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January 27, 2015

The Beginning of Varsity Basketball at Case Institute of Technology

The first season of varsity basketball at Case Institute of Technology was during the 1911/1912 academic year. The first opponent was Oberlin College, who beat Case 37-25 on January 20, 1912. The captain of the team was senior Frederick E. Caine who played left forward. The manager was H. L. Senn. Other players included Frank E. Clarke, Charles S. Arms, Henning A. Johnson, Seaver C .Kenyon, Monroe F. McOmber, and C. A. Beck.

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Case basketball team, 1911-1912

Here is the text from the yearbook, Differential, regarding the season:

“Not until late in the fall term of this year did Case decide to put hockey on the shelf and try her hand at basket ball. Hockey was not in favor with the Athletic Association because of the impossible conditions demanded by the Elysium management. The students were also fast losing their interest in the game. it was, therefore, decided that , with the advent of the new Y. M. C. A., Case might be able to indulge in basket ball as other colleges do. The season just past, however, leaves us without a satisfactory winter varsity sport, and yet it is a difficult matter to compare the team with their opponents. Captain Caine and his men were able to get together only two hours each week and still were able to make a creditable showing against teams whose members have played continuously for many years and who are able to practice from fifteen to twenty hours every week.

“The advent of a new athletic endeavor is always beset with reverses which can be overcome only by practice and an excess of stick-to-it-iveness both by the the team and the student body. The support rendered the team by the students was deplorable in the extreme. Only by the hardest kind of work was the manager able to bring the best teams of the state to play here and still the students would not do their part to establish basket ball as the winter sport at Case. It is a well known fact that, thought [sic] there was a large number of men in school who have played and can play basket ball, yet a continual fight was necessary for Captain Caine to keep a dozen men interested. A start has been made, such that there is no reason why Case should not have one of the strongest fives in the state next year and it now rests with the student body to come out and make the team or at least enjoy the privileges of the well-equipped gym of the East End Y. M. C. A., which has made possible the existence of a winter sport.”

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Y.M.C.A. building

Case had a 0-10 record their first year. They did not field a team again until the 1914/15 academic year, also going 0-10. In 1915/16 Case turned itself around with the help of new coach Pat Pasini and finished the season 8-2. They continued to improve - going 12-1 the following year.

In contrast with Case, Western Reserve University had fielded its first team in the 1897/98 academic year and had 11 seasons under its belt by 1911/12.

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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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