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January 25, 2013

Namesakes - Strosacker Auditorium and Charles J. Strosacker

A building known and used by generations of students is Strosacker Auditorium. This building was dedicated 11/3/1958. It was the result of a $540,000 gift of Charles J. Strosacker, alumnus of Case School of Applied Science class of 1906. The architects of the building were Small, Smith, Reeb and Draz and the general contractor was Albert M. Higley Company. The construction cost was $920,000. The building is concrete on steel with exterior walls of salmon brick with stone copings and sills. The main lobby floor is of terrazzo and facing the entrance is a mural.

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Strosacker Auditorium, ca. 1960s

The 38-foot long, stainless steel mural by artist Buell Martin depicts the unlimited horizons of youth in the eternal quest for knowledge. Case President T. Keith Glennan commissioned the mural. (There is another Buell Martin mural on campus - in the Canavin Room on the fourth floor of the Glennan Building.)

The main speaker at the dedication was Chancellor Edward Litchfield of the University of Pittsburgh who discussed the importance of institutions such as Case in science education and the growing role of science in modern society.

Charles Strosacker (1882-1963) attended Baldwin Wallace College for 1 year before transferring to Case. He received the B.S. in Chemistry 5/31/1906. Case awarded Strosacker the honorary doctor of engineering degree at commencement convocation in 1941. Stro (as he was known by his friends and colleagues) joined Dow Chemical Company in 1908, first working in the analytical laboratory. He continued to work at Dow for 54 years and at the time of the gift announcement in 1956 he was vice president, production manager, and director of Dow Chemical Company. Stro was member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi, Midland Country Club, Rotary Club, and Saginaw Valley Torch Club.

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Charles J. Strosacker

Renovations were made to Strosacker Auditorium in 1977-1978 with rededication on 4/17/1978. Funds were provided by the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation: $300,000 for the renovation and the balance to be invested in a permanent endowment fund with income to be used for the continuing maintenance of the building. The renovation consisted of installation of new seating, painting, lighting, mechanical equipment and acoustical treatment, as well as restoration of the mural. The funds also covered the purchase of color television equipment to allow the university’s Instructional Television Network to tape classes and special programs held in the auditorium.

The Film Society equipped the auditorium with 35mm motion picture projectors and a stereo sound system for the regular film series and the annual science fiction film marathon.

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January 14, 2013

Famous Campus Visitors - Nikki Giovanni

Case Western Reserve has welcomed as guest speakers people who have excelled in the arts, business, science, law, medicine, politics, sports, and higher education. Nikki Giovanni, award-winning poet and University Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech, was the keynote speaker at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation in 1995.


CWRU’s newspaper, Campus News, reported that, “Giovanni entertained and invigorated the crowd with her spirited and wide-ranging address, earning her a standing ovation at the end of her anecdote-filled speech.”

Giovanni offered advice to the attendees, “Human beings are responsible for each other. We should continue to reach to see what we can do to make human life better - because that’s always what it’s about, the next generation. It’s not about you and me ... I would recommend that you use your life in the service of somebody, because all you’ll ever be is a memory.”

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