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March 17, 2017

CWRU’s First International Students

In 2012 7% of Case Western Reserve University’s first-time, first-year students came from outside the U.S. In 2013, Beijing was the hometown of the most members of the entering undergraduate class. By 2016, international students represented 16% of first-time, first-year students. [1]

As an archivist, my default reaction to these kinds of changes and trends is to wonder about historic antecedents. So I set out to identify the first international student from each of our schools. One of the obstacles is that the university recorded far less data about students in the 19th and early 20th centuries than we do now. That means fewer sources to consult, but less certainty about results. So, the necessary disclaimer is that I am identifying the first documented international student in each of our schools.

Because our first reference priority is responding to user requests, my international student quest has been confined to the occasional slow reference periods. So this search will be an ongoing process with additions to this blog entry as additional students are identified.

Here is what is known so far:

CWRU’s first documented international student was George Hall, from England, who entered Western Reserve College in 1839. He attended either one or two years (sources differ). He did not graduate from WRC, but received his A.B. from Princeton in 1845, according to alumni directories.

Case School of Applied Science’s first documented international student was Shin-ichi Takano, from Tokyo. Mr. Takano appears in the 1897/98 and 1899/1900 student rosters as a graduate student. He is also listed in the Case Differential 1901, the student yearbook for academic year 1899/1900, as one of ten graduate students. He is listed in the 1900 commencement program, receiving the M.S. in chemistry. The title of his thesis is The Chemical Composition of the Japanese Petroleums. Fortunately, the Archives has a copy of this thesis. Unfortunately, Mr. Takano does not appear in Case alumni directories, so we know nothing of his life after he graduated.

Case School of Applied Science’s first documented undergraduate international student was Alexander Maurice Orecchia, from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mr. Orecchia appears in the 1900/01 and 1901/02 student rosters. He appears in the 1902 Commencement program, receiving the B.S. in electrical engineering. Case students at that time wrote an undergraduate thesis. The title of Mr. Orecchia’s thesis is Influence of Salts in Solution on the Ampere Efficiency of an Electrolytic Cell. The Archives also has a copy of this thesis. Case 1927, 1958, and 1964 alumni directories list Mr. Orecchia as living in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

04774D1.jpg
Alexander Maurice Orecchia, 1902

[1] The class statistics are from Institutional Research's First-Year Class Profile. Information about student hometowns was reported in the August 20, 2013 Case Daily.

Posted by jmt3 at March 17, 2017 03:17 PM

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