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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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September 08, 2014

Cleveland Browns and Fleming Field

In the mid-1960s Western Reserve University began acquiring land for an updated athletic facility near the newly constructed student residences on the north side of campus.

In 1965 the Cleveland Browns and Western Reserve University signed a 10-year agreement to lease part of this land for a practice facility to be used exclusively by the Browns from August 15 till January 15 each year. At all other times, the University could use the facility. Reserve built a field house and practice field for the Browns, which, at the end of the lease, would become the exclusive property of the University. The Cleveland Browns practiced on the WRU campus from 1965 till 1972.

In 1968 CWRU named this athletic facility Edward L. Finnigan Playing Fields, in honor of long-time coach Eddie Finnigan. Before this, however, a portion of the facility was known as Fleming Field.

Don Fleming was a defensive back, who played for the Browns for 3 seasons, from 1960 through 1962. Fleming played both baseball and football at the University of Florida. Fleming worked construction jobs during the off-seasaon. In the summer of 1963 Fleming and a co-worker died in a construction accident in Florida. Charles Heaton, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, described Fleming as, “a good team man, a fellow with a friendly smile always close to the surface... On the field he was a solid defensive back, a rugged tackler and the club’s regular safety man for three years... played with a spirit and enthusiasm that was contagious...” (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/5/1963 p. 33) After his death the Browns retired Fleming’s No. 46 and, in 1965, named their practice facility Don Fleming Field.

Don_Fleming_and_Leo_Murphy_1960.jpg
Don Fleming and Browns trainer Leo Murphy, 1960. Image courtesy Cleveland Press Collection, Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University

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