April 08, 2019

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Claire Doran Stancik

On 4/15/1983 Claire Doran Stancik was inducted into the Case Reserve Athletic Club Hall of Fame (now called the Spartan Club Hall of Fame). She was the second woman inducted into the university’s athletic hall of fame.

Ms. Stancik was a golfing champion. She was the first (and only woman we could document in the Archives) who received a varsity letter at Western Reserve University. In 1949 WRU awarded her the varsity “R.” This was 22 years before the first varsity women’s sport at CWRU (volleyball).

Claire Doran receiving the her varsity letter

In 1940 she was known as Mary Claire Doran when she applied to Flora Stone Mather College of WRU. She graduated from Mather with a B.A. in Classics in 1945 and earned her M.A. in Physical Education in 1947 from the Graduate School. As an undergraduate she was a member of Delta Phi Upsilon sorority, Mortar Board, and the Athletic Association. She was part of the staff for the Mather Record (student newspaper) and the Polychronicon (yearbook). Stancik was also a member of Student Council. She graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received the Emma Maud Perkins Latin Prize as a freshman. Stancik held a teaching fellowship in Physical Education as a graduate student.

Claire Doran as a student

Upon receipt of her degrees she was a teaching assistant at Hood College 1947-1948. Stancik then taught in the Cleveland and Cleveland Heights school districts 1948-1956. She married Robert Stancik in 1955 and had 4 children.

At age 17 in 1942 she won the first of 7 Cleveland Women’s Golf Association championships (1942, 1943, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1973). In 1949 when she received her varsity R letter, she had been the youngest woman to win the championship and the only woman to hold the title five times. She also competed in the Women’s Western Amateur Championship at the age of 18. Eventually she won 2 Women’s Western Amateur titles - in 1953 and 1954. Other accomplishments include:

-representative for the U. S. on the Women’s Amateur Golf Curtis Cup Team vs. Great Britain and Ireland in 1952 and 1954. She won all her matches.
-Ohio Women’s champion 4 times: 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954
-runnerup in the 1950 Titleholders tournament (behind the legendary Babe Didrikson Zaharias)
-won the Marion Miley Trophy in 1951 and 1953
-won the 1951 Women’s Doherty Title
-in 1976 she was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame

Claire Doran Stancik died 11/16/2016 in Naperville, Illinois. She was survived by her husband and 4 children.

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January 28, 2019

The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Michelson-Morley Experiment

In 1987, CWRU celebrated the centennial of the Michelson-Morley experiment. Albert A. Michelson was a physicist at the Case School of Applied Science and Edward W. Morley was a chemist at Western Reserve University. In their revolutionary 1887 experiment, Michelson and Morley used a device called an interferometer to measure the interference properties of light waves. Their goal was to determine how the speed of light would be affected by the directional flow of “luminiferous aether,” which was a substance that was believed to transmit light throughout space. Albert A. Michelson designed the interferometer to measure the difference between the speed of light traveling in the direction of the “aether wind,” and the speed of light traveling in the opposite direction. The Michelson-Morley experiment found that there was no substantial difference in the measurements of the speed of light, which ultimately proved that “luminiferous aether” does not exist. This groundbreaking discovery has been described as marking the birth of modern physics, and led to the development of other scientific theories, including Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, which transformed our understanding of space and time.

Model of the Michelson-Morley Interferometer, circa 1975

The Michelson-Morley Centennial Celebration, entitled “Light, Space, and Time – A Cleveland Festival,” took place at CWRU and in the surrounding area from April to December 1987. The celebration kicked off with the opening ceremonies at Severance Hall on 04/24/1987, in which the annual Michelson-Morley Award was presented to internationally renowned scientists, Robert H. Dicke and George A. Olah. From 04/24/1987 to 04/25/1987, a symposium was held on campus, entitled “The Legacy of Edward W. Morley: 100 Years of Chemistry at Case Western Reserve University.” It included lectures on chemical research given by twelve distinguished alumni, former faculty, and current faculty from CWRU.

Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, several exhibits, lectures, musical performances, and other symposia in honor of the centennial of the Michelson-Morley experiment took place on campus and in the greater Cleveland area:

From 04/25/1987 to 12/31/1987, an exhibit entitled “The Atom: Peril and Promise,” was available to the public at the Cleveland Health Education Museum. The exhibit examined the beneficial and harmful aspects of radiation. It included photographs of color drawings and paintings by survivors of the nuclear blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki that took place at the end of World War II. Another exhibit, entitled “The Michelson-Morley Experiment of 1887: American Science Comes of Age,” was presented at the Western Reserve Historical Society from 04/26/1987 to 09/30/1987. It included photographs, monographs, drawings, and notes by Albert A. Michelson, letters from Edward W. Morley and Albert Einstein, and a full-scale replica of the Michelson-Morley experiment constructed by CWRU students.

As part of the Frontiers in Chemistry lecture series on campus, several Nobel Laureates were invited to give guest lectures in honor of the centennial of the Michelson-Morley experiment. Manfred Eigen delivered a lecture entitled, “Evolutionary Biotechnology” on 08/27/1987, Herbert C. Brown conducted a lecture called, “A General Asymmetric Synthesis via Chiral Organoboranes” on 10/01/1987, and Derek Barton spoke about “The Invention of Organic Chemical Reactions” on 10/15/1987.

The one hundredth anniversary of the Michelson-Morley experiment was also commemorated through art. During the centennial celebration, a light sculpture entitled “Light Path Crossing,” by artist Dale Eldred, was installed on the roof of Crawford Hall. The sculpture has a large diffraction grating that separates and exhibits vibrant colors, in honor of the experiment. On 10/28/1987, the Cleveland Institute of Music Chamber Orchestra performed two works commissioned especially for the Michelson-Morley Centennial Celebration at the Cleveland Museum of Art. A musical piece for solo violin with synthesizer, harp, and percussion was performed in honor of Albert A. Michelson. In honor of Edward W. Morley, a piece for organ and chamber orchestra was performed. In addition, from 10/29/1987 to 10/31/1987, the Cleveland Orchestra presented a symphonic work by Philip Glass, that was commissioned especially for the Michelson-Morley Centennial Celebration, at Severance Hall.

Poster for the Modern Physics in America Symposium, 1987

Several scientific symposia took place on campus in October 1987, beginning with a Symposium on Science, Arts, and Humanities on 10/10/1987, in which Philip Morrison of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other renowned speakers discussed the interrelationships among these different fields of study. From 10/21/1987 to 10/23/1987, the “Harland G. Wood Symposium in Biomedical Sciences” took place, and included a Merton F. Utter Memorial Lecture by Nobel Laureate David Baltimore. A symposium on “The Michelson Era in American Science, 1870-1930,” took place from 10/28/1987 to 10/29/1987, and included presentations on the history and philosophy of science by America’s leading historians in science and technology, as well as a keynote address by author Daniel Kevles. To round out the month of October, the last symposium of the Michelson-Morley Centennial Celebration, entitled “Modern Physics in America,” took place from 10/30/1987 to 10/31/1987. More than 1,000 people attended this symposium, and it included lectures by several Nobel Laureates: Hans A. Bethe, Philip W. Anderson, Arthur L. Schawlow, Ivar Giaever, Murray Gell-Mann, and Kenneth G. Wilson.

For more information about the Michelson-Morley experiment, and the Michelson-Morley Centennial Celebration, please consult the University Archives. In addition, the blog post, Namesakes – Morley Chemical Laboratory and Edward W. Morley, provides a brief biography of Edward W. Morley, and includes a link to more information about the Michelson-Morley experiment.

Written by Julia Teran

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December 21, 2018

School of Medicine Mini-History

In celebration of the 175th anniversary of the School of Medicine we have compiled this mini-history. A published history of the School was written for the Centennial in 1943. This mini-history just highlights a few aspects of the School’s 175 year history. The University Archives holds over 860 linear feet of records of the School. Two histories and many articles have been published about the School.

School of Medicine Harland Goff Wood Building

The School of Medicine was established in 1843 as the Cleveland Medical College. As early as 1834-1835, WRC trustees had considered establishing a medical school.

1843 - Cleveland Medical College
1844 - Cleveland Medical College renamed Medical Department of Western Reserve College (WRC)
1881 - Medical Department of WRC renamed Medical Department of Western Reserve University (WRU)
1913 - Medical Department of WRU renamed the School of Medicine of WRU

Portrait of Jared Potter Kirtland

1843-3/1844 and 2/1861-5/1873 - John Lang Cassels
3/1844-2/1846 and 10/1846-2/1861 - John Delamater
2/1846-10/1846 - Jared Potter Kirtland
5/1873-7/1881 - John Bennitt
7/1881-3/1883 - William Johnston Scott
3/1883-9/1893 - Gustav Carl Erich Weber
9/1893-5/1895 - Isaac Newton Himes
5/1895-6/1900 - Hunter Holmes Powell
6/1900-1912 - Benjamin Love Milliken
1912-11/1928 - Carl August Hamann
11/1928-7/1944 - Torald Hermann Sollman
4/1945-8/1959 - Joseph Treloar Wearn
9/1959-8/1966 - Douglas Danford Bond
9/1966-6/1980 - Frederick Chapman Robbins
7/1980-7/1989 - Richard E. Behrman
8/1989-7/1990 - Howard S. Sudak, Acting Dean
7/1990-8/1995 - Neil S. Cherniack
9/1995-6/2002 - Nathan Berger (Interim Dean 9/1995-8/1996)
7/2002-3/2003 - Jerold Goldberg, Acting Dean
4/2003-9/2006 - Ralph I. Horwitz
9/2006-6/2020 - Pamela Bowes Davis (Interim Dean 9/2006-9/2007)

While WRC was located in Hudson, Ohio, the Medicial Department was located in downtown Cleveland. The School moved to University Circle in 1924. It was part of the new medical campus which included the new Medical School building (now called the Wood Building), Animal House, Institute of Pathology and University Hospitals' buildings: Lakeside Hospital, Hanna Pavilion, Nurses’ Dormitories (Robb, Mather, Lowman, Harvey). A new Power House was built to service the Medical School buildings and University Hospitals. The dedication of the new Medical School building was in conjunction with the inauguration of Robert E. Vinson as President of Western Reserve University.

1843-1846 rented quarters in the Mechanics Block, southeast corner of Ontario and Prospects streets
1846-1885 Medical School, southeast corner of East 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue
1887-1924 Medical School, southeast corner of East 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue (same site as previous)
1898-1924 Physiological Laboratory, next to main Medical School building at East 9th and St. Clair Avenue
1908-1924 H. K. Cushing Laboratory, East 9th Street and St. Clair Avenue
1924-current use: Harland Goff Wood Building
1924-1943?: Animal House, behind Wood Building
1929-current use: Institute of Pathology
1930-?: Animal House, between Wood Building and first Animal House
1962-current use: Joseph Treloar Wearn Laboratory for Medical Research
1971-current use: Frederick C. Robbins Building (East Wing)
1971-current use: Lester M. and Ruth P. Sears Administration Tower
1993-current use: Richard F. Celeste Biomedical Research Building
2003-current use: Harland Goff Wood Building Research Tower (addition to Wood Building)
Coming in 2019: Health Education Campus

The School has had affiliations with numerous hospitals over the years including: MetroHealth Hospitals System (City Hospital, County Hospital, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, Sunny Acres, Highland View Hospital), Mt. Sinai Medical Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, University Hospitals of Cleveland (including Lakeside Hospital, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, MacDonald Hospital, Hanna House, Hanna Pavilion), Veteran’s Administration Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Early Education (taken from Significant Dates in the History of the School of Medicine, Western Reserve University by Frederick C. Waite)
The first classes began 11/1/1843. This first session was 16 weeks. In 1846 two sessions of 16 weeks each was required.

In 1888 graded courses of three years was mandatory. “Required individual laboratory work in Physiology established, the first in the west, and probably the first in the United States.”

In 1895 the optional four year courses established. The first four year class graduated in 1899 (5 men).

In 1901 entrance requirement of three years work in a college of arts and sciences became effective.

Students celebrate at Match Day, 1987

Much has been written about the 1952 Medical School curriculum revision which was widely adopted by other medical schools. For more information you can read the Greer Williams book, Western Reserve’s Experiment in Medical Education and Its Outcome. This curriculum has been revised over time and in 2006 the School introduced the Western Reserve 2 (WR2) Curriculum.

The School of Medicine entered into an agreement with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 2002 to form the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of CWRU. This 5-year program trains physician investigators. The first class graduated in 2009.

Absorbed Schools
In 1910 the School absorbed the Medical Department of Ohio Wesleyan University (also known as the Cleveland College of Physicians and Surgeons). The Medical Department of Ohio Wesleyan (1896-1910) was the successor school of several rival Cleveland-based medical schools, including the Charity Hospital Medical College (1865-1869) and the Medical Department of the University of Wooster (1869-1896).

Alumni of the School of Medicine have taken their knowledge around the world and served in a number of capacities beyond their role as physicians. Such roles include missionaries, educators, researchers, military, and government service (such as Surgeon General and head of Centers for Disease Control).

Professor J. J. MacLeod with students, ca. 1910

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November 09, 2018

Armistice Day: Commemorating the Centennial of the End of World War I

This weekend the world commemorates the centennial of the end of World War I. The “Great War” ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (11/11/1918). We would like to take this opportunity to remember the service of university personnel during the war.

Both Western Reserve University (WRU) and Case School of Applied Science (CSAS) established Student Army Training corps units on campus. In addition to the SATC unit, over 1,000 men and women from WRU - faculty, staff, trustees, alumni - served the war effort in some capacity: from trustee Newton D. Baker who was U.S. Secretary of War, to Winifred Campbell, College for Women graduate, who served as a nurse at Base Hospital No. 31 in France, to Harland L. Sherman, Adelbert College class of 1916, who was a communication officer in France, to Dr. George W. Crile, Medical School faculty member, who headed Base Hospital No. 4 - the Lakeside Unit in France. The university published a War Service Roster summarizing the service of men and women of WRU.

CSAS also published a War Service Record. This publication summarized the war-related activities of the academic departments, such as the school for Marine Engineers conducted by the Mechanical Engineering Department for the U. S. Shipping Board. This program trained 319 operating engineers for service in the Merchant Marine. The publication also recorded the civilian and military service of over 600 faculty members, alumni, students, and faculty. For instance, Professor Dayton C. Miller served the Scientific Commission of National Research Council and the Army Ordnance Department while Jerold Henry Zak, class of 1913, served in the U. S. Army Ambulance Service.


After the war, WRU held a service 6/8/1919 in honor of those university members who died in service during the war. On 11/11/1921 a program was held in Amasa Stone Chapel to dedicate a memorial tablet honoring the deceased. This tablet still hangs in the chapel. Those honored include: Robert Dickson Lane, William Benjamin Crow, Paul Frederick William Schwan, Orville Russell Watterson, Ellory Justin Stetson, Pontius Gothard Cook, Harold Sharp Layton, Charles Scott Woods, William Walter Burk, Henry Burt Herrick, Allen James Excell, Charles Shiveley Brokaw, Joseph Charles Monnier, Renselear Russell Hall, George Albert Roe, Walter Hay Akers, Fred Carl Rosenau.

CSAS installed a tablet in honor of those faculty, alumni, and students who served with the armed forces during the war, 1914-1918. Over 600 names were listed. Those who died were indicated with a star. This tablet was dedicated at commencement on 5/26/1921. Newton D. Baker gave the commencement address, War and the College Man. The tablet was originally displayed for commencement and then installed on the first floor of the Case Main Building.

Records concerning Western Reserve University and Case School of Applied Science during World War I are available for use in the Archives.

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August 31, 2018

School of Medicine’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

As the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, let us look back at the 100th anniversary celebration held in 1943.

Planning for the centennial began in 1938 when President Leutner appointed a committee “to consider and to lay plans for a celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the School of Medicine.” Arthur D. Baldwin served as honorary chair and Howard T. Karsner served as chair. Committee members included Robert H. Bishop, Jr., Mrs. A. A. Brewster, Victor C. Myers, Frank A. Scott, Torald Sollmann (Dean of the School) with President Leutner serving ex officio. Members added to the committee included Harold E. Adams, Willis E. Corry, James C. Gray, Harold D. Green, William W. Hurst, Edward Muntwyler, and E. D. Whittlesey.

Originally the celebration was planned for 4/5-4/6/1943 in conjunction with the meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (which was planned to meet in Cleveland). However, this meeting was cancelled because of the war. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) was meeting in Cleveland on 10/25-10/26. It was thought by the planning committee that the AAMC meeting would be held “because the work of the Association is directly concerned with the war program, and certainly will not be proscribed by the Office of Defense Transportation.” The centennial celebration was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, 10/27 and 10/28. The days were packed with activities as seen in the program. (Download pdf)

05304D1.jpgWednesday began with a scholarly lecture, “Blood Plasma Proteins, Their Production, Function, Substitution and Replacement,” by Dr. George H. Whipple, Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. A buffet luncheon followed for delegates to the centennial celebration and delegates for the AAMC meeting and invited speakers. The University Convocation was held in Severance Hall at 3:30 p.m. An academic procession led by President Leutner entered through the front entrance with an honor guard of medical students enlisted in the Navy and Army lining the steps. In addition to the president, deans, faculty members, Medical School students in uniform, and 159 delegates from colleges and universities, national societies, state societies and philanthropic foundations made up the procession. After the National Anthem and the invocation were 2 addresses. Howard Karsner, professor of Pathology and director of the Institute of Pathology, spoke on “The Public Service of the School of Medicine.” Dr. Alan Gregg, Director for the Medical Sciences at the Rockefeller Foundation, gave the address “The Matrix of Medicine.” Honorary degrees were awarded to 5 people: William Thomas Corlett (Doctor of Humanities), Reginald Fitz (Doctor of Science), Torald Sollmann (Doctor of Laws), Frederick Clayton Waite (Doctor of Humanities), George Hoyt Whipple (Doctor of Science). Dr. Gregg, though nominated, was unable to receive the degree because of the policies of the Rockefeller Foundation. At the convocation President Leutner announced “the gift of a fund of $50,000 by the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the income to be devoted to fellowships in surgery for postgraduate students chosen by the Faculty of Medicine of the University. The fund is to be named for Drs. Frank E. Bunts, George Crile, Sr., and William E. Lower, former members of the Faculty, who founded the Cleveland Clinic in 1921.”

Following the convocation was the One Hundredth Anniversary Celebration Dinner. Dr. Karsner served as toastmaster. Cleveland Mayor Frank J. Lausche gave a welcome, followed by President Leutner who gave a brief history of the School, and then Dean Sollmann who gave an address of welcome which featured a poem written by Emilie Chamberlin Conklin in honor of the celebration. The main address, “The Crimson Thread,” was given by Reginald Fitz, Lecturer on the History of Medicine at Harvard University Medical School.

The Thursday program - a series of lectures given primarily by alumni - was organized by the alumni. It concluded with Dean Sollmann’s address, “Farewell 1943, Hail 2043.” That date is now only 25 years away!

Graduation exercises were held Thursday afternoon. Because of the war, the Medical School was operating under a compressed schedule and 2 classes graduated in 1943 - one in February and one in October. The Alumni Banquet was held in the evening. It featured a business meeting and election of officers of the Alumni Association, the reception of the graduating class into the Alumni Association, and 2 addresses, including university historian and professor emeritus Frederick C. Waite talking about “Episodes in One Hundred Years” of the Medical School.

For 3 weeks the Cleveland Health Museum hosted an exhibit co-sponsored by the Cleveland Medical Library Association and the Western Reserve Historical Society, “100 Years of Medicine.” A preview of the exhibit was held the evening of Tuesday, 10/26. Chauncey D. Leake, Dean of the Medical School at the University of Texas gave a talk, “Milestones in Medicine,” illustrated with lantern slides. Guided tours were provided by Dr. Howard Dittrick, Director of the Museum of Historical Medicine of The Cleveland Medical Library Association.

Invitation to the exhibit preview

Coverage of the events appeared in various newspapers such as The Plain Dealer and Cleveland Press,The Clevelander, the Clinical Bulletin of the School of Medicine, the Bulletin of the Academy of Medicine, in the Reserve Tribune student newspaper of 11/12/1943(Download pdf) and the alumni newsletter Voice of Reserve. There was also a radio tribute and a broadcast speech by Dr. Harry Goldblatt.

Chairman of the Centennial Committee Howard Karsner concluded in his final report on the Centennial, “Many communications have been received from those who attended the celebration and all have spoken in highly complimentary terms of the occasion. The fact that the country is at war limited the exercises to a considerable degree, but in spite of the handicaps and difficulties, it may be said that the celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the School of Medicine, Western Reserve University, was wholly successful.

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August 15, 2018

Mini-History of the School of Education

In her 1938 “History of the School of Education,” Helen Harris Graebner wrote,” Perhaps the history of the present School of Education of Western Reserve University could best be expressed by a jig-saw puzzle - so many elements have gone into its making and so complicated does its story seem.”

Ms. Graebner was absolutely correct. The simplest part of the story is that Western Reserve University had a School of Education from 1928/29 through 1944/45. The more complicated antecedents are outlined in the timeline below.

EducationStudentLife_1937.jpg L'Annee_1937.jpg
School of Education students depicted in 1937 yearbook, L'Annee

Some Key Dates
1874 Cleveland Normal Training School was established by the Cleveland Board of Education.
1894 Cleveland Kindergarten Training School was established.
1915 A joint summer program between WRU and the Cleveland School of Education was established.
1916 Education Department was established in the College for Women.
1919 Cleveland Normal Training School was renamed the Cleveland School of Education.
1920 The joint summer program was renamed the Senior Teacher's College of Western Reserve University and the Cleveland School of Education.
1922 Cleveland Kindergarten Training School was renamed Kindergarten-Primary Training School.
1927 Department of Nursery-Kindergarten-Primary Training was established by WRU after the program was transferred by the Cleveland Day Nursery and Free Kindergarten Association of Cleveland.
1928 School of Education was established by WRU, combining the College for Women Education Department, the Nursery-Kindergarten-Primary Training Department, the Cleveland School of Education, and the Senior Teacher’s College of WRU and the Cleveland School of Education.
1945 School of Education closed.
1979 The successor Department of Education closed.

In its early years the school offered three curricula: Kindergarten-Primary, Intermediate Grades, Junior-Senior High School Grades. Over time additional curricula were added: Art Education, Music Education, Commercial Education, Industrial Arts, and Nursery School. During the early 1930s a program in Library Service for Children was offered with the School of Library Science.

Degrees Offered and Awarded
In 1928/29 the school offered both 2-year and 3-year diplomas and 4-year degree programs. From 1928/29 through 1944/45 the degree offered was the Bachelor of Science. The diploma programs ended in the mid-1930s.
Master’s and doctoral education degrees (Ed.D., M.A.Ed., Ed.M.) were offered by the School of Graduate Studies.
From 1929 through 1945 the school awarded 2,151 degrees, ranging from 51 in 1929 to 209 in 1939.

1928/29-1935/36: $250/year
1936/37-1942/43: $300/year
1943/44-1944/45: $10/credit hour

From 1928/29 through 1944/45 enrollment in the school totaled 10,202, ranging from 260 in 1935/36 to 1,139 in 1938/39. Enrollment peaked at over 1,000 in four years 1936/37-1939/40.

1928-1933 Charles W. Hunt
1933-1945 Harry N. Irwin

1928/29-1935/36: 2060 Stearns Road
1936/37-1944/45: 11217 Bellflower Road

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August 03, 2018

The 1975-1976 Commemorative Year: CWRU’s 150th Anniversary

During the 1975-1976 academic year, CWRU celebrated its sesquicentennial, commemorating 150 years since the State of Ohio granted the charter to establish Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio on 2/7/1826. Since 1976 marked both the sesquicentennial, and the United States Bicentennial, the Board of Trustees designated the academic year 1975-1976 as the university’s “commemorative year.” In honor of the occasion, the CWRU community celebrated with a year-long series of events.

The festivities kicked off during the fall of 1975. On 10/19/1975, ceremonies celebrating the founding of Western Reserve College took place at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio. Known as the “Hudson Pilgrimage,” this event included a walking tour of the Academy and historical sites in Hudson, a Glee Club musical performance, and a picnic. The Hudson Pilgrimage was followed by the Commemorative Year Opening Festival on 10/25/1975, which included a ceremony to dedicate the banners for CWRU’s Schools and Colleges that took place at Amasa Stone Chapel. The dedication ceremony consisted of classical music performances, the presentation of the bicentennial flag, an address on the evolution of the university given by Chancellor Emeritus, John Schoff Millis, the presentation of the banners, and an address by President Louis Toepfer.

Dedication of the Banners

The recognition of the commemorative year was not exclusive to Cleveland. In honor of the sesquicentennial, President Toepfer invited several nationally prominent individuals in higher education and national affairs to assist the CWRU community in reflecting upon the university’s and the nation’s past and future by serving as guest lecturers. One such individual was James B. Reston, a well-known New York Times columnist, who was invited to serve as a visiting Sesquicentennial Professor from 11/10/1975 to 11/21/1975. In addition, part of the year’s celebrations included events for alumni and friends that were held in key cities across the country in order to highlight the role that CWRU played in American education for 150 years, not only in Ohio, but across the nation. One such event was a reception hosted by President Toepfer and his wife, Alice Toepfer, for all alumni and Congressional representatives in Washington D.C. at the United States Botanical Garden on 10/20/1975. Another event was a Sesquicentennial Weekend for alumni and friends that took place at The York Club in New York City from 11/14/1975 to 11/16/1975. The weekend included a dinner and dance on Friday night, and a symposium on Saturday and Sunday that was conducted by key faculty members, and focused on Science and Technology, Medicine, and The Renaissance Man. Other cities across the country that held similar events for CWRU alumni and friends included Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Akron, Youngstown, Canton, Toledo, Dayton, and Philadelphia.

President Louis A. Toepfer

Activities and events in honor of the commemorative year continued into 1976, beginning with a Festival of Arts and Sciences that was held on campus in January and February. The festival featured lectures from prominent faculty members, a bicentennial exhibit at Mather Gallery, musical presentations, a winter dance program, art history programs, and a theatrical performance. The sesquicentennial celebration also included the recognition of Charter Day, to commemorate the day when the university was founded. Held on 2/15/1976, the Charter Day Convocation included brunch for the university governing boards and special guests, the presentation of the University medal and new University Fellows, and introduced the new history of CWRU. This important work was written by Professor Emeritus of History, C. H. Cramer, who delivered the keynote address for the convocation, entitled “Reflections on a Sesquicentennial.”

Charter Day Convocation

Discussions regarding the creation of an official institutional history began after Federation in 1967. To that end, the first CWRU president, Robert Morse, outlined a project to write such a history, which was recommended by the University Chancellor and approved by the trustees. When he assumed the presidency in 1970, President Toepfer continued the project. In 1972, Secretary of the University Carolyn Neff and University Archivist Ruth Helmuth recommended that the history should be published to coincide with the university sesquicentennial, and they recommended Professor Cramer as the most suitable historian to complete this work. Throughout the early 1970s, President Toepfer actively supported Cramer’s efforts by encouraging professors from various departments across campus to use their knowledge of departmental histories to aid in his research. Carolyn Neff oversaw the project to completion in time for the sesquicentennial by serving as the administrative coordinator.

Clarence H. "Red" Cramer

Commemorative year celebrations continued into the spring of 1976, beginning with a Festival of American Jazz in March, in which concerts were given by area colleges’ jazz bands. On 4/28/1976, Alice Toepfer hosted a walking tour of CWRU campus buildings, ranging from Adelbert to Gund Hall. The tour began at Amasa Stone Chapel, and included tea in the Mather Gallery, which housed an exhibit on the sesquicentennial that featured the University Print Club Collection and pieces of Victorian furniture from Guilford House.

In early May 1976, the spring term ended with the University Showcase, which included alumni reunions, departmental open houses, University Circle tours, an antique car show, a flea market, and the Hudson Relay. In addition to the traditional Hudson Relay, a new event, the first annual Western Reserve Marathon, took place on 5/9/1976, and was sponsored by CWRU in honor of its 150th birthday, in cooperation with Revco Drug Centers, Inc. The marathon was run over the challenging and historic Hudson Relay course, which stretches 26 miles and 385 yards between Hudson and Cleveland. It was also considered an official United States Bicentennial event, and was open to all amateur athletes who carried a valid AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) registration card and a current medical certificate. Everyone who finished the Western Reserve Marathon was given a souvenir award, and running shirts were provided to all official entrants.

Hudson Relay, 1976

During the commemorative year, CWRU enrolled nearly 8,000 students in two undergraduate colleges, a graduate school, and seven professional schools: Applied Social Sciences, Dentistry, Law, Library Science, Management, Medicine, and Nursing. In order to continue to improve upon the university’s mission “to prepare its students for a life of learning and professional responsibility by advancing knowledge and understanding through scholarship and research,” CWRU took an important step in addressing the future in honor of the sesquicentennial by announcing a $215-million capital campaign in 1976, called the Resources campaign, to raise funds for endowment and operations support. By the end of its five-year timeline in 1981, one year after President Toepfer’s retirement, the campaign goal was reached, and slightly exceeded.

For more information about the sesquicentennial and commemorative year events, please consult the University Archives. In addition, the digital exhibit “180 Events from 180 Years” on the Archives' website provides a useful timeline of CWRU history, and was created to celebrate the 180th anniversary in 2006. We look forward to celebrating the university’s bicentennial in 2026!

Written by Julia Teran

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July 31, 2018

Faculty involvement in the community - 1968

Many reflections and commemorations have been taking place this year as it is 50 years since the events of 1968. Here is a look back at how faculty members at CWRU were involved in several community related activities in 1968.

Faculty Families Needed to Tutor in Hough - reads a heading in the 5/3/1968 Faculty Announcements.
“Faculty and their families are needed to tutor children in the Hough area for this spring and summer. The Cleveland Tutorial Project has a waiting list of over 300 elementary to high school age students who have asked for tutors. The tutor is matched with one tutee; the tutor selects the age level and subjects in which he would like to tutor. The actual tutoring takes place in a church or recreation center near the tutee’s home one night a week.

“Age is no real barrier - a professor can tutor as well as his 13-year-old son. CTP would like to encourage more faculty families to participate. As a chemistry professor whose entire family has become involved in the project comments, ‘The rewards are presumably the same for tutors of all ages. For us parents, who are teachers anyhow, there is the luxury of devoting full attention to a single student, and in marshaling all our resourcefulness to deal with the unfolding responses...’”

The Poor People’s Campaign - the midwest caravan was scheduled to arrive in Cleveland Saturday, 5/11/1968 on its trip to Washington, D.C. Faculty and students were sought to volunteer to help the week of 5/13. “The response of those faculty offering to house the members of the march has been excellent.” Volunteers also donated food, performed office work and served as guides.

Cleveland: Now! - from 5/24 to 8/9, faculty, staff, and students contributed $12,900 to the Cleveland: NOW! campaign. As reported in the 5/24/1968 Faculty Announcements, “Although the University has long had a policy of soliciting employees for only one fund drive, United Appeal, each year, President Morse has endorsed the Cleveland: NOW! appeal and is asking members of the faculty and staff to support the fund drive.

Salaried employees were asked to give one day’s pay and hourly employees were being asked to give one hour’s pay. “The future of the University and the future of the city of Cleveland are closely linked. The Cleveland: Now! campaign is the first major step in getting Cleveland rolling.” On Tuesday, 8/6, Provost Alan R. Moritz presented Mayor Carl B. Stokes with a check for $12,900.

Upward Bound Program (a pre-college program for low-income and potential first-generation college students) - faculty members met informally with small groups of Upward Bound students to share information regarding their particular areas of specialization. Faculty members could also work with Upward Bound summer teachers in organizing learning experiences.

In January 1968 President Morse announced the creation of the University Urban Affairs Committee. The functions of the committee were: to review proposals seeking interdepartmental cooperation on problems of teaching, research, or service programs related to urban affairs; to act as clearinghouse of information about all academic projects within the university pertaining to urban affairs; to initiate and develop within the university interdepartmental research, service or educational activities appropriate to University’s increasing role in the urban field. The committee’s duties were refined throughout the course of the year. Louis A. Toepfer, then dean of the Law School, became chair in August and was also temporary director of the newly formed Office of Community Affairs.

As reported in Faculty Announcements, President Morse stated, “It is a fact of life that urban universities can only realize their goals and ambitions as educational institutions if the urban areas in which they are located can solve the agonizing social and economic problems they face. Urban universities have an obligation to their communities to contribute to creative solutions to these problems.”

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July 12, 2018

Mini-History of the School of Architecture

The School of Architecture was one of several Western Reserve University schools that existed prior to becoming part of the University. It is also one of our schools that had a separate existence as a deparment after the school was closed. The sketch below outlines some of the school’s history. The focus is on 1929 till 1953, while it was a Western Reserve University school.

School of Architecture Class of 1929

Some Key Dates
1921 Cleveland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects began supporting a course in architecture
1924 Cleveland School of Architecture was incorporated
1929 Cleveland School of Architecture affiliated with Western Reserve University
6/13/1929 First degrees, Bachelor of Architecture, conferred on eight graduates, by Western Reserve University
9/17/1929 First School of Architecture classes were offered as part of Western Reserve University
1941 Cleveland School of Architecture was renamed the School of Architecture
1953 School of Architecture closed. The Department of Architecture continued almost 20 years, closing in 1972
6/10/1953 The School of Architecture’s last commencement ceremony was held, at which 15 graduates received the Bachelor of Architecture.
1929-1953 Frances R. Bacon was Dean of the School of Architecture for its entire life as a school of Western Reserve University

The 1929/30 catalog lists over 40 architecture courses, including Elements of Architecture, Cast Drawing, History of Architecture, Theory of Design, and more. Students also took classes in English, Math, Physics, and French.

Degrees Offered and Awarded
1929/30-1940/41 Bachelor of Architecture offered
1941/42-1942/43 Bachelor of Science offered
1943/44-1952/53 Bachelor of Architecture offered
1929-1953 nearly 200 undergraduate degrees were awarded by the School of Architecture.
Adelbert, Mather, and Cleveland Colleges also offered the Bachelor of Architecture degree. The Master of Arts degree in architecture was offered by the School of Graduate Studies.

Architecture students constructing models

1929/30-1945/46 $300/year with an estimated materials cost of $50
1946/47-1947/48 $12.50/credit hour
1948/49 $14/credit hour
1949/50-1952/53 $16/credit hour

1929-1953 total of 1,623 students enrolled; average of 67 annually
1943/44 low enrollment: 11 students
1948/49 high enrollment: 114 students

1927-1930 11015 Euclid Avenue
1930-1945 Garfield House at 11206 Euclid Avenue
1945-1953 Pierce Hall

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June 29, 2018

Energy Conservation on Campus - 40 years ago

In the 1970s the university was dealing with the energy crisis as were individuals at home. Amid skyrocketing costs and shortages, the university imposed measures to conserve energy. Utilities costs rose dramatically. As reported in News & Views 11/1/1974, CWRU used less energy in 1973/74 than 1972/73. “Campus facilities (excluding housing) used nearly two million fewer kilowatts of electricity, cut use of steam by some 30 million pounds, and reduced gas consumption by about 31 thousand cubic feet. These are impressive figures--until you realize that the total cost for utilities was about $60,000 higher in fiscal ‘73-’74 than a year earlier despite these substantial cutbacks. This ironic situation is explained by the major increases in the cost of energy in all forms which hit consumers, including CWRU, throughout the first half of calendar 1974.”

Utility costs continued to rise throughout the 1970s and 1978 saw the university impose strict measures in the wake of a nationwide 16 week coal strike. During the winter of 1977-1978 blizzard conditions caused the university to be closed for 2 days, believed to be the first for a snow closure since 1950. The storm caused some broken windows,roof damage and ruptured pipes, but the overall damage was less than anticipated. The university was able to operate almost normally through the winter and the coal strike because the Medical Center Company had stockpiled a sufficient amount of coal to heat the campus. Supplies of electricity were more critical. The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company unveiled a plan to reduce consumption by 20% for individuals and institutions. On 2/14/1978 CWRU issued its first statement about voluntary energy cutbacks in News & Views. Effective Wednesday, 2/15/1978:

“1. Lights will be turned off in all rooms having a window or windows between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
2. All space heaters, radios and other electric devices not directly used in accomplishing work-related tasks will be turned off.
3. The University Bookstore will close at 5:00 p.m. instead of 6:00 p.m. weekdays.
4. University facilities will not be available to off-campus groups.”

Building monitors were assigned to each campus building to enforce the first 2 procedures. These were mandatory procedures that all employees were expected to comply with. In addition, some elevators were shut down and outdoor lighting cut back. The university realized approximately 18% savings from these measures by 3/9/1978. Ohio Governor James Rhodes requested all Ohioans conserve at least 25% of their normal electrical usage, leading the university to its second phase of energy reductions. According to News & Views (3/9/1978) these procedures went into effect Saturday, 3/11/1978:

“1. Libraries will begin operating with reduced hours. Specific hours will be announced next week.
2. The three campus gymnasia will be open daytime hours only.
3. Elevators in all dormitories (except high rise buildings) and many other buildings will be turned off.
4. Reductions in air handling equipment and lab hoods will be continued.
5. Lights will be turned off in most non-dormitory parking lots.
6. Non-work related electrical equipment, including coffee pots (underlined) and certain vending machines should be turned off.
7. Use of copy machines should be limited, whenever possible. Copy machines should be turned off when not in use.
8. Use of University auditoriums by off-campus groups will be canceled.”

The first phase of energy saving procedures remained in effect.

By late March the coal strike was settled. The 3/27/1978 issue of News & Views reported that CWRU did its part to reduce energy consumption during the latter 5 weeks of the strike. Use of electricity was reduced campus-wide by approximately 20-25 percent. Vice President Musselman thanked faculty, staff, and students for their cooperation during the emergency energy cutback. Musselman stated, “We learned some things during these cutbacks. We identified some areas of excessive use of electricity, where the cutbacks will become permanent parts of our ongoing conservation efforts....With the receipt of this notice Phase I and II mandatory cutbacks are cancelled. However, I want to emphasize again that conservation of energy has become a way of life and the University must continue to do its part to eliminate all excessive and unnecessary consumption of electricity. Everyone give a little thought to this fact of life, before automatically turning on lights and appliances that have been off, and perhaps not badly missed.”

All the elevators shut down during the crisis were restored to service.

Medical Center Company air pollution control device installed at the power plant in 1978. It was referred to as the Bag House.

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June 05, 2018

On This Day in CWRU History: June

Below is the last month of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. The list is not comprehensive and we invite suggestions of other dates to include.

June 1
1978: CWRU Trustees established the John S. Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Teaching.

June 2
1960: Mei Mei Wang became the first woman awarded a Ph.D. from the Case Institute of Technology. Dr. Wang also received her M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Case in 1958.

June 5
1939: Fred Easly Sheibley received the first Ph.D. conferred by Case School of Applied Science.
1997: The Campus Greens, location of Philip Johnson's sculpture Turning Point, was dedicated.

June 8
1905: Ambrose Swasey, longtime trustee of the Case School of Applied Science and Western Reserve University, received the honorary Doctor of Engineering degree, the first honorary degree awarded by CSAS.

June 9
1955: Millicent C. McIntosh, president, Barnard College, and dean, Columbia University received an honorary degree from Case Institute of Technology, the only woman to receive that honor.

June 10
1890: Western Reserve University and Case School of Applied Science participated in their first track meet, competing with Mt. Union and Hiram Colleges. Held at the YMCA Park in Cleveland, WRU won the meet.

June 11
1901: Haydn Hall's cornerstone was laid. Named in honor of former WRU president Hiram Haydn. Haydn Hall opened as a women's dormitory.
1908: The cornerstone for the Morley Chemistry Laboratory was laid. The building was named in honor of former WRU faculty member Edward Morley.
1911: Amasa Stone Chapel, named in honor of Cleveland businessman Amasa Stone, was dedicated.
1913: Cleveland mayor Newton D. Baker spoke at Western Reserve University's College for Women commencement ceremony. His speech was entitled, "The Place of a College for Women in a Great City."
1929: Western Reserve University Trustees approved an affiliation with the Cleveland School of Architecture.
1935: Western Reserve University Trustees renamed the School of Nursing in honor of U. S. Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton.
Frances Payne Bolton

June 12
1923: Western Reserve University Trustees established the School of Nursing.
1935: Olive Baxter Stevens became the first woman to graduate from the School of Architecture, six years after its affiliation with Western Reserve University.

Hudson Relay, 1910

June 13
1900: The cornerstone was laid for Harkness Chapel, Western Reserve University's first chapel building. It was named in honor of Florence Harkness Severance.
1910: The Hudson Relay was run for the first time. The class of 1912 won, with a finish time of 2 hours and 1 minute.
1912: Four years after the Cleveland School of Pharmacy affiliated with Western Reserve University, Birdie Rehmer became its first woman graduate.
1934: Winfred G. Leutner was inaugurated as Western Reserve University's eighth president, and was the only alumnus to serve as president of WRU.
1961: Aaron Strauss was the first recipient of the Kent H. Smith award, awarded to the outstanding engineering senior, who "displays extraordinary qualities of leadership, character, and scholarship."
1992: Karen Horn was elected as the first woman chair of the CWRU Board of Trustees

June 14
1911: The cornerstone was laid for Flora Stone Mather Memorial Building. It became the main administration building for Flora Stone Mather College.
1929: The cornerstone for the Institute of Pathology was laid.
Camp Case
, in Mohican State Forest near Loudonville, Ohio, closed. It served as a summer survey camp for Case Institute of Technology students for 21 years.
June 15
1885: Case School of Applied Science held its first commencement, graduating 5 men. It was held at the Case Hall Auditorium in downtown Cleveland.
1896: Hatch Library was dedicated. It was Western Reserve University's first building solely used as a library.
Camp Case, Mohican State Forest

1896: The cornerstone ceremonies were held for the Franklin Thomas Backus School of Law building on the corner of Adelbert Road and Circle Drive.
1911: Western Reserve University's commencement convocation was held for the first time at the newly-constructed Amasa Stone Chapel.
1932: Western Reserve University's commencement convocation was held for the first time at the newly-constructed Severance Hall.

June 16
1910: Lucy Gertrude Hoffman became the first woman graduate of Western Reserve University's Dental School, eighteen years after the School's establishment.
1915: Mather House was dedicated. It opened as a dorm for female undergraduate students.
1921: Hannah Mirsky became the first woman graduate of Western Reserve University's Franklin Thomas Backus School of Law.
1926: Florence Ellinwood Allen, Ohio Supreme Court Justice and a graduate of Western Reserve University's College for Women in 1904, gave the first of her three commencement speeches at WRU's College for Women.
1927: Herbert M. Knowles was the only member of the first graduating class of Western Reserve University's Cleveland College.
1948: Carl Wittke, long time Western Reserve University faculty member and dean of the Graduate School, spoke for the first of sixteen times at a WRU commencement ceremony.

June 17
1895: The cornerstone was laid for Hatch Library. It was Western Reserve University's first building solely used as a library.
1909: The cornerstone of Amasa Stone Chapel was laid. The chapel was named in honor of Cleveland businessman Amasa Stone.
1996: The Kelvin Smith Library officially opened.

June 18
1895: Mary Noyes Colvin, who in 1895 became the first woman to receive a Ph.D. from Western Reserve University, was the main speaker at WRU's commencement.
1993: The Richard F. Celeste Biomedical Research Building was dedicated.

June 19
1888: Western Reserve University Trustees approved an affiliation with the Western Reserve School of Design for Women, which was renamed the School of Art.
1898: Dedication ceremonies for Eldred Hall were held. Eldred Hall was the first student union of Adelbert College.

June 21
1897: Cornerstone was laid for Eldred Hall. Eldred Hall was the first student union of Adelbert College.

June 23
Fire gutted Adelbert Hall,
the oldest campus building. It took two years to rebuild the historic structure.

June 24
1994: The Health Sciences Center was renamed the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Center.

June 26
1872: Carroll Cutler was inaugurated as Western Reserve College's fourth president.

June 28
1876: Viola Smith Buell became the first woman to graduate from Western Reserve College, fifty years after its establishment.

June 30
1949: The School of Pharmacy at Western Reserve University closed.

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September
On This Day in CWRU History: October
On This Day in CWRU History: November
On This Day in CWRU History: December
On This Day in CWRU History: January
On This Day in CWRU History: February
On This Day in CWRU History: March
On This Day in CWRU History: April
On This Day in CWRU History: May

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May 29, 2018

Western Reserve University School of Pharmacy


While CWRU has 3 health related schools at the present time (School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, and Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing), there was also a School of Pharmacy from 1908 to 1949. This School was first established in 1882 as the Cleveland School of Pharmacy by the Cleveland Pharmaceutical Association. According to a history of the School by Edward D. Davy in 1941, E. A Schellentrager, a retail pharmacist was the “originator of the idea of formal training for prospective pharmacists.” Schellentrager became the first president of the School serving until 1905. The School was chartered under the laws of Ohio as the Cleveland School of Pharmacy on 12/20/1886. The incorporators were Schellentrager, Joseph H. Peck, P. I. Spenzer, G. L. Heckler, George Keiffer, and Henry W. Stecher.

The School became affiliated with Western Reserve University in 1908. It was renamed the Cleveland School of Pharmacy of Western Reserve University (WRU) in 1917. The School closed in 1949.

In the first year, 1 lecture was offered each week for 20 weeks. It was to be a practical elementary course in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Nathan Rosenwasser was the lecturer. In the second year, Stecher and C. W. Kolbe were the lecturers. In the third year the course was extended to 30 lectures with optional lectures 2 evenings a week. No degrees were conferred by the School.

In 1896-1897 the curriculum was expanded to 3 years leading to the Pharmaceutical Chemist degree. There were 3 classes: freshman, junior, and senior classes.

At the time the School became part of WRU in the 1908/09 academic year, 2 degrees were offered, the Pharmaceutical Chemist (Ph.C.) and the Graduate in Pharmacy (Ph.G.). The difference in degrees depended on the high school experience of the student. Students with 1 year of a “good high school course” received the Ph.G. degree. Students who graduated from high school received the Ph.C. The 2 degrees were almost identical in the theoretical branches. The 2-year course was for full-time students and the tuition was $100 per year. The full-time course included more laboratory work. The 3-year course allowed the student time to work in a local drug store. The tuition was $65 per year.

The Doctor of Pharmacy (Phar.D.) was awarded to candidates who graduated from a “reputable school of pharmacy, who has had at least ten years of pharmaceutical experience since graduation; who presents an acceptable dissertation and who passes an examination before the Committee on Examination.”

Over time the Ph.G. degree became the 2-year degree program and Ph.C. became the 3 year program. Students were not admitted to the 2 -year course of study after the 1924/25 academic year. The Ph.C. and B.S. degrees were offered. The Ph.C. degree was not offered after 6/1935, leaving the B.S. as the only degree offered. Graduate work was possible through the Graduate School.

Total enrollment was 76 in 1908/09. Enrollment was 130 in the last year of existence (1948/49).

The deans of the School, 1908-1949, were:
1908-1911 Henry V. Arny
1911-1912 Norman A. Dubois
1912-1913 T. Barnard Tanner
1913-1916 William C. Alpers
1916-1940 Edward Spease
1940-1941 Edward D. Davy, Acting Dean
1941-1943 Edward D. Davy
1943-1944 Franklin J. Bacon, Acting Dean
1944-1949 Arthur P. Wyss

The School of Pharmacy was located in downtown Cleveland until 1920 when it moved to a house on Adelbert Road. The buildings used by the School included:
1882 - part of a floor of Cleveland City Hall
1900 - 2 floors of Cleveland Gas Light and Coke Company (also called the Gas Building
1910-1920 - Ohio Wesleyan Medical School building
1920-1949 - 2029/2045 Adelbert Road
1933 - Pierce Hall

In 1921 a garden of medicinal plants was established on campus under the management of the Department of Pharmacognosy. In the Spring of 1929 the garden was transferred to Squire Valleevue Farm.

Andrew Squire in medicinal herb garden and plants and seeds harvested from the farm

Plants were cultivated for propagation (for use in the manufacturing laborary) and research. According to Davy’s history, “The School maintains research and manufacturing laboratories, where U.S.P, N.F., and special formulae preparations are made for the hospitals of Cleveland. By agreement between Western Reserve University and the University Hospitals of Cleveland the Head of the Department of Pharmacy in the School of Pharmacy serves as the Directing Pharmacist of the University Hospitals, and the pharmacists in the hospitals become members of the teaching staff of the School. Students are required to take a course in hospital pharmacy under the direction of the hospitals pharmacists. An advanced course in hospital pharmacy is open to students who in the opinion of the faculty show special aptitude and ability.”

Pharmacy students in laboratory, 1913

Records of the School and more information about the School of Pharmacy is available in the University Archives.

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May 01, 2018

On This Day in CWRU History: May

Below is month eleven of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. The list is not comprehensive and we invite suggestions of other dates to include.

Campus anti-war protests, May 1970

May 2
1908 Western Reserve University students held their first mock political convention at Gray's Armory. The convention nominated Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin for U.S. president.
1948 Case Institute of Technology's new student union, Tomlinson Hall, was dedicated.
1970 An open meeting was held to protest expansion of the Vietman War to Cambodia.

May 3
1970 Demonstrators occupied Yost Hall to protest the campus ROTC program headquartered in the building.

May 4
1970 Student Vietnam war protesters blocked the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Adelbert Road. That night a candlelight procession was held in memory of the Kent State student killed and wounded earlier that day.
1971 Boxer Muhammad Ali spoke at Adelbert Gym. The lecture was sponsored by the UUSG Speakers Bureau and the Adelbert College Junior Class.
1985 Completely renovated as part of the Mather Quad restoration effort, Guilford House was rededicated.

May 5
1970 Faculty Senate 4-1/2 hour meeting debated continuation of the ROTC program and other issues related to anti-war protests. Radio station WRUW broadcast the proceedings.

May 6
1961 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for Western Reserve University's Mather I dormitory complex, consisting of Cutter, Smith, Taft, and Taplin Houses, and Stone Dining Hall.
1970 A ROTC supply room in the basement of Yost Hall was firebombed. Damage was $5,000.

May 7
1971 Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University's baseball teams faced off in the last meeting of these two schools in intercollegiate sports. WRU beat Case 7-5 in 10 innings.

May 8
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.
1971 Buffalo Bob Smith, the star of the "Howdy Doody Show," appeared at Emerson Gym. Smith told behind-the-scene anecdotes, showed film of the 10th anniversary show, and led the audience in singing old Howdy Doody songs. Tickets were $1.50.
1986 Trustees approved establishment of the Center on Regional Economic Issues in the Weatherhead School of Management.

May 9
1968 Trustee Executive Committee approved establishment of the Biomedical Engineering Department.

May 10
1961 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held at Case Institute of Technology for the Olin Laboratory for Materials.


May 11
1903 Western Reserve University Trustees established the Library School.
1904 Charles S. Howe was inaugurated as Case School of Applied Science's second president.
1948 Case Institute of Technology students held their first mock political convention, nominating Senator Arthur Vandenburg of Michigan as candidate for U.S. president.


May 12
1994 Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter spoke at the Florence Cellar Gerontology Conference, sponsored by the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

May 13
1885 Laura Kerr Axtell donated property worth $125,000 in the city of Cleveland, as well as the township of Rockport, to endow the Kerr Professorship of Mathematics, the first named professorship at Case School of Applied Science.
1972 The Health Sciences Center complex, containing new and expanded homes for the Schools of Nursing, Dentistry, and Medicine, was dedicated.

May 14
1965 Retiring CIT President Glennan was honored by a surprise tribute organized by students at
Students Salute Keith Glennan Day.


May 15
1928 Western Reserve University Trustees established the School of Education.
1969 When an attempt by 200 protesters to occupy the President's office in Adelbert Main was thwarted by counter demonstrators, the protesters, primarily students, proceeded to occupy Haydn Hall for four days.

May 16
1999 Former astronaut and U. S. Senator John Glenn spoke at CWRU's spring commencement convocation.

May 17
1946 All Hudson Relay teams were disqualified for using cars instead of running the race.

May 18
1920 Following the re-opening of the School of Medicine to women, female students established the Theta chapter of the Nu Sigma Phi medical sorority.
1961 Case Institute of Technology formally dedicated the Library-Humanities Building. In 1966, it was renamed the Lester M. and Ruth P. Sears Library-Humanities Building.
2003 Geraldine Ferraro, who in 1984 became the first woman to run on a U.S. presidential ticket of a major party, gave the address at CWRU's main commencement ceremony.

May 19
1967 Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University purchased Fenway Motor Inn, renamed University House, to provide housing for married and single graduate students.

May 21
1948 T. Keith Glennan was inaugurated as Case Institute of Technology's fourth president.
1957 Dedication ceremonies were held for Case Institute of Technology's second student dormitory, Pardee Hall.
1969 CWRU's University Undergraduate Student Government Assembly held its first meeting.
1969 CWRU Trustees approved phase one of a joint music program with Cleveland Institute of Musice, to begin in fall 1969.
2000 Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Ohio Congresswoman and 1971 Flora Stone Mather College and 1974 Law graduate, spoke at CWRU's School of Law commencement ceremony. Ferid Murad, a 1998 Nobel Prize laureate and a 1965 Western Reserve University graduate, spoke at CWRU's School of Medicine commencement ceremony.

May 22
1894 School of Medicine became the first medical college in Ohio to require four years of study to earn the M.D. degree.
1896 Western Reserve University and Case School of Applied Science held their first Intercollegiate Field Day in track. Held at the Cleveland Driving Park, WRU beat Case, 74-54.
1985 The first outdoor, University-wide, CWRU commencement ceremony was held.


May 23
1958 In use since 1901, the Case Institute of Technology athletic field was renamed Van Horn Field, in honor of former Case faculty member Frank "the Count" Van Horn.

May 24
1916 In an early use of the transcontinental telephone line, attendees at the Case School of Applied Science alumni dinner spoke via telephone with Case alumni at simultaneous gatherings in New York City and San Francisco.
1957 Dedication ceremonies were held at Case Institute of Technology for the newly completed Sam W. Emerson Physical Education Center.
1990 The Staff Advisory Council, CWRU's first, fully representative staff organization, held its first official meeting.

May 26
1911 Case School of Applied Science competed for the first time in varsity tennis by participating in the Ohio Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament held at Ohio Wesleyan University.
1951 Case Institute of Technology formally dedicated its first campus dormitory, Yost Hall.

May 27
1981 Dr. Benjamin Spock, noted pediatrician and former Western Reserve University faculty member, gave the address at CWRU's School of Medicine commencement ceremony.

May 28
1931 Case School of Applied Science's commencement convocation was held for the first time at the newly-constructed Severance Hall.
1970 Polykarp Kusch, 1955 Nobel Prize laureate, and a 1931 graduate of Case Institute of Technology, spoke at CIT's commencement ceremony.

May 29
1891 Western Reserve University Trustees established the School of Law.

May 31
1928 Nearly 50 years after its establishment, the Case School of Applied Science graduated its first woman, Edith Paula Chartkoff, who received an M.S. in Metallurgy.

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September
On This Day in CWRU History: October
On This Day in CWRU History: November
On This Day in CWRU History: December
On This Day in CWRU History: January
On This Day in CWRU History: February
On This Day in CWRU History: March
On This Day in CWRU History: April

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April 03, 2018

On This Day in CWRU History: April

Below is month ten of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. The list is not comprehensive and we invite suggestions of other dates to include.

Case Tech, April Fool's edition, 1970

April 1
A timeless tradition found in most of the student newspapers - the April Fool’s edition.
1972 The newly merged CWRU outdoor track team participated in the Marietta College Relays.

April 4
1892 Nu Sigma Nu medical fraternity was established by twenty-six students and faculty members at the School of Medicine.
1941 Case School of Applied Science defeated John Carroll University at the Cleveland Arena, 2-1, to win the Big Four hockey title in the third game of a best of three series. It was the final varsity hockey game for Case.
1960 The Case Institute of Technology Men's Glee Club released their first album, Case Men Sing. Featuring Case songs such as "Carmen Case," "Alma Mater," and the "Fight Song," the first edition sold out within a week.


April 5
1972 The newly merged CWRU baseball team played Youngstown State University.
1972 The newly merged CWRU tennis team faced off against Oberlin College.
1974 Cesar Chavez, president of the United Farm Workers of America, spoke at Amasa Stone Chapel. Sponsored by the CWRU Farmworkers' Support Committee, the event was free to the public.

April 6
1959 Poet Robert Frost spoke to a capacity crowd at Case’s Emerson Gym.

April 7
1950 As reported in the Case Institute of Technology newspaper, Case Tech, Tau Beta Pi announced the establishment of a faculty evaluation program for students. One-page questionnaires were distributed to students to grade instructors.

April 8
1851 Western Reserve College faculty approved the student social organization, the Equitable Fraternity, later known as Oudon Adelon, and even later as Delta Upsilon.
1972 The newly merged CWRU golf team teed off against Malone College.

April 9
1998 Derek Walcott, 1992 Nobel Laureate for poetry, read poems at Strosacker Auditorium. The event was free and open to the public.

April 11
1930 William E. Wickenden was inaugurated as Case School of Applied Science's third president.
1968 CWRU held its first convocation to honor the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., just a week after the civil rights leader’s assassination.

William Wickenden inauguration ceremony

April 12
1967 Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University Trustees approved the Agreement of Consolidation to combine Case and WRU into a new corporation, Case Western Reserve University.

April 14
1968 WRU’s new Centrex telephone system went into operation. It replaced the PBX system that had been in use since 1928.
1981 CWRU Trustees approved a single diploma design to be used by all CWRU schools.

April 15
1939 The New Chemistry Building of the Case School of Applied Science was dedicated. In 1956, it was named in honor of former Case faculty member Albert W. Smith.

April 16
1969 CWRU Trustees approved the 4-1-4 calendar for the 1969/1970 academic year. Two 15-week semesters would be separated by the month of January devoted to Intersession.
1994 During a ceremony at the Western Reserve Rowing Association, the CWRU Crew Club christened their new racing boat "Agnar Pytte," in honor of CWRU president Agnar Pytte.


April 17
1966 Gay Gallon completed an 80-hour 1-man marathon radio broadcast on WRAR, setting a new National Collegiate One Man Marathon Broadcasting Record.

April 18
1827 Middle College, the first building on the Hudson campus of Western Reserve College, opened for use.
1870 Nathan Perkins Seymour, longtime Professor of Latin and Greek, was named emeritus upon retirement, the first faculty member at Western Reserve College so honored.
1923 The cornerstone of the School of Medicine's new University Circle home was laid. In 1992, it was named in honor of former faculty member, Harland G. Wood.
1955 Dedication ceremonies were held for the William E. Wickenden Electrical Engineering Building. Wickenden was president of the Case Institute of Technology from 1929 to 1947.

April 19
1996 On newly constructed softball diamonds at Finnigan Fields, the CWRU women's varsity softball team played their first home game, splitting a double-header with Otterbein College. Vice President for Student Affairs Glenn Nicholls threw out the first pitch.

April 20
1974 CWRU faculty/administrators beat members of The Observer staff in a softball game at Finnigan Fields. CWRU President Louis Toepfer, wearing a suit and tie, batted twice in the game going hitless.


April 21
1950 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for Case Institute of Technology's first dormitory, Yost Hall.
1984 Backed by freshmen pitcher Tom Sarfi's no-hitter, CWRU beat Hiram College in baseball, 6-0. It was CWRU's first no-hitter.
1990 The Hudson Relays were run for the first time entirely within University Circle. Previously, the Relays were run from the old Western Reserve University campus in Hudson to Cleveland.

Yost Hall groundbreaking ceremonies

April 22
1998 The Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center was dedicated. It was named for Tinkham Veale II, who graduated from the Case School of Applied Science in 1937.

April 23
1995 During a ceremony at the Western Reserve Rowing Association, the CWRU Crew Club christened their new racing boat "Leonard Case, Jr.," in honor of Case School of Applied Science founder and benefactor Leonard Case, Jr.
1996 After a $6 million renovation, Rockefeller Physics was rededicated.

April 24
1883 Groundbreaking was held for Case Main, the first University Circle building of Case School of Applied Science.
1942 The annual Hudson Relay was run with bicycles instead of on foot. The class of 1944 won, with a time of 76 minutes.
1948 Case Institute of Technology, led by Coach Ray Ride, debuted its varsity golf program in a loss to Oberlin College.
1955 Western Reserve University broadcast a 90 minute alumni reunion over WEWS-TV.


April 25
1982 The class of 1982 became the first to win the Hudson Relay four years in a row. CWRU president David Ragone served the team champagne at the Hudson Relay rock after the race.


April 26
1826 The cornerstone was laid for Middle College, the first building on the Western Reserve College campus in Hudson.
1898 In response to the Spanish-American war, the Voluntary Case Corps of Cadets was organized for military drill exercises at the Case School of Applied Science.

April 27
1968 Robert W. Morse was inaugurated as CWRU's first president.


April 28
1957 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Newton D. Baker Memorial Building on the corner of Euclid Avenue and Adelbert Road.
1989 A contract was signed between CWRU and TRW, Inc. to begin the installation of CWRUnet, the electronic learning environment.

April 29
1972 After a 2 year hiatus, the Hudson Relay returned. The class of 1974 won, finishing the race in just over 2 hours.
1984 The School of Law ran its own team in the Hudson Relay.
1999 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Peter B. Lewis Building, the new home of the Weatherhead School of Management.

April 30
1972 George Gund Hall, home of the Franklin Thomas Backus School of Law, was dedicated.
1978 Case Institute of Technology students were allowed to participate in the Hudson Relay for the first time.

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September
On This Day in CWRU History: October
On This Day in CWRU History: November
On This Day in CWRU History: December
On This Day in CWRU History: January
On This Day in CWRU History: February
On This Day in CWRU History: March

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March 02, 2018

On This Day in CWRU History: March

Below is month nine of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. The list is not comprehensive and we invite suggestions of other dates to include.

March 1
1826 First meeting of the Trustees of Western Reserve College was held.
1967 University Print Club established. For an annual fee of $10 members could attend lectures on print techniques, visit artists’ studios,and purchase original prints.

March 2
1826 William Hanford, Western Reserve College Board of Trustee secretary, was named the first college librarian at WRC.

March 3
1852 Nancy Talbot Clark graduated from the Medical Department of Western Reserve College, the second woman in the United States to receive a regular medical degree.

Nancy Talbot Clark, 1850s

March 4
1957 The Penn-Ohio Collegiate Swimming Association Championships was the first competitive swimming event held at Donnell Pool in Emerson Gymnasium.

March 6
1952 Western Reserve Trustees established the School of Business, later renamed Weatherhead School of Management.
1971 Case Institute of Technology beat Western Reserve University in basketball, 75-52, at Emerson Gym. It was the final time these schools would play each other in basketball. Since their first game in 1912, WRU won 58 times, while Case won 54.

March 7
1888 Western Reserve University Trustees approved an affiliation with the Cleveland Conservatory of Music.
1965 Western Reserve University's north side dormitory complex, consisting of 12 dormitories and 3 dining halls, was dedicated.

March 9
1988 The School of Applied Social Sciences was renamed the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.
1990 The Mailroom team defeated the Library team, 44-24, for the championship of the staff basketball league.

March 14
1969 President Morse declared March 14-21 Biafran Relief Week. Several campus fundraising events were held and the CWRU community was urged to contribute to the relief fund to counter mass starvation.

March 15
1915 The Case Club was dedicated as the first student center of the Case School of Applied Science.
1955 The Cedar-University Circle Rapid Station opened, offering rides on the new light rail transit line. Western Reserve University officials hoped the Rapid would alleviate parking congestion on campus.
1969 By a vote of 18-1 the Constitutional Convention adopted a constitution for the University Undergraduate Student Government.

Undergraduate Student Government Constitutional Convention Members, Reserve Tribune, 3/18/1969, p. 1

March 16
1923 In its first varsity swim meet, Western Reserve University was defeated by Case School of Applied Science, 49-10.

March 17
1881 Holden Farm was purchased, providing 46 acres of land on which Case School of Applied Science and Western Reserve University were built
1896 The first agreement was approved between Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland (Lakeside Hospital).
1967 The Temptations performed at Emerson Gym. Admission was $2.25 for students, $3 for all others. The concert was jointly sponsored by the University Congresses of Western Reserve University and Case.

March 18
1967 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Health Sciences Center, “the biggest structure ever attempted at Western Reserve in its 140 years” according to President John Schoff Millis.

Drawing of Planned Health Sciences Center, 1960s

March 19
1881 Former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes and newly inaugurated President James Garfield were elected trustees of Western Reserve College.

March 25
1955 Zeta Beta Tau was the first Western Reserve University fraternity to install a rotary telephone system. Their phone number was SWeetbriar 1-1790.

March 27
1987 Comedienne Ellen DeGeneres appeared at CWRU's Comedy Night in Thwing Ballroom. Tickets were free for undergraduates and $2 for all others.

March 28
1881 Albert A. Michelson, the first American to win a Nobel Prize in the sciences, was appointed to the faculty of Case School of Applied Science.

Case School of Applied Science Articles of Incorporation, 1880

March 29
1880 The Case School of Applied Science was incorporated.
1968 Chancellor John S. Millis announced the results of the contest to select the first CWRU Alma Mater. Barbara Denison wrote the lyrics and Jerry Pietenpol composed the music. Both were University employees and Ms. Denison was also an alumna.

CWRU’s first Alma Mater, 1968

March 30
1902 Dedication ceremonies were held for Harkness Chapel, Western Reserve University's first chapel building. It was named in honor of Florence Harkness Severance.

March 31
1974 U. S. Senator from South Carolina, Strom Thurmond, spoke at Amasa Stone Chapel.
1995 The topping-off ceremony was held for the Kelvin Smith Library.

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September
On This Day in CWRU History: October
On This Day in CWRU History: November
On This Day in CWRU History: December
On This Day in CWRU History: January
On This Day in CWRU History: February

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February 23, 2018

African-American History Month Spotlight: First CWRU Black History Week

In February 1969 the Afro-American Society sponsored the first Black History Week at CWRU. It was entitled, “Black Renaissance Week” and was held 2/9-2/15/1969. Students Stephane Tubbs and Mike Sutton were co-chairs who planned the activities. As reported in the Reserve Tribune, Michael Fisher was the advisor for the project and defined it as “one week of black cultural and educational programs open to anyone who’s willing to take the time and opportunity to learn.” Stephanie Tubbs said, “It’s one of the ways we plan to bring the black community and the University closer together.” Black History Week at CWRU originated as one of the demands presented to President Morse in December of 1968 by the Afro-American Society.

The week opened on Sunday afternoon, 2/9, with a showing of original African-inspired fashions designed by Black Sisters United in the Thwing ballroom. Roy Innis, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) spoke that night in Strosacker Auditorium.

Events from the week included:
Monday, 2/10: The Lee Park Players presented excerpts from An Evening with Norman Jorden, “exploring the black revolution and the black man in the past” in the Thwing ballroom.
Monday, 2/10: United Black Artists followed the Lee Park Players with a live jazz offering.

Tuesday, 2/11: A seminar on education was held in the Tomlinson Hall ballroom. Speakers and their topics were: Don Freeman, director of the Lee Park Settlement and a graduate of CWRU, “Educational Revolution: Theory and Practice;” Robert Hampton, assistant manager of Cedar apartments and formerly a professor at Central State University, “Education: What is it?”; and William Pickard, executive director of the Cleveland NAACP, “The Role of the Black Student.”
Tuesday, 2/11: United Black Artists presented cosmic music and black poetry. The Black Unity Trio (also known as Bismilla Hir Rahman Nir Raheem) performed the music. They also provided background music as Amjeba Nbomba read his poetry. In addition, "Eight black dramatists read poetry selections from the writings of Margaret Walker, Norman Johnson, and Charles Langford, a student at John Hay High School.”

Wednesday 2/12: a program of gospel music was presented by Marion Williams of Philadelphia in Strosacker Auditorium at 7 p.m. the audience gave her 5 standing ovations during the performance. The singer performed 3 encores and led the audience in a sing-along.

Thursday, 2/13: a poetry presentation was made by the Watts Writers Poetry Group in Hatch Auditorium at 8 p.m. The Watts Writers Workshop was founded after the Watts riots of 1965 and was on a Midwestern tour. Members included Bill Jackson, James Jackson, Sonorra McKeller, Lillian Tarry, Quincy Troupe, and tour coordinator Charles Thomas.

Friday, 2/14: a Soul Dinner was held in Leutner Commons at 5 p.m. After the dinner, Alton X (formerly known as Alton Patterson), head of Black Student Union of Central State University, spoke about the Black renaissance.

Saturday, 2/15: a seminar entitled, Economics in the Black Community, was held in Hatch Auditorium at 3 p.m. The speakers were Deane Buchanan of the Black Economic Union, Frank Anderson of the Hough Development Corporation, and Cyril Winters of the CORE Target City Cleveland project.
Saturday, 2/15: to close out the week, a concert, called the Soul Symposium, was held in Adelbert Gym. It featured the O’Jays with opening act New Directions. This was the only event of the week which had an admission charge - $2.50.

Coverage of the events appeared in the Reserve Tribune (2/7/1969, 2/11/1969, 2/14/1969, 2/18/1969, 2/21/1969) and Case Tech (2/14/1969) student newspapers.

You can read past blog entries about African-American history at Case Western Reserve University from 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011.

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February 01, 2018

On This Day in CWRU History: February

Below is month eight of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. The list is not comprehensive and we invite suggestions of other dates to include.


February 2
1987 EUCLID, the combined catalogs for all campus libraries, went on-line. Terminals were available in all the libraries and it was hoped that dial-in access would be available soon.
1989 Blues artist, Robert Lockwood, Jr., performed at The Spot in Leutner Commons.

February 3
1974 Blues musician Bonnie Raitt played a benefit concert at Strosacker Auditorium. The concert was a fundraiser for the Indochina Peace Campaign, which opposed the U. S. war in Vietnam.

February 4
1891 Charles F. Thwing was inaugurated as Western Reserve University's sixth president.
1904 Western Reserve University's first weekly student newspaper, Reserve Weekly, was published.
1910 Case School of Applied Science defeated Western Reserve University in each school's first intercollegiate varsity hockey game, 2-0.
1987 Longtime Case Institute of Technology and CWRU basketball coach Bill Sudeck notched his 200th career win. CWRU defeated Oberlin College, 80-78, at Emerson Gym.
1999 Poland's former president and Solidarity leader, Lech Walesa, visited CWRU's College Scholars House.

February 5
1990 Fred Gray, an attorney who defended Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, was the keynote speaker at CWRU's celebration of Black History Month. Gray was a 1954 graduate of the CWRU School of Law.

Desktop computers, 1983

February 6
1985 An 8-member task force was appointed to study CWRU's voice communications and computing needs for the next decade. According to Donald Schuele, the chairman, "Eventually a computer will be as commonplace on each worker's desk as a telephone is today."
1998 CWRU held its first indoor track meet at the Veale Center.

February 7
1826 The State of Ohio granted the charter to establish Western Reserve College. Happy Birthday, CWRU!

February 8
1968 Future U.S. president Gerald Ford spoke at Strosacker Auditorium, giving a lecture entitled "The American Political Scene."
1980 CWRU Trustees named the School of Management in honor of the Weatherhead family.
1992 The topping-off ceremony was held for the Richard F. Celeste Biomedical Research Building.

February 9
1831 Charles B. Storrs was inaugurated as Western Reserve College's first president.
1929 Case School of Applied Science lost to Western Reserve University in Case's first varsity wrestling tournament, 21-13.
1973 CWRU Trustees renamed the Consolidated Colleges of Adelbert, Flora Stone Mather, and Cleveland Colleges as Western Reserve College.

February 10
1957 Thwing Hall was formally opened as the new Western Reserve University student union. It previously housed WRU's University Library.

February 11
1981 CWRU Trustees renamed the School of Library Science in honor of Matthew A. Baxter.
1995 At Thwing Ballroom, CWRU's Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance held its first "Lavender Ball."

February 14
1955 From the basement of the Mather Memorial Building, Western Reserve University's student radio station, WRAR-AM, went on the air for the first time.
1997 As reported by The Observer, a new cable movie channel was created for CWRUVideo by the Residence Hall Association and the Office of Residence and Housing Life.

February 15
1915 As reported by the Case School of Applied Science student newspaper, Case Tech, the Master Masons Clubs of Case and Western Reserve University merged. Having 33 members, the merged club was called the "Reserve - Case Masonic Club."
1968 Community organizer Saul Alinsky spoke to an overflow crowd at Harkness Chapel on “The Mechanics of Mass Organization.”
1969 Afro-American Society sponsored week-long Black Renaissance Week, CWRU’s first Black History Week celebration.
1974 Southern rockers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, performed at a sold out Adelbert Gym concert. Country singer Charlie Daniels opened. Tickets were $5.

February 16
1866 Allen Campbell Barrows, a graduate of Western Reserve College 1861, was the first alumnus to hold a professorship at the College. He was named to the chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.
2000 Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Laureate for Peace, spoke at Thwing Center Ballroom. Williams won the Nobel Prize for her work to ban landmines.

February 21
1967 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Carlton Road dormitory complex.

February 23
1844 The State of Ohio amended Western Reserve College's charter to allow the School to establish a medical department.

February 24
1894 The Alumnae Association of the College for Women (renamed Flora Stone Mather College in 1931) was established. Emily C. Monck, Class of 1893, was elected as the association's first president.
1971 The first Case Western Reserve University football banquet was held. Only desert was served, with money saved donated to aid families of Marshall University football players killed in a plane crash in November 1970.
1932 Western Reserve University established a chapter of the Society of Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific society.

February 25
1971 The rock band, the Allman Brothers Band, performed at Emerson Gym.

February 26
1967 WRUW-FM 91.1 began its first broadcast. It replaced WRAR-AM as the University's radio station.

February 27
1912 As reported by the Case School of Applied Science newspaper, Case Tech, the Case Wireless Club was recently established. Organized by students, its purpose was to "construct a wireless telegraph station for the study and practice of wireless telegraphy."

February 28
1894 According to the 1894/95 annual report and the 1894 Commencement program, the first Dental School graduates received the Doctor of Dental Surgery on 2/28/1894. The graduates were Carl A.H. Anderson, George Otis De Urfae, Hugh Burt Mitchell, and John F.H. Riggs.

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September
On This Day in CWRU History: October
On This Day in CWRU History: November
On This Day in CWRU History: December
On This Day in CWRU History: January

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January 31, 2018

Dental School hosts Congress of International Association of Dental Students

The International Association of Dental Student’s (IADS) 25th Congress took place 8/3-8/13/1978. Over 400 dental students, including 250 from 30 different countries attended. IADS is the student affiliate of the International Federation of Dentists. It promotes dental health around the world through education, training and volunteer programs within and among countries. The 25th Congress in 1978 was the first in the Western Hemisphere and the first hosted by a U.S. dental school.

IADS Congress270.jpg
IADS members carrying flags of their nations in opening ceremonies held in Amasa Stone Chapel

The 10 day event offered students first-hand knowledge of American dental techniques, equipment and research. While scientific programs, lectures, workshops and educational clinics were held on the CWRU campus, social activities off campus were offered as well. Students visited Cleveland City Hall and were greeted by the mayor; attended a Cleveland Indians baseball game; and visited Cedar Point amusement park and Niagara Falls.

George Vasilakis, class of 1968 and Assistant Professor of Oral Diagnosis at CWRU, chaired the committee of faculty and students which coordinated the event.

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January 10, 2018

Urban Vehicle Design Competition

Car entered in the competition by joint CWRU/CIA team

In 1972 a combined team from CWRU and Cleveland Institute of Art won 1 of 3 awards for styling and design in the National Urban Vehicle Design Competition at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan. Teams from 67 other universities participated in the competition. It was sponsored by Student Competitions on Relevant Engineering, Inc. (SCORE).

According to President Toepfer's Annual Report for 1972-1973, the team “fields a small automobile, capable of seating four, featuring an impact-resistant bumper and an electronic system which prevents starting the car if the drive is intoxicated. The car is powered by an internal combustion engine converted to run on propane gas, but the team is continuing its efforts to design a steam engine for the vehicle.”

Several team members with car and holding award plaque

Participating students from CWRU included: Mark K. Altschuler, John S. Amneus, III, Steven R. Buerkel, Roger S. Duff, David D. Evans, Dave J. Fries, Marilyn C. Malone, Steve A. Willeke, John Stenbuck, Ralph Anthony. Students from the Cleveland Institute of Art were: John Breen, Brian Bundy, Julian Carter, Dave Ciganko, Dan Cornell, Ken Foran, Jim Girard, Larry Nagode, John Nottingham, Larry Pentz, Ron Reiman, Marty Smith, Martin Spicuzza, John Spirk, Al Turner. Primary faculty advisers to the program were: Isaac Greber, Professor of Engineering, CWRU; Roy P. Hess, Assistant Head of Industrial Design Department, CIA; and Alan B. Kuper, Associate Professor of Engineering, CWRU.

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January 02, 2018

On This Day in CWRU History: January

Below is month seven of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. The list is not comprehensive and we invite suggestions of other dates to include.

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Left: Spook Sonata at Eldred Theatre, 1939; Right: Case men mourn the loss of football, 1954

January 1
1941 Western Reserve University defeated the Arizona State Teachers College in football at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, 26-13. It was the only time that WRU or Case Institute of Technology appeared in a college football bowl game.

January 3
1908 A reception was held in honor of the opening of Mather Gym. It was the first gym devoted solely to Flora Stone Mather College students.

January 5
1970 The first day of Intersession began CWRU’s 7-year experiment with a month-long, voluntary, intensive study of a single topic.

January 7
1950 John S. Millis was inaugurated as Western Reserve University's last president.

January 9
1969 The Glennan Space Engineering Building was dedicated.

January 11
1958 In the first dual swim meet held in Donnell Pool at Emerson Gymnasium, Case Institute of Technology lost to Grove City College.

January 12
1954 Case Institute of Technology students held a "funeral" by burying a deflated football in front of Tomlinson Hall. Case dropped varsity football 62 years after fielding its first team in 1891. Football returned to the Case campus in 1955.

January 13
1995 As reported by The Observer, seven Tippit House female suite mates won the National College Pigsty Search for the messiest dorm room. They were awarded $1000, a professional room cleaning, and a party for 100 friends.

January 16
1985 Six coin-operated digital word processors were installed in Thwing Center. The cost for use was $2.00/hour. Three letter-quality printers were also available which produced paper copy "as good as anything an IBM Selectric can turn out."
1987 The Canadian rock band, The Guess Who, performed at Adelbert Gym as part of the University Program Board's Re-orientation Party. The event was free for undergraduates, $2 for alumni, and $5 for all others.

January 17
1939 Eldred Hall's new theater addition opened with a production of Spook Sonata.
1991 First Master of Non-Profit Organizations degree conferred.

January 18
1968 The Constitution of the CWRU chapter of the American Association of University Professors was approved, combining the Western Reserve University and Case Institute of Technology chapters.

January 19
1995 Poet Nikki Giovanni was the keynote speaker at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation.

January 20
1912 Case School of Applied Science played its first varsity basketball game, losing to Oberlin College, 37-25.

January 24
1888 Western Reserve University Trustees established the College for Women, which was later renamed in honor of Flora Stone Mather.
1888 Hiram C. Haydn was inaugurated as Western Reserve University's fifth president.
1998 CWRU fraternity Zeta Beta Tau held its first annual fundraising "Casino Night" at Thwing Ballroom.

January 26
1972 In its first varsity game, CWRU’s women’s basketball team was defeated by Oberlin 34-30

January 27
1912 In their first meeting, Western Reserve University beat Case School of Applied Science in varsity basketball, 29-19.

January 29
1993 As reported by The Observer, Undergraduate Admissions implemented a new electronic application process on an MS-DOS computer disk. Included on the disk was information about financial aid, dorm life, and maps of University Circle.

January 30
1976 Held at Strosacker Auditorium, the first 24-hour Science Fiction Film Marathon began with a showing of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Other films included Fahrenheit 451, The Andromeda Strain, Metropolis, and The Time Machine. Admission was $1.
2003 Edward M. Hundert was inaugurated as CWRU's sixth president.

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Left: WRU Sun Bowl football program, 1941; Right: Nikki Giovanni at Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation, 1995

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September
On This Day in CWRU History: October
On This Day in CWRU History: November
On This Day in CWRU History: December

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December 06, 2017

On This Day in CWRU History: December

Below is month six of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. The list is not comprehensive and we invite suggestions of other dates to include.

December 1
1971 Under head coach Bill Sudeck, the newly merged CWRU basketball team lost to Oberlin College, 96-84.
1986 A new microcomputer laboratory, featuring Apple computers, opened in Freiberger Library. Almost 2400 people used the lab during its first 20 weeks.

December 2
1968 The newly formed Afro-American Society at CWRU presented several demands to President Morse. Among them that courses leading to a degree in Afro-American studies be offered.

December 3
1828 As reported in Western Reserve College's Board of Trustee minutes, the first bequest given to the College was from Reverend Nathan B. Derrow. Upon his death, one half of Derrow's library came to the College.
1971 CWRU Trustees combined Adelbert, Flora Stone Mather, and Cleveland Colleges to create the Consolidated Colleges.

Heraldic banner of the School of Applied Social Sciences

December 4
1915 Western Reserve University Trustees established the School of Applied Social Sciences.
1963 William Sudeck, longtime coach at Case Institute of Technology and CWRU, coached his first basketball game at Case, defeating Walsh College, 88-56. Sudeck coached basketball at the University for 36 years.

December 5
1970 The newly merged CWRU swim team faced off against the University of Akron in its first meet.
1970 The newly merged CWRU men's wrestling team participated in the University of Rochester Invitational tournament.

December 6
1930 Case School of Applied Science had its first varsity fencing match, defeating Youngstown College 9-7.

December 7
1994 The Holiday CircleFest debuted. University Circle institutions opened in the evening for holiday shopping, exhibits, music, and activities.

December 8
2003 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Village at 115 dormitory complex.

Dr. Frederick Robbins, 1956

December 10
1954 Dr. Frederick Robbins, Western Reserve University professor of pediatrics, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. Robbins was later dean of the School of Medicine and University Professor.

December 11
1953 Ground breaking ceremonies were held for the William E. Wickenden Electrical Engineering Building at Case Institute of Technology. Wickenden was president of Case from 1929 to 1947.
1969 The Constitution of the University Faculty was approved by the CWRU Trustees.
1986 The A. R. Jennings Computing Center opened the Microcomputer Information Center in Room 319 Wickenden.

Heraldic banner of the School of Graduate Studies

December 12
1828 Western Reserve College faculty member Rufus Nutting and ten WRC students established the Handel Society. Meeting weekly, members practiced singing and read essays about musical subjects and musicians.
1892 Western Reserve University Trustees established the Department of Graduate Instruction, later the School of Graduate Studies.
1973 CWRU Trustees authorized planning for a major fundraising campaign. The Resources Campaign, 1976-1981, raised over $215 million.
1988 Finals week Late Night Breakfast began. Free breakfast was served to students at 11 pm at Leutner and Fribley Commons.

December 13
1969 The newly merged CWRU men's fencing team met Oberlin College in its first match.

December 15
1998 The 0.9m telescope at CWRU's Nassau Astronomical Station in Geauga County was the country's first Earth-bound robotic telescope available online to the public.

December 16
1945 Laura Diehl became the first woman to receive an undergraduate degree from the Case School of Applied Science, earning a B.S. in Physics.

December 17
1919 Western Reserve University's student newspaper, The Reserve Weekly, reported that Adelbert Main was finally wired for electricity.
1990 The move into the new Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences building began. This was the first campus building wired for data, voice, and video communications in its original construction.

December 18
1947 At the first college sporting event televised in Cleveland, Western Reserve University's basketball team defeated Fenn College at Adelbert Gym, 63-26.

December 19
1891 Case School of Applied Science and Western Reserve University varsity football teams met for the first time. WRU defeated Case, 22-0. Over the next 79 years, Case and WRU played each other 74 times. WRU had 49 wins; Case had 20 wins; they tied 5 times.
1892 Western Reserve University Trustees renamed the School of Law in honor of Franklin Thomas Backus.
1910 Case School of Applied Science and Western Reserve University fielded varsity hockey teams for the first time. They played each other at the Elysium, and WRU was victorious over Case, 3-1.
1952 Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University dedicated a plaque on their common border near Euclid Avenue in honor of the Michelson-Morley ether drift experiments of July 1887.

December 20
1922 At the College for Women Christmas Carol service, the new Harkness Chapel organ was dedicated.

Case family Christmas party, 1963

December 23
1963 Case Institute of Technology held its first annual Family Christmas Party for all faculty, staff, and their families in Emerson Gym.
1966 Joint Case-WRU Trustee Committee recommended establishment of a federated university to be called Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) "to bring into being a nationally-recognized community of academic excellence."
1969 For the first time, the fall semester ended in December.
1973 CWRU President Louis A. Toepfer made his annual Christmas Walk across campus, bringing holiday greetings to all staff.

Jason J. Nassau with the Burrell Schmidt-type telescope at Warner & Swasey Observatory

December 29
1941 Dedication ceremonies for the enlarged Warner & Swasey Observatory and new Burrell Schmidt-type telescope were held in conjunction with the meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September
On This Day in CWRU History: October
On This Day in CWRU History: November

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November 22, 2017

Case vs. WRU 1947 Thanksgiving Day Game and Activities

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Cartoon from the 11/21/1947 Case Tech

Seventy years ago Thanksgiving Day once again witnessed the Case vs. Reserve annual football game. In anticipation of the contest, the Reserve Tribune reported, “Turkey Day this year will witness the 55th clash between the ancient fence rivals, Case and Reserve. Few rivalries can boast as illustrious a history as this one. Having compiled a record of 34 wins and five ties in the 52 games played thus far, the Red Cats will strive this year to make it 16 straight over the Rough Riders.”

Cartoon and schedule of events from the 11/21/1947 Reserve Tribune
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Both schools held rallies at 11 a.m. the Wednesday before the game. Reserve students gathered in Amasa Stone Chapel while Case students gathered at Van Horn Field. The rallies, as you would imagine, did not end calmly. After singing the Alma Mater to close the official rally, some Reserve students had a dummy and suggested stringing it from the top of Case’s tallest tree. According to the account in the Reserve Tribune the several students “went over to Case to do their duty. But, they made one mistake. They didn’t wait for the whole crowd. While they were still outnumbered the Case boys took the dummy and proceeded to tear it apart. By the time reinforcements had arrived all that was left of the dummy was the football pants that it was wearing. These were promptly rescued....The pants were strung up in the tree and secured there. Several of the plumbers attempted to climb the tree but were promptly hauled back down. They were only de-shoed, however, in consideration for the Mather girls who were milling around inciting the boys to riot. Then some of the Case boys went out and proceeded to tie up traffic on Euclid, de-trolleying several streetcars...”

The football game was held at 10:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day (11/27) in front of 8,500 fans at League Park. It was an exciting game as the Red Cats beat the Rough Riders 13-12. As reported in both the Tribune and the Case Tech, the field was frozen and neither team could move the ball in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Reserve scored a touchdown after a 67 yard drive. Nate Corbin took the hand-off from the quarterback at the Case 45, swept wide around the left end and ran for score. The pass for the extra point was incomplete and the Red Cats led 6-0. Near the beginning of the second half Case came back and scored when the quarterback took it in from the 2 yard line. Case also missed the extra point and the score was tied 6-6.

Later in the 3rd quarter Reserve end Mike Nesteruk recovered a Case fumble on their 34 yard line. After a few plays quarterback Lahr passed to Johnny Franko in the end zone for the score. George Roman kicked the extra point and Reserve took the lead 13-6. “Case, undaunted by their opponents’ lead, came roaring back in the last period. After a punt had rolled out on the Reserve 2, Lahr was forced to kick out of danger. The kick was blocked by Case’s Bob Gorman, and the Rough Riders recovered on the 3 yard line. On the second play, Halfback Wayne Zahn carried the pigskin over on a deceptive handoff. A poor pass from center ruined the Riders’ chances of knotting the ball game.”

In the evening the Reserve ODK (Omicron Delta Kappa - national honorary campus leadership society) and Case Blue Key dance was held at Hotel Cleveland. Both the ODK and Blue Key queens presided at the dance. They were presented to the crowd and crowned by bandleader Tommy Dorsey at the halftime ceremonies during the game. The dance was held from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. The cost was $2.25. per couple. Advance ticket holders at Case were entered into a raffle for ducks and turkeys held during the pre-game rally.

See accounts of other Thanksgiving Day games and events in blog entries from 2017, 2013 , 2012, 2011 , 2010 and 2nd 2010 entry.

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November 15, 2017

Thanksgiving Day Vesper Service, 11/25/1947

On Tuesday, 11/25/1947, Western Reserve University (WRU) held its regular Thanksgiving Vesper Service in Amasa Stone Chapel. President Winfred Leutner, Reverend George Nostrand, University Chaplain, and Rabbi Stephen Sherman, Director of the local chapter of the Hillel Foundation, presided. Leutner read the Thanksgiving proclamation from President Truman. Rev. Nostrand read an Invocation and The Lord’s Prayer. Rabbi Sherman read the scripture lesson and a prayer. The University Choir, under the direction of Director Russell L. Gee, also performed several songs and hymns.

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(l-r) Rabbi Stephen Sherman, President Winfred Leutner, and Rev. George Nostrand look over President Truman's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Rev. Nostrand gave the address, “Glad You’re Alive.” While the Archives does not have the text of this address, the Reserve Tribune (11/21/1947) reported that the address stressed the meaning of the first Thanksgiving as a basis for the observance of the holiday.

Program for the 1947 Thanksgiving Vesper Service

Members of the Adelbert Student Council and Mather Student Government served as ushers. All University personnel (faculty, students, and staff) and residents of the neighborhood were welcome to attend the service.

Read descriptions of Thanksgiving and the traditional Case vs. Reserve game in blog entries from 2010, 2nd 2010 entry, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

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November 02, 2017

On This Day in CWRU History: November

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Left: Sigma Chi members, 1910; Right: CWRU’s undefeated football team carries coach Jim Chapman off the field, 1984

Below is month five of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. The list is not comprehensive and we invite suggestions of other dates to include.

November 1
1843 First classes were held by the School of Medicine.

November 2
1957 Cornerstone was laid for the Newton D. Baker Memorial Building on the corner of Euclid Avenue and Adelbert Road.

November 3
1909 Beta Eta of Sigma Chi became the first joint Case Institute of Technology - Western Reserve University fraternity chapter.
1958 Dedication ceremonies were held at Case Institute of Technology for Strosacker Auditorium. It was named for Charles J. Strosacker, Case 1906.
1969 Constitution of the University Faculty was approved by the CWRU General Faculty.
1984 By defeating Carnegie Mellon University at home, 25-17, CWRU's varsity football team finished 9-0, its first undefeated season.

November 4
1846 School of Medicine opened its first building, located in downtown Cleveland.
1890 Western Reserve University played its first varsity football game, losing to the Clevelands, 6-0.
1988 The Microcomputer Information Center closed as the result of the reorganization of computing and information services. A. R. Jennings Computing Center took over some of the support services at its location in Crawford Hall.

November 6
1920 Case School of Applied Science ran its first varsity cross country race, placing 6th out of 7 teams in the Big Six Meet held at Ohio Wesleyan University.

November 7
1891 Case School of Applied Science played its first varsity football game, losing to Buchtel College, 42-0.

November 8
1985 Frederick Gregory spoke on campus at the Minority Engineering Career Conference. Gregory was the first African-American to pilot a spacecraft when he flew Challenger in 1985. His father, Francis, was a 1928 graduate of the Case School of Applied Science.

November 9
1934 Thwing Hall was dedicated as Western Reserve University's new University Library. It was named for former WRU president Charles F. Thwing.
1961 Former U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower was the guest of honor at “Night with Ike,” held at Horsburgh Gym. The program was televised to Strosacker Auditorium and Tomlinson Hall.
1996 Phi Delta Theta fraternity celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was founded at Case School of Applied Science in 1896.

November 10
1971 Louis A. Toepfer was inaugurated as CWRU's second president.
1979 CWRU sorority Sigma Psi held the first “Mr. CWRU” contest before a capacity crowd at Fribley Commons. Scott Elliot, a Cleveland Institute of Music student, was the first Mr. CWRU.
1994 Campus News reported that the Cleveland Institute of Music was online with CWRUnet. It was the first external organization connected to CWRUnet.

Dwight Eisenhower, T. Keith Glennan, and Henry Heald honor Eisenhower, 11/9/1961

November 11
1902 Dedication ceremonies were held for Haydn Hall. Named for former WRU president Hiram Haydn, Haydn Hall opened as a women's dormitory.
1921 Memorial tablet honoring the Western Reserve University men who died in World War I was unveiled in Amasa Stone Chapel.
1955 Case Institute of Technology held groundbreaking ceremonies for the Sam W. Emerson Physical Education Center. Sam Emerson graduated from Case in 1902.
1988 As reported by The Observer, a Macintosh computer virus NVIR affected CWRU computer labs. It was unknown how the virus arrived on campus. Computer disks were checked for the virus before use in campus computer labs.

November 12
1938 Case School of Applied Science varsity football team played their final home game at Van Horn Field, losing to Miami University, 27-12. Case games would return to campus in 1953, playing their home contests at Western Reserve University's Clarke Field.
1948 The newly established NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) chapter at Western Reserve University held its first meeting.

November 13
1922 Administrators, students, and trustees from Western Reserve University, Case School of Applied Science, School of Education, and the School of Art gathered at Adelbert Gym to celebrate Armistice Day.
1926 Dedication ceremonies were held for the Allen Memorial Library.
1984 Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the U. S. Supreme Court, spoke at Gund Hall as part of the Sumner Canary Lecture series.

November 14
1969 The dormitory complexes on Murray Hill and Carlton Roads were dedicated.

November 15
1969 Western Reserve University beat Case Institute of Technology in football, 28-14. It was the final time these schools would play each other in football. Since their first game in 1891, WRU won 48 times, Case won 20, and 6 games were tied.
1980 Dedication ceremonies were held for the newly renovated Thwing Student Center and Claud Foster Park.
1988 Trustee Executive Committee added sexual orientation to CWRU’s non-discrimination policy.

November 16
1958 Newton D. Baker Memorial Building was dedicated.
1980 David V. Ragone was inaugurated as CWRU's third president.
1997 I. F. Freiberger Pavilion in the Kelvin Smith Library and I. F. Freiberger Field were dedicated.

November 19
1999 CWRU Film Society presented a marathon of films from Hollywood Director, Stanley Kubrick, who died in March 1999. Films shown were Eyes Wide Shut, Dr. Strangelove, and A Clockwork Orange.

November 24
1970 First joint meeting of the Executive Committee of the CWRU Trustees and Faculty Senate was held.

November 25
1988 Fire destroyed the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house at 11120 Magnolia Drive. Losses were estimated at $750,000.

November 26
1963 University convocation was held in memory of President John F. Kennedy at Amasa Stone Chapel.

November 28
1988 One-to-One Fitness Center began full operation.

WWI memorial tablet, 1921

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September
On This Day in CWRU History: October

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October 11, 2017

On This Day in CWRU History: October

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left-right: Case Main after 1886 fire; Philozetian Society membership certificate, 1868

Below is month four of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. We make no claims that the list is comprehensive and invite suggestions of other dates to include.

October 1
1917 The Dental School moved to University Circle, from downtown, holding the first classes in its newly purchased building on Adelbert Road.
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.
1948 As reported by Western Reserve University's newspaper, Reserve Tribune, the 30 year old fence separating WRU and Case Institute of Technology was removed. Timber from the fence was burned at the Case-WRU bonfire before their annual football game.

October 2
1961 Cornerstone ceremonies were held for the John Schoff Millis Science Center.

October 3
1827 Western Reserve College held its first classes in Hudson.
1881 First regular classes at Case School of Applied Science opened in downtown Cleveland with 16 students in attendance. Classrooms were in the former residence of the Case family and a laboratory was set up in the barn.
1903 As reported by Case School of Applied Science student newspaper, Case Tech, a five year combined degree program at Case and Western Reserve University was established in the fall of 1903.
1972 As reported in The Observer, Vis-a-Vis was chosen as the name through a "Name the Yearbook" contest for the first all-CWRU yearbook.

October 4
1826 Classes for the newly founded Western Reserve College began in nearby Tallmadge Academy with a freshmen class of three men.
1987 Agnar Pytte was inaugurated as CWRU's fourth president.

October 5
1908 Western Reserve University Trustees approved an affiliation with the Cleveland School of Pharmacy.
1967 CWRU trustees approved the university's first affirmative action/equal employment opportunity for minorities program.
1968 First football game played at the newly opened Edward L. Finnigan Playing Fields. Western Reserve University lost to Grove City College, 14-11.
2001 The Agnar Pytte Center for Science Education and Research was dedicated.
2004 CWRU hosted a nationally televised vice presidential debate between John Edwards and Dick Cheney.

October 6
1951 Justice John H. Clarke Field re-opened on the Western Reserve University campus after major renovations. The field had been used by WRU for athletics since 1891.
1951 Case Institute of Technology held its first "Band Day." Alumni bandsmen joined the band for its pre-game and half-time shows. The Case band's six foot drum made its first appearance on the gridiron since the 1930s.

October 7
1929 Dedication ceremonies for the Institute of Pathology were held.
1973 Kent Smith Quadrangle, the former Case Institute of Technology quad, was dedicated.
1986 Art in the Circle, a campus art consignment shop, opened in the basement of Tomlinson Hall.
1989 Tyler House sponsored its first annual "Jello Jam." 1000 pounds of cherry Jello was used for Jello "wrestling, twister, sliding, snarfing, sliming and stupid human Jello tricks."

Case WWI Student Army Training Corps marching on campus

October 8
1997 CWRU Board of Trustees celebrated 25 consecutive years of a balanced budget.

October 9
1924 Dedication ceremonies for the School of Medicine's new University Circle home were held. In 1992, the building was named for former faculty member Harland G. Wood.
1924 Robert E. Vinson was inaugurated as Western Reserve University's seventh president.
1961 Charles M. White Metallurgy Building was dedicated. Instead of a ribbon cutting to open the building, a steel ribbon was melted.
1962 Olin Laboratory for Materials was dedicated.
2002 Dedication ceremonies were held for the Peter B. Lewis Building.

October 10
1953 Case Institute of Technology football home games returned to campus, WRU’s Clarke Field, after a 15 year absence. Case home games had been played at Shaw High School in East Cleveland.

October 13
1946 Hillel Foundation held its first meeting at Western Reserve University.
1962 The John Schoff Millis Science Center was dedicated.
1989 As reported in The Observer, a new computer lab opened in Sears Library. It featured Macintosh SEs and ImageWriter LQs. Software such as PageMaker 3.02, Hypercard, and Microsoft Word 4.0 was available. Laser printing was 25 cents per page.

October 14
1904 The Mather Advisory Council reported that "labor-saving" electric laundry machinery was installed in Guilford House for use by students. The equipment cost over $1000.
1986 Peter R. Musselman Quadrangle was named. The Quadrangle was bounded by Amasa Stone Chapel, Adelbert Hall, Eldred Hall, and the eastern edge of the Kent Smith Quadrangle (also known as the Case Quad).
1989 The groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Richard F. Celeste Biomedical Research Building.

October 15
1862 Western Reserve College's Commencement was postponed from its scheduled July 10 date due to the absence of most students fighting in the Civil War.
1912 Electric lights were installed in all classrooms in the Case Main Building.
1989 CWRU formally announced a five-year $350 million fund raising campaign called, "The Campaign for Case Western Reserve University."

October 16
1948 The first televised Case Institute of Technology football game was broadcast by WEWS-TV. Ohio Wesleyan University defeated Case, 26-13.

Winfred Leutner and T. Keith Glennan knock down fence separating Case and WRU campuses, 1948

October 17
1969 Dedication ceremonies were held for Crawford Hall.

October 18
1922 The Case School of Applied Science newspaper, Case Tech, published parking rules for campus. The article stated that "many institutions are not allowed to park their cars on college grounds at all," and asked for "cordial" cooperation from faculty and students.

October 19
1910 Case Tech reported flaming arcs were placed on poles 45 feet high to light half of the field for football practice. These lights replaced arc lamps and reflectors.

October 20
1920 Democratic vice-presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigned at the Franklin Thomas Backus School of Law building on Adelbert Road.

October 21
1892 A special convocation, "The Discovery of America," was held to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus.
1973 The Mather Gallery, a student art center in Thwing Hall, opened.

October 23
1987 As reported in The Observer, Sports Information director David Montgomery established a "Dial-a Sports" line for CWRU sports. Fans could get weekly updates on games played by CWRU athletic teams.

October 24
1828 Western Reserve College students established their first organization, the Philozetian Society. Activities of the Society included orations, compositions, debates, and disputes or disputations (extemporaneous debates).
1892 Clark Hall and Guilford House were dedicated. They were the first buildings on Western Reserve University's Flora Stone Mather College campus.
1986 Ground was broken for the new Weatherhead School of Management building, Enterprise Hall, later known as Nord Hall.

October 25
1975 Case-Reserve Athletic Club (now Spartan Club) held its first Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

October 26
1882 Dedication ceremonies for Adelbert, Pierce, and Cutler Halls were held. They were the first Western Reserve University buildings in University Circle. Instead of a formal Commencement exercise, degrees were conferred after the dedication ceremonies.
1989 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the new home of Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at the northeast corner of Bellflower and Ford Roads.

October 27
1886 Fire gutted the Case Main Building, the first Case School of Applied Science building in University Circle.

October 28
1847 Phi Beta Kappa established the first Ohio Chapter, Alpha, at Western Reserve College.
1922 Western Reserve University ran its first varsity cross country race, defeating Wooster College, 25-30.

October 29
1999 David H. Auston was inaugurated as CWRU's fifth president.

October 30
1992 The cornerstone and dedication plaque were unveiled for the Kent Hale Smith Engineering and Science Building at a ceremony held at Adelbert Gym.

October 31
1964 Dedication ceremonies were held for the Murray Hill dormitory complex.

The Campaign for Case Western Reserve University, 1989

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September

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September 05, 2017

On This Day in CWRU History: September

Below is month three of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. We make no claims that the list is comprehensive and invite suggestions of other dates to include.

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Claud Foster Hall moved to its new location, 1968 (left); Mary Chisholm Painter Arch (right)

September 2
1970 CWRU held its last September commencement ceremony.
1971 The newly merged CWRU men’s cross-country team defeated Hiram College, 19-42.

September 4
1973 A wide area telephone service (WATS) line was installed for the first time at CWRU.
1985 New 10-megabit Ethernet network connected the computing systems of 4 CWRU facilities and helped link CWRU users to computing systems around the world. The network allowed remote log-in, file transfers, and electronic mail.

September 5
1969 The first issue of the CWRU student newspaper, The Observer, made its debut. Intended as an all-CWRU newspaper, its name was chosen by a contest in the spring of 1969. George O. Siekkinen won the contest and received a Polaroid camera from Wade Drug.

September 6
1888 First classes were held by Western Reserve University's Cleveland College for Women, renamed Flora Stone Mather College in 1931.
1973 CWRU Trustees approved Cleveland Landmarks status for Mary Chisholm Painter Memorial Gateway.
1988 A convocation was held to formally acknowledge the naming of the School of Applied Social Sciences in honor of the Mandel family.

September 7
1882 Western Reserve University welcomed undergraduates to the "First Academical Term" in its new University Circle home.
1957 Dedication ceremonies were held for the Nassau Astronomical Station in Montville, Ohio. The station was named for long-time Case Institute of Technology faculty member Jason J. Nassau.

September 8
1967 First commencement convocation of the newly federated CWRU was held.
1996 The Kelvin Smith Library was dedicated.

September 9
1969 CWRU opened its first co-ed dormitories at Andrews House, East House and Mather House.

September 12
1949 Case Institute of Technology held its first week long freshmen orientation.

September 13
1892 First classes were held by Western Reserve University's School of Dentistry.
1913 Flora Stone Mather Memorial Building was dedicated. It became the main administration building for Western Reserve University's Flora Stone Mather College, the undergraduate college for women.
1953 Western Reserve University's student dormitory Claud Foster Hall was dedicated.

September 14
1885 Case School of Applied Science classes met for the first time in University Circle in the old Case Main Building.
1994 Peter R. Musselman Quadrangle, bounded by Amasa Stone Chapel, Adelbert Hall, Eldred Hall, and the eastern edge of the Kent Smith Quadrangle, was dedicated. Musselman was University Vice President and Treasurer, 1969-1986.

September 15
1881 Case School of Applied Science began its first "regular course of study."
1995 Adelbert Hall was named a National Historic Chemical site. Edward Morley, a Western Reserve University faculty member, conducted experiments in Adelbert Hall between 1883 and 1894, which determined the atomic weight of oxygen and hydrogen.

September 16
1968 Students moved into Claud Foster Hall, the 3300-ton dormitory, which had recently been moved 100 yards east on Euclid Avenue from its location west of Thwing Center to a location east of Thwing Center.
1994 Dedication ceremonies for the Kent Hale Smith Engineering and Science Building were held.

September 17
1951 Western Reserve University became the first American university to offer regular university courses for credit in a combination of television broadcast and home study.
1952 First classes were held by Western Reserve University's School of Business.
1983 CWRU women's varsity cross country team ran its first meet, competing against Allegheny College.

September 18
1967 CWRU's first academic year began.

September 19
1916 First classes were held by Western Reserve University's School of Applied Social Sciences.
1960 Four women were part of the Case Institute of Technology's freshmen class, breaking an 80 year tradition of accepting men only. A few women had attended Case before 1960, but were exceptions to the men only rule.

September 20
1880 Following four years of discussion, negotiations, and debate, the Trustees, by a vote of 14-2, approved the removal of Western Reserve College to Cleveland from Hudson.

September 21
1995 The George S. Dively Building was dedicated.

September 22
1892 First classes were held by Western Reserve University's Franklin Thomas Backus School of Law.
1903 First classes were held by Western Reserve University's School of Library Science.

September 24
1963 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for Western Reserve University's Adelbert I dormitory complex, consisting of Cutler, Hitchcock, Pierce and Storrs Houses, and Leutner Commons.

September 25
1923 First classes were held by Western Reserve University's School of Nursing.

September 26
1970 The new CWRU football team played its first game, losing to Allegheny College, 20-3. Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University fielded separate football teams for three seasons after the schools merged in 1967.
1984 Under coach Nancy Gray, CWRU women's varsity soccer team played its first match, losing to Oberlin College at home, 6-1.

September 29
1862 Company B of the 85th Ohio Volunteeer Infantry, raised from the students and faculty of Western Reserve College, was mustered out of the Union Army.
1917 Case School of Applied Science played Ohio State University in football for the final time, losing 49-0. Case played OSU 22 times between 1894 and 1917, compiling a record of 11 wins, 9 losses and 2 ties.
1925 First classes were held by Western Reserve University's Cleveland College.
1971 Under head coach Gerry Harbak, the newly merged CWRU men’s soccer team lost to John Carroll University, 1-0.

September 30
1903 The first issue of the Case Tech, the Case School of Applied Science student newspaper, was published.
1999 Cleveland Free-Net was discontinued. Free-Net, which originated at CWRU, was the nation's first free, open-access community computer system.

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“To Cleveland or Bust” student sentiment in the 1883 Reserve yearbook (left); Front page of the first issue of The Observer (right)

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August

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August 14, 2017

On This Day in CWRU History: August

Below is month two of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. We make no claims that the list is comprehensive and invite suggestions of other dates to include.

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Flooded Sears Library, 1975 (left); Installing the second Hudson Relay rock, 1980 (right)

August 2
(1832) Elizur J. Wright, Jr., a faculty member at Western Reserve College, wrote the first in a series of letters to a Hudson, Ohio newspaper advocating the immediate emancipation of American slaves.

August 4
(1992) CWRU Trustee Executive Committee approved naming the new biomedical research building for former Ohio governor, Richard F. Celeste.
(1992) CWRU Trustee Executive Committee approved purchase of Aquatech, now known as the Cedar Avenue Service Building.

August 5
(1974) CWRU Trustee Executive Committee approved establishment of the Department of Famliy Medicine.

August 8
(1978) Alumna and future Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was elected to the CWRU Board of Overseers

August 9
(1983) It was reported to the Trustees Executive Committee that CWRU's endowment portfolio passed the $200 million mark.

August 10
(1967) A $500 gift from the Adelbert Student Council established the William Powell Jones endowment fund to purchase books for the University Library.
(1988) CWRU Trustee Executive Committee voted to restore the practice of regularly awarding honorary degrees.

August 11
(1970) CWRU Trustee Executive Committee approved an affiliation agreement between the Medical School and St. Luke's and Mt. Sinai hospitals.

August 13
(1973) When the books closed on FY1973 it became the first year since Federation in 1967 without a deficit. A surplus of $32,000 was reported.

August 14
(1922) Groundbreaking ceremories were held for the new School of Medicine building in University Circle, later named the Harland Goff Wood Building.

August 16
(1985) Bank-In-a-Box, containing two automated teller machines, opened for business outside Thwing Center.
(1987) Phase 2 of CWRU's smoking ban stopped smoking inside all campus buildings - except residence halls. Details

August 17
(1994) The electrochemical sciences program was named the Ernest B. Yeager Center for Electrochemical Sciences.

August 18
(1986) CWRU Trustee Executive Committee approved establishment of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics degree programs.

August 19
(1975) Among completed summer campus facilities projects reported to Trustees: 1,900 peepholes installed in dormitory doors.

August 20
(1996) It was reported to the Trustees that the total CWRU endowment passed the $1 billion mark.

August 21
(1980) The second Hudson Relay Rock, a gift of Dr. Leonard Skeggs, was installed. Winning teams were honored by recording their class years on the rocks.
(1985) Jennings Computing Center announced a new service: a KERMIT software lending library. KERMIT was a collection of programs for personal computers and mainframes that allowed high-speed, error-free file transfers.

August 22
(1836) Western Reserve College Trustees resolved that "freedom of discussion ... is allowed the students in all subjects" and that the College would admit "young men of decent talents...without distinction of nation, denomination or complexion.”

August 23
(1837) The Western Reserve College Alumni Association was established.
(1993) CWRU's academic year began with an enrollment of 9,276. Undergraduate tuition was $15,200. 66% of freshmen were men and 34% were women.
(1993) The School of Medicine provided each first year medical student with an Apple PowerBook.

August 24
(1836) Missionary Hiram Allen Babcock was granted an honorary Master of Arts degree, the first honorary degree awarded by Western Reserve University.
(1975) A flash flood dumped over 4 feet of water in the basement of Sears library and over 6 feet into Wickenden, causing nearly $1 million in damage.
(1979) New students arrived on campus in the midst of an RTA strike. The University transported them to campus in shuttle buses from the airport.

August 25
(1830) Four years after its founding, Western Reserve College held commencement exercises for its first graduating class of four students.
(1831) Charles Preston, an 1830 graduate of Western Reserve College, was the first alumnus hired to teach at Western Reserve College.
(1989) Freshman James Gerber "became the first person at the University to be connected to CWRUnet."

August 26
(1830) The Trustees elected Charles Backus Storrs the first President of Western Reserve College.
(1834) George E. Pierce was inaugurated as Western Reserve College's second president.
(1985) CWRU's academic year began with an enrollment of 8,261. Undergraduate tuition was $8300. 73% of freshmen were men and 27% were women.
(1986) The 9-1/2 inch telescope, formerly housed in the Warner & Swasey Observatory on Taylor Road, was placed on top of the Smith Building as part of a new student observatory.

August 27
(1828) Western Reserve College, which did not have a graduating class for two more years, held a public commencement celebrating its two years of existence.
(1834) Four students each received the Master of Arts degree, the first awarded at Western Reserve College.
(1979) First Doctor of Nursing (N.D.) students began classes at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

August 29
(1890) The Trustees elected Charles Franklin Thwing the sixth president of Western Reserve University. Thwing was the longest-serving president at either Case Institute of Technology or Western Reserve University.

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Allen Smith, Jr. portrait of George Pierce (left); Herman Gustav Herkomer painting of Charles F. Thwing (right)

On This Day in CWRU History: July

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May 01, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: Wrap-Up

Most of us are familiar with the annual Beloit College Mindset List. If you’ve missed it, take a look here. The list explores the “cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students about to enter college.”

When I saw the list for the Class of 2020 last fall, I was amused and appalled by some of the highlights:
“There has always been a digital swap meet called eBay.
The United States has always been at war.
They have never seen billboard ads for cigarettes.”

In a seemingly unconnected occurrence, the CWRU Archives had recently begun digitizing our student newspapers. The Mindset List looks at the entire 18 years of our new students’ lives. I wondered what was happening on CWRU’s campus during the year our freshmen were born. Exploring campus life from the point of view of the students of 1998 for the Class of 2020 seemed like a small, but friendly, welcoming gesture to our new students. It was also an opportunity to use our blog to make those digital newspapers more accessible.

That was the start of the Remembering 1997-1998 project. The 26 issues of the 1997/98 Observer were posted each week, along with a very short summary of some of the headlines. I tried to avoid interpreting, letting the newspapers speak for themselves, but selecting headlines is not a neutral act.

The project ended last week with the April 24, 1998 issue, so I feel free to opine a bit. First and foremost, looking at this year of The Observer gave me a new respect for the work of our student journalists. This not very large group manages to cover an impressively broad range of events and issues on campus.

The most obvious changes between 1997/98 and 2016/17 are technology. Among the innovations announced in 1997/98 were a new “electronic suggestion box.” An ad for an Apple Power Macintosh 6500 for $3,015 appeared. And the editors called for implementation of computerized registration.

A number of events from nineteen years ago could have come from today’s headlines: a benefit to protest police brutality, rape and a “Come Because You Care” candlelight vigil, allegations of racially derotagory and anti-gay chalk markings, efforts to reduce alcohol abuse, an invitation to sign a statement affirming “our commitment to a campus community that supports the worth and dignity of each individual,” and student debt and money management tips.

Some of 1997/98’s firsts included a new alma mater, formation of the Weatherhead Entrepreneurs Society to market student inventions, and SpringFest.

Traditions included WRUW’s diverse programming, changes to the physical campus, the 25th Ebony Ball, Humanities Week events, Winter Carnival, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Convocation, Mr. CWRU Contest, Engineers’ Week, and the April Fool’s Day special edition.

Celebrations of our array of international cultures included Indian Independence, Hispanic Heritage Month, Turkish Deserts Night, and Gobble, Gobble’s international cuisine for Thanksgiving dinner.

Coincidentally, as the project was wrapping up, we received a request to determine how the name of The Observer was chosen. Not suprisingly, there was a contest.

The first issue of The Observer was published September 5, 1969. Its predecessor, the Reserve Tribune, announced in its April 29, 1969 issue that there would be a contest to name the new newspaper. Judges were the new editorial board and the prize was a Polaroid Swinger Color-Pac camera.

The results of the contest were announced in the May 23, 1969 issue of the Reserve Tribune. George O. Siekkinen submitted the winning entry, The University Observer. The editors decided to shorten the name to The Observer. They wanted a name that was short and a "traditional newspaper name."

We’re continuing our project to digitize our student newspapers, starting with The Observer, Case Tech, and Reserve Tribune. They will, in the fullness of time, join our other Digital Case collections:
student yearbooks

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April 26, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: April 24, 1998

The April 24, 1998 issue was the last Observer for academic year 1997/98. The front page headline was “First place for CWRU Alma Contest results in tie”

Observer_1998-04-24_p3b.jpg Observer_1998-04-24_p3a.jpg

Other headlines included:
• U.S. Treasurer speaks at Golden Key
• WSOM undergraduates win business competition in Seattle
• An early look at class 2002
• Eyes On American Society of Civil Engineers
• First annual SpringFest brings students together
• 1998 recipients of the Graduate Dean’s Instructional Excellence Awards
• Online registration discussed at USG meeting
• A look at TBTB 1998
• Women faculty few, more being hired
• Women’s coalition receives large donation
• Editorial: Our final grades for 1998
• Makin’ it happen: You’ve heard their names, you know they are influential, now read what they have to say
• Stuck in Cleveland this summer? Check out these ways to have tons of fun!
• Mather Dance is booming with creative energy
• Spartans prepare for UAA Championships

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 4/24/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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April 17, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: April 17, 1998

Among other articles in the April 17, 1998 Observer is this: College Scholars Program’s Tote the Mug campaign celebrated Earth Day by promoting personal beverage containers instead of styrofoam.


Other headlines included:
• Committee raises Dean’s List G.P.A.
• Robotic cockroach finalist in Discovery Magazine awards
• Eyes On Interfaith Student Forum
• Hudson Relay time approaches
• Boehm brings Australian culture to Wade Park
• Editorial: Students need representation
• CD Warehouse in Coventry hits a big note for music stores
• Spikers advance to EIVA quarterfinals
• CWRU hosts Spartan Track Invitational

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 4/17/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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April 11, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: April 10, 1998

The week Zeus got loose was the headline of the Observer’s April 10, 1998 coverage of Greek Week.


The Focus section explored the hidden CWRU: Steam tunnels; How CWRUnet works; Where the tuition goes; The story of ARAMARK; What is that thing on topic of Crawford?

Other headlines included:
• Work begins on new science complex
• Rubin receives the Churchill
• Eyes On The CWRU Musical Group
• RHA elects officers for 1998-1999 school year
• Refuge seeks new name with contest
• International extravaganza caters to a sell out crowd
• Two students receive Goldwater scholarship
• The Women’s Studies Intramural Speaker Series presents first student presentation
• Volunteers needed for EARTHFest ‘98
• Editorial: Make transcripts more available to students
• WRUW sponsors local benefit concert
• Pulp’s new album worth a listen
• String Cheese Incident to play at Odeon tonight
• 8th annual Mather scholarship competition announced
• Spikers win third consecutive NCAC title
• Spartans improve season record to 10-4-1

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 4/10/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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April 03, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: April 3, 1998

The April 3, 1998 Observer was the first issue under the 1998-1999 staff:

Editor, Christian R. Steiner
Managing Editor, Mark A. Zaremba
News Editor, Tina Wang
Features Editor, Santina Protopapa
Sports Editor, Erin McKeag
Copy Editors, Jennifer Long and Betsy Davis
Photo Editor, Mark Lehmkuhle
Focus Editor, Nick Thorpe
Production Managers, Lipika Samal and Angela Byun
Business Manager, Eric Lin
Advertising Manager, Rick Cruikshank

CWRU professors arrested by Alpha Phi Omega; story on page 7

Other headlines included:
• MOP forecases future computing needs
• No mandatory diversity class says students
• Howe wins Spring Olympics
• Eyes On: CWRU Magic Club
• Rotsky proteges shadow CWRU students for a day
• Spikers look toward EIVA championships
• Individuals pace track teams at Wooster
• Tennis team is alive and kicking in ‘98
• Golfers look forward to upcoming season
• Softball team defeats Defiance College

Fifth annual Take Back the Night march and rally; story on page 5

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 4/3/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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March 30, 2017

Celebrating Women’s History Month - Equal Suffrage League on campus

"Love Me, Love My Vote"

-so reads a valentine taken from the college scrapbook of Helen H. Stevens, class of 1919, who served as president of the Equal Suffrage League in 1917-1918.

The Equal Suffrage Chapter of the College for Women was re-established on the campus in the 1915-1916 academic year. According to sources, it had existed a few years earlier but the Archives could not confirm the date. The chapter was reorganized after Emma Maud Perkins called for a meeting of students interested in equal suffrage.


Emma Perkins was Woods Professor of Latin. A graduate of Vassar College, she moved to Cleveland in 1879 and taught at Central High School. She came to WRU in 1892 as associate professor of Latin at the College for Women. Her widowed mother, Sarah M. Perkins, was a pioneer women’s suffrage worker and lived with her daughter.

The purpose of the Suffrage League was “to promote equal suffrage sentiment among the college women.” The first two years the chapter built up its membership and held meetings where they studied various phases of the suffrage movement. By the 1917-1918 academic year, membership numbered over 50. The League became an auxiliary to the Cleveland Suffrage Party. They held monthly open meetings. Here is a summary of the League activity for the 1917-1918 year taken from the yearbook:

“In October the successful membership campaign was concluded with a tea in Haydn at which Miss Smith and Oliver Emerson spoke. In November there was conducted a mock campaign at the end of which the college voted for or against the Reynold Bill, which provided for Presidential Suffrage for Ohio women. The pleasing result of the election was 308 for and 13 against the Bill.

04783D1p1.jpg 04783D1p2.jpg
Election voting notice and results

"During the campaign we had the pleasure of hearing, at a series of noon meetings in Haydn, Miss Myers, Professor Arbuthnot, Mr. Moley and Mrs. Roger Perkins. In January the League oversubscribed its pledge to the Cleveland party at a meeting led by Felice Crowl. In February Miss Grace Treat talked on ‘The Question in Washington.’ In April the League conducted one of the monthly sing-outs. The annual meeting and election took place in May.”

After decades of advocacy by countless activists, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified 8/18/1920 giving women the right to vote. Our activist women took their new right seriously, forming the League of Women Voters shortly thereafter. The Cleveland League was formed in 1920 and the League of Women Voters chapter at the College for Women was organized in October 1921 by alumna Florence Allen.

We would love to celebrate all women involved in the Equal Suffrage League and have identified the following to date:

Suffrage meeting announcement, 5/22/1919
1915/1916 officers:
Julia Harmon, president
Mildred Merkel, vice-president
Marie Grosse, secretary
Margaret Barker, treasurer
Elsie McGee, Eva Smill, and Myra Thwing, directors.

1916/1917 officers:
Eva Smill, president
Mildred Merkel, vice-president
Margaret Barker, secretary
Margaret Hamilton, Julia Harmon, Grace Evans, directors

1917/1918 officers:
Helen H. Stevens, president
Margaret Barker, vice-president
Jeannette Dall, secretary
Henrietta Gates, treasurer
Christena Myers, Lela Draper, Adelaide Zeile, Ruth Hillyer, directors

See past Women’s History Month posts from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

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March 27, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: March 27, 1998


The March 27, 1998 Observer continued the long-standing tradition of an April Fool's special section. The Absurder’s breaking news: “Zaremba declared president of CWRU; Pytte refuses to resign... Neo-Luddites balmed for high tech crime spree... Mutant cockroaches storm Crawford... Survey shows: nerds abound at CWRU...”

More conventional headlines included:
• Krzesinski elected as new USG president
• Steiner elected new editor
• Dodd forms committee on academic ethic policy
• Gurarie fences in NCAA Championships
• Tennis team shocked by division rivals
• Baseball team splits doubleheader against Thiel Tomcats

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 3/27/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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March 20, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: March 20, 1998

The March 20, 1998 Observer editorial urged, “Implement online registration soon.” Columnist John D. Giorgus opined, “Current physical education standards are a waste.”

Music critic, Ryan Smith offered his own rating system.

Headlines included:
• Merger may increase train traffic in UC four-fold
• Residence hall restructuring announced for 1998-1999
• Brooten appointed Dean of Nursing
• Eyes On: Urban Asylum
• Dickerson and Wiechers name Truman finalists
• Senior Week fun planned
• Boogie Benefit to fund renovations
• GE, OSCS, CSU form tutoring program
• Take Back the Night protests violence against women
• Makin’ Music: CWRU students to sing and strum at Spot
• CBS scores hit with new “George & Leo” sitcom
• Shakespeare feast to be served tomorrow night at Harkness Chapel
• Creed’s debut album swings and misses with too much hard rock
• Hessler Street Fair poetry contest announced
• Spartans win UAA Championships
• Baseball team starts season on down note
• CWRU holds First Annual Winter Indoor Ultimate Tourney
• CWRU to leave NCAC and become a full time UAA member

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 3/20/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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March 10, 2017

World War I - summary of CIT campus activity in 1917

The United States officially entered World War I on 4/6/1917. This galvanized actions at Case School of Applied Science (CSAS) and Western Reserve University.

President Charles S. Howe

In the CSAS President’s Annual Report for 1916/1917, President Charles Howe wrote:

“For some time previous to the declaration of the war there had been a great deal of interest among our students in military matters but it had not crystallized into any being. the National Defence Act [sic] of June 1916 made it possible for students in college to form voluntary organizations and for the government to send military officers to institutions where such organizations existed. Engineering students are always very busy with their college work. The demands upon them during the four years of undergraduate life are very much more severe than upon the students in academic colleges. It is, therefore, not surprising that only a few students were willing to take upon themselves work that was not required. After this situation had been explained to the Board [of trustees] a committee was appointed, consisting of two members of the Board and the president of the faculty [Howe]. The committee was asked to thoroughly investigate the question of military drill and the establishment of such military drill as a requirement in Case. The committee had several meeting one with the Secretary of War in Cleveland and another with him in Washington, the latter at his invitation.

“An effort was made to have a military unit established but it was not successful because the number of officers in the army was limited and all of them were needed in the new army about to be raised. We were, therefore, informed that our application was on file - that it would receive consideration just as soon as it seemed possible to supply an officer but that until that time nothing could be done. The committee also endeavored to find out whether it would be possible for us, with our engineering and scientific equipment, to train men as officers for particular scientific departments of the army, or rather, departments where engineering skill is especially needed, as, for instance, in the engineer corps, the ordnance department, the signal corps, etc. Our suggestions were very coldly received by the heads of bureaus but seemed to please the Secretary of War very much. He could, not, however, force the heads of bureaus to attempt work of this kind without their hearty consent and so we have never offered the use of our laboratories to the government.

“As a result of the work of this committee the Trustees, on March 3rd voted that military drill be made compulsory in Case School of Applied Science in accordance with the terms of the National Defense Act of June 1916, and that such drill begin at the opening of the college year 1917-18. It was also voted to increase the length of the college year by one week in order to partially make up for the time which would be taken from studies by the military exercises. Previous to this time, however, military marching had been taken up in the gymnasium as a substitute for gymnasium work. This was carried on under the direction of Professor Adamson who was a captain in the Reserve Corps and by the gymnasium instructors who very willingly took the necessary time to acquaint themselves with the drill manual. At first this work was merely called military marching but as soon as the trustees had taken formal action its title was changed to military drill. The Cleveland Grays kindly loaned us a hundred rifles which they were not using and we secured the services of Captain Lynn, the Adjutant of the Fifth Regiment, Ohio Infantry, as the military instructor. There was little if any objection on the part of the students, even after drill was given for two, three and four hours a day.

Student Army Training Corps drilling, 1917-1918

“As soon as war was declared and the government had determined to establish officers’ training camps in various sections of the county [sic], the college work was badly disorganized. The greatest excitement prevailed. Almost every student in college wanted to go to the camps and my office was besieged from morning until night by the men who wished to secure recommendations. Of course many of the students were too young to be allowed to enter the training camps but in the upper classes the majority of them were over twenty-one and hence were eligible. A comparatively small number of seniors applied for admission to the camps because they hoped to be admitted to the engineering department of the army. About sixty of the students were appointed to the training camps, the number being about equally divided among the senior, junior, and sophomore classes, although three or four freshmen were admitted. One of the freshmen received the highest rank given to a Case man at the conclusion of the first training camp and is now adjutant of his regiment.

“The training camps were not the only opportunities for college men, and various other military activities were open to them, and the call from some of which seemed to be irresistible. Some entered the aviation corps, some went into the mosquito fleet, some became wireless operators, several went to France with the ambulance corps, and one or two took up Y.M.C.A. work with the army.

“Then came the call to the farm. Although we are situated in a large city some of our students come from the country and there was a very great demand on the part of their fathers to have them go home as soon as possible to assist in the farm work. In other cases young men thought that the farm offered them their best field for service. The faculty, therefore, agreed to excuse on the first of May, all of those who could get positions on farms and to give them credit for the balance of the year’s work if they continued the farm work until September first. About thirty students took advantage of this ruling of the faculty and left college on approximately May first.

“Several of the faculty left before the end of the college year, taking advantage of the action of the Trustees whereby they were given leave of absence during the period of the war and continued under fully salary until such time as the government would provide pay for men in the department which they wished to enter.”

Read WRU President Thwing's summary.

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March 06, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: March 6, 1998

The March 6, 1998 issue of The Observer announced its contest to predict the Oscar winners. Nominees for Best Picture were Titanic, Good Will Hunting, L.A. Confidential, As Good as it Gets


Other Headlines:
• Pytte to retire in 1999
• Neff discusses CWRUnet at open forum
• Eyes On: Peer Helpers
• Students prepare for competition in Malta
• Eustis to lead library
• CEC wraps up week of engineering fun
• Schmiedl tells of her “Personal Memory of King”
• Moonwalkin’ Man: MR CWRU talks about the pageant, his Michael Jackson impression...
• Fencers are undaunted by competition
• Hoopsters drop out in quarterfinals
• Wrestlers compete at regionals
• Spartans to compete in nine-day UAA tournament in Florida
• Tennis team prepares to take on NCAC opponents

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 3/6/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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February 27, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: February 27, 1998

The February 27, 1998 issue of The Observer Focus section asked, “What makes a great movie?” The section examined films “which have had a unique impact on today’s releases and culture.”

In other headlines: RHA captures “School of the Year” award


• Network problems plague students on weekends
• Eyes On: Adopt-A-Grandparent
• Students win Seiberling moot court competition
• Medical school alum confirmed as surgeon general
• ACM team competes in international competition
• Recial tensions promote violence in essayist’s world
• Free jazz ensemble to make music in Strosacker Auditorium Tuesday night
• Big Star was the best of “power pop”
• Still not convinces metal music is worth listening to? Read why Six Feet Under makes it well-worth it
• “World’s best” to perform at Harkness Chapel
• Meggitt dreams of order this weekend at Mather
• Wrestlers continue to regional competition
• Men’s basketball closes season on the upside
• Hoopsters eliminated from conference play
• Track teams place third at Baldwin-Wallace
• Men’s volleyball continues to top EIVA
• Hockey club battles for top division spot
• Fencers compete in UAA championships

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 2/27/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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February 21, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: February 20, 1998

The February 20, 1998 issue of The Observer reported on the College Republicans’ week-long celebration. During “Nuts for Regan Day” they passed out peanuts to honor Ronald Reagan. The week ended with a gala at Wade Commons.


• Krzesinski disqualified from USG exec board
• Parking garage, more housing planned for UCI
• George Wallace to perform at CWRU
• Eyes on: Society of Women Engineers
• Share the Vision searches for new Alma Mater
• Zins explores “Where has King’s message gone?”
• Cleveland Museum of Art exhibits rare treasures from Vatican collections
• Inter-religious council to explore on-campus religious diversity
• The wonderful world of engineering to be celebrated next week
• Ballroom dancers step, swing and trot to awards circle at third annual CWRU competition
• Spartans surge for Sudeck’s 300th victory
• CWRU hosts Claude B. Sharer tournament
• Defeat takes CWRU women to the brink
• Track teams compete at Oberlin College
• Archery Club hosts Ohio Indoor Championships
• Spartan Spotlight: Elie Gurarie, senior fencer

And here's the entire issue:The Observer, 2/20/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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February 14, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: February 13, 1998

The day before Valentine’s Day, the February 13, 1998 issue of The Observer announced Musicians of CWRU would celebrate the day with a release party for their new CD, featuring 70 minutes of original music. The event was free; the CD cost $3.00.

In other news:
• Krzesinski and Oyster named to USG exec board
• Taft wins Winter Carnival
• Plans make Euclid Avenue more “pedestrian-friendly”
• Eyes On: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
• CSE announces the merger of three departments
• Legendary bluesman to be honored in September
• Student Voices: What is your opinion of the death penalty?
• Mr. CWRU contest raises over $1600
• Orpheus descends on Eldred this weekend
• “NewsRadio” is the next great sitcom
• Wellness Week to feature educational programs
• CWRU hosts first ever indoor track meet
• Hoopsters ready to spark in final countdown
• Spartans unable to snap out of 10 game streak
• Spartan Spotlight: Sharon Sanborn, senior swimmer

Civil Engineering’s high school Model Bridge Building Competition

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 2/13/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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February 06, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: February 6,1998

The February 6, 1998 issue of The Observer began a three-part series examining University Circle improvements. The first article took a ten-year look at CWRU’s 1988 master plan.


Other Headlines:

• Over 850 vote for USG
• Forum discusses learning
• Eyes On: College Republicans
• CWRU S.T.O.P. gets makeover as CWRU Telefund
• Case engineers beware! Physics III is still required
• Alpha Epsilon Pi gets charter at CWRU
• Cleveland art, artists subject of web project
• Planet E opened at History Museum, fails to impress college visitors
• Reggae fest to honor Bob Marley Saturday
• Nine local photographers showcased in new exhibit
• Swimmers ready to challenge the NCAC
• Spartans sweep UAA with three conference titles
• Spartans drop a pair heading into final conference play
• Men’s basketball surrenders to tough NCAC rivals

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 2/6/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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January 31, 2017

World War I - summary of WRU campus activity in Spring 1917

The United States officially entered World War I on 4/6/1917. This galvanized actions at Western Reserve University (WRU) and Case School of Applied Science (CSAS).

President Charles F. Thwing

In the WRU President’s Annual Report for 1916/1917, President Thwing wrote:

“The most outstanding feature of the second part of the academic year is found in the war. Until the declaration of a state of war with Germany was made by the President, the interest of the students in the world-conflict was not great. With the making of the declaration, interest was quickened. The interest of the student community, however, was constantly much greater than that of the general. In this condition, it was the endeavor of the Faculty - an endeavor which still abides - and of the administrative officers, first , to make and maintain the devotion of all students to their immediate duties, and secondly, to recognize with fullness and propriety their relation to their larger fellowship, national and international. The reconciliation and co-working of these two aims has not always been easy, but I think it may be justly affirmed that these two objects have been well ordered and fittingly co-ordinated.

“In respect to the great conflict, the Faculty of Adelbert College have passed these votes:

‘That every possible encouragement by given to the immediate inauguration of voluntary military training among the students, that steps be taken to secure military instructors at once for the remainder of the college year, and that we recommend to the Board of Trustees the appropriation of funds necessary to secure such instructors;

‘That some form of systematic physical training under the direction of the department of Physical Training be required of all students for the remainder of the college year, with the view to making our students physically fit for military service;

‘That in the event of a declaration of war and a call for volunteers by the President of the United State, it be suggested to the Athletic Association of the University that inter-collegiate spring sports be abandoned;

‘That it be recommended to the Trustees that students who enlist and are accepted by the government for service in any branch of warfare be given credit for the remainder of the year;

‘That Commencement exercises of a simple nature be held May 10th or 11th for all Seniors in good standing;

‘That compulsory military training be adopted in Adelbert College for the ensuing year;

‘That for the balance of the present college year the executive committee be authorized to grant leave of absence with credit only to students enrolled in military and Red Cross organizations, and that such leave begin upon receipt of mobilization orders, unless in the judgment of the executive committee earlier leave ought in fairness to be granted in individual cases in order to permit students to visit their homes or to adjust their personal affairs before mobilization;

‘That the executive committee be authorized to reduce the examination period to the shortest time possible consistent with the best interests of the students and the College.’

The significance of these actions is made more impressive by reason of the great number of the students of Adelbert College and the Law School who have enrolled, and also of the formation and departure of the Lakeside Hospital unit. The number of men, who have entered the army, navy, and other service, is in Adelbert College one hundred and sixty-two, and in the Law School fifty-four. The staff of the School of Medicine is represented in the Lakeside Hospital Unit by twelve men.

“These bare figures are replete with meaning. They represent the supreme fact that in the hour of the crises of the nation, or of the nations, the college youths are the first to respond. This University is simply repeating in its way the experience through which American Colleges, both north and south, passed at the time of the Civil War and also through which the universities of England, of France, and of Germany, are passing in the course of the present conflict. This result is not surprising. The highest motives, the noblest purposes, make the most important and strongest appeal to men of the worthiest type.”

Officers of the first American contingent to arrive in Europe, General Hospital No. 9 (Lakeside Hospital unit)

Spring 1917 activity on the Case campus will appear next month.

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January 30, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: January 30,1998

The January 30, 1998 issue of The Observer made it clear that CWRU had winter on its mind. The schedule for Winter Carnival included snow flag football and snow volleyball. The Outdoor Wilderness Association planned a winter hike at the Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation. And the Fun Photo of the Week depicted a skier with the caption, Caution: Bare Spots. (I cannot describe this. You will have to look for yourself.)

Alumnus Fred D. Gray speaks at MLK, Jr. Convocation

Other headlines:
• Trustees announce tuition increase of 3.4 percent
• Asian financial crises affect CWRU students
• Eyes On: Outdoor Wilderness Adventures
• Vote for USG February 3
• Sophomores: sick of CWRU? Found out how to get away
• See new lands with Junior Year Abroad
• Features: Peter Pan soars into Palace Theater; Rapper Ma$e delivers a “fresh” debut album with upbeat, groovy songs
• Cain Park to hold theater auditions
• Sports: Wrestlers take third in Thiel tournament; Swimmers stay strong in the face of defeat; Men attempt to recover from six game slide; Hoopsters begin to slide
• Spartan Spotlight: Gloria Hsieh, senior swimmer

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 1/30/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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January 17, 2017

Remembering 1997-1998: January 16,1998

In the first issue of the new semester, The Observer editors offered some New Year’s resolutions to CWRU: implement computerized registration, allow juniors to live off campus, end the mandatory meal plan, implement standardized training for academic advisors, administrative offices should not close during the lunch hour.

“If CWRU can follow just one or two of the above suggestions, the student population would be most grateful.”

Headlines in the January 16, 1998 issue included:
• Clinton declares MLK Jr. Day to be day ‘on’ service
• Student sexually assaulted on Case Quad New Year’s Day
• Sororities kick off rush
• Eyes On Downhill Ski and Snowboard Club
• ZBT Hosts Casino Night
• Dunbar speaks at CWRU
• New deans come and go with the new year
• WSOM’s Cowen prepares for Tulane
• CWRU professor questions Martian nanobacteria
• Letters to the editor: Kwanzaa deserves to be considered “religious”; Kwanzaa belongs in Holiday Festival; Treat students with respect
• Exhibit celebrates African-American heritage
• Sports: Spartans thrive as coach nears milestone; New year brings new hope for Spartans; Wrestlers compete in Heidelberg tournament; Spartan Spotlight: Joe Dietrich, civil engineering senior, wrestling & track

Fun Page Photo of the Week: snowflakes taste good…

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 1/16/1998

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the years many of the Class of 2020 were born.

Posted by jmt3 at 01:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 13

In its December 5, 1997 issue The Observer issued final grades: B+ to CWRUnet services, C to Aramark, A to WRUW, D- to limited hours at Kelvin Smith Library during Finals Week, A to Engineering and Science Review, A to University Program Board, and more.

Other headlines in this last issue of the semester included:
• Joyce Fitzpatrick to step down as Dean of Nursing
• Federal government announces tax relief to students
• ESS plans move to KSL
• Women’s center planned
• Diversity class discussed
• MaDaCol breaks New Ground this weekend

Special section: Focus on Stress
• ESS works to alleviate stress of finals-stricken students
• Meditation provides means of finals enlightenment
• Simple, relaxing exercises can remove stress
• The Refuge offers asylum from pressures of college
• KSL relieves aggravations of laptop users
• Panhellenic Council helps first-year women deal with stress

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 12/5/1997

This is the last fall semester weekly blog posting describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born. We’ll pick up again in January with the first issue of 1998.

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November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving at Reserve, 1911

The lead story in the 11/28/1911 issue of the Reserve Weekly concerned “Coming Events,” namely Thanksgiving Day and the big game against Case. Despite their best efforts, Reserve lost to Case 9-5 at Van Horn Field.


See descriptions of Thanksgiving and the traditional Case vs. Reserve game in blog entries from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

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November 14, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 12

The November 21, 1997 issue of The Observer included this invitation to Gobble, Gobble ‘97. Sponsored by the USG Class Officers, the feast offered international cuisine for the quintessential American holiday.


In other headlines:
• CES announces last minute curriculum changes
• Winter holidays of three faiths to be celebrated
• Freiberger Field dedicated this weekend
• Where does the money go? Activity fee reviewed
• Frank Gehry to design new Weatherhead building
• CWRU physics professor publishes fourth book
• Expectations high for women’s basketball

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 11/21/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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Remembering 1997-1998: Week 11

The November 14, 1997 issue of The Observer included a special focus section on money management. Articles included:

• CWRU students face 3rd highest debt in nation
• Merit based scholarship criteria revised
• Job opportuinities permeate the campus
• University offers topics for financial planning
• Tuition increases expected through 2000
• Student responses to the question, “How do you save money?”
“I don’t do laundry.”
“I stay out of the bars.”
“I buy necessities, not luxuries – or only a few luxuries.”
“I eat before I go to the grocery store.”
“I’m going to grad school – it’s hard to save money if one doesn’t have a job.”

Other headlines included:
• University continues search for library director
• Class officers are busy planning events for CWRU
• Phi Kaps are first to finish service hours this year
• Caroline Whitbeck joins CWRU as ethics chair

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 11/14/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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November 07, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 10

If it’s November, there must be elections somewhere. The November 7, 1997 issue of The Observer reported that the Undergraduate Student Government Assembly amended its election bylaws to “require election candidates to serve at the polling stations on the day of elections.”

In other news...


Other headlines included:
• Historic Severance Hall plans massive renovation
• CSP brings Race in the Post Modern World to CWRU
• Don’t walk alone at night!
• Eyes On CWRU Habitat for Humanity
• Inaugural Hallinan lecture ends Humanities Week
• Odorless, tasteless rape drugs cause concern in the U.S.
• Spartan Spotlight features Libby Stansifer, junior cross country

And here's the entire issue: Observer, 11/7/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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October 31, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 9


The 1997 Halloween issue of The Observer offered non-vandalism alternatives to trick-or-treating: haunted houses, horror movies, and theater.

In other news:
• Spartans win Homecoming game against Oberlin
• Pre Law Society holds forum (keynote address by Stephanie Tubbs Jones)
• Greeks form task force to improve faculty relations
• Editorial: Cast an informed vote
• Rusted Root rocks Adelbert Gym
• Spartan Spotlight: Dan Flanigan, junior soccer player

And here's the entire issue: The Observer, 10/31/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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October 21, 2016

Archives Month in Ohio: Mock Political Conventions

October is Archives Month in Ohio. The theme this year is Ohio and Presidential Elections. As part of celebrating Archives Month we wanted to highlight student participation in mock political conventions.

To participate in the presidential election process, students have staged their own versions of political party conventions, selecting whether it would be a Democratic or Republication convention. Students made the arrangements for the convention, drafted the platforms and nominated candidates for president and vice president. The first mock political convention in the university’s history was held by Western Reserve University in 1908. Held May 2 at Gray’s Armory in downtown Cleveland, Wisconsin Senator Robert LaFollette was nominated as candidate for president. LaFollette was popular with students for many years. Though there was no mock convention that year, in 1924 LaFollette was the winner of the student straw poll.

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1908 program and 1924 cartoon

In 1932 a Mock Democratic Convention was held April 27 at Adelbert Gym. Newton D. Baker, former Cleveland mayor and Secretary of War, was nominated as candidate for president. The movement to hold a convention came from the Reserve Politics Club, composed of students from Adelbert College and the Law School. They invited the Mather College chapter of the League of Women Voters to participate. These groups set up a Committee on Arrangements and invited other student organizations university-wide to participate. Future Ohio congressman Charles A. Vanik served as secretary on the Committee on Arrangements for the convention. Vanik graduated from Adelbert College in 1933 and the Law School in 1936. He served Ohio’s 21st district 1955-1969 and the 22nd district 1969-1981.

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1932 convention floor and 1932 program

While WRU cancelled its 1948 convention, Case Institute held its first mock political convention - nominating Michigan senator Arthur Vandenburg. Subsequent CIT convention nominees included (among others) Dwight Eisenhower, Adlai Stevenson, and Governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania. Other activities, held as part of the mock conventions, included parades, election of a queen, picnics, and dances.

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1948 Case Alumnus magazine featuring the convention and 1972 poster

The conventions were intended to “provide political enlightenment and social entertainment.” Debates, speeches, and lectures would supplement the convention itself. In 1972 CWRU held its first mock political convention, nominating South Dakota senator George McGovern as candidate for president. In addition to the convention held April 21 and 22, California Senator John V. Tunney gave a lecture April 13 and Ohio Congressman Louis Stokes gave a lecture April 20.

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October 17, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 8


In its October 17 issue, The Observer’s editors handed out fall grades, including: A to UPB and USG, B to CWRU’s new webpage design, C for the 4-day fall break, A to student athletes, F to anti-GLBA chalker and those who speculated about the recent rape, “W for World Series-bound to the Cleveland Indians!”

Some headlines in this issue:

• Theater department celebrates 100 years of Eldred
• GLBA’s Coming Out marred by anti-gay chalkings
• Annual week celebrates humanities on campus
• Nursing Professor spends a semester in Hungary
• President Pytte tells about university at annual speech
• CP & P hosts career fair
• Turkish Student Association presents Turkish Deserts Night
• Theatre of Voices to perform at Harkness
• Sand mandala to be built on-site at CMA
• Men in Black to be shown at Strosacker
• Volleyball squad ties school record for season wins
• CWRU graduate student to compete in American Weightlifting Championships

And here's the entire issue: Observer, 10/17/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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October 10, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 7

The 9/26/1997 issue of The Observer published an invitation from the Share the Vision initative for members of the CWRU community to sign its statement of principles to “affirm our commitment to a campus community that supports the worth and dignity of each individual. We believe that any act that demeans an individual member of our community demeans us all.” The 10/10/1997 issue includes a full page of those signatures.

In other news....

• CWRU working to improve recycling on campus
• USG reveals 1997-98 plans
• UPB lands Rusted Root
• CWRU commuters unite
• Chalking for national Coming Out Day, Friday October 10
• Association for Women Students Candlelight Vigil, October 15 - Come Because You Care
• Spartan Spotlight festured sophomore tennis player, Rashmi Phanindra
• Editorial: University once again fails to communicate
• Letter to the editor: Blame rapist, not alcohol
• Humanities Week events
• CIA students express regret over chalking incident
• Rape is unacceptable under any circumstances (guest opinion)
• Share the Vision signature page
• Love, mistaken identity, folly at Eldred: Shakespeare's Twelfth Night opens this weekend

And here's the entire issue: Observer, 10/10/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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October 03, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 6

The 10/3/1997 issue of The Observer included a special section, Focus On Alcohol Abuse. It featured articles about the upcoming Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll Conference, some fraternities committing to be “substance-free,” upcoming alcohol awareness events, a poll of student attitudes towards drinking, campus resources for students with substance abuse issues, and recipes for mocktails.


Other headlines included:

• Two CIA students confess to "monkey" chalkings
• Browns return to campus for flag football game
• 25th annual Ebony Ball to be held Saturday, November 1
• Bookstore ad: "You demand power, speed, and mobility" Apple Power Macintosh 6500 for $3,015
• USG defends fall elections
• Editorial: Rape provokes a reaction, albeit a wrong one
• Alcohol is a deadly game that results in tragedy
• Discussion prevents misinterpretation
• Spartan Spotlight featured junior tennis player, Jay Mitchell

And here's the entire issue: Observer, 10/3/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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September 27, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 5

Amid disturbing reports of a rape and racially derogatory chalkings targeting one of the candidates for freshman class president, the 9/26/1997 Observer also covered the events planned to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. La Alianza, CWRU’s Latin American Society invited people of all ethnic backgrounds, “La Alianza is open to all students with an open mind and a willing heart.”


Other headlines included:

• Family Weekend reunites parents with students

• Acquaintance rape shocks CWRU community

• New internship program offered for A&S students

• New program markets students' inventions: Weatherhead Entrepreneurs Society formed

• Editorial: Use substance, not style, in fighing racism

• Letters to the editor: Ignore racism no longer; Celebrate, don't tolerate

• CWRU alumni dance in Two-Twos

• Skalars, Scofflaws stomp and Grog Saturday

• History symposium to be held at Valleevue Farm

• Men's soccer gains first win of the season

• Spartan Spotlight featured senior cross country and track athlete, Tanetta Anderson

And here's the entire issue: Observer, 9/26/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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September 22, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 4

One of the recurring themes in the September 19, 1997 issue of The Observer was connections.


The Res Hall Rumble was intended to bring north side and south side student residents together. The article announcing the opening of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities describes the Center’s emphasis on connecting faculty and students across disciplines and connecting the university to the community. An invitation to submit letters to the editor aspired to provide “an open forum for all voices in the CWRU community.”

Other Observer headlines 19 years ago included:

• Lynyrd Skynyrd to perform at Severance on Sunday
• CWRU ranks 37th in U.S. News and World Report (up 1-1/2 places)
• USG election results announced
• CWRU to receive special citation from the Cleveland Arts Prize for its "role in promoting the arts"
• Music fest to celebrate independence of India
• Spartan Spotlight featured senior football team member Mike Chanpong

And here's the entire issue: Observer, 9/19/1997

This is one in a series of weekly blog postings describing what was happening at CWRU, as covered by The Observer, during the year many of the Class of 2020 were born.

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September 14, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 3

This announcement of the benefit to protest police brutality could easily be found in current news. It appeared in the September 12, 1997 issue of The Observer

Other Observer headlines 19 years ago included:
• Academic scholarship changes ease student stress: G.P.A. requirements lowered for both the President and Provost scholarships
• World mourns the loss of two remarkable women [Princess Diana of Wales and Mother Teresa]
• WRUW drums up Saturday music fest: folk and international music featured in day-long event
• Music legend to be honored next weekend: Jimmie Rodgers celebrated in [American Music Masters] conference, concert
• Scream to be screened outside: UPB sponsors "Drive-In" movie
• In sports, the volleyball team won 4 straight; women's soccer team won their first 2 games

On a lighter note, the Fun Page Photo of the Week was a weekly feature of the last page of the 1997/98 Observer.

And here's the entire issue Observer, 9/12/1997

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September 08, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 2

Eyes On... was a recurring feature of the 1997/98 Observer, each week highlighting a different student group

Continuing our look at The Observer’s coverage of campus life 19 years ago, here are some of the headlines from the Augsut 29, 1997 issue.:

• Twenty-mill bond helps to give campus a makeover

• Students have new ways to get computer help

• Students have a new voice with "electronic suggestion box"

• Commuter appreciation week featured movie day and ice cream social, pool & ping-pong tournament

• Editorial supported dry rush: helps freshmen make wise decisions

• Michael A. Choma urged freshmen to "become an activist" "People who make a difference are those who use the power vested in their leadership role to realize their ideals."

• The sports section recruited writers, "Write about cool people playing even cooler games"

And here’s the entire issue

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September 02, 2016

Remembering 1997-1998: Week 1

Many members of the CWRU Class of 2020 were born in 1997 and 1998. Some of our blog postings this year will highlight the campus events, issues, and personalities in those years. To see the student perspective, we’re digitizing The Observer. Each week I’ll post some of the headlines. More importantly, a searchable PDF of The Observer that week in 1997/98 will be available here.

I’m getting a late start, so here are some of the headlines from last week’s Observer from 1997 - August 22.

- Mystery writer James Patterson was the Fall Convocation speaker.
- Early enrollment figures reported the Class of 2001 as 752 students, 63% male.
- Observer editors warned the freshman class about their worst enemy: Apathetic Upperclassmen.
- As the headline below shows, Observer writers offered lots of tips for exploring Cleveland.


The Observer, 8/22/1997

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August 31, 2016

Shakespeare on the Stage

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The earliest performance of a Shakespeare play on campus that the University Archives could document was Love’s Labour’s Lost, given by the Dramatic Club of the College for Women on January 19 and 20, 1898. The Dramatic Club also performed Twelfth Night in 1910 and The Taming of the Shrew in 1915.


The Dramatic Club was organized in 1894 originally as The Dramatic Association. The club presented at least 1 play each year, and, until 1902, performed in Guilford House. In 1922 the Dramatic Club changed its name to The Curtain Players. They continued to periodically perform Shakespeare, such as The Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet. They presented A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Sock and Buskin Club of Adelbert College as part of the University’s Centennial in 1926.

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The Sock and Buskin Club dates to 1908 when the Literary Society of Adelbert College presented a play, Rivals, by Sheridan. The cast then organized Sock and Buskin to present at least 1 play a year, similar to the Dramatic Club. Beginning in 1923, Sock and Buskin began offering more than 1 play. The Archives could not document an earlier presentation of a Shakespeare play (by Sock and Buskin) than the 1926 performance previously mentioned.

There was no theater-related department at WRU during this late 19th and early 20th century time period. The first Dramatic Arts Department was established at the Graduate School in 1931. Barclay Leathem was the first chair of the department. He had originally taught in the English Department (while a Law School student) and moved to the Speech Department in 1927 to teach the first theater classes. He retired in 1971 when he was named Professor Emeritus of Dramatic Arts.

The home of the Theater Department eventually became Eldred Hall. As part of the 50th anniversary of theater in Eldred in 1973-1974, As You Like It was performed.

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1955 program for A Midsummer Night's Dream and 1974 program for As You Like It

See our previous blog posts related to Shakespeare on campus: Shakespeare beginnings on campus, and Shakespeare Performance as part of WRU’s Centennial Celebration.

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August 08, 2016

Shakespeare Performance as part WRU’s Centennial Celebration

Let's continue our summer theme of Shakespeare on campus and in the classroom.

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During commencement week, on June 15 and 16, 1926, students from the Sock and Buskin Club of Adelbert College and the Curtain Players of Mather College performed Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This was part of Western Reserve University’s Centennial Celebration and in dedication of the Shakespeare Garden Theatre (also known as the Municipal Outdoor Theatre) in Rockefeller Park. The theatre was dedicated to Marie Bruot, former drama teacher at Central High School. City Manager William R. Hopkins requested the production. The theatre was on East Boulevard between Superior and St. Clair Avenues.

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Over 1500 watched the performance the first night. Seats were erected on the hillside where part of the audience was seated. Others watched from various vantage points. Spotlights were the only modern stage equipment used.

The play had participation from various groups on and off campus. The costumes were designed by Agnes Brooks Young of the Cleveland Play House and created by Mary Geary and students of the Household Administration Department at Mather College. The choreography of the fairy ensemble was supervised by Muriel East Adams of the Mather College Physical Education Department.

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The music was written by Quincy Porter of the Cleveland Institute of Music and performed by students of the Music School Settlement. Staging and lighting were under the direction of Max Eisenstat from the designs of Archie Lauterer, both of the Cleveland Play House. The director was K. Elmo Lowe, also of the Cleveland Play House. Lowe stated, “When we dedicate the Shakespeare Theatre we want comedy to be the occasion keynote. Just fun for everyone.”

Cast members included: Allen Goldthwaite as Theseus and Doris Young as Hippolyta; Ralph A. Colbert as Lysander, Fred W. Walter as Demetrius, Nadine Miles as Hermia, Fredrica Crane as Helena; Sidney Andorn as Oberon, Eleanor Koob as Titania, Emiah Jane Hopkins as Puck.

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The mechanicals were: John Maurer as Quince, Arlin Cook as Snug, Milton Widder as Bottom, Sterling S. Parker as Flute, Will Carlton as Snout, and Vincent H. Jenkins as Starveling.

The fairies were Katherine M. Squire, Evelyn Fruehauf, Helen Shockey, Lucile McMackin, Gladys M. Benesh, Miriam Cramer, Fay Hart, Alice Sorensen Caroline Hahn. Other parts were played by Sydney Markowitz (Egeus), Richard Barker (Philostrate), Harriette Winch, Helen Bunnell, Robert Glick and Maurice Rusoff (ladies and gentlemen of the Court).

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Titania and several fairies (left), Milton Widder as Bottom portraying Pyramus (right)

Learn about the beginnings of Shakespeare in the classroom.

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July 14, 2016

Kelvin Smith Library - Origins, Innovations, and a Few Numbers

The history of libraries at Case Western Reserve University has been a lengthy process of consolidation. In 1929 Western Reserve University had thirteen school and sixteen department libraries. In his 1928/29 annual report President Vinson wrote, “There is a large and increasing number of libraries in and around the University the coordination of which would, it is thought, work to the great advantage of all.” In December 1929, that coordination began with the appointment of Herbert Hirshberg as Director of University Libraries. It might be said that Kelvin Smith Library’s organizational geneaology begins with the establishment of University Libraries under Hirshberg. In the almost 90 years since, libraries have experienced an intriguing mix of continuity and change. Below are a few examples:

Library card catalog (left); Freiberger Library computer laboratory, 1991 (right)

1930: Western Reserve University’s libraries held a total of 360,000 volumes and spent $58,513.59 on books.

1936: The Cleveland Regional Union Catalog brought together, in a single card catalog, the holdings of over 40 libraries in the Cleveland area, including both WRU and Case libraries. The catalog was housed at WRU.

1945: WRU’s University Library’s total budget was $66,678.60.

1949: WRU’s University Library established an Audio-Visual Aids service to identify, order, and show films. In the first year over 7,300 students viewed 300 films.

1950: WRU’s University Library held 421,712 volumes, managed by a staff of thirty-two. Its total budget was $150,614. Nine other libraries existed for Flora Stone Mather College, Cleveland College, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Applied Social Sciences, Dentistry, Library Science, and Architecture.

Freiberger Library staff, 1959

1960: The total budget of WRU’s University Library was $295,060.

1965: Besides the University Library, WRU had separate libraries for the schools of Law, Medicine, Nursing, Applied Social Sciences, Dentistry, and Library Science. University Library’s budget was $468,620.

1968: James V. Jones was hired as Case Western Reserve University's Director of University Libraries. Although they would remain physically distinct for nearly 30 more years, Western Reserve University's Freiberger Library and Case Institute of Technology's Sears Library administratively became a single unit.

1971: University Library held 840,000 volumes and had a total budget of $1,544,191.

1975: Sears Library was one of several campus buildings flooded by severe thunderstorms. Over 50,000 volumes were damaged. While most of the volumes were restored, 10,000 were lost. Collection losses totalled $800,000.

Sears Library flood, 1975 (left); Instruction in using dedicated database terminal, 1978 (right)

1979: Access to over 200 Lockheed Information Systems, SDC, and BRS indexing and abstracting databases was available through dedicated terminals in Freiberger and Sears libraries.

1986: A new microcomputer laboratory, featuring Apple computers, opened in Freiberger Library. Almost 2,400 people used the lab during its first 20 weeks.

1987: EUCLID, the combined catalog for all campus libraries, went on-line. Terminals were available in all the libraries and it was hoped that dial-in access would be available soon.

1989: A new computer lab opened in Sears Library. It featured Macintosh SEs and ImageWriter LQs. Software such as PageMaker 3.02, Hypercard, and Microsoft Word 4.0 was available. Laser printing was 25 cents per page.

1990: Databases on CD-ROM allowed library users to conduct their own database searches on specially equipped workstations in Freiberger and Sears libraries. The Mailroom team defeated the Library team, 44-24, for the championship of the staff basketball league. (Libraries do not run on technology alone.)

1996: Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) opened, combining the collections and services of Freiberger and Sears libraries.

2001: KSL launched a Digital Chat Reference service to alow users outside the library to easily connect to reference librarians.

2004: The Center for Statistical and Geospatial Data opened in KSL to assist users to combine data from multiple sources and plot the results on a variety of maps.

2005: The Samuel B. and Marian K. Freedman Digital Library, Language Learning, and Multimedia Services opened to offer state-of-the-art multimedia tools to the campus community. KSL’s collection held 1,938,766 print volumes. The total budget was $8,400,979.

2006: Digital Case was launched as CWRU’s “digital library, institutional repository and digital archive.”

More recent initiatives at KSL can be seen in the library’s strategic plans and reports and KSL News

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June 24, 2016

Shakespeare beginnings on campus

To help commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the Folger Shakespeare Library is sending a First Folio on a tour of the country. From June 20 through July 30, 2016, the Cleveland Public Library will be the host site in Ohio. To join in this celebration we wanted to touch on Shakespeare in the classroom and on stage at CWRU.

For much of the 19th century the classical curriculum was taught and required of all students. In the late 19th century electives began to be offered.

On 2/29/1892, as reported in the College for Women faculty minutes, a committee was appointed to consider forming a lectureship on Shakespeare. On 5/3 the “Committee on Lectureship on Shakespeare reported that arrangement had been made with Professor Lounsbury to deliver 8 lectures.” A week later, the WRU Board of Trustees Executive Committee approved the appointment of “Professor Thomas R. Lounsbury of Yale Scientific as lecturer on Shakespeare at a salary of $500.” These lectures were given in the Spring 1893 semester.

The first course in Shakespeare at the College for Women was taught in the 1893-1894 academic year. Here is the description from the Catalogue:

“Shakspere. Four plays selected for their illustration of different stages in the development of Shaksperian art, and as a basis for textual criticism. The prescribed work will include the Rolfe edition of the plays, the Shakspere Primer (Dowden), Shakspere’s Versification (Browne), and collateral reading from Shakspere: His Mind and Art (Dowden), and Shakspere as a Dramatic Artist (Moulton).” The class was taught by Mr. C. W. Ayer.

Lemuel S. Potwin

The first Shakespeare class at Adelbert College was taught in 1895-1896 by Lemuel Potwin. However, according to the 1892-1893 annual report by Potwin, a class was held (1892-1893) studying English poets from Chaucer to Tennyson. During the second half of the year a class of six seniors and juniors “read the whole of Shakespeare, one play being discussed on each day of recitation. Points of discussion were: The characteristics of the different periods of the poet’s work. A comparison with some earlier dramas, and the merits of select passages.” There was also held a class in the Elizabethan Dramatists. A graduate of Yale, Potwin was professor of Latin at Western Reserve College and Adelbert College (1871-1892), professor of English Language and Literature, Adelbert College (1892-1906) and professor emeritus (1906-1907).

In the library’s catalog of 1849 there was a Shakespeare book listed but no title given. It was book 604 on shelf 62. In the 1851 catalog the listing was for Shakspeare William, Dramatic Works.

Coming: Shakespeare performances on campus

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May 20, 2016

Color Our Collections


During reading days and final exams at the end of each semester, Kelvin Smith Library offers a range of support activities to help our students. Librarians are available for help finishing up research projects. Therapy dogs comfort and soothe. Collaboration rooms and study areas are available - and heavily used. This year the Scholarly Resources and Special Collections (SRSC) team contributed a de-stressing activity - coloring.

Archives, libraries, and museums have embraced adult coloring. Pages from unique collections are digitized and transformed into coloring pages. In early February this year Color Our Collections Week was organized by the New York Academy of Medicine. Over 200 institutions participated. SRSC's University Archives and Special Collections was unable to participate at that time, but began preparing for an end of semester activity.

Drawings from student yearbooks, maps, bookplates, a poster, and even a football program were selected to offer a range of coloring challenges. The pages and crayons, colored pencils, and markers were available in the Hatch Reading Room on the second floor of Kelvin Smith Library during reading days and finals. The pages are now available for download as a PDF for anyone who'd like to try their hand. We'd love to receive copies of finished artwork via email to archives@case.edu. Checking almost any social media platform (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest) for #ColorOurCollections will reveal a wealth of coloring opportunities. Locally, our colleagues at the Dittrick Medical History Center also have a coloring book.

We had fun making our coloring book and hope you enjoy using it.

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February 29, 2016

African-American History Month Spotlight: MEIOP

The Minority Engineers Industrial Opportunity Program (MEIOP) at Case Western Reserve University began in the summer of 1973 with 12 students. The idea was proposed in the Spring by Ray Bolz, Dean of Engineering. The students worked for their industrial sponsors and their tuition was partially supported by corporate funding. The program was part of a national effort to increase minority participation in the engineering fields tenfold within a decade.

An official description of the program explained, “The Program includes intensive recruiting of talented minority students for a modified cooperative education approach with major industrial companies as sponsors; a continuing grant-in-aid to the students; special academic work at Case for high school juniors and seniors before they enroll at Case; academic supportive services while the students are at Case; and counseling.”

The purpose of the approach was to ensure the highest possible student success and guarantee them financial support during their undergraduate careers. Minorities in the engineering fields were defined as Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. The program was also open to qualified minority transfer students.

B. Samuel Tanenbaum, Professor of Engineering, was the first MEIOP director, and Reginald A. Owens served as Recruiter/Counselor. Recruitment was mainly in Greater Cleveland high schools.

During the first few years, exposure to engineering started the summer between junior and senior years for high school students. They would attend a 7 week program at CWRU. In their senior year of high school they would attend Saturday classes in math and physics in order to meet the entrance requirements for CWRU and be prepared to succeed in engineering. In 1975 the Saturday sessions expanded to include preparation for the SAT and ACT exams. Students had to meet the same admission requirements as any applicant. After 2 years, the program had increased minority enrollment in engineering at CWRU fourfold. While at the university, MEIOP staff and faculty assisted students with career development and summer job placement. In 1981-1982 a new phase was added to the pre-college program. A one-week pre-college program was held for 9th and 10th graders to give early exposure to engineering , hands-on experience in laboratories and counseling.

Students working in engineering labs, July 1988

By Fall of 1974, 23 companies supported the program with job commitments or financial support including: Alcoa, Bailey Meter, Borg Warner, Chi Corporation, Dalton-Dalton-Little and Newport, Diamond Shamrock, Eastman-Kodak, Ford, General Electric, B.F. Goodrich, Gulf Oil, Industrial First, Lubrizol, Lincoln Electric, Ohio Bell, Republic Steel, Sherwin Williams, TRW, Turner Construction, U.S. Steel, Union Carbide, and Warner and Swasey. Some of these companies also granted unrestricted funds for the program. The John Huntington Fund for Education granted $15,000 for the first Summer School.

During the 1974-1975 academic year 27 undergraduate students participated in MEIOP. In the 1978-1979 year 40 undergraduate students participated. In 1982-1983, the tenth year, MEIOP enrollment was 74, or 5% of the engineering student body. Ninety-two percent were Black and 8% were Hispanic. The retention rate from 1981/1982 to 1982/1983 was 89%. (In 1972-1973 minority student enrollment in engineering was 16.)

The program continued to evolve over the last 40 years. Today MEIOP is part of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Records of the MEIOP program are available for use in the University Archives.

You can read past blog entries about African-American history at Case Western Reserve University from 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011.

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February 17, 2016

Engineer's Week

This week and next Case is celebrating Engineer’s Week. For 65 years this national event has raised awareness of the important role played by engineers in society. And engineers know how to have fun, even in the midst of a serious endeavor. Engineer’s Week events have included dropping eggs from the tops of buildings, creating robots out of Legos, building miniature vehicles powered by mouse traps, lobbing water ballons with slingshots, scavenger hunts, powering hot air balloons with birthday candles, building model homes entirely of polymers, not to mention the luncheons and banquets. Information about the 2016 celebration is available here.

Below are a few pictures from the Archives of past Engineer’s Week events.

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Mouse trap race, 1985; Lego robot competition, 2002
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Egg drop contest, 1987; Engineer's Week flyer, 2003

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December 23, 2015

American Astronomical Society 67th meeting and Warner & Swasey Observatory dedication

The American Astronomical Society held its 67th meeting Sunday-Tuesday, 12/28-12/30/1941 in Cleveland in conjunction with the 12/29 dedication of the enlarged Warner & Swasey Observatory and the Burrell Schmidt-type telescope. On Monday evening (12/29 ), Dr. Harlow Shapley, director of the Harvard College Observatory, delivered a lecture in Severance Hall at 8:00 p.m., “Exploring our Galaxy with the Newer Telescopes.” Following the lecture a reception was held at the Warner & Swasey Observatory, sponsored by the Warner & Swasey Company and Case School of Applied Science.


Invitation and ticket for the Harlow Shapley lecture

A Council meeting and conference on teaching were held Sunday; while morning and afternoon sessions for papers were held Monday followed by the Shapley lecture and reception. A symposium on the Schmidt-type telescope and its work was held Tuesday morning capped by a Society photograph at the Observatory. Afternoon sessions for papers were followed by the Society dinner in the evening. A proposed tour of the Warner & Swasey Company plant had to be cancelled because of war work.

Jason J. Nassau

The Warner & Swasey Observatory originally had been dedicated 10/12/1920. It was the gift of Worcester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey, both trustees of Case. Under longtime faculty member and head of the Astronomy Department, Jason J. Nassau, the work of the department progressed and grew necessitating more space and equipment. In the late 1930s funds were sought for the improvements. Gifts of over $150,000 were received. Major donors included: Cornelia and Helen Warner, widow and daughter of Worcester Warner; Katherine W. Burrell, widow of Edward Burrell who for many years was the director of engineering for the Warner & Swasey Company; Eckstein Case; and Warner & Swasey Company via in-kind services. A new dome, telescope, exhibition space, and auditorium were added.

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Warner & Swasey Observatory

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December 09, 2015

President Pytte visits the University Archives

The staff of the University Archives joins the rest of campus in mourning the death of President Emeritus Agnar Pytte on Friday, November 6, 2015. We’d like to recall his visit to the Archives in 1989.

The staff of the University Archives at the time (University Archivist Dennis Harrison, Jill Tatem, Eleanor Blackman, Helen Conger, and Denis New) planned a small celebration in December 1989 for the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the University Archives in December 1964. (A nice article about the 25th anniversary of the University Archives appeared in the November 1990 issue of CWRU Magazine.)

All past staff members were invited as well as President Pytte, Vice President and University Marshal Patricia B. Kilpatrick, and University Archivist Emerita Ruth W. Helmuth. We originally invited the president as a courtesy and did not actually expect him to attend such a small informal event. But attend he did, accompanied by Pat Kilpatrick, our vice president.

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President Pytte and Pat Kilpatrick at 25th anniversary luncheon

The event consisted of a luncheon, exhibit, and tour of the Archives in the Quail Building (where the indoor track at the Veale Convocation, Athletic, and Recreation Center now stands). Jill Tatem prepared the exhibit. Ruth Helmuth, accompanied by Virginia Krumholz (former Archives staff member), conducted the tour of the Archives. It was a memorable event and we were all impressed with our “new” president.

The University Archives was located on the third floor of the Quail Building

Another interesting note about the day was that it was snowing all morning. After President Pytte and Pat Kilpatrick walked back to their offices in Adelbert Hall, Pat called to let us know that since the snowstorm was so bad we were allowed to leave work early. While we’d like to think it was in honor of the Archives’ anniversary, the snow really was severe and it took staff members hours to get home. You can see the snow outside the window in the background of the luncheon photo.

While this event will not make a top ten list of presidential events or accomplishments for President Pytte, attendance at our small event showed us what a gracious, friendly person he was.

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November 25, 2015

Pink Floyd Concert at CWRU

On November 6, 1971 Pink Floyd played a concert at Emerson Gym to over 3000 people. This was part of a 27-date North American tour which began in San Francisco and ended in Cincinnati. We believe it was the first concert in Cleveland by Pink Floyd.

The entertainment section headline of The Observer (11/9/1971) read, “Pink Floyd concert - two views.”

The headline for the article by James Cunningham read, “Best concert ever.” As Cunningham recounted,

“We heard foot steps Saturday night We heard a baby cry, and the sound of birds twittering. Who was that girl we heard giggling and who was that with the axe?

“It was Pink Floyd packing them in at Emerson gym for one of the most successful concerts this school has had this year, drawing over 3000 people.

“There was Pink Floyd standing amidst a towering array of amplifiers, and electronic equipment playing for over three hours their special brand of experimental rock built on the group’s almost inexhaustible source of expression.

“Having been together for over six years they developed a sense of timing and musical sense which has been noticably [sic] lacking in many of today’s 50,000 watt groups. The audience recognized this and responded accordingly.

“It’s hard for any group to keep an audience totally absorbed, especially in Emerson where the conditions are less then adequate for such a large crowd. Pink Floyd could, lifting the listener into every world imaginable.

“Their music often relies heavily on recorded effects played with the music as in High Time Cymboline where the imaginative use of tapes let us hear the footsteps of a person as he walked from room to room. Add to this the total darkness of the gym and the excitement became stunning.

“Organist Richard Wright’s use of the melotron was another highlight of the concert. Echo stood out as his finest solo where his soaring and driving work were outstanding.

“Then there was Careful with that Axe Eugene. All I can say about this ditty is that you shouldn’t see it if you haven’t all your faculties. You’ll need them.

“There were the old favorites of course such as “Atom Heart Mother” or “Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” All very enjoyable although sometimes monotonous.

“It was a successful concert. It made money and it was fine entertainment. We were crowded but after it was over all we remembered was the music. Fie on you who didn’t go.”

Concert poster, 1971

In contrast to Cunningham's article, “Terrible planning” was the headline for Anastasia Pantsios’ article. While she admired the band and their music, the venue and planning for the concert was a disaster.

“Some rock concerts seem destined to be special events. Take, for instance, the appearance of Pink Floyd this Saturday in Emerson Gym.

“Pink Floyd is the group whose innovative music was admired by the Beatles back in 1967, when Pink Floyd’s musical head trips were appreciated only by a small circle of super freaks.

“Now, many of Pink Floyd’s explorations seem almost trite, since so many other groups have adopted them in part, yet the concentrated application of strange outer-space sound effects is uniquely Pink Floyd’s and most other groups attempting to imitate them have degenerated into noisy doodling.

“Pink Floyd’s is totally head music, polar opposite to that of the ‘Git up and boogie’ school, and ideally a situation would have been provided in which the listener could sit back in comfort and sink himself mentally into the band’s deep, cerebral sound.

“Due to the most blatant example of promoter disregard for an audience that I have yet witnessed, the keen edge was taken off the music as one attempted to make oneself even slightly comfortable.

“Twenty minutes before show time the gym was already crammed and full of heavy smoke, a strain on even the strongest lungs. By the time the group began to play, there was no elbow room anywhere, people were standing eight to ten deep in the exit doors and more were sitting in the lobby. Others were turned away, even those who had purchased a ticket in advance.

“There has been much talk lately about providing a pleasant and sane atmosphere in which to listen to rock music. If ever a group deserved such an atmosphere, Pink Floyd did. It irritates me that poor planning or greed or some other motive could result in such a complete fiasco.

“Despite this, one couldn’t help admiring the creative playing of the group. Beginning with a standard blues guitar line that wouldn’t make the group stand out from twenty other good bands, they journeyed into a vast gallery of eerie sounds which surrounded the audience on all sides, making it particularly a pity that so many had to sit in the lobby.

“The group’s overall sound is slow, measured, floating and cold.

“The title of one of the numbers “Set Your Controls for the Heart of the Sun” gives a clear picture of the sort of feeling the group provokes.

“A concert by Pink Floyd is an all too rare pleasure and I hope that the next time around external matters will not intrude upon this pleasure.”

Pink Floyd played Cleveland again in 1972 at the Allen Theater. In 1977 the band played to over 83,000 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium as part of the World Series of Rock.

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November 02, 2015

Student Traditions - Mather College’s Yale-Harvard Basketball Game

Long before intercollegiate women’s basketball attracted television coverage and legions of fans, the sport was a focus of interclass rivalries at women’s colleges, Western Reserve University’s Flora Stone Mather College included. Each year class teams battled each other for supremacy. Basketball season culminated with an all-star game held in late March or early April. Two teams were made up of the best players from all four classes. A single game decided the champion. The tradition seems to have started in 1909 or 1910 and, by 1912, the team names, Yale and Harvard, had been adopted.

Mather's Harvard and Yale teams, 1918

As was typical of Mather College traditions, the annual Yale-Harvard game was no paltry affair. Varia Historia, the student yearbook, described the 1912 game, “The campus and gymnasium had been decorated with huge banners and rooters yelled and sang. Harvard produced a band and a small boy mascot and Yale a bull dog and three more baskets than their opponents.” [105] Getting into the spirit of the rivalry, the cafeteria featured back-to-back Harvard Day and Yale Day. Harvard beets were a feature of the former. There is no description of the Yale menu. Eventually, as was also typical of Mather traditions, a banquet was added to the festivities. For over fifty years the Yale-Harvard game was one of the more vigorous Mather spring traditions.

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October 23, 2015

Case Institute of Technology and Kanpur Indo-American Program

The theme of 2015 Archives Month is, Both Local and Global: STEM Activity in Ohio. As part of its international activity in the 1960s, Case Institute of Technology was one of the consortial universities involved in the development of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT). ]The program was known as the Kanpur Indo-American Program (KIAP) and operated 1962-1972.

IIT at Kanpur was established in 1959 by the Indian government. The development of IIT was supported by the U. S. Agency for International Development (AID) through a consortium of 9 American universities: California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Case Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, Princeton University, Purdue University, University of California, and University of Michigan. Educational Services, Inc. (a non-profit educational corporation) held the contract with AID and carried out the administrative functions and dealings with AID and the Indian government.

The U.S. institutions were responsible for: academic and professional content of the program, recruitment of faculty to serve as visiting professors at IIT-Kanpur, procurement of scientific and technical equipment and books, specialized training of IIT-faculty in the U.S., and organizational and administrative assistance.

Case signed its agreement with Educational Services, Inc. in March 1962. The Board of Trustees Executive Committee had approved the agreement and Case’s participation in the Kanpur program on 3/5/1962.

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Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru met with U.S. consortium members in New Delhi, November 1961.

One representative of each institution and one person from Educational Services, Inc. served on the Steering Committee (later known as the Consortium Committee). This committee was responsible for policy, recruitment of U.S. staff, and placement of Indian participants. Arthur H. Benade, Associate Professor of Physics, was the first Case Institute of Technology Steering Committee representative, serving 1961-1964. (Benade spent his youth in India, where his father was Chairman of the Physics Department at Forman College in Lahore, now a part of Pakistan.) Prof. Benade gave up his duties as Case Representative when he left for India in 1964 to serve as a Visiting Professor at IIT-Kanpur. The Steering Committee representatives were responsible for all program activities on their campuses.

Arthur H. Benade

Ten other Case professors and administrators provided their expertise during stays in Kanpur or service on the Steering Committee. They included (title is Case title at that time): Richard Paumen, Registrar; Joseph Pigott, Director of Physical Planning; Alfonso M. Alvarado, Assistant to the Provost for International Programs; Robert H. Scanlan, Professor of Engineering; D. Harvey Buchanan, Professor of History; Morrell Heald, Associate Professor of History; Ernest B. Leach, Associate Professor of Mathematics; Richard A. Schermerhorn, Professor of Sociology; William F. Schneerer, Associate Professor of Engineering Graphics; Robert R. Archer, Associate Professor of Mechanics.

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October 09, 2015

CWRU's International Initiatives

In its five-year Plan for Case Western Reserve University, 1990-1995, the university adopted as one of its priorities, “Global and international orientation in teaching, research, and scholarship.” At that time CWRU had students and faculty from over 70 countries and was committed to expanding previous international initiatives and developing new programs.

The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences responded to the challenge by reviewing past programs and planning new ones. In 1993 its faculty committee, Local-INternational Konnections (LINK), issued the Report on MSASS International Activities: A Look at the Last 20 Years. LINK’s assessment of the school’s situation in 1993 was that, “international work at MSASS has increased significantly since 1990. However, in comparison to the organized structures for international work at other professional schools at CWRU, MSASS is behind considerably. At the same time, however, MSASS is probably substantially ahead of other schools of social work in the United States.”

MSASS traced its international involvement to student and faculty exchange programs in the 1920s. Students and faculty have come from Australia, Canada, Egypt, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, and others.

MSASS has provided technical assistance to other countries developing social work education and professional associations. Research has explored the emergence of non-profit organizations, community organizing, and needs of and services for handicapped children.

In 1999 MSASS established the Office on International Affairs and Non-Governmental Organizations. Both international field placements and local field work with an international emphasis have been offered. The Herman D. Stein Lectureship in International Social Welfare, endowed in 1999, brings prominent international figures in social work to campus annually. Among numerous global activities, Stein, Dean of the school from 1964 to 1968, was president of the International Association of Schools of Social Work, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of UNICEF, and conducted social welfare missions all over the world.

These global perspectives and action in the field of social work education and practice have been part of the school’s proud 100-year tradition of service, teaching, and scholarship.

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September 25, 2015

Phi Beta Kappa Alpha of Ohio Chapter

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The Alpha of Ohio chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established at Western Reserve College 10/28/1847. It was the 10th chapter established and the first chapter west of the Allegheny mountains.

Phi Beta Kappa was founded at William and Mary College 12/5/1776. An honor society in the arts and sciences, it is the country’s oldest honor society. Before the William and Mary chapter was suspended during the Revolutionary War (when the college was temporarily closed), charters were granted to Yale (1780) and Harvard (1781). According to Western Reserve University historian Frederick C. Waite, it was the connection between Yale and Western Reserve College (WRC) that led to the Alpha of Ohio Chapter.

In 1841 six members of the WRC faculty petitioned the Alpha of Connecticut chapter of Phi Beta Kappa (at Yale) to establish a chapter. Five of the six faculty members were graduates of Yale and members of Phi Beta Kappa. (By the time the charter was granted the non-Yale alumnus had left WRC and been replaced with a Yale alumnus.) The Yale chapter approved the request pending approval by the other Alpha chapters. On 10/19/1847 the Connecticut Alpha of Phi Beta Kappa granted the charter.

The WRC charter members convened on 10/28/1847 to organize a branch of Phi Beta Kappa. Elijah Barrows was appointed chairman and Henry Noble Day was appointed secretary. At this meeting the six faculty invited two other faculty members (Dartmouth alumni and Alpha of New Hampshire Phi Beta Kappa members) to unite in the organization of the Alpha of Ohio chapter.

The Alpha of Ohio charter members were: George E. Pierce,WRC president, Elijah P. Barrows, Henry Noble Day, James Nooney, Jr., Samuel St. John, Nathan P. Seymour. Faculty members Samuel C. Bartlett, and Clement Long were the two additional organizing members.

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George E. Pierce and Elijah P. Barrows

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Samuel St. John and Nathan P. Seymour

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Clement Long

The chapter was commonly referred to as the Alpha of Ohio at Western Reserve College. In 1882 Western Reserve College moved from its Hudson campus to Cleveland and became Adelbert College of Western Reserve University. The Alpha of Ohio chapter was then referred to as the Alpha of Ohio at Adelbert College.

In 1901 the College for Women faculty voted to petition for a chapter. By 1903 the petition was endorsed by 5 chapters and presented to the Senate of the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1904 an Alpha of Ohio chapter committee was appointed to outline a plan concerning the College for Women. However, at the 6/15/1905 chapter meeting it was reported that a separate chapter could not be granted by the Senate of the United Chaptesrs to the College for Women. The custom was that 2 charters should not be granted to closely affiliated institutions. The women’s college could gain membership through the Alpha of Ohio Chapter. On 6/9/1906 the College for Women section of Alpha of Ohio was established.

After July 1931 the business of the 2 sections as it pertained to matters of common interest was conducted by an Executive Council of 6 members (3 from Adelbert College and 3 from Mather College). The chair of this council rotated every year. In 1959 the by-laws were revised and women students of Cleveland College who were candidates for the B.A. were considered for membership in the Mather section and men students of Cleveland College pursuing the B.A. were considered for membership in the Adelbert section.

After the merger of the 3 undergraduate colleges (Adelbert, Cleveland, and Mather) in 1971, the 2 Alpha of Ohio sections merged in 1972.


Phi Beta Kappa key of Charles W. Palmer, 1848 and Arthur H. Palmer, 1879, obverse and reverse

(The portraits of Barrows, Long, and Seymour hang in the University Archives. The portrait of St. John hangs in the School of Medicine. The portrait of President Pierce hangs in Adelbert Hall.)

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July 08, 2015

Student Traditions - Freshman-Sophomore Contests

At Case it was called the Flag Rush, Pushball Contest, and Bag Rush. Adelbert College called it the Flag Rush. At Mather College it was the Flag Hunt. At each of the three schools, during the first half of the twentieth century, early in the academic year class rivalry manifested in a contest that pitted the freshmen against the sophomores for class supremacy and bragging rights.

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Mather Flag Hunt, 1946 (left) and Freshman Initiation, 1946 (right)

At Mather, the Flag Hunt was an all-day event. Early in the morning, in one of the college buildings, the sophomores hid a flag which the freshmen had to find by the end of the day. In the early days, the losing class treated the winning class to dinner. The penalties became more creative over time. If the freshmen failed to find the flag, the next day they were required to wear costumes devised by the sophomores and subject themselves to various demands, all part of their initiation. If the freshmen found the flag, as the student handbooks phrased it, the sophomores “must forego the privilege of initiating their traditional rivals.” The sophomores were ingenious in their hiding places: a basketball, a garden hose, inside the lining of a knitting bag.

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Adelbert Flag Rush, 1910? (left) and 1950s (right)

At Adelbert, the flag was raised on a greased pole. The sophomores guarded the pole against freshmen attempts to retrieve the flag and deliver it to the dorm steps by a stated time. One of the student handbooks described the contest as offering the freshmen “an opportunity to forget their homesickness.” As the freshman class was usually larger than the sophomore, it was not unknown for the sophomores to equalize the contest by “kidnapping” freshmen for the day. It was usually a spirited contest. In 1928 the student newspaper, the Reserve Weekly, lamented that year’s rather tame contest, “Very few trousers were ripped completely off, and men that were denuded were forced to leave the fight immediately.”

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Case Bag Rush, 1924 (left) and Pushball Contest

At Case the details of the freshman-sophomore contest changed over time. The original event, the Flag Rush, similar to Adelbert’s, was replaced by the Pushball Contest in 1911. The ball was wooden, covered with a thin padding under a canvas cover, and stood shoulder-high. The freshmen pushed from one side and the sophomores pushed from the other. Most accounts describe modest yardage gained by either class. In 1922 the Bag Rush replaced the Pushball Contest. The Differential 1929 (the student yearbook), opined that the bag rush was an improvement because, “More individuality was brought into play and fewer men were injured. From the viewpoint of the onlooker, it was far more interesting than push-ball, as the fighting was more scattered.” Several sand-filled bags were place in the center of the field, each with a team of sophomores and freshmen attempting to move the bag across the opponent’s goal line. The winner was the team with the most yardage. As at Adelbert, ripping the clothes off the opponents was integral to the tradition, and endured when other aspects of the contest changed.

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June 18, 2015

#cwruhistory: 400 days in 140 characters

CWRU, including its predecessors WRU and CIT, has operated for more than 69,000 days.

A year ago I began an experiment to tweet about an event, achievement, decision, or action that happened on 365 of those days - one tweet each day from January 1 through December 31.

Firsts were obvious candidates, e.g., first woman graduate in each school; first issue of the Case Tech; first WRUW broadcast. Beginnings were naturals, e.g., establishment of schools. In 189 years, we've accumulated plenty of milestones, such as the value of our endowment reaching $1billion.

Some days were unhappy ones: when fire gutted our oldest building, Adelbert Hall and Case's first building, Case Main; when Commencement was postponed because students were away from campus fighting in the Civil War; the memorial convocations after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy's and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some events were solemn: dedicating the memorial tablet honoring the WRU men who died in World War I. Others were playful: Tyler House's Jello Jam using 1000 pounds of cherry jello.

One of the most satisfying parts of my job as an archivist is helping members of the CWRU community to see their own experiences in the university's history. Using twitter, and other social media platforms, to make CWRU's history (even in such an abbreviated form) more accessible is just one technique University Archives is using to make CWRU's history more accessible.

#cwruhistory lists all 400 tweets. Take a 5-minute history break and explore!

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April 30, 2015

May 4, 1970

By May 1970 CWRU was no stranger to anti-Vietnam war protests. Teach-ins, leafletting, demonstrations all had happened before. But the deaths of four students and wounding of nine by National Guardsmen at Kent State University, less than 40 miles away, produced a new intensity.

This timeline is an overview of some of the events on campus during the seven days beginning May 1, 1970. It was constructed from contemporaneous accounts of student protestors, university administrators and faculty, and campus news media. All sources are available for research in the University Archives. As is often the case during rapidly changing, emotionally charged events, first person accounts vary.

Friday, May 1
In response to President Richard Nixon's April 30 announcement that American troops had been ordered into Cambodia posters appeared on campus calling for a mass meeting on Saturday.

Saturday, May 2
An open meeting was held in response to expansion of the war to Cambodia.

Sunday May 3
Around 1:00 am approximately 50 people, including students, forcibly entered Yost, demanding an end to the ROTC program. The Air Force ROTC offices were housed in the basement of Yost.

Early Sunday morning CWRU President Robert Morse met with the students.

At 9 am the Faculty Senate Executive Committee issued a response to the students' demands: the Faculty Senate would not be convened to discuss the ROTC program while Yost was illegally occupied; continued occupation of Yost would subject students to penalties; those leaving the building immediately would not be subject to criminal charges.

At mid-day President Morse issued a statement about Cambodia.

During an 8 pm mass meeting in front of Yost Hall participants decided to call a student strike to abolish the Case Air Force ROTC program.

Monday May 4
By mid-morning all but a handful of those occupying Yost had left. Departments in Yost, including Mathematics, Career Planning and Placement, and others were reported operating as normal.

At noon a rally on the Case Quad near Strosacker started. Reports estimated the crowd at 1,000 or more. At some point news that students at Kent State University had been shot by Ohio National Guardsmen was received. By 2:00 the group began moving to Thwing. Originally a small group, which grew to 500, blocked the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Adelbert Road from about 2:30 to 4:30. After several warnings, the protesters were dispersed by Cleveland Police on foot and horseback. Both the Case Tech and The Observer reported one person was arrested.
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Monday night, in memory of the Kent State students, a candlelight silent procession was held. Participation was reported at between 2,000 and 4,000. Following the procession four symbolic graves were installed near Thwing.
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Tuesday May 5
During a noon meeting on the Case quad a number of demands were issued: that the university strike; that President Morse issue a statement condemning the war and calling for withdrawal of all American troops; that the university provide free facilities for anti-war activity; that the campus ROTC program be abolished; that the university end military research and investments in corporations profiting from the war; that there be no reprisals against strike participants.

The Faculty Senate held a 4-1/2-hour meeting broadcast live by WRUW, the campus radio station. Expressions of sympathy were extended to Kent State University and Ohio Governor Rhodes was urged to establish an impartial review board to investigate. It was recommended that ROTC be “abolished as a formal part of the curriculum... That ROTC activities on the campus should be limited to the status of extra-curricular clubs..." Undergraduate and graduate students were offered options for completing the semester's work. They could finsh their courses and take final exams or terminate classes on May 5 and take a pass-fail or letter grades based on work completed through May 1.

By Tuesday night Thwing had become the de facto strike headquarters.

Wednesday May 6
At noon another rally was held in front of Strosacker. Meetings continued at Thwing.

During the day parking lots and the receiving dock were picketed to block deliveries to prevent university “business as usual."

At 3 pm a memorial service for Kent State students was held in Emerson Gym.

That night the ROTC supply room in the basement of Yost Hall was firebombed. Damage was estimated at $5,000.

Thursday May 7
Parking lot pickets continued.
President Morse issued a statement affirming that the campus would remain open.

Organizing continued throughout May and June. A substantial portion of students opted for the early completion of the semester and left campus shortly after May 5. Commencement ceremonies for Case Institute, Adelbert, Mather and Cleveland colleges were held, undisrupted, on May 28. Thwing continued to serve as the 24-hour protest headquarters until June 4, when the university began enforcing the normal closing hours. Seven, including three students, refused to leave and were arrested for trespass on June 5. At their July 21 trial all pleaded no contest and were found guilty. At the university's recommendation, sentences and court costs were suspended. No fines were levied.

Letters, praising and condemning the university, were sent to President Morse. His replies pointed out that "despite difficult events we have remained open, independent, and non-violent."

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April 22, 2015

Bringing back the Hudson Relay - 1972

Since the formation of Case Western Reserve University in 1967, there was only 1 year when the Hudson Relay was not run (1971). In 1972 Western Reserve College Assistant Dean Ian Haberman started a movement to resurrect the traditional race. According to the Observer (3/7/1972), Haberman “brought the issue up at last Tuesday’s joint meeting of the four Adelbert Classes and the Mather Government. He reported that a ‘round of applause and general commotion’ ensued at the mention of the rebirth of the relays.

“‘I think there is a need for something like this around here,’ Haberman commented. ‘If we had a little spirit, a little pride, then perhaps we could get other things going here,’ the assistant dean continued.”

Ian S. Haberman

Several special events were held for the race. Breakfast was served at Elizabeth Walker’s house in Hudson. (She was Dean for Freshmen.) President Toepfer hosted the winning team to a steak dinner at the Faculty Dining Club after the race, thus beginning a long-standing tradition. Different colored t-shirts were issued for each team: red for freshmen, green for sophomores, light blue for juniors, yellow for seniors, and navy blue for the Mather team.

The Hudson Relay was run Saturday, April 29, from the original Western Reserve campus in Hudson to the present campus in Cleveland, finishing at the rock in front of Adelbert Main. President Toepfer had a trophy, the Monroe Curtis Cup, made for the winning team. The cup was inscribed, “This is not the ordinary run of experience.” The trophy was named for Monroe Curtis, the Adelbert College student who first proposed the Hudson Relay in 1910 .

Hudson Relay rock

A change to the race was allowing women in the Relay. Mather College, the undergraduate women’s college, became the first school other than Adelbert College to assemble a team and officially race in the Hudson Relay. Forty-five Mather students participated, running half-mile legs.

WRUW, the student radio station, offered live coverage of the race using a radio car.

The sophomore class (Class of 1974) was victorious. Members of the winning team included: Richard Bloom, Ken Leeper, Elliot Roth, Cliff Waldman, Jim Psarras, Gary Schwartz, Bob Fields, Dave Sichel, Mark Auerbach, Abe Fineberg, Bill Garber, Mike Davids, George Hamilton , Dan Vanderheide, Paul Miller, David Gordon, Neil Haymes, Edward Katzman, Dave Shenk, Glenn Miller, Robert Sachs, Ken Silliman, John Conant, Tim Gray, Kent Azaren, Ken Nagleberg, Ron Granrath.

Winning sophomore team celebrating its victory

Thanks to Mike Shay, Adelbert 1970, for pointing out an error in the original posting. I had listed 1970 as a year when the Hudson Relay was not run. Can alumni who participated in the Relay in 1970 contact the University Archives (archives@case.edu or 216-368-3320) with what information they have documenting the 1970 Hudson Relay? Thank you for your interest and response.

Read past accounts of the Hudson Relay.

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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.

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.”

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.”

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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December 23, 2014

Mather Quad Restoration Campaign

In 1980 Western Reserve College (the predecessor of the College of Arts and Sciences) initiated a $1.6 million campaign to renovate the 7 buildings on the Mather Quadrangle: Guilford House, Clark Hall, Harkness Chapel, Haydn Hall, Mather Gym, Mather House, and Mather Memorial. These buildings, the Flora Stone Mather College District, were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Flora Stone Mather College campus, 1910

Guilford needed the most extensive work: total refurbishing of the exterior including rebuilding the porch and steps, new plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems, and installation of an elevator. The fundraising goal for Guilford was $440,000. It was the first building to be renovated being rededicated 5/5/1985 at the Mather Brunch during Alumnae Reunion Weekend. The rest of the buildings followed shortly thereafter.

The fundraising committee consisted of alumnae Sarah Gingery Bartlett, Anne Melby Clapp, Marjorie Cowdrey Crone, Dorothea Davis, Marion Quayle Fulton, Ann Harsh, Marilyn Booth Opatrny, Elizabeth Mayer Robson, Maida Howes Roski, Jean Skeggs, Clara Angell Taylor, Elizabeth Walker, Edith Hinds West. Peter Musselman, University Vice President and Treasurer, also served on the committee with ex officio members: T. Dixon Long, Dean, Lee Hanson, WRC Director of Development, and Jean Hachen, Futures Office.

In addition to major gifts by individuals and foundations, many alumnae participated by donating to their class gifts which were earmarked for the restoration. Enough funds were raised by 1983 to begin the renovation work and the campaign successfully concluded in 1985.

To commemorate the Mather Quad Restoration Campaign a set of 8 commemorative plates was commissioned from Woodmere China of Pennsylvania. The plates featured an illustration of each building and the Mary Chisolm Painter Arch. The illustrations were drawn by Eleanor Shankland, whose drawings of University buildings have been used on notecards, stationery, and in publications. The plates could be purchased individually or as a set.

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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

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

In 1898 in response to the Spanish-American war, Case School of Applied Science organized the Voluntary Case Corps of Cadets.

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.

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.

Naval Unit of Student Army Training Corps at Adelbert College, 1918

Mather College WAVES in World War II

Case Navy V-12 unit in World War II

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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August 27, 2014

Case Institute of Technology Fundraising Campaigns

As we celebrate the success of our university-wide fundraising campaign, we can look back on other successful campaigns.

Case Institute of Technology’s first campaign was spurred by a major gift. In October 1925, trustee Charles W. Bingham offered a $500,000 gift if the school could raise an additional $500,000. The funds supported the construction and maintenance of the mechanical engineering building, increases in faculty salaries, and establishment of the Alumni Endowment Fund. The second campaign, the Endowment and Building Fund Campaign planned to raise $5 million in five years (1937-1942), but was cancelled in 1940 due to the uncertain conditions.

Though Case Institute of Technology had several campaigns before World War II, fundraising became a higher priority in the 1950s. Several successive campaigns included the Diamond Jubilee Campaign, the $6,500,000 Building Fund Campaign, and the $17 million Capital Campaign.

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Diamond Jubilee Campaign celebration

The 3 year Diamond Jubilee Campaign was held 1952-1955. Over $1 million was raised for building construction and over $1 million was raised for operations, scholarships, and other purposes. Buildings constructed from the campaign included the William E. Wickenden Electrical Engineering Building. The $6,500,000 Building Fund Campaign (1957-1959) raised over $8.3 million for buildings, which included Lester M. and Ruth P. Sears Library-Humanities Building and Strosacker Auditorium.

The last campaign, the $17 million Capital Campaign, was planned before Federation but carried out between 1967 and 1970. Funds were raised for land acquisition, construction, and renovation for student housing and academic buildings. These projects included the Glennan Space Engineering Building and the Carlton Road dormitory complex.

See our past blog posting about CWRU fundraising campaigns for more campaign information.

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August 08, 2014

“No Butts About It...” Campus Smoking Bans

From This


To This


Prompted by Cleveland City Council’s February 1987 passage of the Clean Indoor Air Ordinance limiting smoking in public places, CWRU enacted phase one of its no-smoking poiicy on August 16, 1987. Cigarette vending machines were removed and retail cigarette sales ended. Smoking was prohibited inside buildings except in food service facilities, employee and student lounges, waiting rooms, and lobbies. Smoking in residence hall rooms was up to the students. Smoking was still permitted in private offices. Additional designated smoking areas were created.

Two years later, August 14, 1989, phase two prohibited smoking inside all campus buildings. Again, smoking in residence hall rooms was left up to the students. Smoking on campus grounds was still permitted. To help smokers, CWRU offered University Hospitals Smoke Stoppers program at a discount.

So the situation remained until, in 2006, Ohio voters passed the Smoke Free Workplace Act, expanding no-smoking public areas. The Act primarily described the kinds of spaces in which smoking was prohibited. It also required posting no smoking signs and removing ashtrays and “other receptacles used for disposing of smoking materials.” In response, CWRU banned smoking in all buildings. The residence hall exception ended. Campus grounds and walkways became smoke-free, with the exception of designated smoking areas.

Smoking in public went from common to a near-total ban in 20 years. I don’t know if that change is fast or slow, but it is big. The somewhat irreverent, "No Butts About It" title was used by Campus News to announce the 1987 and 1989 policies.

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July 10, 2014

Campus in July

Campus in summer, 1972

Many consider July the quietest month on campus - classes are not in session, people go on vacation, not many major events are held. But there’s a, perhaps, surprising amount of activity during this quiet month.

University staff with finance responsibilities are busy closing the books on the just-ended fiscal year. As the Archives is located in the same buidling as the Controller’s Office, we see them in the halls. I would never describe my colleagues as haggard, but there are signs that some of these folks may be putting in long hours. Faculty are planning fall classes, writing and continuing their research. Most of us are doing annual reports. Many of us are catching up on projects postponed from the previous academic year or getting ready for the coming academic year.

Many changes take effect in July, especially July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. Case Western Reserve University was created July 1, 1967. The Colleges, combining the undergraduate colleges Western Reserve College and Case Institute of Technology, was created July 1, 1987. It was “uncreated” five years later, again on July 1, when it was separated into the College of Arts and Sciences and the Case School of Engineering.

July often has seen the start of campus building and renovation projects. In 1985 the first phase renovation of the Emerson Physical Education Center, later renamed the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center, started in July. Smaller projects have also been done: restoration of the windows of Amasa Stone Chapel in 1999, installation of the clock on the exterior of the Biomedical Research Building in 1992. Although, it may not be accurate to characterize a 16-foot tall, one-ton clock as a small project.

Major initiatives are frequently announced in July, even though they begin months later. Both the first and final phases of CWRU’s no smoking policies were announced in July - in 1987 and 1989. CWRU’s campus-wide Community Service Day, scheduled in September, was announced in July 2003.

Although fewer in number than during, say, April, events large and small have been held in July. In the 19th century, Commencement was often in July. More recently Party on the Quad has usually been held in July. In 1988 stamp collectors gathered on campus in July for the unveiling of a stamp honoring Dr. Harvey W. Cushing.

I’ve become more aware of these events recently as I’ve begun tweeting what I think of as Days in the Life of CWRU. It has been something of a challenge to find events for every day in July, and some days defeated me. My goal is to share some event during the university’s life for as many days as possible in the next year. The University’s history is not the sole property of the University Archives, of course, so I hope others will join in - #cwruhistory.

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June 13, 2014

Student Traditions - Mr. CWRU

“I never knew how much fun a male beauty pageant could be... ” - Michael Dennison was quoted by the 1999 Retrospect in its coverage of the Mr. CWRU pageant. Sigma Psi sorority has sponsored the annual event since 1979.

Contestants, sponsored by residence halls, fraternities and sororities and other campus organizations, competed in swimwear, formal wear, and talent categories. Finalists answered the kinds of probing questions typical of beauty pageants. A panel of judges determined the winner. Prizes were also given for Mr. Macho, Mr. Congeniality, Mr. Photogenic, First Runner-Up, and Second Runner-Up. Within a few years a category was added for costumes representative of the sponsoring organization (e.g., the Sherman Tank for Sherman House).

From photographs published in the student yearbooks, the swim wear modeled was typically abbreviated. A notable exception was the diver’s wet suit donned by Gary Butchko in 1990.

Contests had themes including “Whatta Man” (1994), “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (1995), “Looking for the Next 007” (1997), “Unmasking the Men” (2002), “One Singular Sensation of Men” (2003).

Talents on display have included singing, dancing, poetry recitation, comedy routines, a blues rendition of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, and juggling. One of the more esoteric talents was Tom Thole’s creation of a painting composed of applesauce, grape jelly, spaghetti, and baked beans commemorating the Michelson-Morley Centennial. Candidates have solved Rubix Cubes (in less than 2 minutes), written computer programming code, and set their hands on fire.

Proceeds have benefitted charities including Big Brother/Big Sister program, Ronald McDonald House, Environmental Health Watch, Project Step-Up, the Cleveland Free Clinic, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and many others.

Mr. CWRU pageant, 1980. Vis a Vis, 1981

Below are some of our Mr. CWRUs and their sponsors

1979 - Scott Elliot, Cleveland Institute of Music
1980 - David Brockett, Cleveland Institute of Music
1981 - Mel Jones, Jr., Phi Delta Theta
1982 - Pirooz Pazirandeh, Delta Tau Delta
1983 - Eric Schneider, Sigma Chi
1984 - Doug Christenson
1985 - Joe Waked
1986 - Chris DeHaas, Theta Chi
1987 - John Pickens, Sigma Chi Little Sisters
1989 - Curtis Duncan, Sigma Alpha Mu
1990 - Andrew Hlabse, Zeta Beta Tau
1992 - Steve Pieniak, Sigma Tau
1994 - Mike Chandler, Sigma Alpha Mu
1995 - Mark Jordan, Sigma Alpha Mu
1996 - Emeka Ofobike
1997 - Keith Hovey, Delta Tau Delta
1998 - Nestor Colon, Zeta Beta Tau
2000 - Bill Darnieder
2001 - Adam Evans, Phi Kappa Tau
2002 - Herman Bagga, Phi Mu
2003 - Pete Ritchie, Delta Tau Delta
2004 - Tony Huspaska, Delta Gamma
2005 - Matt Whilden
2010 - David Holcomb, Beta Theta Pi

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May 23, 2014

Student Traditions - Class gifts

Besides Commencement, another end of academic year tradition is class gifts. Here we highlight a class gift which has made a permanent mark on the campus: the sculpture Desire to Heal.

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Desire to Heal

Desire to Heal is the sculpture located in front of the Dental Clinic off Cornell Road. The School of Dentistry Class of 1973 presented this gift to the School. The class had commissioned faculty member Dr. Michael Tradowsky, Assistant Professor in Restorative Dentistry, to design the work of art. Dr. Tradowsky received training in sculpture from Monterey Peninsula College.

The sculpture is made from a blend of reinforced concrete. It stands four feet high and rests on a three foot base. It was designed to complement the architecture and surroundings of the building. It has been referred to informally as “the tooth.” Dr. Tradowsky stated, “The sculpture should give the viewer the desire to fit its three equal segments together. The desire to heal is inherent in live material, and the art piece has the form of an organic object, capable of this healing process.”

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May 12, 2014

Commencement Speakers

In 1830, four years after its founding, Western Reserve College held commencement exercises for its first graduating class of four students. Over the next 184 years the University has gathered to honor the accomplishments of our graduates. A common element of commencement ceremonies is the keynote address offering students advice, encouragement, and congratulations. A few of our more prominent speakers have included:

2004 - 10 years ago Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and the 1986 receipent of the Nobel Peace Prize, gave the address at CWRU's main commencement ceremony. Case Western Reserve awarded Wiesel the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

1964 - 50 years ago poet, playwright, and novelist James Langston Hughes was the Adelbert College commencement speaker. Cleveland Plain Dealer coverage quoted Hughes as urging the graduates, “It is up to you in the world of tomorrow to see that everyone has his rent money, his mortgage money and a place to eat and sleep.”

Western Reserve University awarded Hughes the honorary Doctor of Letters. The citation reads,
“Poet, writer, and powerful advocate of the cause of freedom.
Because you have used your great creative gifts to enrich the literature of our country both in poetry and prose;
Because you have championed the cause of the creative artist in our society;
Because you have brought credit to this city of your youth;
Because you have given your efforts and your talents to the achievement of a greater freedom and a more perfect dignity for men of all races, we delight to honor you.”

1894 - 120 years ago Jane Addams was the College for Women commencement speaker. Addams, co-founder of Hull House, the first settlement house in the United States, was a woman’s suffrage activist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Cleveland Plain Dealer coverage of her commencement address included her thoughts on education, “People used to take education much as they took measles. Not until recently did it become a permanent feature of life, a vital part of humanity...” and women’s role in society’s social problems, “She must seek to relieve the depressed and comfort the afflicted. She must realize the human claim. The world has been pushed forward, not by patriots, but by humanitarians.”

Additional infomation about Commencement, including images and programs can be found in the University Archives Commencement Collection in Digital Case.

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April 16, 2014

Western Reserve College’s First Student Organizations

In the earliest decades of Western Reserve College, student organizations were few. The very first student group was the Philozetian Society, one of several so-called literary societies. Today we would consider these debate clubs. Their purpose was to give students practice in debate, oration, and parliamentary procedure - all necessary skills for the ministry, law, and public affairs, for which students were being prepared.

The Philozetian Society was established on October 22, 1828, a little more than a year after the first classes were held. Meetings were held weekly, usually on Wednesday evenings. The meetings included extemporaneous debates during which the chairman proposed a topic and called upon members without prior notice. Topics for scheduled debates were assigned in advance by the program committee one week in advance. Topics included a broad range of contemporary issues, including, (1867) “Should the Right of Suffrage be extended to American Women?” (1871) “Should ministers preach politics?” (1874) “Is cremation better than burial?” (1879) “Have we anything to fear from Catholicism in this country?”

Together the literary societies published an annual newspaper, The Transcript, in the 1860s. Not surprising from debating clubs, editorials on issues of the day as well as the state of the College were a staple of the newspaper.

As was common among college literary societies, the Philozetian Society established its own library, separate from that of the College. Books were purchased, using society dues and fines. Members, former members, and friends of the College were also encouraged to donate books from their own libraries. Some of the Philozetian Societies’ books can still be found in Kelvin Smith Library’s Special Collections. The group continued to operate after Westen Reserve College moved to Cleveland in 1882, but was much less active and seems to have ceased around 1890.

Philozetian Society seal from an 1868 membership certificate

Philozetian Society records in the University Archives include:
Meeting minutes, 1828-1884
Constitutions and by-laws, 1828-1886
Financial and membership ledgers, 1867-1886

Secondary sources about literary societies at WRC and at other schools include:
Waite, Frederick C. Western Reserve University - The Hudson Era: A History of Western Reserve College and Academy at Hudson, Ohio, from 1826 to 1882. (Cleveland: Western Reserve University Press, 1943)

Harding, Thomas S. “College Literary Societies: Their Contribution to the Development of Academic Libraries, 1815-1876” The Library Quarterly. v.29 no.1 (Jan. 1959): pp. 1-26 and v.29 no.2 (Apri 1959): pp. 94-112

Saslaw, Rita. Student Societies: Nineteenth Century Establishment. Thesis (Ph.D.) Case Western Reserve University, 1971

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March 28, 2014

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Gwinn Girls

In preparation for the March 1967 retirement of Evelyn Svoboda, Assistant to the Comptroller, the Gwinn Girls was formed. Comprised of women administrators, executive aides, secretaries and other non-academic staff of WRU, the group came together to have fun several times a year, holding their functions at Gwinn Estate in Bratenahl. Thirty-eight women attended the first party. Dinner was $5.00, dinner with cocktails was $6.50. The ladies donated $39.00 for a retirement gift. Hough Caterers did not charge for the bartender or for gratuities for personnel, “consequently , the ‘treasury’ had an unexpected balance” of $39.10.

The original “Volunteer Committee” consisted of Matilda Jameson, Administration Assistant in the President’s Office; Ethel A. Oster, Executive Secretary to the Vice President for Finance; Thya Johnson, Secretary to the Dean of the Graduate School; Rose Psenicka, Secretary to Secretary of the University; and Julia Scofield, Secretary to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The Gwinn Girls quickly held another retirement party in June 1967 and the group was off and running. The women who had worked at Case Institute of Technology were invited to join after Federation. This included women such as Helen Stankard. As women retired they suggested their replacements be invited to join, and sometimes they stayed members themselves. They tried to have every building represented in the membership. A different woman was the hostess for each party and made all the arrangements.

In 1970 they started calling their events “meetings” instead of parties since Gwinn was only to be used for meetings. In 1974 they had a record attendance of 73 and discovered that the limit for dinner at Gwinn was 60 and they had to start capping attendance. Speakers were sometimes invited to address the group. This included our own Ruth Helmuth, University Archivist. (Mrs. Helmuth was also a Gwinn Girl and regularly attended events.)

The significance of such a network should not be overlooked. These women knew who to contact for any situation and had relationships set up across campus. It could only aid in the smooth flow of the day job at the university.

The last documented event the University Archives has of the Gwinn Girls was May 31, 1979. In 1997 Rose Psenicka, one of the founders, visited the Archives and dropped off the Gwinn Girls records with a note: “This is how it all began. Evelyn Svoboda worked for a long time in the Controller’s Office. We had such a success we did it again & again. (That is partied.)”

See other Women's History Month entries from 2011, 2012, and 2013.

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March 07, 2014

Student Traditions - Martha Washington Party

The January 19, 1905 minutes of the College for Women Students’ Association contains the following, “Miss Thomas spoke of a College Party to advance college spirit. Moved, seconded, carried that this party take place on 21st of Feb. Moved, seconded, and carried that a committee of eight be appointed to prepare for the party, 2 from each class.”


Thus began a nearly 35-year tradition at Flora Stone Mather College. Always held in February, on or near George Washington’s birthday, the costume ball was open only to the College’s students and faculty. Prizes were given for creative costuming. Sometimes skits were performed. The centerpiece, referenced in handbook and yearbook descriptions of the party, was the junior class performance of the minuet.

One aspect of this remarkably consistent student event that changed over time was the name. Starting as the College Party, within a few years it became the Washington Birthday Party or the George Washington Birthday Party. In 1914 the February masquerade became the Martha Washington Party, which name continued until 1939, the last reference we have found to the party. The name change preceded the appearance of the students’ Equal Suffrage League by a few years. There is no reason for the name change recorded in the Students’ Association records. But I can’t help but wonder if naming this College tradition for Martha Washington was an indicator of feminist aspirations.

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February 26, 2014

African-American History Month Spotlight: Albert L. Turner, John A. Cobbs, and Delta Sigma Rho

In celebration of African-American History Month we are spotlighting 2 alumni - Albert Louis Turner and John Alfred Cobbs - who were prize-winning debaters, and Delta Sigma Rho, forensic honor society.

Albert L. Turner, 1923

Albert Turner was born 4/9/1900 in New Orleans. After graduation from New Orleans University High School he entered Adelbert College in 1919. As a student he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the Debate Team, and the track team. He also ran in the Hudson Relay for 3 years. When he first entered Adelbert he was planning a career in medicine but at some point he changed to law. A prize-winner in oratory in high school, he continued in college. He won first place in the Junior-Sophomore Oratorical Contest, second place in the Junior-Senior Extempore Contest, and the President’s Prize in Debating. He graduated cum laude from Adelbert College in 1923. He entered the Law School and graduated in 1927, being elected to the Order of the Coif. He practiced law in Cleveland with Alexander Martin, a graduate of Adelbert class of 1895 and Law School 1898. He received the M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1933 and 1943. He taught political science and history at Tuskegee Institute, 1928-1941, also serving as assistant dean and registrar. Dr. Turner served as Professor of Law and Dean of the School of Law at North Carolina College 1941-1965. (He worked for the federal government for 4 months in 1944.) He died in 1973. His wife, Dessa Clements, received the degree of Pharmaceutical Chemist from the WRU School of Pharmacy in 1922.

John A. Cobbs

John A. Cobbs was born 1/8/1912 in Roanoke, Virginia. He moved to Cleveland when he was in junior high school and graduated from Central High School before entering Adelbert College. As a student Cobbs was a member of the Powerhouse editorial staff (the Powerhouse was a student feature magazine), the football team, and the Reserve Rostrum. He was one of the members of the first team of the Reserve Rostrum. In March 1934 he won the Public Discussion contest at the National Invitation Meet of Delta Sigma Rho at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the same tournament he was a member of the team which tied for second place in debate. He took first place ($100) in the Northern Oratorical League contest held at the University of Minnesota in May 1934. According to a newspaper account, “This is one of the greatest forensic honors that can be conferred upon a college orator. Three of the four judges gave Cobbs an undisputed first place. The winning speech was titled “Three Score Years and Ten” and outlined the progress of the Negro race.” He won the Civic League Oratorical contest in 1933, and the Annual Oratorical Contest for the President’s Prizes at Adelbert in 1933. He won the state championship in oratorical contests at Ohio Wesleyan in 1933. Cobbs graduated from Adelbert College in 1934.

Delta Sigma Rho was a forensic honor society (it is now known as Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha). It was founded in 1906. The Western Reserve University chapter was established in 1911. Howard S. Woodward was the faculty advisor for debating activities at WRU in the 1920s and 1930s when Turner and Cobbs were students. Educated at Hiram College, Yale University and Harvard, he began teaching at Illinois State Normal School in 1905. He began at Adelbert College in 1909 as instructor in English and became Professor of English in 1924 and Professor of Speech in 1927. He was still professor at the time of his death 12/8/1942.

Delta Sigma Rho had a provision against Negro members. Over time there were several attempts to abolish this provision. In 1931 a vote was taken by chapters to strike out the words “not a negro” from the Constitution and General Regulations. The WRU chapter voted in favor of the action but it failed to be approved by the necessary vote. In 1934 an attempt to strike down the color line again was held.

The members of the WRU chapter received a 7/28/1934 letter from Woodward which, in part, stated:

“In part because of my efforts and actuated in part by the achievements of John Cobbs during 1933-1934, the national president has resubmitted the amendment to the constitution which would remove the bar to Negro membership This proposal was approved by the Reserve chapter when last submitted and I hope it will be supported again by our chapter.

“In the case of the Reserve chapter John Cobbs constitutes the most convincing argument for the amendment. Since Delta Sigma Rho is an honor, not a social, organization, it is an absurdity if not a tragedy that he is barred. Most of you know something of his record. He became one of the most effective debaters in Reserve’s list of skilled and forceful debaters. At Madision last spring he won first place in the Public Discussion competition of the national invitation speech tournament of Delta Sigma Rho in a field of 36 competitors, scattered all the way from California to Louisiana. He was also one of our debaters who tied for second place in the debate competition of the same tournament....Later he did what no other Reserve man had ever done in the six years of our membership in the Northern Oratorical League - won first place. He is not only a clear thinker and an excellent speaker but he is a gentleman. His fellow students with whom he worked feel that Delta Sigma Rho makes a most unfortunate discrimination.”

On 10/16/1934 the WRU chapter again voted in favor of the amendment. In 1935 the amendment passed with 53 chapter votes yes and 5 chapter votes no. The 53rd vote was received 4/15/1935 by the national office and Woodward was informed via a letter of 4/18/1935 by Professor H. L. Ewbank of the University of Wisconsin, president of Delta Sigma Rho. On 4/26/1935 Woodward sent a letter to Ewbank notifying him that the WRU chapter had unanimously voted membership for John Cobbs and Albert Turner. Woodward wrote, “We are delighted finally to have the privilege of doing this.”

While Cobbs was working in the Cleveland area in 1935, Turner was teaching at Tuskegee Institute. On 5/1/1935 Turner wrote to Woodward, “I was indeed happy to receive the telegram bearing the news of my election to Delta Sigma Rho. I consider it a great honor to me, and a remarkable proof of the fair attitude of Western Reserve towards all of its students and alumni.

“However, it is to you Professor Woodward, that I am especially indebted and especially grateful. As proud as I am of my election to Delta Sigma Rho, I am more deeply moved by the fact that you have remembered me and my work after thirteen years....”

You can read past blog entries about African-American history at Case Western Reserve University from 2013 and 2011.

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January 28, 2014

Winter Olympians at CWRU

In honor of the 2014 Winter Olympics we thought of highlighting past winter Olympians associated with our university: David W. Jenkins, School of Medicine class of 1963, and Walter (Ty) Danco, Law School student in 1970s.

As a medical student David Jenkins won the gold medal in men’s figure skating for the United States at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. He also won the bronze medal in 1956 at Cortina, Italy. (His brother, Hayes, had won the gold medal in men’s figure skating at the 1956 Winter Olympics.) In Squaw Valley he finished ahead of Karel Divin (silver) of Czechoslovakia and Donald Jackson (bronze) of Canada. He received one perfect score of 6.0 in his free skate as well as several 5.8’s and 5.9’s. After capturing the gold medal he performed with the Ice Follies before returning to his studies. Jenkins received the M.D. from Western Reserve University School of Medicine June 12, 1963.

David Jenkins

In addition to his Olympic medals Jenkins also won the World Championship in 1957, 1958, and 1959.

Ty Danco competed in the men’s doubles luge at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid in 1980. He and his partner, Dick Healey, finished 11th with a time of 1:21:341. At that time, this was the best time and best finish of American double-lugers since the sport’s Olympic debut in 1964. He also won the North American Luge Championship in 1978. Ty graduated from Middlebury College in 1977 and entered the CWRU Law School while training for the luge. He traveled to Europe several times for training since the facilities were limited in the United States.

Walter (Ty) Danco

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January 24, 2014

Tempus: Student Tradition to Student Protest


One of the more contentious student traditions, Tempus began in the late 1850s when Western Reserve College was located in Hudson. Tempus was held the week before Thanksgiving and featured music and satirical skits. College life and the faculty, singly and as a group, were often lampooned. Originally a private event only for students, within a few years the public was invited and attended in substantial numbers.

Occasionally, the faculty took steps to modify what they saw as vulgar student excesses. Faculty disapproval of Tempus came to a head during the College’s first year in Cleveland. On October 9, 1882 the faculty voted to abolish Tempus. As arrangements for the event were nearly completed, the students objected and requested the prohibition be reversed.

Minutes of the College faculty record that on November 25, “A special meeting was held at Mr. Cutler’s house, to consider a request from a committee of students, that we recall the prohibition of an entertainment at about Thanksgiving time of the character of the so called Tempus. All the professors were present. All were agreed that nothing had been shown justifying any change in our action of October the ninth. Mr. Cutler is to write a statement which is to be read after prayers on the 27th.”

President Cutler’s statement repeated the prohibition, but the students held Tempus on November 28 at Doan’s Armory, as planned.

The controversy in Cleveland’s new institution of higher education did not escape media attention. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on November 28, “A ‘tempus in a teapot’ is raging in Adelbert College... The faculty declare these historic frolics have generally been ‘vulgar’ and ‘scurrilous’... The students, on the other hand, put in an intelligent plea for the necessity of a periodical throwing off of the restraint of study and discipline for the good of their physical natures.”

At its December 4 meeting the faculty resolved that, “The conduct of the students in holding a so called Tempus last Tuesday evening was considered, and it was agreed to require each student to answer so many of the following questions...” Each student was asked if he was present, for how long, if he was a spectator or participant, and, if a participant, what role he played.

On December 8 the Plain Dealer reported that, “At noon yesterday the members of the junior class of Adelbert College were notified that President Cutler desired to speak to them. His speech was short but pointed. He said: ‘I am instructed by the faculty to inform you that in consequence of your originating and taking part in a Thanksgiving entertainment of the nature of Tempus, in spite of the thrice repeated prohibition of the faculty, you are no longer members of the college. You will not attend any more college exercises and your parents have been notified of this action.’” The article went on to report that the students met and resolved that no students would attend college exercises until the juniors were reinstated.

The faculty held to their position, recording on December 9 that, “A communication was brought to the president on Thursday evening by six students, saying that they with others proposed to attend no more college exercises until the men lately removed from college by the vote of the faculty should be reinstated... It was agreed to notify the parents of each student and to secure their cooperation in securing his return to his duties in college.”

The Plain Dealer reported on December 12 that the juniors had urged the other classes to return to the college and that each of the expelled juniors would write a letter of apology, not for the “harmless entertainment” but for disobeying the faculty prohibition.

Beginning on December 11 and for several weeks, faculty minutes record receipt and responses to letters from the juniors asking to be reinstated.

On December 19 the faculty “...voted that all whose requests are satisfactory be reinstated on probation at the beginning of the next term, and that the probation shall last till the end of the college year.”

The Plain Dealer reported on December 14 that student resentment of the faculty was high, with many students vowing not to return to the college the next year. Although outside the scope of this short description, it would be interesting to know how many students did not return to Adelbert College in 1883. Tempus was held in later years, as evidenced by programs from 1886 and 1899. Whether these later performances attracted the same type of faculty reaction might also be explored using records in the Archives. These sources include programs from 1859 to 1899; recollections of William Elroy Curtis, class of 1869; Adelbert College faculty minutes; student yearbooks; and papers of faculty member Edward Morley.

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December 04, 2013

President’s Christmas Walk

A university as old as CWRU establishes and discards many traditions, particularly around major holidays such as Christmas. The President’s Christmas Walk was an annual event for most of Louis Toepfer’s ten-year CWRU presidency.

When Toepfer became president in 1970 his previous campus-wide experience had been somewhat limited in his role as dean of the Law School. There were buildings and departments he had never visited. He wanted to rectify this situation and so, started his annual Christmas walk around campus to greet the staff.

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Richard Baznik and Louis Toepfer on Christmas Walk

It began as a one day event, but soon became an event held over two or three days. President Toepfer accompanied by Special Assistant to the President Richard Baznik, attempted to visit every campus building. By the mid-1970s departments began to check the schedule ahead of time and attempted to arrange their department holiday parties to coincide with the president’s visit. Since this was the time of year for college bowl games and NFL playoff games, there was also betting on games and various pools. The president joined in the spirit and participated in the betting. From the notes in the Archives they were $1 bets.

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Schedule for 1978 Christmas Walk

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November 26, 2013

60th Anniversary of Last Case vs. WRU Thanksgiving Day Football Game

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the last Thanksgiving Day football game between Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University.

Thanksgiving Day 1953 was a cold windy day. The crowd was estimated at 7,500-10,000. The venue was Clarke Field of WRU (currently the lot 53 garage and all the space from Adelbert Gym to the railroad tracks, but not the space behind Bingham Building which was Van Horn Field).

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Cartoon on front page of Reserve Tribune, 11/24/1953

Case scored first on a pass from quarterback Walt Pavlick to Charles Dykes. Reserve scored 15 seconds later on a kickoff return by Dick Delaney and Gordon McCarter’s conversion. Case scored again after Denny Pardee’s 56 yard run set up Ed Rate’s touchdown and extra point. End of the first quarter: Case 13 Reserve 7

Red Cat Ron Davidoff blocked a punt and it was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown by Bob Blatchford. McCarter kicked the extra point for Reserve to take the lead. Reserve then had its only sustained drive on the day chewing up 63 yards in 12 plays with Delaney scoring again followed by McCarter’s extra point. End of second quarter: Reserve 21 Case 13

Gene Strathman recovered a Pavlick fumble. Reserve scored again on a pass from Delaney to Roger Bryant. McCarter was good for the extra point. Pardee had to punt for Case and Dick Mann fielded the punt going 75 yards for the score. McCarter kicked the extra point for Reserve’s final point of the season. (McCarter finished the season with 16 points-after-touchdown in 16 tries). End of third quarter: Reserve 35 Case 13

The only score in the fourth quarter was a Pavlick touchdown from the seven. Final: Reserve 35 Case 19.

Reserve finished the season with a 5-3-1 record, the best in a decade. Case finished the season with a 1-7 record.

Less than 2 months later, on 1/8/1954 President Glennan announced that Case would drop football from Case’s intercollegiate sports program. This ended the traditional Thanksgiving Day football game. Though Case resumed intercollegiate football in the fall of 1955 and rekindled the rivalry with Reserve, they no longer played on Thanksgiving Day.

After Glennan’s announcement, the Case students staged a mock funeral for football. According to the 1/15/1954 Case Tech, “A flower car, hearse and students assembled at Van Horn Field, proceeded over Adelbert and Euclid to the front entrance and from there to the final resting place across from Tomlinson Hall. With football players as pall bearers, to the strains of a dirge, ‘Mr. Touchdown’ was laid in state and finally to rest. A drum roll sounded and a flight of cadets saluted as the ball was lowered to the grave. All was again silent. A harsh command of the flight officer dismissed the honor guard.”

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Funeral for Case football

You can read accounts of the season and this game in the Reserve 1954 yearbook, Eos, and the Case 1954 yearbook, Differential. Both yearbooks are available as fully-searchable PDF files via Digital Case. We advise downloading the PDF file and then opening it.

Enjoy more stories of the traditional Thanksgiving Day Case-Reserve game from 2010, 2011 and 2012 blog entries.

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November 22, 2013

University convocation in memory of John F. Kennedy

Today we join with the nation in remembering and honoring President John F. Kennedy upon the 50th anniversary of his assassination. After the initial shock and formal ceremonies in Washington, Western Reserve University held its own memorial for the president.

On Tuesday morning, November 26, at 11:00 a.m. a University Convocation in memory of John F. Kennedy was held in Amasa Stone Chapel. President John S. Millis presided. Rabbi Benjamin Leon Marcus, Director of B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation, opened the service with an invocation followed by the congregation singing America, the Beautiful. Reverend Robert W. Clarke, Director of the Student Christian Union, offered a prayer. The address (Download file) was given by Clarence H. Cramer, Professor of History and Dean of Adelbert College. Reverend John Joseph Kilcoyne, Diocesan Director, Newman Clubs, gave the benediction. Music was performed by the University Singers under the direction of Donald Joseph Shetler, Associate Professor of Music. Walter Blodgett, Curator of Musical Arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art, provided the organ music.

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It was highly unusual for the university to hold a convocation in honor of a non-university individual. The next such event was in 1968 after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Reserve Tribune (student newspaper) in the 12/5/1963 edition published this editorial,

“JFK, a doer

“It is hoped the tragic death of John F. Kennedy will not end the recognition given the the New Frontier to American cultural arts.

“The Kennedys during their three years in the White House focused national attention on poetry, art, music, dance, literature and theatre.

“John Kennedy expanded the concept of presidential leadership to include the creativity of the American man in the areas of the Liberal Arts.

“In doing so, he has set a precedent which must be continued if the office of the President of the United States is to be truly representative of the nation.”

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October 30, 2013

The Flood of 1975

October is Archives Month. The theme this year is Disasters in Ohio. On campus there have been several severe floods which have affected buildings bordering the Doan Brook culvert. While floods occurred in 1959 and 1969 this article will discuss the flood of 1975.

On Sunday, August 24, 1975 severe localized thunderstorms between 3:45 and 4:15 p.m. resulted in flooding of campus buildings along East Boulevard (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive). The buildings most severely damaged by the flood were Sears, Wickenden and the subbasement and tunnel area of Tomlinson. Less severe damage occurred to Crawford, Olin, White, Glennan, and Adelbert Hall. The landscaping on the west side of the campus was completely destroyed and power to Wickenden, Yost, Sears, and Tomlinson was disrupted.

The Mail Room on the first floor of Wickenden was one of the hardest hit locations. It flooded to a depth of 6.2 feet, water flowing 2.5 feet over the first floor windowsills. The mail trucks parked outside were completely submerged and had to be replaced. All the mail was in mailbags which helped minimize the damage.

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CWRU mail vans and Mail Room after the flood

Also affected in Wickenden was the high energy physics group of the Physics Department. Magenetic data tapes, equipment, instrumentation, and tools were damaged. The departmental library of books, journals, proceedings, reports, and office files were damaged. Most faculty personal papers, books, and files were damaged or lost. Physics Department losses were $150,000 and damage to Wickenden was $90,000.

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Physics laboratory and stairwell in Wickenden

Water ran over the loading dock of Tomlinson and flooded the basement and utility tunnel. The transformers in the subbasement were completely flooded, resulting in their loss. The cafeterias and kitchen areas, one flight up, were less affected as the water crested at that floor level. Food service was suspended.

The greatest monetary damage happened in Sears Library where the ground floor stack area and work areas were flooded. The area damaged was 100 long, 35 feet wide and 16 feet high with stacks of books running floor to ceiling. Damaged were 50,000 volumes and 50,000 maps. The university hired 2 experts, Willman Spawn, Conservator of the American Philosophical Society, and Peter Waters, Restoration Officer at the Library of Congress, to direct the salvage operation. Ten thousand volumes were permanently lost with the remainder restored. The damage to the building was $10,000 while the collection was $800,000.

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Stack area and work area in Sears Library

The Crawford ground floor was covered with 6-7 inches of water. In Glennan water came through the mechanical steam room door, flooding the corridor with 2-3 inches. Damage in White and Olin was kept to a minimum because the sump pump in Olin continued to pump after being submerged. The first floor of both buildings received 2-3 inches while the structures laboratory and electron microscope (which were at a lower elevation) received 1-2 feet, resulting in $10,000 in damage. The basement of Adelbert Hall suffered flooding from a backed-up sewer.

A complete study was done to determine how the water entered each building and how to minimize loss from flooding. The losses from the 1975 flood totaled over $1.1 million.

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October 21, 2013

Travelling Behind the Iron Curtain

In the 1950s the Cold War imposed restrictions on travel from America to the Soviet Union. In 1954 Case Professor of Astronomy, Jason J. Nassau, was one of the very few Americans to visit Soviet Russia. Nassau was one of two American astronomers invited by the USSR Academy of Sciences to attend the dedication of the reconstructed Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, destroyed in World War II. For sixteen days Nassua participated in the expected scholarly conferences, but also attended the opera, ballet, and theater. “I saw Hamlet and heard Carmen in Russian,” he reported.

Dedication of the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, May 1954. Nassau is the man holding his hat, in the front row, 5th from the left.

Upon his return to Cleveland, Nassau was much in demand as a speaker. He described his travels to groups ranging from the Cleveland City Club to church groups, school groups, and Case alumni gatherings. Accounts of his trip appeared in such diverse publications as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sky and Telescope, and the Case Alumnus.

Nassau’s travel journal and mementoes of the trip are part of the exhibit, Around the World in 80 Books, in Hatch Reading Room, Kelvin Smith Library, through December 20. The exhibit includes first-hand travel accounts in diaries, postcards, letters, and published travelogues. Also on display are travel as the subject of literary classics, works of satire, science fiction and fantasy from the 17th through the 20th centuries. Journeys of scientific and personal discovery are represented by accounts of explorers from the 17th century and the Case study-abroad program from the 21st century. Also exhibited are travel guides including maps, recommended attractions, hotel and restaurant reviews from Boston, Paris, Egypt, Palestine, and Cleveland, Ohio.

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September 18, 2013

Medicine and Natural History

From July through September Observing the Natural World: The Art and Science of Natural History exhibits artwork, manuscripts and archives, and rare books from Kelvin Smith Library’s Special Collections and University Archives. In preparing the exhibit we realized how much campus and regional initiatives mirrored broader developments in the field of biology. One particularly striking example is how biology was taught in universities. For much of the 19th century, most biology instruction, then called natural history, was done by medical schools.

When the Medical Department of Western Reserve College was established in 1843, Samuel St. John, John Lang Cassels, and Jared Potter Kirtland were three of the earliest faculty.

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left to right: Samuel St. John, John Lang Cassels, and Jared Potter Kirtland

St. John was Professor of Chemistry, Natural History, and Medical Jurisprudence. From 1843 to 1856 he taught courses in botany and zoology, natural history, philosophy of natural history, anatomy, physiology, and conchology.

Cassels was a member of the Medical faculty from 1843-1873 and twice served as Dean, 1843-44 and 1961-73. He taught courses in geology, mineralogy, and botany.

Kirtland served on the Medical faculty from 1843-1863 and also served as Dean, in 1846. While his teaching was not in natural history, but theory and practice of medicine, Kirtland was a famous naturalist. He founded the Cleveland Academy of Natural Science, predecessor of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He participated in the 1837 geological survey of Ohio, producing a report cataloging the state’s mammals, birds reptiles, fishes, and mollusks. His horticultural experiments developed improved varieties of serveral fruits. Dr. Kirtland also served three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. The papers of this remarkable man are held by the Kelvin Smith Library’s Special Collections and a finding aid is available.

The exhibit, in Kelvin Smith Library’s Special Collections Hatch Reading Room, is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. till 4:30 p.m., through September 27.

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August 30, 2013

Teaching of Natural History at Western Reserve College

For much of the 19th century, most of the teaching of Natural History occurred in medical schools. Colleges like Western Reserve College (WRC) generally concentrated on the classics, moral philosophy, and history. Indeed, when WRC was founded, its primary purpose was “to train young men for the ministry.” The WRC Medical Department included Natural History in its curriculum and had eminent naturalists on its faculty.

At WRC a professorship of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy appeared in 1829. The first documented biological course at WRC, anatomy and physiology, was taught by Jarvis Gregg in the 1835-1836 academic year. Other classes before 1888 included Botany, Mineralogy, Conchology, Evolution, Zoology as well as others.

Biological instruction was by lectures, recitations, field work, museum study, and informal laboratory work. Professor Edward Morley gave practical instruction in the use of a microscope. A museum of natural history occupied the entire third floor of the Athenaeum recitation building (on the original campus in Hudson).

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First General Biology class, 1888

In 1888 the Department of Biology was established with the hiring of Francis Hobart Herrick. He taught his first class, General Biology, to 3 women and 1 man. Laboratory teaching began December 1, 1888. Originally the department was housed in the Ford House but by December it had occupied 2 rooms in Adelbert Main.

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Private laboratory and preparation room in Adelbert Main, 1889

Within 10 years enrollment had soared and the Biology Department had sorely outgrown its space and planning for a new building began. The new Biological Laboratory (now known as DeGrace Hall) was dedicated June 13, 1899.

Sources: Frederick C. Waite, "Natural History and Biology in the Undergraduate Colleges of Western Reserve University," Western Reserve Univeristy Bulletin, New Series, Vol. XXXII, No. 13, July 1, 1929, pp. 21-48 and Western Reserve University Catalogs.

The teaching of Natural History at WRC is part of an exhibit, Observing the Natural World: The Art and Science of Natural History. The exhibit of rare books, artwork, manuscripts, and archives illustrates developments in the field of natural history from the 16th through the 19th centuries. The exhibit explores both local initiatives and broader developments including: increasing specialization and professionalization; innovations in recording field observations; changing patterns of scholarly communication. The exhibit, in Kelvin Smith Library’s Special Collections Hatch Reading Room, is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. till 4:30 p.m. through September 27, 2013.

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July 31, 2013

Case Western Reserve University Fundraising Campaigns

Since the university is in the midst of a $1 billion fundraising campaign, Forward Thinking: The Campaign for Case Western Reserve University, we thought it would be interesting to look at past university-wide campaigns.

The first campaign was the Resources Campaign. It was a 5-year campaign (1976-1981) raising funds for endowment, facilities, and current programs. Planning for Resources started shortly after Federation in 1967. On December 12, 1973 the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution authorizing the Trustees Resources Committee to plan a major fundraising campaign. During the early planning and fundraising stages, Resources was known as Operation Rainbow. The $215 million goal included $200 million for CWRU, $10 mlllion for University Hospitals, and $5 million for University Circle, Inc. Curtis Lee Smith, Adelbert College class of 1923 and trustee, was the national chairman. The campaign formally began February 15, 1976, the sesquicentennial of the university. It officially ended June 30, 1981 with a total attainment of $215,137,371.

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Curtis Lee Smith, President Louis A. Toepfer, and Elaine Hadden hold up the banner announcing the campaign total at the closing celebration

The second university campaign was the Campaign for Case Western Reserve University. It was a 5-year campaign raising $350 million for endowment, buildings and equipment, and current support of programs. The advance gifts phase began in 1987. The Board of Trustees authorized its Development and Alumni Affairs Committee to plan a campaign at its March 1988 meeting. Marts & Lundy, Inc. (fundraising consultants) was retained to conduct a feasibility study, the report of which was made to the Board in April 1989. Formal approval was made in June and the public announcement was October 1989. President Agnar Pytte with national campaign co-chairs Richard Derbes (Case Institute of Technology class of 1968 and trustee) and Karen Horn (trustee) led the campaign to a successful conclusion in June 1994 with final attainment of $416,518,332. Alumni support more than tripled during the campaign, from $6.4 million in 1988 to $27.8 million in 1994. Over $213 million was raised for current programs, over $133 million for endowment (31 new professorships and 167 new funds for student support), and nearly $70 million for buildings and equipment.

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Campaign for CWRU brochure

The first 2 campaigns for CWRU were successful. With $80 million in new commitments announced at the October 2011 public launch of Forward Thinking, along with the $660 million raised during the quiet phase, the current campaign looks to repeat the successes of past campaigns.

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April 26, 2013

Thirty Years Ago...Hudson Relay 1983

As we continue our celebration of the Hudson Relay we look at 1983, a year of controversy as reported by the yearbook Vis-a-Vis:

“This year’s Hudson Relay festivities were interrupted by controversy. The class of 1986 was without a CIT class president and ran only one class president. The race rules state that for each class racing the WRC and CIT class presidents must run the last two legs of the race. The freshman class had understood that they would not be disqualified for this point, but none of the other classes were notified. The judges’ final decision was that regardless of who would have run the final leg, the class of 1986 would have won. The freshman class was declared 1983 Hudson Relay winner. The Other teams finished as follows: 1983 second, alumni third, 1984 fourth, and 1985 last.

“After the class of 1982 received champagne last year for winning the relay four years in a row, this year’s competing classes were quick to elaborate on that theme. The class of 1983 promised generic beer and the class of 1985 offered a cake as inspiration.”

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Class of 1982 Champagne at the Rock tee shirts
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Class of 1983 Generic Beer on the Quad tee shirts

The class of 1986 went on to win 3 of its 4 years competing in the Hudson Relay.

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Class of 1985 cake

Note regarding the colleges: WRC was Western Reserve College, the undergraduate college consisting of the humanities and arts, and the social and behavior sciences. CIT was Case Institute of Technology, the undergraduate college consisting of engineering, mathematics and natural sciences. For a chart and brief summary of CWRU's schools and colleges see The Schools of CWRU.

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April 24, 2013

Hudson Relay of 1963

Times change. The Hudson Relay of 50 years ago was not covered with the depth of 100 years ago. There was no account in the student yearbook, just a brief article in the student newspaper, Reserve Tribune. Instead of being a part of Undergraduate Day during Commencement Week in 1913, the 1963 Relay was a part of May Day, which also featured the annual student-faculty softball game, tug-of-war, and canoe tilt. There was also a queen of May Day. The Sophomore class won the 1963 race (as they did in 1913). Here is the account from the Reserve Tribune:

“Sophs win May Day Hudson Relays

The fastest runners of Adelbert College assembled in the wee hours of the morning in front of Adelbert Main to begin the May Day Hudson Relays last Friday, May 3. Lining up at the starting line in Hudson, a representative of each of Adelbert’s four classes began the 26-mile run in great spirits.

“The sophomores took an early lead which they never relinquished as they won their second straight race. The race itself was the closest of the past few years: at the end of the first 13 laps 200 yards separated the front-running sophomore and the tail-end seniors. But at this point the sophomores and the frosh ran away, making it a two-team race.

“Sophomore Prexy Larry Singerman suffered the last lap, clipping 10 minutes off the record set by his team that won last year. The frosh came in second, while the juniors and the seniors finished in that order.”

The Class of 1965 did not win another Hudson Relay, the freshmen winning in 1964 and in 1965. Learn more about the history of the Hudson Relay by visiting the University Archives web exhibit and viewing the video, Through the Years, created for the centennial celebration in 2010.

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The Hudson Relay of 1913

The annual Hudson Relay is this Saturday, April 27. Let’s look back at the Hudson Relay from 1913 - 100 years ago. This account is taken from The Reserve, the Western Reserve University yearbook.

“That popular feature of undergraduate day which originated in the brain of Monroe Curtis -- the Hudson Relay -- has become one of the most looked for events of the week. Never was there greater enthusiasm and rivalry among the students nor greater interest evinced in ‘college doings’ by the friends of the university than on June 9, 1913. Most thorough preparations were made by the undergraduate day committee and the entirely successful race was due to its well planned work. At two o’clock the runners, twenty-four from each class, were taken from the campus in automobiles and one from each class stationed at every mile post along the route from the former campus of Western Reserve at Hudson, Ohio. At 3:00 o’clock the message from Mayor Sullivan to President Thwing was handed to the Senior captain, Arthur Portmann. ‘Doc’ Von den Steinen’s revolver cracked and the long grind had begun. A chart ten feet in length had been placed upon the steps of the main building at Adelbert so that by little flags placed in accordance with telephone messages from different houses along the road, it was possible for the anxious throng awaiting the runners to watch their progress.

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Runners transferring the baton

“A surprise was in store for everyone. In the estimation of all, the real race was between Freshmen and Sophomores. But it wasn’t long before the chart showed the Seniors far in the lead. Some began to doubt their eyes, for the number of Seniors who are in training near the close of their college career is limited rather exclusively to those who were on the track team. But before long the source of the Seniors’ surprising strength was apparent. It was gasoline! That is, they had ridden in friendly automobiles to save breath.

“The race the year before had been close, in fact the class of 1915 won it by only ten yards. Predictions were that this race would be close also. The sophomores forged ahead in the second mile and had acquired almost a quarter of a mile lead in the first half of that distance. But this was not to endure, for several runners of ‘16’s best quality pulled up, up up, until at the 19th relay both Sophomore and Freshman were even. Then Greek met Greek, and a true tug of war ensued. Up and down the hills and over the never-ending level stretches they fought, followed by frenzied, wildly cheering adherents in dust-covered machines. Finally Ehlert, Herbert and Shimansky, three picked men from 1915, were pitted against Volk, Schuele and Atwood of 1916. Each ran the race of his life to give his class the lead on the home stretch. Finally the last runners were reached. Parrish, the sophomore vice-president, substitute runner for President Rosenberger, was given a lead by Shimansky. Taylor, Freshman president, came flying along behind, bending every effort to make up the intervening space. But the strain was too much and he suddenly collapsed, having run only about half a mile. Baird, captain of the Freshmen team, was riding along side in an automobile. Upon seeing Taylor fall he jumped out and took up the race, and being comparatively fresh he soon gained on Parrish, then passed him and crossed the tape ten seconds before the latter. Great was the joy among the Freshmen, but on the protest of the Sophomores a consultation of judges was held. When the facts had been rehearsed, victory was awarded the 1915 team, since Taylor did not finish his mile, but allowed another to run the last half, which was obviously unfair. It was the ’15’s turn to rejoice. The mishap was unfortunate, but wherever victory went, both teams deserved credit for their remarkable physical endurance and fighting spirit which kept the result always in doubt. The official distance was given as 22.8 miles; the time of the winning team 2 hours, 7 minutes and 42 seconds.

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Runner dashes through the crowd of spectators

Both Junior and Senior presidents followed later in turn, the latter carrying Mayor Sullivan’s message, which read as follows:

“The relay race of today affords the people of Hudson an opportunity to send you this message of appreciation of the interest which your University continues to manifest in this village, the birth-place of your University. We are glad to assure you upon this occasion that the old Western Reserve College grounds at Hudson are being modernized and will continue to be an educational institution which we hope will be a source of pride and usefulness to Western Reserve University as it is sure to be to the people of this village. I extend to you the best wishes of the people for the success of Western Reserve University and the continued usefulness of this annual race.”

Learn more about the history of the Hudson Relay. View images from past Hudson Relays in Digital Case.

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March 29, 2013

Student Satire

April Fool's Day seems a good occasion to honor the grand tradition of student satire.

As early as 1981, Case Western Reserve’s student newspaper, The Observer, honored April Fool’s Day with a special edition. With a special motto, “The birdcage liner of Waste Restroom Preserved University...” the editors proceeded to lampoon tenure, Cleveland weather, university fundraising (”Extortion: Mega bucks for CWRU” featuring quotes from Lemme Attem, Commander of the Major Gifts Task Force) career planning, sororities (”SAE bids for frosh; told ‘not for sale’”), and sports (”Action frisbee: game of steel”). Even the masthead was fair game, describing the Observer as “published sometimes by a few disco people from some University in Ohio from September to May, except when we have exams.” Classified ads included “Wanted: Edible, flavorful food. Contact dorm students.” In later years the special edition acquired its own title, The Obscurer.

But student satire was not confined to April Fool’s Day. Both the Case and WRU student yearbooks incorporated a particular brand of student humor aimed equally at students and faculty. These inside jokes, puns, and cartoons were often incorporated into the advertising section. Draw your own conclusions about the significance of that placement. The humor sections were most common during the early years of the 20th century. They seem to have gone out of fashion by the mid-1940s. Some choice examples can be seen in the University Archives Student Yearbook collection in Digital Case.

At Reserve, student satire needed a broader platform for its full expression. From 1924 till 1942 the students published the Red Cat. Puns, both visual and textual, limericks, cartoons, one-line jokes, and satirical essays filled the pages. Campus personalities and events and the news of the day were the targets of the Red Cat writers and artists. In the first issue the editors explained themselves, “Next to football there is perhaps no college product which attracts as much attention and appeals to the reader as much as the humorous magazine... The debut of the Red Cat heralds great things for the literary and artistic side of the University.”

The University Archives holds complete runs of The Observer, student yearbooks, and the Red Cat and welcomes users who wish to explore, or simply appreciate, our students' humorous perspective on university life.

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Examples of Red Cat covers from the 1920s

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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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December 19, 2012

Christmas Carol Service at Mather College

For decades the Glee Club at Flora Stone Mather College held a Christmas Carol Service at Florence Harkness Chapel. The earliest program from this service held by the University Archives is from 1909, and the latest is from 1950. Carols sung in 1909 included See Amid the Winter’s Snow, Infant so Gentle, so Pure and so Sweet, When I View the Mother Holding, Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, We Three Kings of Orient Are, Silent Night, and Nazareth.

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Processional, ca. 1929-1931

Additions to the service were added over time including scripture readings, processionals and recessionals, a benediction, and dance. At the service held 80 years ago, President Emeritus Charles Franklin Thwing gave the scripture reading. In 1933 a medieval mystery play, The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors, was performed. Joining the Glee Club in 1936, the Dance Club performed to 3 carols: 15th Century English Christmas Carol, Bells, Carol of the Russian Children.

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Glee Club and Dance Club at Christmas Carol Service, 1939

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November 21, 2012

Case vs. Reserve 1912 Thanksgiving Day game

As Thanksgiving is once more upon us, let us revisit the annual Case-Reserve Thanksgiving Day football game played 100 years ago. The game was played November 28 at Van Horn Field. The account from the WRU yearbook, The Reserve, reads:

“That Turkey Day Game”

“From the dope on the playing of Reserve and Case, the apparent inability of Reserve to break up their opponents’ forward passing and Case’s good showing against Oberlin, Reserve was the "underdog" in all predictions on the Thanksgiving day game. However, Reserve, by the most optimistic, had not been dreamed to possess, our boys went at the team from across the fence. In the first six minutes of play they scored a touchdown. Not content with this, they scored eight more points during the first half. In the second half Case showed a flash of form and almost tied the score but Reserve came back strong with another touchdown and a safety. Thus Reserve had by a score of 24 to 13 defeated Case! Reserve, the underdog, had by spirit and fight defeated Case for the first time since 1908!”

Cartoon from The Reserve 1914

The account in the Case yearbook, Differential, had a different tone:
“Then came the regrettable Reserve game. There is no doubt but that Case was handicapped by the inch or two of snow on the field, for every one knows that we would have played a better game on a dry field. Whether or not we would have won is hard to tell, but as it was the team was merely defeated, not disgraced, by the combination of snow and hard luck.”

Scoreboard from the November 28, 1912 game

Case finished the season with a 4-6 record. Reserve finished with a 5-4 record.

Enjoy more stories of the traditional Thanksgiving Day Case-Reserve game from 2010 and 2011 blog entries.

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October 26, 2012

Hudson to Cleveland: Constructing the New Buildings - Year 1

We continue our description of Western Reserve College’s move from Hudson to Cleveland 130 years ago. Faculty member, Edward W. Morley, chronicled the event in letters to his parents. Extracts from those letters describe the July 1881 to July 1882 construction efforts.

July 1, 1881
“The new buildings are not yet begun, but I do not see why they may not be begun soon. Mr. Stone is a man who does not at all appreciate statements of reasons: nothing short of a collision would show him that two trains cannot pass each other on a single track. Owing to this deficiency, it takes a great while for him to take some very short steps. Hence endless delays. The division of the land has not made any delay: that is settled: we have the eastern half of the lot.”

September 1, 1881
“Things are going on well at Cleveland. They are now a little ahead of what is called for in the contract. If they suffer no delay in getting stone, things will move rapidly. The other day they were doubtful about getting stone, but found that nine car loads were on the way, so that there was no delay.”

November 10, 1881
“The buildings at Cleveland are getting on slowly, on account of delay in getting the iron for the fire proof floors. They will only get up to the second floor this season, instead of getting the roof on, as was called for by the contract. Mr. Smith was out there a few days since, and reports the building as very fine in its appearance and workmanship.”

December 18, 1881
“The buildings of the college at Cleveland are now getting along pretty well. There was a delay of ten weeks waiting for a few pieces of iron beams which did not come with the first lot. They have now come, have been laid, and the walls are now going up again.”

January 16, 1882
“The buildings are getting along pretty well. The weather has permitted the men to keep at work almost every day so far. The main building is now up to a point beyond the tops of the second windows. I think it will be done in time.”

March 19, 1882
“During the summer, Mr. Cutler and I shall have to buy the furniture for the new building. The amount of salary to be paid after we go to Cleveland was not fixed at the meeting, but a committee was appointed to consider the matter, with power to act, and this committee will probably meet during the present week, and may be able to settle the matter at one sitting. The point to be settled first is, the probably amount of income. This can be decided only when we know what securities Mr. Stone in going to make over to us. The committee contained among its members the son-in-law of Mr. Stone, Colonel John Hay, who was to get light on this point.”

April 6, 1882
“Mr. Cutler is busy trying to write a circular announcing the future of the college, and the point now to be settled concerns the course of study. It gives us a good deal of trouble to settle it. he is coming in here in a few minutes, to work at it with me. Mr. Smith has such a disposition that he does not add much to our resources in settling such a matter, and Mr. Potwin is a weakling, and is moreover unwilling to go outside of his routine of work.”

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Charles J. Smith and Lemuel S. Potwin

July 8, 1882
“I have been out to the college buildings for two or three days, to correct errors of the workmen, or, more likely, of the architect. They have things all right now, I believe. The work is going on fast now; whether fast enough to get through it yet remains to be seen.”

July 21, 1882
“I have been detained somewhat by the necessity of looking after some things in the college buildings. The treasurer is away, and Mr. Cutler is gone up the lakes to take some rest which is very necessary if he is to do any work in the autumn... Dr. Bushnell the new treasurer of the college, promised to see to some of these things, but he seems to be so occupied with removal, and some such matters that he is in danger of putting them off too long.”

July 26, 1882
“... now almost every thing is done which I meant to do before going east. We have got the range selected for the college building; which Dr. Bushnell and I had to select.”

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Ebenezer Bushnell

Mr. Amasa Stone provided $500,000 to move the college from Hudson to Cleveland. Mr. Smith was Perkins Professor of Material Philosophy 1870-1882 and Professor of Mathematics 1882-1913. He was also an alumnus of Western Reserve College. Mr. Cutler was president of Western Reserve College. Colonel John Hay was diplomat, statesman, U. S. Secretary of State and son-in-law of Amasa Stone. Mr. Potwin was Lemuel S. Potwin, Professor of Latin 1871-1892 and Professor of English Language and Literature 1892-1906. Mr. Bushnell was Secretary-Treasurer of Western Reserve University 1882-1901. He was also an alumnus and a member of the Board of Trustees, 1861-1901.

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August 10, 2012

Summer Olympians at CWRU

In honor of the 2012 Summer Olympics we thought of highlighting past summer Olympians associated with our university: M. Rowland Wolfe, Adelbert College class of 1938, William Kerslake, Case Institute of Technology class of 1951 and 1955, and former School of Medicine faculty member Benjamin M. Spock.

Rowland Wolfe won the gold medal in tumbling for the United States at the 1932 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Tumbling was a short-lived gymnastics event. According to Topend Sports, the event involved tumbling along a 2' wide x 60’ long horsehair strip doing flips and twists. His key move was the backflip with a double twist. Though not his gold-medal winning routine, here is a video of Wolfe doing various tumbling elements.

Wolfe received the B.A. in Biology from Adelbert College of Western Reserve University June 15, 1938. As a student he was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity, the swimming team, and the Gym team - serving as captain and coach. He was also part of the Warion Society (honor society) and Junior Prom Committee. Wolfe was elected to the Spartan Club Hall of Fame (formerly the Case Reserve Athletic Club Hall of Fame) in 1987.

M. Rowland Wolfe

William R. Kerslake, Case Institute of Technology class of 1951 & 1955 was a 3-time Olympic heavy weight wrestler: 1952 in Helsinki finishing 5th, 1956 in Melbourne finishing 7th, and 1960 in Rome finishing 8th. He won 15 national championships in that time period in freestyle and Greco-Roman wresting. He was also a NASA engineer while pursuing his Olympic career.

Kerslake received the B. S. with commencement honors in Industrial Chemistry June 9, 1951 and the M. S. in Chemical Engineering June, 9, 1955. While an undergraduate student he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, Alpha Chi Epsilon (Chemical society), Tau Beta Pi (national honorary engineering society), American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Key Club. He was a star athlete in football, track and field, and wrestling. Kerslake was elected to the Spartan Club Hall of Fame with the inaugural class in 1975.

Bill Kerslake

In 1924 as a student at Yale, Benjamin Spock won a gold medal in Men’s Eights rowing at the Summer Games in Paris. He received the B. A. in 1925 from Yale and the M. D. in 1929 from Columbia. He did his internship at Presbyterian Hospital in New York and had a pediatric residency at New York Nursery and Childs Hospital and a psychiatric residency at New York Hospital. He practiced medicine as a pediatrician 1933-1947 before becoming associated with the Mayo Clinic and then the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. He became Professor of Child Development in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1955 and retired in 1967. Dr. Spock was widely known for his book, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, published in 1946.

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Benjamin M. Spock

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July 16, 2012

Cleveland Free-Net

Twenty-six year ago today, Cleveland Free-Net was officially started. Originating at CWRU, Free-Net was the nation's first free, open-access community computer system. Designed by former faculty member Thomas Grundner, Free-Net grew out of the Department of Family Medicine’s St. Silicon’s Hospital and Information Dispensary which had emanated from the department’s computerized message network.

The system allowed anyone with a computer or terminal with a modem to call in and have access to a wide variety of electronic services and features. These services and features included: a post office where free electronic mail was available for anyone in northeast Ohio who registered in the system; a school system where Cleveland area schools could communicate via computer and where common databases could be accessed by teachers, parents, students, and administrators; a hospital, St. Silicon’s Hospital and Information Dispensary, where a wide variety of medical information and services were available including the opportunity to ask medically-related questions; a public square where people could make speeches from an electronic podium, be part of an online computer user group, join interest groups, and other services.

Originally Free-Net ran on an AT&T 3B2/400 computer with 4 megabytes of RAM and 72 MB of hard disk storage. The CPU was a WE 32100 chip with a 10 megahertz clock operating under AT&T’s Unix System V operating system. Software was written in “C.” AT&T donated $50,000 worth of computer equipment and software.

Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste and Cleveland Mayor George V. Voinovich gave the system its official start at the opening of a summer festival in downtown Cleveland.

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The advent of the World Wide Web and other technologies eventually rendered Free-Net obsolete. Chat and News services for community users ended 9/1/1999 and Cleveland Free-Net was discontinued 9/30/1999.

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May 30, 2012

Student Traditions - Tree Day

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Sophomores of the class of 1902 at Tree Day in 1900

A tradition at the College for Women (later Flora Stone Mather College) was Tree Day. The sophomores presented an original play after which they planted a tree on campus and sang their class song.

One hundred years ago, on May 28, 1912, The Reserve Weekly (the student newspaper) reported on the event:

“In spite of the hot, hot sun; in spite of the late arrival and consequent confusion in placing of chairs, the May Day festivities of the sophomore class of the College for Women proved delightful in the full sense of the word. The delay in the seating caused a delay in producing the annual play last Friday afternoon [May 24, 1912]. When this matter was finally straightened out and moving picture men had been placed to everyone’s satisfaction and President Thwing had personally supervised the retreat of a small army of urchins from the ‘pit,’ the tree day play was produced for the benefit of the other classes and the visitors. The senior girls attended in cap and gown; the juniors were arrayed in dainty frocks of white, the freshman lassies appeared in gingham ‘school day’ dresses and industriously consumed stick candy throughout the whole performance. The orchard stage was utilized for the affair and proved a most pleasant setting for the play. It will be noted that the play was entitled “?” and dedicated to President Thwing.

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May 18, 2012

Student Traditions - Spring Olympics

The end of the academic year brings nice weather and end of year stresses and triumphs. All of which seems to foster student traditions. Some, such as Hudson Relay, have lasted over a century. Others are of shorter duration. During the late 1980s and early 1990s the Spring Olympics was a week-long competition among the south side residences, Michelson, Kusch, Glaser, Staley, Howe, Tippit, and Alumni.

Each house decorated its lobby, created banners and cheers, and competed in vigorous competitions. Talent contests, volleyball games, 5-legged races, and egg tosses were part of Spring Olympics. The most ingenious Spring Olympics event was probably the shopping cart race, pictured below.


Inclusion of Spring Olympics in student yearbooks was somewhat sporadic. The 1991 through 1993 yearbooks have lovely 2-4-page articles. Spring Olympics was mentioned in the 1988 yearbook. But it appears not at all in the 1989 volume. The yearbooks did report the winning dorms for three years: Michelson (1991), Glaser (1992), Michelson (1993).

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April 13, 2012

Case Western Reserve University Press

Although Western Reserve University did not formally establish a university press till much later, as early as 1895 WRU published scholarly articles, in the form of a serial titled The Western Reserve University Bulletin. The April 1895 announcement explained the publication was:

“designed to serve as a medium of communication between the University and its alumni, friends and the general body of scholars engaged in teaching or research. It will contain a report of the most important acts of the Board of Trustees and of the Faculty, a record of the publications and public lectures of the Faculty and of the more important accession to the library; accounts of special research work in prosecution; original contributions from the Faculty or advanced students dealing with subjects of scientific or educational interest; ... and such other matter as shall be deemed suitable for the ends in view, which are the diffusion of information in regard to the work of the University, the preservation of a permanent record of its activities and the promotion of science in the broadest sense, by the publication of original contributions to knowledge.” [1AB1 1:1 The Western Reserve University Bulletin volume 1 number 1 (April 1895): 1]

The range of topics treated in the Bulletin was quite broad in scope. The first year’s issues included Edward Gaylord Bourne’s “Phases of the Development of Western Reserve University,” Edward W. Morley’s, “The Atomic Weight of Oxygen,” Samuel Ball Platner’s “Bibliography of the Younger Pliny,” Arthur Hull Mabley’s “Bibliography of Juvenal.” The Bulletin continued publication until 1931.

It was not until 1928 that Western Reserve University investigated the feasibility of establishing a university press. The conclusion then was to print only the University’s own catalogs and subsidized books. Ten years later President Leutner appointed the Western Reserve University Press committee to work out the details of a university press. This committee recommended instead of a separate body, that a University Committee on Publications be established to approve all WRU publications. During the next few decades recommendations for a more vigorous scholarly publication program were occasionally made but financial constraints seem to have limited such expansion. The Committee on Publications continued to advise the University Editor, who directed the broader publications program.

In 1959, Willis T. Thornton became the first full-time Press director. The following year the Trustees established an endowment fund for the University Press, with an initial gift of $5,000 from Thornton. In 1962 a $200,000 gift from the Leonard Hanna Fund was added to the endowment fund. But the Press remained a small operation, publishing only three or four titles each year. By 1970 approximately 25 titles were published annually, but expenses had reached approximately $300,000 annually and much of the endowment principal had been expended. A three-year fundraising campaign was launched in 1971 with a goal of raising $250,000. By early 1973 less than $85,000 had been received. Annual deficits were over $100,000. As part of university-wide efforts to reduce deficits, the Trustees voted in February 1973 to close the Case Western Reserve University Press.

Records in the University Archives document the many efforts to create, operate, and expand the university’s Press. Correspondence with authors, printers, and reviewers document the sometimes complex and lengthy process of nurturing an idea into a published book.

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February 17, 2012

National History Day’s CWRU Origins

Earlier this week President Obama awarded the National Humanities Medal to National History Day, an organization that fosters historical research by students in grades 6 through 12. As archivists, we’re happy to see any history program receive such a prestigious award. But as Case Western Reserve University archivists, we’re even prouder since History Day began at Case Western Reserve University. History Day’s origins and development are well-documented in the University Archives.

Brochures, correspondence, reports, photographs, and news releases and clippings document planning at the local, state, and national levels. Annual contest themes and results are documented as well as milestones in the program’s development.

Planning for History Day began in 1973 as part of preparations for celebrating America’s bicentennial in 1976. The first program was on May 11, 1974 with the theme Ohio and the Promise of the American Revolution. David Van Tassel, Chairman of CWRU’s History Department, led the History Day effort. Besides CWRU, the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Greater Cleveland Bicentennial Commission, the Cleveland Area Arts Council, the Greater Cleveland Council of Social Studies, and the Diocesan Social Studies Teacher Association planned and sponsored the event.

Student exhibits were displayed in the ballroom of Thwing Hall on CWRU’s campus. The awards banquet was held at the Western Reserve Historical Society. More than 125 students produced essays, individual, and group projects, including a slide and tape show about the development of Euclid Avenue. Other topics researched were shipbuilding in Ohio, WPA art, the North Union Shakers, steel mills, Ohio’s wine industry, and Erie Canal locks.

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The three $100 first prize winners were Duncan Fuller of Cleveland Heights High School for his essay, “I-271 as a Social Divider,” Lisa Doull and Ann Horsbursh of Laurel’s Upper School for a slide and tape presentation on the North Union Shakers, and Chris Carnahan of Bedford High School for his portrayal of a Revolutionary War soldier.

By 2012 History Day had become an international program serving half a million students annually.

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December 22, 2011

Federation: A Process Not An Event

Forty-five years ago, on December 23,1966, the Joint Case-WRU Trustee Committee recommended establishment of a federated university to be called Case Western Reserve University "to bring into being a nationally-recognized community of academic excellence." Federation became effective July 1, 1967. The official legal action establishing the new corporation was not the culmination of bringing together two very different academic institutions, but one of many steps lasting at least seven years.

Formal exploration began in summer 1965 when the Case and WRU Trustees authorized establishment of the Office of Inter-Institutional Cooperation to coordinate joint planning and action.

The year before Federation, the departments of biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics of the separate schools were combined.

CWRU’s first alma mater was adopted in March 1968.

The combined University Undergraduate Student Government was established by a vote of the students in May 1969.

The new University-wide Faculty Senate held its first meeting in March 1970.

By 1972 all the varsity sports teams had merged and the first all-CWRU student yearbook was published.

Other milestones in planning and implementing Federation, as well as some of the key documents, are available at Federation: A Process Not an Event

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December 02, 2011

Varsity Sports History


In Recollections and on our web site, the Archives has attempted to make Case Western Reserve University’s varsity sports history a little more accessible. We’ve posted descriptions of the origins of the Case-Reserve Thanksgiving Day football game and the memorable 1948 game when Case broke Reserve's 21-year winning streak.

Our web site has career records and pictures of varsity head coaches from 1880-2000. We’ve also compiled the season records of every varsity sport from 1880-2000. There’s a summary of our athletic conference memberships from 1902-2002 and the team names, mascots, and colors from 1918-2004.

That’s a lot of data. But it only touches the surface of the information about our athletic history documented in the Archives. For those who’d like to do their own research, here’s a summary of some of the sources in our collection.

Game programs and media guides that describe the players, coaches, and games

Rosters, schedules, and game statistics

Administrative records of the Athletic Directors and Sports Information Directors

Records of the Case Athletic Association

Student newspapers and yearbooks that cover the games and seasons

Photographs of teams, individual players and coaches, and games

Our web site has tips for doing research in the Archives and contact information.

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November 21, 2011

Case vs. Reserve 1948 Thanksgiving Day game

The 11/25/1948 Cleveland Plain Dealer Sports headline read, “Case Hopes to End Reserve’s 21-Year Streak.” Long-time reporter Chuck Heaton wrote, “Case and Western Reserve, those traditional rivals, will be cast in familiar roles at 10:30 this Thanksgiving Day morning at League Park.

“The Rough Riders are on the short end of the odds again despite the fact that they will take the field with a slightly better record than the Red and White clad warriors from across the fence.

“Reserve must be selected as favorite on the basis of its far more rugged schedule, better running attack and the fact that the Red Cats displayed sharper claws as the season progressed. Perhaps even more important than these fundamental facts is Reserve’s winning complex which has played such an important part in making most Thanksgivings a day of football celebration for Reserve.”

Ray Ride, Case football coach since 1930 and athletic director, had never beaten Reserve in football. The closest he came to victory was a 0-0 tie in 1933. 1948 was a different year. The Rough Riders were victorious over the Red Cats of Reserve.

The account from the Case student yearbook, Differential, read:
“Twenty-one years is a long, long time, but when it happened, it was convincing. Case beat Western Reserve, 15-7!

“League Park was agog. Telephones spoke. Radios hummed. In a matter of minutes all Cleveland was exclaiming, ‘Heard the latest? Case beat Reserve!’ The year of upsets was climaxed. The Indians, Truman, and now Case!

“Early in the opening quarter Neubecker rocketed through, nailing Castilla behind his goal. Two points rang upon the scoreboard.

“Second period. Ganyard, on a jump pass, hit Steigerwald. Dave saw the goal line, and Case rooters went wild.

“Fourth quarter Rigot smashed into the Red Cat line. It gave. At the twenty Oatis called the clincher. Rigot faded, looking for a receiver, saw him, and hit him. Yarsa scored the final points. The goal posts fell!

“Pick out the stars? Impossible! The team, man for man, played the game of their lives. Said the jubilant Ray Ride, ‘The line played perfect football.’ The backfield – Rigot, Zahn, Oatis, and Yarsa – became jinx-cracking Case immortals.”

Enjoy more stories of the traditional Thanksgiving Day Case-Reserve game.

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November 04, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - “Sojering” - part 2

We continue with part 2 of the account of the Civil War service of Western Reserve College students. This account appeared in the December 1862 issue of the student newspaper, Western Reserve Souvenir.

“In the latter part of August an arrangement was made for the exchange of all the prisoners of war then confined at Camp Chase. Our company was selected to conduct them to their place of destination, Vicksburg, Mississippi.

We started from Camp, Tuesday, Aug. 26th, having under our charge about one thousand sesesh, whom we were to take to Cairo, and then transfer them to the fleet that was to take them down the river. While on our way we had excellent opportunities for viewing the beautiful scenery in Southern Ohio, and the boundless prairies and interminable swamps of Indiana and Illinois. We arrived at Cairo after a tiresome journey of two days and nights, and then embarked with our sesesh friends on the steamer Champion, one of the largest and swiftest boats on the river.

We started the same day and slowly made our way through the continuous bends and shallows of the father of waters. We passed many points of interest; Columbus, Island No. 10, which so long succeeded in baffling all the attempts of our gun boats to take it; Memphis, one of the most beautiful cities of the south; Fort Pillow, and Helena, where the entire army of Major General Curtis lay encamped. After twelve days we came in sight of the steeples of Vicksburg, but were not allowed to approach the city. Here, much to our relief, we bade farewell to the rebels and started back to Cairo, arriving without any mishaps, save a slight skirmish with the enemy, who were soon put to flight by a few shells from the gun boats which accompanied us. On the 26th of September we were mustered out of the service of Uncle Sam, and hastened to our homes and friends to spend a short vacation before entering again upon our studies.

The recollections of this little episode in our life will be both pleasant and sad. We have to mourn the loss of two of our fellow-students, N.D. Gilbert, Class of ‘64, and J.C. Packard, Class of ‘65, the latter taken away suddenly from our midst, the former died after lingering for a long time. We shall cherish them in our memories as those who sacrificed their prospects and all that was dear to them in the service of their country.”

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October 28, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - “Sojering” - part 1

In concert with the theme of Archives Month in Ohio, “Buckeyes in the Civil War,” we have continued our research concerning Western Reserve College’s involvement in the war. Over the next 2 weeks we will share the student’s account of their service, taken from the student newspaper, Western Reserve Souvenir, December 1862. The captain’s point of view was shared in earlier postings in July and August.

“On the 27th of May last, when it was represented that the National Capital was in danger, and that there was immediate need of troops, the students in a body, acting on their own responsibility, resolved to offer their services for three months. A telegram was sent to the Governor to see if we were needed. He replied that we were, and that our services would be gladly accepted. That we might not be considered rash in making the move, our President himself went to Columbus and had an interview with the Governor, to see whether the exigency of the case was such as to justify our leaving our studies. He sent back word for us to get ready. Books were immediately laid aside; a company was organized; we took leave of our friends; and in a few days, not without regret, we exchanged our ‘Sanctums’ for the Camp. Two of the Faculty, Professors Young and Cutler, accompanied us, to share in common with us, the labors and privations of camp life. As soon as we were mustered in, we were assigned the position of Co. B., 85th Regiment, O. V. I., Capt. C.A. Young, 1st Lieut. C. Cutler, 2d Lieut. E.L. Webber.

"The first three months of our service we performed that, generally called disgraceful, but by no means easy, labor of guarding the rebel prisoners at Camp Chase, considering that by so doing we were serving our country quite as well as we would have done by lying idly in some camp out of the State. By the care and experience of our officers, and the perseverance of the men, we soon attained the enviable position of the best drilled company in Camp, which reputation we succeeded in maintaining as long as we were there. It is no boast when we say that no company presented as fine an appearance on dress parade, no company could be so implicitly relied upon as Co. B. in doing guard duty faithfully. Notwithstanding all this success, we could not help looking back with longings after our Alma Mater, and wishing the time to speed along more quickly which would restore us once more to her embrace. We were wont to meet together in front of our quarters, after the day’s work was over, and sing the songs which called up the pleasant reminiscences of College life. Never, ‘til then, when we were deprived of the advantages and enjoyments of College, did we fully realize their value. Still we were not disposed to complain of our lot, for we were all together as before, and were constantly receiving good things from our friends at home. The fields and orchards around the camp furnished us with an abundant supply of the luxuries of life. High hedges, big dogs, mad men, or screaming women, did not deter us from obtaining what we had set our eyes upon and deemed necessary for our comfort. Sad was the fate of all the fowls which were so careless as to let us know their whereabouts. In this manner, much sooner than we expected, passed the first three months of our service.”

Part 2 continues next week with a prisoner exchange.

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October 21, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - Camp Chase

In the summer of 1862, many Western Reserve College students and a few faculty served in Company B of the 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. They served as prisoner of war guards at Camp Chase in Columbus. By all reports, conditions at Camp Chase were harsh. Overcrowding, poor food, and worse sanitation led to the deaths of over 2,000 Confederate prisoners. Their guards were not immune to the harsh conditions, either.

In an undated letter to the Adelbert College librarian, George Thomas LeBoutillier, Class of 1864, reported that he accompanied his classmate, Nicholas David Gilbert, to Camp Chase as a volunteer.

“There, the Commandent begged us to remain outside, within call, or so, until he could get the camp into a sa[n]itary condition, which it was not at all, at the time. Gilbert insisted on going in at once. He was taken out dead from Typhus, in a few weeks time. The rest of us, lodged and boarded outside, as best we could, some of us went to Cleveland, leaving addresses with Commandant. There we drilled quite extensively.”

Accompanying the letter was a “Document regarding N. D. Gilbert of the Class of 1864, who died September 27, 1862. Submitted by Rev. Geo. Thos. LeBoutillier, Class of 1864.” Extracts from the four-page document are transcribed below.

“About the 15th of May 1862, when the Call was made by Gov. Tod for volunteers, the students of W. R. College offered their services, which were immediately accepted. No one of the students seemed more ready to lay aside books and seize arms than N. D. Gilbert, and evidently acting from a sense of duty and the promptings of patriotism and not by impulse or wild enthusiasm. A few days previous to leaving for Camp Gilbert remarked to me ‘We are going down to Camp Chase, perhaps some of us to die’, unconsciously pronouncing his own sad fate.

About the first of June, the Company arrived at Camp Chase. While there previous to his sickness, although surrounded by so many evil and unpleasant influences, G. maintained his Christian standing with strict integrity, sometimes going out upon the parade ground after dark to walk alone engaged in meditation and prayer, as he afterwards told me. About the 15th of July he became indisposed and for several days was unfit for duty and was at the hospital a part of the time. During this time an incident occured worthy of mention, showing G.’s readiness and willingness to alleviate the wants of the needy whenever circumstances would permit, and even when circumstances were quite unfavorable. A poor widow lady whose son had died at the hospital, was desirous of taking the corpse home, but had not the means to defray the necessary expense. G.’s sympathies were immediately excited, but as his own purse was reduced to one dime his own means for rendering assistance were of course entirely inadequate. his last dime, however, was immediately bestowed and then by circulating a subscription paper, he soon raised a sufficient amount to meet the lady’s wants. This was his last act of charity of this nature.

N.D. Gilbert was confined to his bed about eleven weeks.”

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October 14, 2011

Alumni Reunions

Alumni reunions are a time for former classmates to meet again and reminisce. In today’s world with Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, and cell phones it is easy to stay in touch with fellow students and alumni. In the past, once alumni dispersed after commencement, it was not so easy. Alumni would make extra efforts to be at a major reunion such as their 25th or 50th and send “greetings” if they could not attend. As alumni reunion is upon us this weekend, let us take a look back at a few past reunions.

On April 14, 1869 the Western Reserve College alumni reunion was held at the Weddell House in Cleveland. This was significant as Western Reserve College was still located in Hudson and would not move to Cleveland until 1882. There was a fine dinner followed by a program. After the Alma Mater was sung, President Hitchcock spoke. This was followed by a series of toasts for the different groups of alumni: the benefactors, the clergy, the alumni in the Army, the attorneys, physicians, college faculty, sister institutions, old alumni, and young alumni.

1869 Reunion program

In 1912 alumni reunion for Adelbert College (the successor of Western Reserve College) was held June 12-13. Class reunions and dinners of Western Reserve College (WRC) and Adelbert College (ADL) alumni were held the first day. The second day of reunion featured Commencement; the annual meeting and luncheon of the Alumni Association of WRC and ADL; Alumni-Senior baseball game; Canoe Tilting Contest; Alumni Parade; and University Reception. For a few details...

The Canoe Tilting Contest was open to any alumnus or undergraduate. In general undergraduates competed by classes. Preliminaries began at 3 p.m. “The finals will start at 7:00 p.m. sharp. The canoe tilting contest will conclude with a mock war in which all contestants in the contest will compete.”

Alumni gathered for the Alumni Parade in Adelbert Main 7-7:30 p.m., where they donned costumes. All classes were expected to appear in various costumes. The parade formed at Wade Park Lagoon at 7:30 p.m. Each alumnus carried a Japanese lantern and Class Standards were provided by the reunion committee. “The line of march will be around the Pond, through the Campus of the College for Women and thence to the Main Building of Adelbert College. The oldest class represented will form at the head of the Parade, followed by other classes in order of graduation. A band, already arranged for will lead the march.

“At the close of the Parade, President Thwing and prominent alumni will speak briefly from the College Steps. Immediately thereafter the Annual University Reception will be held in the Main Building. An orchestra will furnish music for dancing in the Assembly Hall on the second floor. All Western Reserve people and their friends are invited.”[1]

In 1954 the 50th reunion was held for the Case School of Applied Science Class of 1904. On May 21 they gathered at Tomlinson Hall for fellowship and tours of the buildings. They then traveled to the Oakwood Country Club where they had their class reunion dinner. President Glennan dined with the class and spoke about the new Case. As part of this evening’s festivities 4 members of the class (Stant Charlesworth, Ralph Brown, Paul Schmidt, George Protheroe) regaled the group with a selection of old Case songs. (Listen to the introduction by George Protheroe and the first song by downloading the MP3 file below.) May 22 followed with more activities on campus and the Great Alumni Dinner (for all Case reunion classes).

Download MP3 file (4.3 MB)

Welcome back alumni! Enjoy the weekend!

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September 30, 2011

10 Years Ago: First Online Elections for Undergraduate Student Government

Ten years ago USG concluded its first online election: the fall election for class officers. Efforts had been made over a year earlier but security concerns delayed the implementation. Online elections were seen as a way to increase voter turnout. Prior to Fall 2001, in-person voting was held at Thwing Center, normally 9-4, and in Fribley and Leutner Commons 4:30-7. Volunteers worked the polls.

The USG election commissioner worked with staff from Student Information Systems to implement a system for online voting. The system also had the “capacity for any student organization to sponsor a survey.”

“The voting and survey system takes information from CWRU’s databases and uses that information as criteria for providing the correct ballots.” A student logged in using their university user-ID and password. According to the Observer, online voting was a success and the general consensus among students was that the “online elections made voting more convenient.”[1]

[1] Matthew Himrod, “First ever online class elections conclude successfully,” The Observer (9/21/2001)

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September 23, 2011

Homecoming - A 90-Year Tradition

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Football, Parades, Queens, and Kings

The first issue of The Case Alumnus in 1921 included this announcement, “Alumni gather round. We old fellows are going to take the Case-Oberlin game on Nov. 12 to our bosoms as being a fitting and appropriate occasion on which to show the Case student body what real pep is, also to show ourselves an all around good time...” [1]

This is the earliest we’ve tracked CWRU’s homecoming traditions (so far - we haven’t exhausted all the sources yet). Over the 90 years of homecoming celebrations there’s been a remarkable continuity of events: fraternity, sorority, and academic department open houses; pep rallies and bonfires; float and car parades, with prizes for the best float; house decoration contests; dances, brunches, luncheons, and receptions; Homecoming Queen contests; and a football game.

But, as is true of most of our longest traditions, there have been some changes.

A football game wasn’t absolutely necessary to celebrate Homecoming. In 2007 soccer was the homecoming game. At Mather College, in the early 1930s, each senior invited an alumna to be her guest at the homecoming party. Cleveland College’s first homecoming was held in February 1929, at the Hotel Cleveland. It featured Sir John Adams, “world-known educator,” as the featured speaker. Some football games were not between varsity teams. CSAS’s 1921 homecoming followed the traditional varsity game with, as described in The Case Alumnus, “a football game of uncertain length, to be played by a short-winded and pot-bellied gang that used to think they could play football for Case... They will have as their opponents this year’s freshman team.” [1]

50 years ago, WRU’s 1961 homecoming budget was $1,288, including $1.00 for the parade permit, $90 for four kegs of beer, and $120 for fireworks and bonfire.

In fall 1967 the newly federated Case Western Reserve University was only a few months old. It took a few years for the Case and WRU programs and traditions to commingle. So the 1967 homecoming press release started, “For the second time in less than two weeks, Case Western Reserve University campus will be the scene of Homecoming festivities...” [2] Case’s homecoming was October 27-28 and WRU’s was November 7-11. Case’s homecoming football game was against Bethany College. Case lost 8-48. WRU’s homecoming football game was against Case. Case lost again, 0-9.

30 years ago our 1981 homecoming included the usual football game, pep rally and bonfire, tailgate party, dance, happy hour, Octoberfest party, post-game reception. Less common was a half-day Financial and Estate Planning Symposium. The symposium must have been popular because it was repeated in 1984.

In the 1990s homecoming added more scholarly components. In 1997 some of Friday’s undergraduate classes were open for alumni to visit. Faculty lectured on topics including, “CWRU’s Humanities Center, Women’s Studies and the Mother of Frankenstein” and “The Information Super Highway and Electronic Learning at CWRU.”

In 2006 a new homecoming tradition began: GospelFest, a concert of gospel music by local musicians, churches, and youth organizations. After her death GospelFest was named for alumna, Congresswoman, and honorary GospelFest chairwoman, Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

The homecoming tradition continues this year on October 13-16.

[1] 20JA 1:1 The Case Alumnus v.1 no.1 (October 1921): 1-2
[2] 4WH 1:1 Homecoming press release, n.d.

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September 15, 2011

After the 9/11 attack: 10 years ago at CWRU

Within hours of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 Interim President James Wagner sent an e-mail message to the campus community regarding the attacks. Classes and social events were suspended for the day but the university remained open. “Universities are places committed to discourse and dialogue over ideological differences, and we abhor violence or terrorism as a means of expression. For the same reasons, we cannot allow violent acts to force the University to abandon this role.”[1]

The university opened Amasa Stone Chapel for quiet reflection; and rooms in Thwing Center, Leutner Commons and Fribley Commons were made available as discussion areas. Counseling services were offered by Cleveland Hillel Foundation, Hallinan Center Newman Catholic Campus Ministries, Muslim Campus Outreach Group, United Protestant Campus Ministries, and University Counseling Services. The university marked the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, held 9/14/2001, in Amasa Chapel.

2002 Remembrance ceremony

One year later, a remembrance of the 9/11 attacks was held in front of Kelvin Smith Library. CWRU joined the nation in broadcasting Mozart’s Requiem beginning at 8:46 a.m. This was followed by a moment of silence and offer of peace at 9:50 a.m. At noon University Counseling Services sponsored September 11 Then & Now, an open discussion to reflect on personal responses to 9/11. A temporary memorial wall was installed outside Kelvin Smith Library September 1 for members of the university community to record their words, photos, drawings of remembrance. It remained until September 30.

Section of the 2002 memorial wall

[1] James W. Wagner Statement, 9/11/2001 noon

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September 07, 2011

Student Traditions - Freshman Beanies

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Mather freshman receiving her beanie, 1962; 1940s Adelbert freshmen, in beanies, pulling a wagon-full of upper classmen

A nearly universal event on college campuses, orientation introduces new students to the university. Tours of campus help identify the location of classes, food, and other essentials of student life. Presentations describe university rules and services. Orientation also exposes new students to some of the university’s traditions.

A university that is 185 years old has had plenty of time to develop traditions. Some last; some don’t. One tradition that has gone out of fashion is the freshman cap or beanie. At Case and Western Reserve University during orientation freshmen were presented with their caps. At the WRU men’s college, Adelbert College, freshmen were required to wear their caps at all times while on campus. The sophomore class was charged with enforcing this rule. In the spring the freshmen were formally relieved of their caps and other freshmen burdens at Campus Day.

One of the best archival sources of information about, and pictures of, student traditions are student yearbooks. A sample of the University Archives yearbook collection has been digitized and can be seen in the University Archives Student Yearbook collection in Digital Case.

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September 02, 2011

Registering for Classes

Twenty-first century students would not recognize registration as experienced by their parents and grandparents. Until 1999 registration meant standing in line.

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Students registering for classes in the 1930s and 1970s.

Students met with their adviser or dean to select courses which were recorded on a paper registration form. Students took the completed registration form to the designated registration location (Adelbert Gym and Crawford Hall were often used). Students were assigned registration dates. For example, for Fall 1981 Western Reserve College students with last names ending A-E registered 4/20 and 4/27; F-J registered 4/21 and 4/28; K-O registered 4/22 and 4/29; P-S registered 4/23 and 4/30; T-Z registered 4/24 and 5/1.

Efforts to streamline registration have been continuous. For instance, in 1948 at CIT, mail registration was available for all currently enrolled graduate students. Students completed a registration form sent by the school (along with the roster of classes) and mailed it back to the Registrar. “The student schedule will be mailed back to you and if there is any complication due to conflict, failed courses, etc., you will be notified. Otherwise, all you need to do is to report to the classes as scheduled, beginning the week of September 20.”[1]

By the 1960s both CIT and WRU were using mainframe computers. In 1964 WRU explained, “Heretofore, each one of our students who has enrolled has had to fill out as many as seven different cards for each semester or summer session he attends. This year we tried a new mailing procedure for freshmen in which they had to fill out only one sheet of paper containing twenty-one questions. From these data on that sheet...the data processing unit can then make all the necessary cards and gather all the required information automatically.” [2]

The first on-line registration system (SOLAR - Student On-Line Academic Registration System) was implemented at CWRU for Fall 1999. Students first met with their adviser or dean to select their courses, complete a registration form, and obtain a PIN number. Students had the option to register in-person or online.

Today’s process still requires meeting with the adviser or dean for course selection. However, long lines are a thing of the past.

[1] W. E. Nudd, Registrar to all Graduate students presently attending the Day or Evening Divisions of Case Institute of Technology, 8/1/1948
[2] 4DB1 1:14 William Heston to John Millis, 11/3/1965

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August 26, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - Charles Young’s Account of Company B, 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry - Part 6

The final installment of Young’s account describes the return home after accomplishing the prisoner exchange.

“Our progress northward was very slow; the gunboats could hardly make headway against the current. On the night of the 14-15 we met the second convoy of Confederate prisoners coming down, and Capt. Lazelle left us, turning over the command of the flotilla to me. We were very glad to get rid of him, for he had been anything but agreeable. On the 17th, about six miles above Napoleon, we were fired upon by a secesh picket on the Eastern bank. Their balls did not reach us, but the gunboats shelled them in very lively fashion for about ten minutes, without hurting anybody so far as I could learn. The rascals were in the woods and cleared out very quickly. The next day I received a communication from the Confederate commandant apologizing for this firing on a flag of truce, and promising to punish the offender. On the 18th we met a brigade of Federal troops on their way south. On the 19th we arrived at Helena about noon, turned over the men who were to delivered there, and took on coal enough to take us to Memphis, -all they could spare. Reached Memphis late on the 20th, got rid of the gunboats, landed some men, coaled, and started for Cairo very early on Monday morning where we arrived on Tuesday Sept. 23d in time to discharge the rest of our Federal prisoners, and one or two passengers who had been allowed to come North with us, among them one or two ladies. In the evening we took train at Cairo for Columbus and arrived there on Wed. the 24th. I was so tired and used up after getting through the duties at Cairo that I just curled up on the floor in a corner of the car and slept for nearly twelve hours until we reached Richmond Ind. on the border of Ohio. On the 26th and 27th we were paid off, mustered out, and discharged, and on Monday morning the 29th we started for home. Some of the fellows did not go to Cleveland but went home some nearer way; most of the men however kept with us as far as Cleveland, and scattered from there, not returning to Hudson for a week or ten days. * See Post Script I forget whether we found the College in session, -the catalogue for 1862-3 says ‘First term begins Sept. 18th,’ and perhaps it did so far as the Freshman class was concerned; but Commencement was held in Oct. 15th.

“One amusing thing, - when we first went into camp the boys lost a great many blankets, bayonets, and sometimes guns, stolen by men from the other companies. They vowed they would get even, and they did. When we came to turn over our equipments there was quite a superfluity; the fellows had at least half a dozen extra guns that I knew about, and I imagine some that I had no knowledge of, any number of bayonets, and I don’t know how many duplicate blankets. They had certainly got even with the ‘Egyptians.’

“One thing more: -We were armed at first with old smooth bores, using cartridges loaded with a ball and three buck-shot; a weapon well adapted for Guard-duty. Later, however, we were given Enfield rifles, and for some time we were the only company in the regiment to have them, much to the envy of the rest.

“Well: -you asked for my recollections, and I suspect I have given you more than you know what to do with. Use as much or as little of the material as you like; condense or omit at pleasure.

“Our military service was not very glorious, but I think it was really useful: The boys released for service in the field more than their own number of seasoned soldiers who otherwise would have had to be retained at the camp.

“And I think they saved the College, for very few of them afterwards left the institution, as they would have been likely to do but for their brief experience of soldiering which saved them from the draft in 1863.

“With all best wishes
Sincerely yours
C.A. Young

“P.S. I found this morning a letter of my wife’s which shows that College opened on Sept. 25th and not on the 18th which, as stated in the Catalogue, was the regular date for opening.

“I find also that I was one day wrong as to the date of our arrival at Columbus- it was on the 24th, not 25th. A letter from my wife dated on ‘Wed.’ the 24th & mailed in the forenoon of the 25th, acknowledges a telegram I had sent from Columbus announcing our arrival. - Not a matter of any importance, but may as well be made correct.

“Wed am
May 11th

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August 18, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - Charles Young’s Account of Company B, 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry - Part 5

Last week we left Company B at Centralia on their way to Vicksburg for a prisoner exchange.

“We arrived at Cairo on the 28th (Thursday), and there took on 200 more prisoners from Camp Morton. We had three transports, the Champion, the largest and finest boat on the river, the Chancellor, and I think, the Pringle; but as to the last I am not certain: below Memphis we had another, the Emerald, and I am not certain which, the Emerald or Pringle, started from Cairo. We had lost two prisoners at Cincinnati in the change of cars there in the evening: they violated their parole and, I suppose made their way over into Kentucky; I was told that they lived in or near Covington. From Cairo we were escorted by the gunboats Eastport and Queen of the West.. We all carried flags of truce. We reached Memphis on the 30th, having been much delayed by the Eastport which kept getting aground. My own quarters were on the Champion with Capt. Lazelle of the Regular Army, who had been captured and paroled in Texas with Gen. Wool. Gen. Sherman was at the time in command at Memphis, and I reported to him. We staid there over night. The people were very surly and once as we (Lieut. Cutler and I) were walking through the street a couple of women spit at us.

“Here the Eastport and Queen of the West dropped us and their places were taken by the Louisville and Benton (iron-clads) fresh from Forts Henry and Donelson. The rest of our trip to Milliken’s Bend at the mouth of the Yazoo was without incident, and the whole trip was not uncomfortable except for the heat and mosquitoes. We reached the Bend, about six miles above Vicksburg, on the evening of Sept. 9th, and lay there four days, discharging our prisoners into boats sent up from Vicksburg, and receiving in exchange 350 Federal prisoners to be taken to Helena, Memphis, and Cairo. Here the Benton, I think, left us, thogh I am not sure that she did not go North with us some little distance. At any rate the gun-boat Tylor joined us here, and with the Louisville accompanied us as far as Memphis, beyond which point convoy was not considered necessary.

“The stay at the mouth of the Yazoo proved disastrous to a great many of us. The water was bad, and affected the bowels of more than half the company, causing a diarrhoea that was was very obstinate, and in many cases became chronic for years, and was ultimately fatal to several. As for myself I did not fully recover from it for nearly twenty years.”

Next week: the return trip

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August 12, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - Charles Young’s Account of Company B, 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry - Part 4

Last week’s account described Company B’s Camp Chase duties. Young’s account continues with preparations for their prisoner exchange assignment.

“In August, as the time for our discharge approached, a movement was set on foot to reorganize the regiment for State Service for three years for Guard-duty. Several of our officers, myself among the number were offered the command in case the plan succeeded, but declined it. Finally Lieut. Weber, who had graduated from college in 1861, accepted. It was not found possible to enlist a full regiment, but three or four companies were ultimately filled and organized into a battalion of which he was made Major (after our return from Vicksburg (I think)). Only half a dozen or so of the students went into it, as most of the undergraduates, as well as Professor Cutler and myself, felt in honor bound to return to the college when our enlistment expired.

“In August exchanges of prisoners were negotiated between the U. S. and the Confederates, and after a good deal of discussion Co. B was offered the chance to go as escort to the confederate prisoners at Camp Chase who were to be exchanged at Vicksburg. Although this would delay our discharge a few weeks we were glad to accept the offer, partly because it would give us a good trip after the monotonous grind of camp duty, and partly because it would save us from exposure to the draft which was then threatening.

“On August 26th we left camp 100 strong, the wanting numbers in our company being made up by details of about twenty men from other commands, (our numbers had been reduced by illness and consequent discharge, and by transfer of men to go into active service). We took 1024 prisoners (under parole), and started out with a train of 24 cars from Columbus for Cairo via Cincinnati and Centralia. At the latter place the R.R. agent undertook to be ugly, and to delay us by refusing to furnish us certain cars which were standing on the tracks. I had to send Lieut. Cutler to him with a squad of men, and tell him that if he did not do it immediately I would take possession of them by force, and would take him along with them under arrest and hand him over to the authorities at Cairo to be dealt with there, He wilted.”

Carroll Cutler in 1861

Next week we will continue Captain Young’s account of Company B and the trip to Vicksburg to exchange Confederate and Union prisoners.

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August 04, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - Charles Young’s Account of Company B, 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry - Part 3

Last week’s account of Company B saw them arrive at Camp Chase and their mustering in. Young continues his account by describing their duties in camp.

“Our duty was entirely with guarding the two confederate prisons. As long as the camp was fully manned it was not severe, but when a considerable part of the force was called away it was pretty hard;, some of the time the men were on duty every day right along for nearly twenty days in eight hour watches; (I am not quite sure as to the eight hour arrangement, but it averaged half the time for every man) I was officer of the day every other day. This was in July - Morgan’s raid in Ky. Only 5 companies were left in Camp. Men returned in about a fortnight or three weeks. There was some fear of an attempt of the prisoners to rise; and to give them the impression that there was still a sufficient number of guards the commandant used sometimes to have a great fuss made at guard-mounting in the way of drumming and band music, and now and then the music played as for a new regiment coming into camp. Of course the prisoners could hear but not see. There were several attempts by outsiders to communicate with the prisoners, especially with the officers prison where we had John Morgan’s brother at the time. The method was usually by throwing packages over the high, fence at night, and one or two offenders were caught.

“There were occasional attempts to dig out. One night when I was officer of the day I had to take a squad and go into the prison at midnight to investigate one of the houses in respect to which the commandant had obtained some information, -how I don’t know. We turned the occupants out, and found a tunnel some forty feet long. It had not quite reached the outer stockade, and would have required considerable more work to finish. Then on general principles we overhauled all the houses nearest the stockade in that prison, and found three more mines, one of them almost through to the outside. So far as I know no prisoners escaped Camp Chase that summer by tunnelling.”

Captain Young describes a new duty for Company B next week.

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July 28, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - Charles Young’s Account of Company B, 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry - Part 2

Below is a continuation of Charles Augustus Young's account of the Civil War experiences of Western Reserve College's Company B. 85th O.V.I. The Company was mostly stationed at Camp Chase in Columbus, where they guarded prisoners of war. Last week's account describes the Company's beginnings.

“We arrived in the city about noon (instead of the evening, as I had remembered) reported to the governor, marched out to camp (four miles) and were quartered for the night in a kind of big shed, and got our first experience of sleeping on the soft side of a plank. We were in the shed for a couple of days, I think, before we were assigned to company quarters as Co. B. (a letter seems to be missing from the file so that I cannot give the date of mustering in)

“One of the mornings our little drummer, Arba Farwell, started quite a commotion by innocently giving a long roll in beating the Reveille: Col. Moody, then the commandant of the camp, came down upon him good and hard, but forgave him when he understood the case. Of course it ought to have indicated that the prisoners in the camp (about 2000 if I remember rightly) were making an attempt to escape.

“I don’t remember exactly how many men we took into camp from Hudson, but it was not quite up to the requirements for a full company, and it was necessary therefore to enlist a few more men from those who were looking for chances at camp Chase. This was soon accomplished. We got in one squad from Austinburg sixteen men, but their names do not appear on the descriptive list because they were soon transferred to another company that went into the field, while our regiment was assigned to State service. We had therefore to recruit again until we reached the full number required, (101).

“I do not remember, or find any mention in my letters, as to the exact date of our mustering in, but I think it must have been between the 25th and 30th of June: I know that it was long delayed for various reasons. (Perhaps I had better explain that the gaps in the file of my letters preserved by my wife are caused by the fact that a number of them were sent to my Mother in New Hampshire, and never returned; otherwise I should have a pretty full diary of the four months service)..

“I may as well insert here that a second time, in August, on account of a raid by Morgan in Kentucky threatening Cincinnati, our regiment was depleted by a call for service in the field. Half the companies were detached and sent down into Kentucky. The Governor had promised President Hitchcock that our company should be kept in the state, and he made good his word, although a large majority of the boys were very anxious to go into the field."

Next week's entry describes the Company's guard duties

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July 21, 2011

WRC in the Civil War - Charles Young’s Account of Company B, 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry - Part 1

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Charles A. Young

From June to September, 1862 many students and some faculty served in Company B of the 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The captain of the company was Charles Augustus Young, professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy and later the first Perkins Professor of Natural History and Astronomy. The lieutenant was Carroll Cutler, professor of Intellectual Philosophy and Rhetoric and later president of Western Reserve University. Company B was mainly stationed at Camp Chase in Columbus. Camp Chase was a recruitment and training center for the Union Army and a prison camp. Company B was involved in guarding the prisoners of war.

In 1904 Young wrote a letter to Hartwell Osborn, an 1863 graduate of Western Reserve College. The letter recounts his recollections of the service of Company B. Below, and in the coming weeks, we provide a transcript of this letter.

“My Dear Mr. Osborn,

“I do recollect you quite distinctly, -far better than many of my pupils of my last few years. Not that I should probably recognize you if we were to meet, or you me for that matter, for the more than forty years since I last saw you has changed us both.

“I am afraid that I cannot give you any great assistance in what you wish, for since I left Hudson in 1866 I have had no means of keeping in touch with my old pupils there. I still have however the descriptive list of Co. B. 85th O.V.I., and will send it to you if you wish, -to be afterwards turned over to the Library of Western Reserve University.[1]

“As to my own recollections of the matters connected with it I do not suppose that I can tell you anything of importance that you do not already know. You of course remember that, as was the case with most of the Colleges, a student company was formed for drill in the early summer of 1861, and that I was asked to serve as Captain. The 1st Lieut. was W. M. Beebe, and E. L. Webber was the 2d Lieut.[2] We drilled a good deal that summer and in the following autumn under the instruction of a Capt. Hayward a man from Cleveland. We had no arms but wooden guns; but so far as company tactics go we got into pretty good shape, -so good that when we went to Camp Chase the next summer we were dubbed ‘the regulars.’ The organization was resumed the following spring with Beebe as Captain, as I did not care to continue in the office.

“On May 25th or 26th, I forget the exact date, Gov. Tod, in consequence of an expected raid from Morgan, called for three months men for state service, and as soon as the call appeared in the evening paper and without saying anything to the Faculty, the company telegraphed their offer to the Gov. and he telegraphed back his acceptance. The boys wanted that I should go with them, and after talking it over with President Hitchcock I agreed to do so, and Professor Cutler was asked to take the 1st Lieut.

“Beebe did not go with us, as he was negotiating for a place on Gen. Hazen’s staff, which he soon obtained. We left Hudson on June 5th, and arrived in Columbus on June 6th (pardon my many bulls [typos], I am referring to my letters to my wife, and am continually finding slight errors in my recollections, which may as well be corrected even if unimportant) after spending the night in Cleveland.”

Next week’s entry picks up with Company B’s arrival at Camp Chase.

[1] This descriptive list to which Professor Young refers is in the University Archives. It is available for use during regular Reading Room hours.
[2] Edwin L. Webber graduated from Western Reserve College in 1861. During the war he became Lieutenant Colonel in the 88th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. William M. Beebe attended Western Reserve College for 2 years as a member of the class of 1863. He served in the war from 1862 to 1865.

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July 15, 2011

Western Reserve College in the American Civil War

On April 14, 1861, in response to the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, President Lincoln issued a call for volunteers to serve for 90 days. Western Reserve College was at the beginning of a two-week vacation between terms. While some of the undergraduates volunteered, most remained until the end of the academic year on July 11.

Though far from the battles, Western Reserve College was not unaffected by the War. As was true during most wars, the school struggled to continue its teaching in the face of fewer students and faculty, as many volunteered for military service. Undergraduate enrollment in 1860-61 was 62. In 1861-62 it was 52; in 1862-63, 48; in 1863-64, 50; in 1864-65, 41. The College did not keep records of all students who withdrew to serve in the military. But an 1873 directory of military service lists 140 students and three faculty. Frederick C. Waite, WRU historian, estimated that 400 Medical alumni served. Nevertheless, the only recorded disruption to the college year was the postponement of Commencement exercises in 1862 from July to October, due to the absence of most students serving in Company B of the 85th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Curricular changes were made to support the war effort. The College instituted three times per week military instruction in the spring of 1861. Many students and some faculty participated in the program led by Colonel Hayward. The Medical Department, located in Cleveland, began a course in military surgery in 1862. In 1863, the Soldiers’ Aid Society was organized to care for sick and wounded returning soldiers. Medical faculty served at the hospital and students received clinical instruction.

Future postings will describe some of these initiatives in more detail. In the meantime, here are some sources in the CWRU Archives which document Western Reserve College in the Civil War:

Waite, Frederick Clayton. Western Reserve University - The Hudson Era: A History of Western Reserve College and Academy at Hudson, Ohio, from 1826 to 1882. (Cleveland: Western Reserve University Press, 1943): 344-346.

Waite, Frederick Clayton. Western Reserve University: Centennial History of the School of Medicine. (Cleveland: Western Reserve University Press, 1946): 136-140, 240.

Military Service Directories
Osborn, Hartwell. Western Reserve College List of Students Who Served in the Union Army from 1861 to 1865.
Entries are organized by class year and include birth and death places and dates; military service dates, units, ranks, and locations.

Descriptive List Co. B. 85th O.V.I. Camp Chase, Columbus O. June-Sept., 1862, Drawn from Western Reserve College, Hudson, Ohio.
Entries include physical descriptions, birth date and place, age at enlistment, military rank and unit.

Contemporaneous Records
Western Reserve Souvenir (WRC student newspaper), December 1862, November 1863, January 1864 issues.
Lists of students and alumni serving in the military were published along with articles describing the progress of the war, the military service of Halbert Paine (class of 1854), and experiences of Company B. 85th O.V.I.

Records of Western Reserve College Faculty.
Minutes of meetings discuss teaching assignments, student progress, and the academic calendar during the war.

Records of Western Reserve College Trustees.
Minutes of meetings discuss finances, property, and faculty appointments during the war.

Personal Accounts
Gilbert, Nicholas (class of 1864).
Several documents, ca. 1919, by George Thomas LeBoutillier describe his own and his classmate Nicholas Gilbert’s experiences at Camp Chase.

Cutler, Carroll. A History of Western Reserve College During Its First Half Century, 1826-1876. (Cleveland: Crocker’s Publishing House, 1876):60-61. Digital copies are available in Digital Case.
Cutler, a member of the WRC faculty during the war and later president of the College, described the impact of the war on the College.

Young, Charles Augustus.
Young, a member of the WRC faculty during the war, in a 1904 letter to Hartwell Osborn recounted his experiences as Captain of Company B. 85th O.V.I.

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June 23, 2011

Adelbert Hall burns - 20 years ago

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Adelbert Hall before and during the fire

On Sunday, June 23, 1991 fire broke out in the oldest campus building, Adelbert Hall, gutting the historic building. Built 1881-1882 it was formally dedicated October 26, 1882; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

President Pytte arrived at the building in the early afternoon to do a little work. He was met by a security guard who was checking the building because a fire alarm had tripped. The security guard could not locate the problem until the fire alarm tripped again. The Cleveland Fire Department was called at 1:57 p.m. and arrived at 2:02 p.m. Firefighters first tried to fight the blaze from inside the building, but evacuated when the roof collapsed. The fire was declared under control at 3:43 p.m. Sixty men and 10 trucks from 3 battalions fought the fire. The loss was estimated at $10-$15 million.

Salvage started the next day, after the Fire Department allowed entry to the building. Staff working on the direct salvage of materials from the building included staff from Plant Services, University Archives, University Libraries Preservation Department, Administrative Information Services and Development Information Services, University Movers. Personnel from the displaced offices were on hand to help identify records, computers, equipment, and belongings. Wet paper records were first frozen and then underwent a vacuum freeze-drying process to remove the water. Paper records that were not wet, were deodorized to remove the smell of smoke. Many paintings were restored by several art conservators or repainted from photographs of the paintings. More than 130 personal computers were retrieved from Adelbert. Most information was recovered by backing up the hard drives to tape. Nine seriously damaged units were sent off-site to On-Track Data Recovery in Minnesota. Data was recovered from all but one hard drive. The university’s mainframe was located in Crawford Hall and was unaffected by the disaster.

The university hired R. M. Kliment and Frances Halsband Architects to coordinate the renovation. The firm was experienced with building rehabilitation, additions, historical restorations, and educational facilities. The rebuilding of Adelbert Hall took 2 years with a cost of $12.4 million. The Krill Company was the construction manager.

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Adelbert Hall exterior and interior after the fire

Twenty offices were displaced by the fire, including the president. Personnel from the affected offices were housed in Crawford 13 and 14 until arrangements were made for temporary office space. Some offices, like the Controller, never returned to Adelbert. Other offices, such as Student Affairs, were added as new tenants.

Some changes made to Adelbert in its reconstruction included a different tower, redesigned central hall with the stairs in the tradition of the original double staircase, an expanded skylight, central air conditioning, wiring for CWRUnet, a modern elevator (if you remember the old elevator this was a big deal), and 9 new conference rooms.

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May 18, 2011

Students Salute Keith Glennan Day

Case Band leading the procession on Students Salute Keith Glennan Day

On May 14, 1965 retiring Case Institute of Technology President T. Keith Glennan was honored by a surprise tribute organized by students. The student planning committee explained, “By now you know that Dr. T. Keith Glennan is retiring this June after eighteen years of service as president of Case Tech. Under Dr. Glennan’s leadership Case has emerged as one of the outstanding technological institutions in the nation. As a token of our gratitude and to offer our farewell tribute to Dr. Glennan, a student planning committee has organized “Students Salute Keith Glennan Day.” [1]

The certificate presented by the students read, “Be it known that the students of Case Institute of Technology have conferred upon Thomas Keith Glennan able administrator, leader in the development of higher education in the fields of engineering and science, and distinguished public servant, the Honorary Title of Respected Educator...” [2]

The event began with a parade to Clarke Field. During the ceremony tributes from students and visiting dignitaries were offered. President Glennan received a set of white-walled tires and a “specially designed tea table whose stainless steel top displays an engraved map and aerial photograph of Case.” [3] A song, composed in Glennan’s honor by Raymond Wilding-White, Assistant Professor of Music, was performed by the Glee Club. Mrs. Glennan was presented with a bouquet of yellow roses. So that the entire student body of nearly 2400 could attend, classes during the 11:15 period were canceled.

President Glennan thanking the students (white-wall tire gift in the foreground)

Additional information about President Glennan is available in the Archives web exhibit about CWRU’s presidents.

[1] 7PI “Honoring Our Departing President...” flyer, 5/14/1965
[2] 7PI press release, 5/14/1965
[3] 20PN1 “Students Laud Dr. Glennan,” Case Tech, 5/21/1965

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May 13, 2011

Commencement Collection in Digital Case


The University Archives is pleased to announce the new Commencement Collection in Digital Case. Initially the collection contains images, invitations, convocation programs, and concert programs. Additional items will be continuously added to the collection. These additional items include baccalaureate service programs, schedules of events, speeches, audio recordings, more images and more convocation programs.

In this collection you can find faculty and student award and prize winners, honorary degree recipients, Phi Beta Kappa members, commissioned military officers, the titles of theses and dissertations, and other information.

The collection summary page shows the number of items in the collection.

1. to see a list describing each item, click “View This Collection.”

Images have an icon of a camera over the title. Click on the title. You will then see the full descriptive record. Click on the title by the camera again and you will see the image. On the right side of the page there are links to download 1 of 4 sizes of the image.

Scanned documents have an icon of a page over the title. These documents are PDF files. Click on the title. You will see the summary descriptive information. Click on the title by the page icon. You will now see the detailed descriptive information. On the right side of the page you will see a link that reads “Download this file” with the size of the file in parentheses. Click on this link to see and download the document. The PDF files are text searchable and there are bookmarks to help you navigate the document easily. Some larger files are not readily viewable in browsers and should be downloaded.

2. To browse the images, click “View 3D Image Wall.” You can quickly see which image or document is of interest to you. Hovering over the image will give you the title. You can click on the thumbnail to see a larger view.

3. There are Search and Advanced Search functions. Learn more.

We hope you enjoy this new collection. Be sure to check back periodically as more material is added.

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May 04, 2011

Commencement Timeline

CWRU Commencement, 2000

How many commencements has Case Western Reserve University had? It seemed like a pretty straightforward counting effort when the question was received at the Archives. We’re accustomed to CWRU’s complexity, but the variations in commencement ceremonies surprised even us. Do you count commencement exercises at which no degrees were conferred? When commencement exercises are divided over three consecutive days, do you count one commencement or three? What about the year that degrees were conferred as part of a building dedication, but no commencement ceremony was held? When commencement exercises were held after each semester, do you count all three?

Here’s the short answer to “How many?” Adding the formal commencement exercises at which degrees were conferred by Western Reserve College, Western Reserve University, Case School of Applied Science/Case Institute of Technology , and CWRU, from 1830 through 2010, but excluding separate diploma ceremonies also held by individual schools, there have been between 366 and 450 commencements.

Here are some of the variations:

In 1828 and 1829, even though no degrees were conferred, Western Reserve College held a public commencement ceremony celebrating the year’s successes.

On August 25, 1830, four years after its founding, Western Reserve College held commencement exercises for its first graduating class of four students.

From 1844 through 1894 the School of Medicine held separate commencement ceremonies in March. The rest of Western Reserve University’s schools celebrated commencement in the summer.

In 1862 Western Reserve College postponed its scheduled July 10 commencement ceremony till October 15, due to the absence of most students fighting in the Civil War.

In 1882 Western Reserve College held no formal commencement exercises, instead conferring degrees after the October 26 dedication of the new Adelbert College buildings in Cleveland.

On June 15, 1885, Case School of Applied Science held its first commencement for 5 graduates at the Case Hall Auditorium in downtown Cleveland. Until 1942, Case held its Commencement exercises once each year.

From 1891 through 1931 Western Reserve University’s spring commencement exercises were spread over two to five days.

The ten years from 1932 through 1941 were the only times after 1844 that all of Western Reserve University’s schools shared a single June commencement day.

From 1942 through 1967 Western Reserve University held commencement exercises three times each year - after each semester. CWRU held its last summer semester and fall semester commencement ceremonies in 1970.

On September 8, 1967 the first commencement convocation of the newly federated Case Western Reserve University was held.

On May 22, 1985 CWRU held its first outdoor, University-wide commencement ceremony. Beginning in 1985, with a few exceptions, CWRU held a single University-wide commencement convocation followed by separate diploma ceremonies for each school.

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February 28, 2011

African-American Society

One of CWRU’s oldest recognized student cultural organizations, the African American Society was formed in 1968 as the Afro-American Society.

One of its earliest and most far-reaching actions was a series of demands presented to President Morse in December 1968. The group advocated for increased numbers of Black students, faculty, administrators; courses in African-American culture; greater university initiatives in the local Black community (e.g., Black History Week programs); an evening college prep program for Black students; recognizing the birthdays of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X as official university holidays; and acquiring additional library materials by and about Blacks.

The organization published a newsletter (copies from 1969-1974 are in the Archives) and sponsored lectures, films, and social events, including dances and cultural dinners. Beginning in 1969, the Afro-American Society co-sponsored Black Pre-Freshman Week activities such as tours, classes, performances, and dinners.

One of the group’s early leaders was Stephanie Tubbs, president in 1970/71. In spring 1971 the Afro-American Society proposed the university establish an Afro-American Studies House, so that “...academic and cultural pursuit of the ‘Black Experience’ may continue in discussions, seminars, workshops, etc. after the normal academic day is over...” It was to be “open for occupancy to all without regard to race, color, creed, religion or previous condition of ignorance or misunderstanding as long as all occupants of the dorm demonstrate interest in these specialized fields of interest and study.” [1] In 1972 the Afro-American Cultural Living Center was established at Sherman House.

For more than 40 years the African-American Society has helped CWRU become a more inclusive community.

[1. 4SI6 1:4 Michael W. Francis, Proposal for an Afro-American Studies House, 4/23/1971]

Other African American History Month recollections include John Sykes Fayette and CWRU's Afro-American Studies Program

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February 08, 2011

Charter Day: Happy Birthday CWRU!

On February 7, 1826 the State of Ohio granted the charter to establish Western Reserve College.

Frederick Waite, in his 1943 history of the origins of Western Reserve College, describes the communication environment of 1826. “This was before the era of the telegraph or of railroads, and the only means of communication was by messenger or by mail forwarded on stages that usually did not cover over fifty miles a day and ran on alternate days only. Three days must have elapsed before the information reached Hudson [the original home of Western Reserve]; it was the middle of winter when roads were blocked with snow, which delayed notification of the trustees and their travel to a meeting.” [1]

Carroll Cutler, fourth president of Western Reserve, has a wonderful description of the lobbying effort undertaken to secure a charter acceptable to the college’s supporters. He refers to some members of the Ohio Legislature as possessing “infidel sentiments.” Cutler’s history of the early days of Western Reserve College is available in Digital Case.

You might expect that the birthday of such a venerable institution as ours might have occasioned more attention than has seemed to be the case. Early University milestone anniversaries, the 75th and 100th, celebrated in the spring and fall. It wasn’t until the 125th anniversary in 1951 that Charter Day was included in the year-long series of celebrations. A convocation was held at Severance Hall on February 7 and an alumni banquet was held the previous evening. The 1976 Sesquicentennial similarly included Charter Day among a year-long series of events. Held on February 15, the Charter Day Convocation introduced the new history of CWRU, written by C. H. Cramer, presented the University Medal, and recognized new University Fellows.

Cleveland’s early February weather may be less conducive to festivity than May or October. On the other hand, in the cold, gloom, and snow, we could all use a celebration. So, minus the birthday cake - at least this year - Happy 185th Birthday, CWRU!

[1. Federick Clayton Waite. Western Reserve University: The Hudson Era. Cleveland, Western Reserve University Press, 1943; p. 52]

President Leutner blows out candles on the 125th birthday cake, February 6, 1951

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February 04, 2011

CWRU’s Afro-American Studies Program

1968 - a tumultuous a year! The assassination of a presidential candidate who was the brother of an assassinated president; the assassination of a preeminent civil rights leader. The civil rights movement. The women’s rights movement. The Vietnam War. Riots in cities across the nation: Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Chicago. Demands across the nation for reform and changes in higher education. Enter a year-old university, itself suffering the pangs of a new marriage between a technological institute and a university.

In December 1968 the newly-formed Afro-American Society at CWRU presented demands to university president Robert W. Morse in letters dated December 2 and December 5, 1968. Among them was the “Institution of courses in the curriculum leading to a degree in Afro-American studies.”[1] Morse, in his letter of 12/13/1968, agreed that the university should be more effective in “incorporating Afro-American culture in its courses and academic programs.” He requested the Joint Curriculum Committee (of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Case Faculty) set up a task force to promote the development of new courses and explore the feasibility of a major in Afro-American studies. “The Task Force on Afro-American Curriculum was appointed by the Joint Curriculum Committee on February 24, 1969. “[2]

Courses with Afro-American content were already offered at the university, however, the administration and the Afro-American Society were in agreement that “considerable strengthening of the Afro-American components in various parts of the University curriculum is needed.”[3]

John McCluskey was appointed as the first head of the program. The program became a part of the Division of Special Interdisciplinary Studies. In the Fall semester 1969 McCluskey taught 2 courses: Myth and Ritual in Afro-American Culture I and Afro-American Cultural Expressions.

The program was listed as a minor beginning in 1972 and published a research journal, Ju Ju.

Enrollment grew from 77 in 4 courses in 1969/70 to 280 in 18 courses in 1970/71. Courses included: Black Renaissance, Black Communications, Poverty & Health in the Inner City, Dynamics of Social Stratification in a Black Society, Law as it relates to Black Community, and others. The highest enrollment was 301 in 20 courses in the 1974/75 academic year.

This success was short-lived however, as college enrollments across the country dropped. Financial problems continued at the university throughout the 1970s and support for the program waned. In 1976, the program’s chairman, James N. Kerri, resigned. Afro-American Studies was one of several programs at the university that were discontinued in the 1970s, including Urban Studies and Applied Social Sciences, Architecture, and Education.

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Afro-American Studies Program brochure

[1] Letter, Case Western Reserve University Afro-American Society to President Morse, 12/2/1968; Letter, Case Western Reserve University Afro-American Society to President Morse, 12/5/1968
[2] Report of the Task Force on Afro-American Curriculum, 12/1/1969
[3] Letter, Robert W. Morse to Members of The Afro-American Society of Case Western Reserve University, 12/13/1968

Other African American History Month recollections include John Sykes Fayette and African-American Society

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January 28, 2011

Intersession: Moving a Graveyard?

“It has often been said that it is as difficult to change a university’s curriculum as it is to move a graveyard.” [1] Yet, for seven years in the early 1970s, CWRU adopted not only a different academic calendar, but devoted the month of January to new kinds of undergraduate teaching and learning experiments in a program called Intersession.

Before Intersession winter semester classes recessed just before Christmas and resumed early in January, with reading days and final exams taking place in mid-January. Spring semester started early in February and ended in June. With Intersession, the University adopted the so-called “4-1-4” calendar of two 15-week semesters, with the month of January turned over to Intersession.

In contrast to juggling multiple courses during the regular semesters, Intersession offered students one month to focus on a single topic. In its proposal to the two undergraduate faculties, the Joint Curriculum Committee expressed the hope that, “January, now the most sterile period of the academic year, may become the most fruitful period.” [2] Participation was voluntary, both for students and faculty and full-time students paid no additional tuition. Alumni could participate, as well. Intersession included formal intensive courses, organized trips, independent study, and informal programs.

The first Intersession took place from January 5 through 30, 1970. It included approximately 250 offerings from over 340 faculty. Just under half of the undergraduates participated. The organized courses included Fortran Computer Programming, Black Political Modernization, Automotive Design, Basic Swahili, Introduction to Investment Markets, Art and Science of Museum Display, Adaptation to the Environment, Sports Officiating Techniques, Studies in the Homeric Odyssey, Television Program Production, Two Major Critiques of American Education, Political Poetry, Phosphate Water Pollution Problem, Frontiers of Macromolecular Science, Geology of the Moon, Computers and People, Health of American Cities. Organized trips included visits to Boston, London, and Paris.

By 1974 the Intersession Committee noted the challenges to Intersession posed by a changing campus environment, “The student body has shrunk, academic departments have come under severe budgetary stress, faculty are overcommitted.” [1] The Committee recommended that either Intersession be abolished or that student and department participation become mandatory.

Intersession’s last year was 1976. In proposing Intersession’s abolishment, B. S. Chandrasekhar, then Dean of Western Reserve College, explained, “ During all these years that it has been with us, [Intersession] has faiied to achieve a sufficiently coherent philosophy in terms of what it is supposed to be, so that perceptions and expectations are intolerably divergent as between the Colleges and among the students, teachers, and administrators, and it therefore commands inadequate support from all of them. At the same time, with no redeeming aspects, we have shortened the regular semesters to a dangerous point.” [3] On January 13, 1976 the Faculty Senate voted 34-7 to abolish Intersession and to adopt an academic calendar of two semesters, each with a minimum of fifteen weeks.

[1. The Second Report of the Intersession Committee to the Representative Assemblies for Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve College, July 1, 1974]
[2. Report of the Joint Curriculum Committee... Appendix B]
[3. Memorandum, B. S. Chandrasekhar to Faculty Senate, January 1976]

Jane Sestak in Circus Techniques course, Intersession 1973

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January 20, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. convocations at CWRU

The first university convocation held to honor the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was Thursday, April 11, 1968. The first annual convocation to honor Dr. King was held Monday, January 18, 1988.

At the 1968 convocation, just a week after King’s assassination, Chancellor John S. Millis presided and Professor John Turner, a fellow alumnus of Morehouse College and personal friend of Dr. King’s, was the principal speaker. Rabbi Bernard Martin gave the invocation and benediction. The Case Glee Club, under the direction of William Appling, sang a hymn and Lois Winckler, president of Mather Student Government, made remarks. As the announcement stated, “This was the first such event on the campus commemorating a non-University leader since the memorial convocation for President John F. Kennedy.”

The annual convocations generally feature an address by a main speaker, opening remarks by the university president, and music and song. Featured speakers have included clergy (such as The Right Reverend Arthur B. Williams, Jr., Reverend Marvin McMickle, Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.), and scholars (such as Aldon Morris, Samuel Proctor, Nikki Giovanni, and Joan Southgate).

In fall of 1996 an essay contest was introduced for the 1997 convocation. Prizes were awarded in 3 categories (faculty, staff, student). First place winners read their essays at the annual convocation. Over time, only one essay was read at the convocation.

Over the years, the commemoration of Dr. King and his legacy has grown from a single university convocation to a series of events over a week. From lectures and films to exhibits, poetry readings and concerts, sponsoring organizations and departments span the campus (e.g., University Program Board, African American Society, Case Democrats and Case Republicans, Office of the President, Student Affairs, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Kelvin Smith Library, and academic departments and centers.

The events usually take place during the week of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in January. President Ronald Reagan signed the 1983 law creating the national holiday, which was first observed in 1986.

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January 14, 2011

Science Fiction Film Marathon

“Friday, January 30 is the day the earth stands still, worlds collide and time stands still for Cleveland’s first 24 Hour Science Fiction Film Marathon...” This modest 1976 press release from the CWRU Office of Public Information announced the beginning of a 36-year (and counting) CWRU tradition.


Held at Strosacker Auditorium, the first 24-hour Science Fiction Film Marathon began at 8 p.m. on Friday with a showing of The Day the Earth Stood Still and ended with Dark Star at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday. Other films included Westworld, When Worlds Collide, Fahrenheit 451, The Time Machine, Silent Running, Island of Lost Souls, The Lost World, The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Andromeda Strain, Metropolis, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Barbarella, Forbidden Planet, and This island Earth. Admission was $1.00.

As with many traditions, some elements are constant. The location remains Strosacker Auditorium. The sponsor remains the CWRU Film Society. The time remains mid-January. And some elements change. Prices increase: $1 in 1976, $10 by 1987, $15 in 1993, $25 by 2002. Cartoons and short subjects were added in 1990.

An impressive variety of films spanning nine decades have been shown, including The Lost World (1925), The Walking Dead (1936), The Invisible Woman (1941), Forbidden Planet (1956), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Slaughterhouse Five (1972), Aliens (1986), Tremors (1990). A perennial favorite has been Metropolis, which was shown in 1976, 1991, 2002, and maybe more. The Archives collection of Science Fiction Film Marathon posters and flyers is incomplete. Additions to the collection from film-buffs would be most welcome.

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December 20, 2010

Holiday Fun for All!

It may be hard to imagine the likes of Jungle Larry and his animals, Bozo the Clown, and Sam the Chimp on the campus of a serious-minded engineering school like Case Institute of Technology. But they were among the entertainers featured at the annual Case Institute of Technology Christmas parties.

On Monday, December 23, 1963, Case held its first Christmas party for all faculty, staff and their families. It was held from 3-5 p.m. in Horsburgh Gymnasium at the Sam W. Emerson Physical Education Center. Entertainment was provided, gifts and prizes were handed out, and Santa Claus made an appearance.

Volunteers decorated the gym as well as a large Christmas tree on the preceding Saturday. Those employees who were not bringing children were asked to help out with 20-30 minute shifts.

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Case Christmas party, 1965

This party became an annual event, and by the time of Federation in 1967, featured entertainers had included: Jungle Larry and his animals, George Arnold, an organ grinder and his monkey, Rosare’s Complete Dog Show, Bozo the Clown and Sam the Chimp. The tradition continued through at least 1970.

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December 13, 2010

Stunt Night at Mather College

At Mather College, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas break were not wholly devoted to term papers and final exams. Preparation for Stunt Night - writing skits, learning dances, making costumes and scenery - competed for student time and energy.

One night, just before Christmas vacation, each class performed an original skit and song, competing for class honor and the silver Stunt Night cup. Judging was done by a panel of faculty, alumnae, and students. Parody and satire were the prevailing modes of expression. Current events, University mores, and, not surprisingly, the men of Adelbert College provided rich topics.

Below, the Flora Stone Mather junior class performs at 1948 Stunt Night. 00366D1.jpg

From its 1914 origins in the College’s gymnasium, by the 1920s Stunt Night’s popularity required a larger venue. For decades the annual performance was held in the Masonic Auditorium. Over the years, additional traditions accumulated. By the late 1930s a dance following the performance was held at local hotels such as the Statler Hilton, the Hotel Cleveland, and the Tudor Arms. The Champagne Circle featured the winning class passing the Stunt Night cup around the circle, each girl taking a celebratory sip of champagne. By the early 1940s a post-dance breakfast in Haydn Hall ended the festivities in the early morning.

In 1945, Stunt Night attracted the attention of Life Magazine, which published a 4-page article, Life Goes to a College Stunt Night in the January 21, 1946 issue.

Stunt Night’s status as the most important student event in the Mather calendar is clear from its extensive treatment in the yearbooks, some of which can be seen in the University Archives Student Yearbook collection in Digital Case.

It also seems to be fondly remembered by Mather alumnae. Some of their recollections have been recorded as audio interviews done by students in the Flora Stone Mather Oral History Project also available in Digital Case.

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December 08, 2010

Student Music Groups

Music was part of the extracurricular life of Western Reserve University and Case Institute of Technology long before formal instruction was offered.

At Western Reserve College musical organizations were established quickly. In 1828, only two years after the college was chartered, the Handel Society was organized by Rufus Nutting, a member of the faculty, and ten WRC students. The Handel Society met weekly to practice singing and read essays about music and musicians. The college choir started in the 1830s and the glee club developed from this. The image below is of the Western Reserve College Glee Club approximately 1851.

Case School of Applied Science established its glee club in 1897. In 1922 the student yearbook opined, “The Musical Clubs always have been a star feature at Case, strange as that may seem. In fact we might well be called the Musical engineers. The queerest part of the matter is we admit we’re good - and then prove it.” Decades later, the glee club was still going strong, releasing its first album, Case Men Sing, in 1960. Featuring Case songs such as "Carmen Case," "Alma Mater," and the "Fight Song," the first edition sold out within a week.

Rock and jazz groups are more familiar to current generations. But in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, students at Adelbert College, Flora Stone Mather College, and Case School of Applied Science were active in mandolin clubs. The image below is the College for Women Guitar and Mandolin Club in 1899-1900.

The colleges' orchestras, marching bands, and other ensembles have performed at concerts, university ceremonies, and athletic events both on and off campus. Those musical experiences obviously made lasting impressions. This mp3 is one song from a program performed by the Case Class of 1904 Vocal Quartet at their 50th reunion banquet. Case-specific lyrics to popular tunes were a big part of their repertoire. Download file

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December 01, 2010

Let the Music Move You

Archives Month is celebrated annually in October as a way of raising awareness of the collections and services of America’s archives. Ohio’s celebration centers around a theme which, in 2010, was Let the Music Move You. As part of our participation, CWRU’s Archives explored some of the aspects of the university’s musical life - curriculum, concerts, clubs & organizations, and our radio station.

Our curriculum inquiry focused on beginnings. Musical instruction was first offered at Western Reserve University through an affiliation with the Cleveland Conservatory of Music in 1888. Courses in piano, violin, and voice were offered. But, according to the Catalog, those courses "must be considered as extra work, which will not be received as equivalent for the regular or elective work of the college curriculum."

It was not until 1899 that the regular curriculum of the College for Women included music. The two courses offered were History of Music and Harmony and Counterpoint. All the music classes were taught by Charles E. Clemens, professor of music for 30 years. Adelbert College began offering music courses in 1924 and Cleveland College followed in 1927.

At Case School of Applied Science, the Department of Language and Literature began offering Appreciation of Music in 1946. The Catalog described the course as, “...an introductory course...covering elements of composition and performance and giving their historical background. Illustrations will be by phonograph records and actual performance.”

The Catalog, aka General Bulletin, is one of our best sources for researching the curriculum. It includes policy (requirements for degrees and majors), programs (degrees, majors, minors, and courses offered by each school and department), and people (the faculty of each department and school and their teaching areas). Because it is such a rich resource, this series is on our priority list of records to be digitized.

But I digress - back to Archives Month and music. We were pleased that one of our images, the College for Women Guitar and Mandolin Club of 1899, was chosen for the Ohio Archives Month poster.


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November 22, 2010

Case vs. Reserve Thanksgiving Day football game - continued

There were objections by various clergy to holding a football game on Thanksgiving. In 1909 a letter was sent by Frank Du Moulin of Trinity Cathedral objecting to the game, “... this Clericus believes it to be entirely contrary to the purpose and spirit of Thanksgiving Day to occupy the morning hours of that day with any form of organized recreation which however healthful and legitimate in character, makes it difficult for the young people of the city to fulfill the main purpose of the day by ‘attendance at their respective places of worship.’”

In 1910 the Ministerial Associations sent a letter to President Howe of Case requesting that the game be moved to another day. The game subordinated patriotism and religion to a pastime, declared the ministers, “...in this city of ours the football game dominates the whole situation, overshadowing entirely the religious and patriotic aspects of the occasion; and we have the unseemly spectacle of the churches, which the President and Governor ask to carry out the intent of their proclamations, very largely subordinated to the frenzy of a pastime, holding their services, many of them, at all sorts of unnatural and inconvenient hours, with the minds of the people dominated by an alien and relatively trivial interest...”

In fact, the athletic program at both schools stayed afloat because of the gate receipts from the Thanksgiving Day game. It was not financially possible for either school to change the date of the big game.

President Howe responded in 1909, “If we could be sure of six or eight thousand people at every game throughout the season, I presume the receipts would be sufficient to meet all of the necessary expenses for the season; but the attendance is frequently not over a thousand and when our team goes to other colleges which are located in small towns, the receipts are so small that sometimes they do not more than pay the traveling expenses of the men who are obliged to go. For this reason our Athletic Association has always depended upon the receipts of the Thanksgiving Day game...”

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November 15, 2010

Case vs. WRU Thanksgiving Day football game

Thanksgiving Day and football: a tradition. No, not the Detroit Lions. Not the Dallas Cowboys. Forget the NFL! For many years in Cleveland the big game was the annual Case vs. Reserve game.

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The Case/Reserve Thanksgiving Day game was a long-standing tradition between Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, with few gaps, stretching from 1894-1953. The game was held in the morning so that people could attend and still get home to enjoy their dinner. The big game was well-attended and was often held at League Park (early home of the Cleveland Indians) and sometimes at Cleveland Municipal Stadium (later home of the Indians and Browns). Other venues included Shaw Stadium as well as the home turf of Van Horn (Case) and Clarke Fields (WRU). Being neighboring schools, Case and Reserve were big rivals. And since they were primarily local schools before World War II, many Clevelanders had attended or had family members who attended Case or Reserve, generating additional interest in the game.

Reserve had the upper hand in the rivalry, winning 49, while Case won 20, and there were 5 ties. Though Case won early, winning 9 of the first 13 games, they went on a winless streak after their victory in 1927 -- not winning again until 1948!

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Player gains 5 yards for Case, 11/25/1948.

The last Thanksgiving Day game was held 11/26/1953 with Reserve winning 35-19 at Clarke Field. The Ohio governor attended the game with 7500 other fans, including the Case and Reserve presidents.

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Case President T. Keith Glennan and WRU President John S. Millis at the last Thanksgiving Day game in 1953.

The next year Case abolished football and did not have a team again until 1955. Case and Reserve resumed play but the game was no longer held on Thanksgiving Day. The 2 institutions merged in 1967 but continued separate football teams through the 1969 season.

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