch.

In addition to the Re-orientation party, the 12th Annual Science Fiction Marathon kicked off at 8 p.m. the same night, with doors opening at 6 p.m. in Strosacker Auditorium. Admission was $10.00. The 17 films included A Clockwork Orange, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Alien, A Trip to the Moon, Tron, War of the Worlds, and 2 surprise movies.

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January 07, 2015

Namesakes - Heman Oviatt and the Oviatt Professorship

Over the years Case Western Reserve University’s benefactors have donated funds to establish endowments for many purposes - scholarships, research, buildings maintenance, and professorships. Typically, the donated funds are invested and only the income is used to support the endowment’s purpose. These gifts, thus, have a lasting impact on the university. The income from endowed professorships, also called endowed chairs, supports part or all of the salary of the incumbent and, sometimes, expenses related to his or her research.

CWRU’s oldest surviving endowed chair, the Oviatt Professorship was established in 1837, only 11 years after Western Reserve College’s founding. Heman Oviatt, a Western Reserve College trustee, donated land valued at $10,000 to endow the professorship in the theology department. Heman Oviatt was born in Goshen, Connecticut in 1775 and was one of the original settlers of Hudson, Ohio, Western Reserve College’s original home. Oviatt was a successful merchant and, in 1837 was elected the first mayor of Hudson. Oviatt died in 1854.

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Allen Smith, Jr. painting of Heman Oviatt

Originally named the Oviatt Professorship of Sacred Rhetoric, in 1853 the name was changed to the Oviatt Professorship of Rhetoric. In 1906 the name was changed to the Oviatt Professorship of English.

Oviatt Professors and the dates they held the chair are:

Henry Noble Day, 1840-1857
Carroll Cutler, 1865-1876
Daniel F. DeWolf, 1876-1880
Edwards P. Cleaveland, 1882-1895
Oliver Farrar Emerson, 1896-1927
Finley Melville Foster, 1928-1953
William Powell Jones, 1954-1967
Robert Ornstein, 1974-1988
Roger B. Salomon, 1990-1999
Gary Lee Stonum, 1999-2013
William Siebenschuh, 2014-

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December 23, 2014

Mather Quad Restoration Campaign

In 1980 Western Reserve College (the predecessor of the College of Arts and Sciences) initiated a $1.6 million campaign to renovate the 7 buildings on the Mather Quadrangle: Guilford House, Clark Hall, Harkness Chapel, Haydn Hall, Mather Gym, Mather House, and Mather Memorial. These buildings, the Flora Stone Mather College District, were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

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Flora Stone Mather College campus, 1910

Guilford needed the most extensive work: total refurbishing of the exterior including rebuilding the porch and steps, new plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems, and installation of an elevator. The fundraising goal for Guilford was $440,000. It was the first building to be renovated being rededicated 5/5/1985 at the Mather Brunch during Alumnae Reunion Weekend. The rest of the buildings followed shortly thereafter.

The fundraising committee consisted of alumnae Sarah Gingery Bartlett, Anne Melby Clapp, Marjorie Cowdrey Crone, Dorothea Davis, Marion Quayle Fulton, Ann Harsh, Marilyn Booth Opatrny, Elizabeth Mayer Robson, Maida Howes Roski, Jean Skeggs, Clara Angell Taylor, Elizabeth Walker, Edith Hinds West. Peter Musselman, University Vice President and Treasurer, also served on the committee with ex officio members: T. Dixon Long, Dean, Lee Hanson, WRC Director of Development, and Jean Hachen, Futures Office.

In addition to major gifts by individuals and foundations, many alumnae participated by donating to their class gifts which were earmarked for the restoration. Enough funds were raised by 1983 to begin the renovation work and the campaign successfully concluded in 1985.

To commemorate the Mather Quad Restoration Campaign a set of 8 commemorative plates was commissioned from Woodmere China of Pennsylvania. The plates featured an illustration of each building and the Mary Chisolm Painter Arch. The illustrations were drawn by Eleanor Shankland, whose drawings of University buildings have been used on notecards, stationery, and in publications. The plates could be purchased individually or as a set.

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December 12, 2014

Fall Semester 1904

With the end of the 2014 fall semester rapidly approaching, here are a few aspects of the undergraduate experience at Case School of Applied Science and Western Reserve University’s Adelbert College and College for Women 110 years ago.

The most obvious difference is that the fall semester didn’t end in December in 1904, but in February 1905. Students did have a winter vacation, however. At both Case and Reserve the winter recess began the evening of Friday, December 23 and ended the evening of Tuesday, January 3 - an 11 day break. Case’s President Howe, in requesting Trustee approval of the holiday break explained it should be “long enough before Christmas to enable students to reach home on that day and ending at such a date as shall enable the students to return after New Years.”

Not surprisingly, both schools were smaller in 1904. Enrollment at all Western Reserve schools was 808 and at Case 422. That’s a little smaller than CWRU’s undergraduate first year class in 2014. Tuition, also, was less than today. Adelbert and College for Women students paid $85 for the year; Case students paid $100.

Degree programs were less varied then. Adelbert and College for Women students had three courses of study: Language and Literature, Mathematics and Natural Science, and Philosophy, History and Social Science. The Bachelor of Arts was the only degree the two colleges awarded. At Case, the courses of instruction were Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, and General Science. The undergraduate degree awarded was the Bachelor of Science.

In varsity sports the football seasons of both WRU and Case ended on the same day, November 24, with Case defeating Reserve 22-0 in the annual Thanksgiving Day game. At Reserve, the basketball season started on December 16 with a 36-23 defeat of Sandusky. Case’s intercollegiate basketball program didn’t start till 1912.

A sample of December student events included:
12/2: Case’s junior class held its first dance of the semester
12/9: Case held its end of season football banquet
12/17: College for Women Dramatic Club produced Trelawney of the Wells
12/17: Case Musical Association concert was performed at the Excelsior Club
At Adelbert and the College for Women daily chapel attendance was required.

In 1904 Reserve had around 20 buildings and Case fewer than 10.

On campus student residences were much more limited than today. There were no Case dorms until the 1950s. A dormitory for Adelbert students was one of the original WRU University Circle buildings. We don’t know when Adelbert Hall, laterPierce Hall, ceased being a dormitory, but as early as 1894 offices and classrooms occupied some of the building. So, there was very little on-campus housing for Adelbert students in 1904. The undergraduate men at both schools either lived at home or in rooming houses near campus. The situation for undergraduate women was quite different. College for Women students had two campus residences in 1904, Guilford and Haydn. Fees were between $225 and $330 per year.

Some aspects of student life don’t change very much. The WRU student yearbook described the holiday break as, “We all go home to get money to come back on.”

Best wishes from the CWRU Archives to all our students for a restful (and lucrative) semester break!

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November 26, 2014

American Physical Society 1962 Thanksgiving meeting

On Friday and Saturday, November 23 and 24, 1962 Case Institute of Technology (CIT) and Western Reserve University (WRU) served as co-hosts for the American Physical Society (APS) Thanksgiving meeting. The Thanksgiving holiday was November 22 that year.

Cleveland physicists petitioned to have the meeting on the joint campuses that year because it was the 75th anniversary of the Michelson Morley experiment (1887). This commemoration was recognized with a Symposium on Relativity on Saturday morning. Robert S. Shankland of CIT, gave a paper, Michelson-Morley Experiment. Other papers were given by L. I. Schiff of Stanford University, Experimental Basis of Relativity; G. M. Clemence of U. S. Naval Observatory, Planetary Motions According to Newton, Einstein, Observation, and Other Authorities; J. P. Schiffer of Argonne National Laboratory, Experiments on Relativity with the Mossbauer Effect; and C. H. Townes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Experimental Tests of Special Relativity by Use of Masers.

CIT Physics chair Frederick Reines (later a Nobel Laureate) and WRU Physics chair John K. Major coordinated the local arrangements for the meeting. The headquarters for the conference was Wade Park Manor, where most of the attendees stayed. (Other guests stayed at the Tudor Arms Hotel.) Sessions were held in Rockefeller, Sears Library, Millis Science Center, Schmitt Auditorium, and Strosacker Auditorium. A Student Section Headquarters room was set up in Tomlinson Hall. Students were allowed to register for free and attend regular sessions. There were two lectures especially for students: The Detectors of Nuclear Physics - A Survey, by Frederick Reines, and Optical Pumping by Thomas G. Eck of CIT.

The Fall meeting of the Ohio Section APS was held in conjunction with this Thanksgiving meeting. The Ohio Section sponsored a session of papers on Basic Physics Research at Five Nonacademic Laboratories in Ohio: Battelle Memorial Institute, F. J. Milford; Monsanto Research Corporation, J. F. Eichelberger; NASA Lewis Research Center, R. A. Lad; Owens-Illinois Glass Co., T. C. Baker; and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, W. J. Price.

The presidents of CIT and WRU, T. Keith Glennan and John S. Millis, were the featured speakers at the banquet Friday night. The meeting was a success with attendance of 373. CIT and WRU had co-hosted the meeting previously in 1949 and 1959.

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November 10, 2014

Veterans Day: Remembering Those Who Served

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Charles Augustus Young, Western Reserve College faculty member, during the American Civil War served as captain of Company B of the 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, composed of students and faculty of Western Reserve College. Additional details about WRC during the Civil War

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In 1898 in response to the Spanish-American war, Case School of Applied Science organized the Voluntary Case Corps of Cadets.

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In 1918 in response to the United States' entry into World War I, the Student Army Training Corps at Case School of Applied Science began induction of students.

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In 1917 Lakeside Base Hospital Number Four, comprised of 256 men and women, including faculty from the School of Medicine, sailed for Europe one month after the United States entered World War I. Pictured are officers of General Hospital No. 9.

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Naval Unit of Student Army Training Corps at Adelbert College, 1918

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Mather College WAVES in World War II

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Case Navy V-12 unit in World War II

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U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps students in World War II

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October 28, 2014

W.P.A. Project - Cleveland Regional Union Catalog

The theme of 2014 Archives Month in Ohio is Ohio in the Depression. A project, promoted by faculty and administrators of Western Reserve University (WRU) that started 4/10/1936 as a Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) project, was the Cleveland Regional Union Catalog.

The purpose was to bring together into one place records of the holdings of libraries and other institutions. The original 42 participants included libraries of colleges and universities (such as WRU, Case School of Applied Science, Ohio State University, Oberlin College, John Carroll University), other libraries (such as Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland Medical Library, Lakewood Public Library) and organizations (such as Cleveland Board of Education, Rowfant Club, Western Reserve Historical Society, Nela Park).

The project soon expanded and was known as the state-wide Cleveland Regional Union Catalog. To develop this expanded Catalog, three other W.P.A. projects were established (7/27/1937, 1/4/1938, and 8/16/1938). The W.P.A. provided the clerical labor for the projects. Public support of the catalog ended 11/25/1939.

The first-entry library cards of the entire General Catalogs of the participating institutions were “photographed and transcribed on cards to constitute the state-wide Cleveland Regional Union Catalog.” WRU maintained the Catalog. The Cuyahoga County Board of Education helped to sponsor the project until it became state-wide and the Ohio State Library Board sponsored it after the state-wide expansion. Over the years some libraries dropped out, other libraries joined the effort, and many maintained their participation in the project by submitting cards as new purchases were made and items were withdrawn from their libraries.

During the 1940s the Library of Congress Union Catalog Division received and transcribed the cards constituting the entire state-wide Cleveland Regional Union Catalog. In 1956 the Catalog contained over 2,600,000 cards. In January 1956 the Cleveland Regional Union Catalog began “sending monthly shipments of main-entry cards from eleven of its important libraries selected by the Library of Congress for publication in the National Union Catalog.”

The Cleveland Regional Union Catalog was maintained well into the 1970s. The need for such a catalog was superseded over time by advances in networked information, especially the online catalog. Case Western Reserve University had been a founding member of OCLC. (In 1967 the Ohio College Library Center, now known as the Online Computer Library Center, was established.) During the 1971-1972 academic year, CWRU University Libraries introduced the new on-line cataloging system to its campus. “The system provides access to the large data base of bibliographic records from the Library of Congress MARC project as well as records stored by members on a current basis.”

The efforts of multiple 1930s-era W.P.A. projects are a fine example of the collaboration and cooperation by libraries which continues to this day.

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