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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October 20, 2014

Case and WRU in the Great Depression

The stock market crash of October 1929 was the dramatic beginning of a decade of economic devastation. Manufacturing, agriculture, banking, construction, shipping - all sectors of the economy suffered, including higher education.

The University Archives has substantial documentation of the effects of the Depression on Case School of Applied Science and Western Reserve University as well as the actions and decisions taken in response to the crisis. Only two of those sources, student yearbooks and presidents’ annual reports, were consulted for this brief overview of the effect of the Depression on students.

What is remarkable in the student yearbooks is how infrequent references to economic conditions appear. For 1930/31, the student newspaper, The Reserve Weekly, was praised for increasing its advertisers “in spite of the acknowledged depression in business conditions.” The Case Tech earned similar praise in the Differential, “In spite of the discouragements offered by the business depression and the ensuing reluctance to invest in advertising, the business staff... has succeeded in holding up the financial end of the Tech.”

For the next five years, hopeful determination characterized the yearbooks’ depiction of the times. “The difficulties in producing the Differential by the Class of ‘34 in a period of economic chaos and financial turbulence were surpassed by the capable and concentrated efforts... of the entire staff, and the whole-hearted support of the student body and faculty.” Mather College’s 1934 Polychronicon’s senior class history read in part, “When they were Juniors the banks closed, and for several weeks it looked as though they could not have a Prom, but it turned out to be one of the best in years.”

It should be said this attitude was not because Case and Reserve students were insulated from the effects of the Depression. Reports of the presidents and deans repeatedly describe the greater need for student financial aid. Adelbert’s Dean William Trautman in 1934 wrote that, “scholarship and tuition aid funds have been spread as far as possible. In some cases even a twenty-five dollar gift has proved to be the slender thread that has kept the hope of getting an education from fading completely.” At Mather College the Alumnae Association and Advisory Council made loans and gifts to increase student aid. In 1935 Mather converted Flora Mather House to a cooperative dormitory. In return for working one hour each day on household duties, room and board fees were reduced from $400 to $250.

More students worked part-time and full-time while carrying full academic loads. The National Youth Administration’s work program for students helped nearly 400 students each year. Mather’s Vocational Counselor placed both students and alumnae in full-time and part-time work.

Curricular retrenchment included reducing sections of some classes, offering some classes only in alternative years, opening more classes to students of other colleges, and eliminating Saturday classes, to “enable many students to use the additional half-day to help themselves more financially.”

In selecting the Great Depression as 2014’s Archives Month in Ohio theme, Ohio’s archivists pay tribute to the resilience of those who persevered through that crisis.

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September 26, 2014

Campus activities 40 years ago - 9/27-9/30/1974

What was of interest 40 years ago on campus? The front page articles of The Observer (9/27/1974) discuss the Western Reserve College elections and the long awaited criminal trial of Ohio National Guardsmen indicted for the 5/4/1970 shootings at Kent State University.

Reporter Peter Lindstrom wrote, “In the past, the WRC elections have been met with the most undying student apathy. In one election, only eight students filed for positions, a record that put undue strain on student government. However, this year, to everyone’s shock, the original field of six candidates swelled to 60 in one week. In fact, in several dorms there are more than two candidates....”

The CWRU Film Society was presenting a Federico Fellini movie, Fellini’s Roma and Kurt Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday, Wanda June on Friday while Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was playing Saturday. Bob Thomas wrote, “...the many-times shown hit of 1969, returns again, giving us the ever-lovely and eye-twinkling duo of superstars Newman and Redford.”

The Spot was still located in Thwing. (It later moved to Leutner Commons.) Admission was free with entertainment funded by the Western Reserve Student Government. The Mather Gallery (which was also located in Thwing) presented, 50 Years of Eldred Theatre with performances and readings from 9/30 through 10/9.

The Cleveland Orchestra was presenting a special concert for students on 9/30 where conductor and musical director Lorin Maazel would informally discuss the music throughout the evening. The program was Mahler: 5th Symphony Death in Venice 3rd and 4th movements and Shostakovich: 10th Symphony 2nd and 3rd movements. All seats were $3.00. The Cleveland Museum of Art had recently acquired a Matthias Grunewald painting depicting St. Catherine of Alexandria.

Also in the music scene, it was reported that there was no more jazz on Cleveland AM radio. The radio station, WJW, had recently changed its format and dropped its all-night jazz show. Five rock and jazz albums were reviewed: Fleetwood Mac’s Heroes Are Hard to Find received a B rating from the reviewer, Herbie Hancock’s Thrust received a B+, Greenslade’s Spyglass Guest received an A-, Traffic received a C, and Suzi Quatro received a B-. There was no mention of our own WRUW in this issue.

On the sports front, the men’s soccer team and the football team were both preparing for contests against Bethany College. (CWRU ended up losing both games.) An announcement was made of a 10/1 meeting for those women interested in playing intercollegiate basketball.

There were feature articles on foreign medical schools as well as the Dow Chemical Company and Lubrizol Company connections to the university and several alumni, students, and trustees.

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