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 25, 2014

Namesakes-John Hessin Clarke, Clarke Field and Clarke Tower

A distinguished alumnus of the university is behind the name of Clarke Tower as well as the now razed Clarke Field, former home of the Western Reserve University Red Cats.

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John Hessin Clarke

John Hessin Clarke, born 9/18/1857 in Lisbon, Ohio, received his A.B. degree from Western Reserve College in 1877. He received the A.M. from WRC in 1880. He studied law in his father’s office and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1878. He moved to Youngstown in 1880 to practice law and while in Youngstown became part owner of the Vindicator newspaper. Clarke moved to Cleveland in 1897 and joined Samuel E. Williamson and William E. Cushing in the law firm of Williamson, Cushing & Clarke. He was general solicitor and general counsel for the Nickel Plate Railroad for 13 years.

In 1903 he was a candidate for the U. S. Senate but lost to Marcus A. Hanna. He was a close associate of 2 Cleveland mayors, Tom L. Johnson and Newton D. Baker. In 1914 Clarke was appointed Federal Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, then the third busiest district in the U. S. Two years later, President Wilson nominated him to the Supreme Court. His nomination was approved and he filled the vacancy caused by Charles Evans Hughes’ resignation. Justice John Hessin Clarke served for 6 years as Associate Justice (1916-1922). He resigned to head the Non-Partisan Association for the League of Nations and campaign for the United States to join the League.

In addition to his status as a double alumnus of the university, he also received the honorary degree Doctor of Laws from WRU in 1916. He served as a trustee 1923-1932. Mr. Clarke retired and moved to California in 1931, where he died in 1945. He bequeathed a large portion of his estate (estimated $1.2 million) to Western Reserve University to be used at the discretion of the trustees for Adelbert College.

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View of the stands and pressbox
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Dedication program

In 1950 renovation of the athletic fields at WRU began. A new grandstand formerly used for the National Air Races was purchased, a new press box was added, the playing field was re-sodded, and a 35 foot high scoreboard was added. A new cinder track was added after the end of the 1951 football season. The formal name of the new stadium was Justice John H. Clarke Field, though it was known as Clarke Field. Dedication ceremonies were held 10/6/1951 during the football game vs. Kent State University. The new stadium provided seating for 10,000 and the new press box accommodated 100. Along with the excitement of the new stadium was the return of Eddie Finnigan to campus as new football coach.

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Clarke Field billboard

In the 1960s WRU embarked on a greatly expanded student housing program, building 2 groups of dorms each for Adelbert and Mather Colleges. In February 1967 the WRU trustees voted to name the new 11-story residence hall: John Hessin Clarke Tower. Its original design contained a lobby and lounge floor with 10 floors containing 100 double and 120 single units for men students. It was designed by Fred Toguchi (of Outcault, Guenther, Rode, and Bonebrake) and was the first high-rise residence on either the WRU or Case campuses. It was often referred to as Adelbert II (Adelbert I being the Storrs, Pierce, Hitchcock, Cutler, and Leutner group). The total construction cost was $1,780,000. Clarke Tower is one of the campus buildings which has been recognized for its architecture, winning a 1968 HUD Award for Design Excellence.

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Clarke Tower

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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 24, 2014

Celebrate Women’s History Month: Eva Gertrude May

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In 1908 the College for Women held the opening reception for its new gymnasium. Before construction of Mather Gym, the Physical Training Department held its indoor exercises in Clark Hall. In addition to a new building, in 1906 the College welcomed a new Director of Physical Training, Eva Gertrude May. Miss May would remain in that position for thirty years.

A persistent advocate for the value of sports and exercise for young women, Miss May greatly increased the number of students participating in exercise. By the simple expedient of writing to all the physicians who submitted notes asking students to be excused from exercises, asking their reasons and explaining the program, fewer excuse notes were received. Miss May also substituted walking for students unable to participate in gymnasium exercises.

“We have students in college today who had never skipped a rope or handled a ball, or entered into any of the sports and games of childhood.” (Annual Report, 1909/10) Miss May introduced field hockey, croquet, indoor baseball, archery, fencing, and Hy-lo, which was originated at the College.

Securing adequate space and equipment - large and small - for the program was a continuous preoccupation. In her 1910/11 annual report she wrote, “The need of a clock, a telephone, and a good athletic field, spoken of in last year’s report, has not diminished.” Outdoor faciliities were a perennial problem. In 1917 Miss May suggested that, “basket ball and base ball be played on the campus, the health of the grass being sacrificed for the health of the students.” The campus lawns were saved by the offer of a portion of Wade Park behind the Cleveland Museum of Art for field hockey and baseball. An athletic field was constructed in 1927.

Eva Gertrude May was born August 11, 1871. She graduated from the Sargent Normal School of Physical Training in 1894. She was an Instructor in Gymnasium at Vassar College from 1895 to 1906. After serving as Director of Physical Education at Flora Stone Mather College beginning in 1906, Miss May retired in 1936. She died April 3, 1947 in Portland, Oregon.

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Women's physical education, 1911 (left) and 1931 (right)

Other Women’s History Month recollections include Florence Allen, Grazella Puliver Shepherd, Margaret Johnson, Carolyn Neff, Bess Barr LeBedoff, Mary Frances Pinches, and Helen Stankard

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Walter (Ty) Danco

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December 18, 2013

Namesakes - Carroll Cutler and Cutler Hall

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Carroll Cutler, 1861

it is ironic that a reluctant president should have presided over two of the most controversial changes in Western Reserve College's first hundred years - the move from Hudson to Cleveland and the college’s establishment of undergraduate coeducation. Not to mention the Civil War.

Educated at Yale, Carroll Cutler came to Western Reserve College in 1860 as Professor of Intellectual Philosophy and Rhetoric. During his nearly thirty years at WRC, Cutler taught metaphysics, logic, ethics, political science, history, rhetoric, and German. His exacting standards met with some disfavor among students. Thomas Day Seymour's 1884 memorial address explained, "The students were not accustomed to such pungent criticisms of their English compositions." Nevertheless, Cutler continued teaching while serving as president from 1871 to 1886.

Cutler reluctantly accepted a three-year term as president in 1871. When he attempted to step aside from the presidency in 1874, the Trustees refused to accept his resignation. What was intended as a three-year presidency lasted fifteen years. Cutler’s History of Western Reserve College During Its First Half Century, 1826-1876, offers his own perspectives on the issues of the first years of his presidency.

When Cutler resigned from Western Reserve College he accepted a professorship at Biddle University in Charlotte, North Carolina. He also taught at Talladega College in Alabama. Both are historically black colleges.

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Cutler Hall and Pierce Hall, 1883

Cutler Hall was one of Western Reserve’s original University Circle buildings. Adelbert Main was the classroom and office building. Adelbert Hall, later Pierce Hall, was the student dormitory. The third building was the President’s residence, named Cutler Hall in 1934 to honor Carroll Cutler’s service as president. The student and president’s residences were very close neighbors, as the 1883 image shows. Over time Cutler Hall housed the Home Economics department, the School of Library Science, the Business School, and the School of Architecture. It was razed in 1960 to construct the Millis Science Center, now a component of the Agnar Pytte Center for Science Education and Resarch.

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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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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.

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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 30, 2013

Namesakes - Winfred Leutner and Leutner Commons

Winfred George Leutner was alumnus (Adelbert College class of 1901), faculty member (Classics), dean, and president of Western Reserve University. Born in Cleveland in 1879, he was the grandson of immigrants who fled Germany in 1848 (his father was an infant at the time). He graduated from Central High School and entered Adelbert College in 1897 beginning his lifetime association with Western Reserve University. Leutner received the A.B. in 1901 graduating with honors and Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1905. He also studied at American Schools of Classical Study in Athens and Rome.

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Winfred G. Leutner

He was an instructor for several years off and on at WRU while he pursued graduate work. He became Assistant Professor of Greek and Latin at WRU in 1909 and never left the university after that point. He became Dean of Adelbert College in 1912 in additional to his teaching. In 1925 he left teaching when he became Dean of University Administration. With President Robert Vinson, and trustee Newton D. Baker, he helped establish Cleveland College (for part-time and night students), serving as acting director of the College until A. Caswell Ellis was hired as its first director.

In December 1933 he became acting president. He was elected president in June of 1934. He was the first alumnus, first and only native Clevelander, and the first non-minister to serve as president of Western Reserve University. During his tenure as president he steered the university through most of the Great Depression, World War II, and the post-war enrollment surge.

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President Leutner blows out candles on the WRU 125th birthday cake, 2/6/1951

President Leutner married Emily Payne Smith in 1910 and had 3 children, Mary, Frederick, and Ruth. He died Christmas Day 1961.

Leutner Commons was part of the Adelbert I dormitory complex, which also included Storrs House, Pierce House, Hitchcock House, and Cutler House. In 1963 Western Reserve University began construction of the dormitories and dining facility. The construction was financed with loans from the Home Finance Agency. The Adelbert Alumni Association conducted a $200,000 fundraising campaign over 3 years to furnish this new complex which was for the use of Adelbert College men. Groundbreaking was held 9/24/1963 with the campaign kickoff dinner on 12/10/1963. The architectural firm Outcault, Guenther, Rode and Bonebrake designed Adelbert I complex.

The dedication for the Adelbert I complex, as well as Mather I (Cutter House, Smith House, Taft House, Taplin House, and Stone Dining Hall) and Mather II (Norton House, Sherman House, Tyler House, Raymond House and Wade Commons) was held at Leutner Commons on Sunday, 3/7/1965.

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Leutner Commons, 1965

Leutner Commons has been in continuous use since then. In 2010 a $7 million renovation to the building was completed. The building was increased by 10,500 square feet allowing occupancy by 1,206 people (an increase of 25%). Architects were Burt-Hill, interior designers were EDG, and the Krill Company oversaw construction. The rededication was held 8/18/2010.

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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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August 09, 2013

Francis Hobart Herrick: Founder of CWRU’s Biology Department

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In 1888, with newly conferred Johns Hopkins University Ph.D. in hand, Francis Hobart Herrick came to Western Reserve University to establish a Biology department. He remained on the faculty for 41 years, retiring in 1929 as Professor Emeritus.

Herrick’s scholarly publishing career spanned over 50 years, 1883-1937. His early research focused on the American lobster in New England. His work revealed that over-harvesting egg-producing adult lobsters was threatening the species and risking destruction of the American lobster industry. During the early 1920s his close observations of the behavior of American eagles made Herrick a world authority on that subject, as well. He also produced the first scholarly biography of naturalist John James Audubon.

Herrick was an innovator in the classroom, introducing laboratory classes, undergraduate field work and lectures illustrated with lantern slides - the early 20th century’s equivalent of PowerPoint. In his field research, Herrick was a pioneer in the use of photography to record bird behavior. The tent blind he developed for his eagle observations allowed close study of behavior and was widely copied. As early as 1890 Herrick advocated for establishment of a local museum of natural history. He was one of the founders of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in 1920.

The indefatigable Herrick also designed WRU’s Biology Building, now DeGrace Hall, and many of its laboratory furnishings.

Examples of Herrick’s work are included in 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.

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July 03, 2013

Namesakes - Van Horn Field and Frank “Count” Van Horn

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On the left, Frank Rodman and Frank R. Van Horn, 1931; on the right, Van Horn Field, around 1924.

The “father of athletics at Case,” Francis R. Van Horn became President of the Case Athletic Association in 1900. At that time the football program was expected to cover its expenses through ticket sales. As the season records of the previous several years were 3/5/0, 3/3/2, and 0/5/2, fans were not flocking to the games and many who attended did not buy tickets. Van Horn solved the freeloader problem by enlisting students to put up a fence around the field. With sufficient funds, Van Horn’s next step, in 1902, was to hire Joseph Wentworth as football coach. The first three Wentworth seasons Case’s record was 6/3/0, 8/1/0, 7/2/0.

Van Horn's management of the football program was so successful that the treasury had amassed $27,000 by 1913. This sum, plus additional funds contributed by students and alumni, supported purchase and remodeling of a church at E. 107th and Deering. The Case Club, as it was named, was the first Case student center.

Van Horn was also a notable scholar. His B.S and M.S. were awarded by Rutgers in 1892 and 1893 and his doctorate was awarded by Heidelberg University in 1897. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the honorary Doctor of Science by Rutgers in 1919. He was hired in 1897 by Case School of Applied Science as Instructor in Natural History and Mining. Two years later he was promoted to Assistant Professor Geology and Mineralogy. In 1902 he was promoted to Professor of Geology and Mineralogy, a position he held until his death in 1933.

He traveled widely, on his own and accompanying students on practice term trips, and collected a 10,000-sample rock and mineral collection, fully cataloged at his death. Professor Van Horn was secretary and fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, a fellow of the Geological Society of America, life fellow of the Ohio Academy of Science, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and and Trustee of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He published journal articles in geology and mineralogy.

Van Horn’s nickname, “The Count,” was bestowed upon him by the Case students because of his goatee and somewhat brisk and stiff mannerisms acquired during his studies in Germany. The goatee he shaved in 1925 in honor of Case’s defeat of arch-rival Western Reserve University in the annual Thanksgiving Day football game - after 13 consecutive losses. The nickname he kept for the rest of his life.

The esteem in which he was held by Case is evidenced by the many tributes. The 1925 student yearbook was dedicated, “To Dr. Frank Robertson Van Horn in recognition of his frank and friendly attitude towards the students and his untiring efforts to make Case athletics a success, we dedicate the 1925 Differential.” the Van Horn Alumni Scholarship was established in 1934, the library and conference room in the Metallurgy Building was dedicated to him in 1953, the newly renovated athletic field was renamed Van Horn Field in 1958.

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May 22, 2013

Namesakes - John S. Millis and Millis Science Center

John Schoff Millis was the ninth president of Western Reserve University (1949-1967) and first chancellor of Case Western Reserve University (1967-1969). Born 11/22/1903 in Palo Alto, California, President Millis spent most of his life in academe. His father, Harry Alvin Millis, was an economist who taught at Stanford University, University of Kansas and University of Chicago.

President Millis earned his B. S. in mathematics and astronomy (1924), M. S. in physics (1927), and Ph.D. in physics (1931) from University of Chicago. He taught at Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin and was Dean of Administration at Lawrence before becoming president of University of Vermont and State Agricultural College in 1941. In 1949 he came to Western Reserve University and was the first WRU president with an educational background in science.

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President Millis with sketch of the new science center

During his tenure, WRU grew in size by several measures: physical plant, research grants, faculty size, fundraising. He worked with T. Keith Glennan, president of the neighboring Case Institute of Technology, in consolidating activities and programs eventually leading to Federation. He was also involved in the establishment of University Circle Development Foundation (now University Circle, Inc.).

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President Millis and Vice President Webster Simon at cornerstone laying ceremony

The new science center was the result of one of the fundraising campaigns. It was built at a cost of $6,270,000 with donations from almost 3000 donors. The new science center was named for President Millis in July 1960 and was dedicated 10/13/1962. A symposium, The Living State, was held over 3 days (10/10-10/12/1962) in conjunction with the dedication of the new Millis Science Center and the new Joseph Treloar Wearn Laboratory for Medical Research. The building housed the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics. It was originally to have 3 wings added, but plans changed after Federation with CIT.

The new building featured the Andrew E. Schmitt Lecture Hall with a 385 seat capacity. This was a technology-enhanced room for the time: AM/FM stereophonic system, a public address system, 6 motor-operated blackboards with 1200 square feet of writing space, facilities for television camera operators and a projection booth. The chemistry benches in Millis were equipped with 17 services. The physics research labs used elevated flooring under which all gas, vacuum, water and electrical services were distributed. Electronic, machine, wood, and paint shops were in the building. A library, located on the second floor housed 50,000 volumes, and 250 journals were received monthly.

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John Schoff Millis Science Center, 1962

Almost 40 years after its dedication, the Millis Science Center underwent a major renovation and reorganization and became part of the Agnar Pytte Center for Science Education and Research, which was dedicated 10/5/2001.

President Millis died 1/1/1988.

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May 15, 2013

Namesakes-Eddie Finnigan and Finnigan Fields

Edward L. “Eddie” Finnigan’s college athletic career spanned nearly forty years, from his matriculation at Western Reserve University’s Adelbert College in 1929 until his death in 1968. He was the first WRU student to win nine varsity letters, three each in football, basketball, and track. (At that time freshmen could not play varsity sports.) Finnigan was elected to the Warion Society and earned an Honor Key, both of which recognized student extracurricular achievement, early evidence of the leadership skills that would lead to his coaching effectiveness.

He coached at Baldwin Wallace for a number of years before returning to WRU as football coach (1951-1965), golf coach (1954-1958), track coach (1963-1966), and athletic director (1951-1968). He was also professor of Health and Physical Education. Over his 15 seasons as head football coach, Finnigan won 57 games, lost 49, and tied 7.

He was a well respected figure in Cleveland sports and 11/4/1967 was declared Eddie Finnigan Day in Cleveland and Berea.

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Eddie Finnigan, 1954 and Finnigan Fields, 1976

In October 1968 the new athletic complex at E. 115th Street was named Edward L. Finnigan Playing Fields by the CWRU Trustees. Finnigan Fields were used by CWRU athletic teams from 1968-2003. A part of the complex, named Fleming Field by the team, was used by the Cleveland Browns as a practice facility till 1972.

Finnigan was one of the inaugural inductees into the Spartan Club Hall of Fame in 1975. His nomination began, "Both coaches and athletes are eligible for admission to Case Reserve's Athletic Hall of Fame. Eddie L. Finnigan is perhaps the only person in the University's history to merit admission on both counts... Finnigan returned to his alma mater in 1952 to provide his magic touch to a grid team that lacked the luster of pre-WWII days. In two years Eddie fielded a winning team... A great competitor as an undergraduate, Eddie knew how to inspire his players when he coached... Eddie once said, 'The function of a coach is to eliminate mistakes.' By the two generations of Red Cats who mourned his passing, he is remembered as one of the best at that function."

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March 22, 2013

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Margaret H. Johnson

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Margaret Hilda Johnson was the first woman dean of the School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS) of Western Reserve University (WRU), now known as the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of CWRU. She was appointed dean in 1950 and served until her retirement in 1958.

Miss Johnson was born 11/3/1893 in Lowell Massachusetts. Her father, George H. Johnson, was a Congregational minister and he moved the family to Cleveland when he became minister at Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. He also served as professor of History and Economics at Case School of Applied Science 1909-1927. She had 5 sisters.

Miss Johnson graduated from Central High School before entering the College for Women of WRU. She received the A.B. degree in 1917. As an undergraduate she was a member of Sigma Omega sorority. In 1919 she received the first Master of Science in Social Administration degree from SASS.

She entered the work force as personnel secretary for the H. Black Co. in Cleveland. One of her duties was to make sure that the immigrant workers attended their English classes. She became executive secretary of the Cleveland chapter of the League of Women Voters and in 1924 moved to Washington, D.C. as assistant executive secretary of the National League of Women Voters working with Belle Sherwin, president of the League.

In 1927 Miss Johnson returned to Cleveland and SASS as executive secretary of the School. The next year she became an instructor, and in successive years became assistant and associate professor. She was promoted to professor in 1939. In addition to her duties as a faculty member she served as assistant dean and was acting dean several times.

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Dean Johnson in front of the School of Applied Social Sciences at 2117 Adelbert Road

Miss Johnson was a vital part of the School’s growth and development from 1917 to 1958, as a student, faculty member, and dean. Upon her retirement in 1958 she stated that, “The School of Applied [Social] Sciences has developed greatly in the last few years. This development, especially the revised program and the new building, gives me a feeling of great satisfaction.”

Dean Johnson served the community as chairman of the American Association of Social Workers, executive committee member of the National Conference of Social Work, member of the Advisory Committee of the Department of Public Welfare of Ohio, Advisory Committee of City Relief Administration of Cleveland, Board of Directors of Women’s City Club, Board of Trustees of Welfare Federation, chairman of Directors of the Association of Social Workers of Cleveland.

She received numerous awards for her work including a citation at the convocation honoring the 75th anniversary of the founding of Flora Stone Mather College (1963) and an honorary degree from WRU in 1966.

In 1976 Margaret Johnson passed away at the age of 82 in Cleveland.

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March 06, 2013

Namesakes - Emma Maud Perkins and Perkins House

Some of the people for whom Case Western Reserve University has named buildings have actually had more than one building named for them. We know of several university buildings named for Emma Maud Perkins. The first was a frame house located at 11125 Euclid. Leased in 1943, the building served as a residence for Flora Stone Mather College students. It was the first Western Reserve University building formally named for a woman faculty member. Buildings on Bellflower and Magnolia were also later named Perkins House.

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Emma Maud Perkins and Perkins House

Emma Maud Perkins, Woods Professor of Latin, joined the faculty of Western Reserve University’s College for Women (later Flora Stone Mather College) in 1892, only four years after its establishment. There she taught Latin for thirty-seven years. Upon graduating from Vassar College in 1879 as valedictorian, Miss Perkins moved to Cleveland where she taught at Central High School. At Mather College for decades Miss Perkins was responsible for explaining the College’s traditions to new students at the beginning of each academic year. She was a prolific speaker, a gardener, and a supporter of women’s suffrage. Miss Perkins also served a term on the Cleveland Board of Education and was president of the College Club. She also served as president of the American Association of University Women. She died in 1937, leaving $10,000 to fund a scholarship at Flora Stone Mather College in memory of her mother, Sarah M. Perkins.

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February 27, 2013

African-American History Month Spotlight: Alumni George W. Streator, Olive Davis Streator, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

To celebrate African-American History Month, we are highlighting 3 alumni from the Davis/Streator family: Olive Elnora Davis Streator, George Walter Streator, and Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Olive and Benjamin were brother and sister while Olive and George were married.

Olive Elnora Davis Streator graduated from Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University in 1926, attended the Graduate School in 1928, and graduated from the School of Applied Social Sciences in 1931. She was born in 1905 in Washington, D.C., the oldest child of Elnora Dickerson and Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. (the first African-American general in the U. S. Army). She attended Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., Tuskegee Institute, and Atlanta University before entering Mather College in 1924. She majored in English and received the B.A. in 1926. As a student she was a member of the Musical Arts Club. She taught at Bluefield State Institute in West Virginia (a historically black teacher’s college) for 3 years (1926-1929) before returning to Cleveland to enter the School of Applied Social Sciences in 1929. She received the M.S.S.A. in 1931. Her major field of interest was child welfare. She taught at Bennett College for Women after her graduation from SASS. She attended the University of Chicago before moving to New York City where she worked for various social service agencies. Olive was a member of the American Association of Social Workers (later the National Association of Social Workers.) She and George had a son, George Davis Streator.

George Walter Streator was born in 1902 in Nashville, Tennessee. He received the A.B. degree from Fisk University in 1926 and also attended Columbia University and the University of Chicago. He was a teacher when he entered Western Reserve University Graduate School in 1929 and received the M.A. in Mathematics in June 1930. His thesis was The Newton-Leibniz Controversy and the Later History of the Calculus in England, with a Short Account of the Ideas that Resembled the Calculus Before Newton and Leibniz. His thesis is available for use in the University Archives. Throughout his career Streator was a teacher, writer, and labor organizer. He was business manager then managing editor of The Crisis in 1933-1934. He worked for the War Production Board during World War II. In 1945 Streator became the first African-American reporter for the New York Times.

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. in 1911. The family moved to Tuskegee in Alabama before moving to Cleveland in 1924. He graduated from Central High School in 1929. He attended Fisk University in the summer before entering Adelbert College of Western Reserve University in the fall. While his father moved to Wilberforce University to teach Military Science and Tactics, young Benjamin stayed with his sister Olive who was his guardian while he attended WRU. After leaving WRU, Benjamin attended the University of Chicago before entering West Point in 1932. Davis had a distinguished career in the military like his father, becoming the first African-American general in the U.S. Air Force. He was the leader of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Other African-American History Month alumni highlights include John Sykes Fayette, class of 1836.

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February 11, 2013

Famous Campus Visitors - Frederick Douglass

In 1854 former slave and noted abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, addressed the Western Reserve College Philozetian Society during Commencement Week. His topic was "The Claims of the Negro Ethnologically." It was reported that nearly three thousand people attended.

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The Western Reserve College campus at Hudson

From the perspective of 2013, the prospect of listening to a nearly two-hour speech in Ohio’s July heat and humidity seems an unlikely attraction. But, in the 1850s public, written communication consisted of newspapers and magazines - and not too many of them were available on the Ohio frontier. Consequently, long public speeches were the norm. In fact, the student literary societies, like the Philozetian, existed to give students practice in debate and declamation.

Douglass urged his listeners to take an active role in the slavery debate. “The relation subsisting between the white and black people of this country is the vital question of the age. In the solution of this question, the scholars of America will have to take an important and controlling part. This is the moral battle field to which their country and their God now call them. In the eyes of both, the neutral scholar is an ignoble man.”

Quotations are all from John W. Blassingame, ed. The Frederick Douglass Papers. Series One: Speeches, Debates, and Interviews. Vol. 2 1847-1854 (Yale University, 1982): 496-525

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January 25, 2013

Namesakes - Strosacker Auditorium and Charles J. Strosacker

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

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Strosacker Auditorium, ca. 1960s

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

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

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

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Charles J. Strosacker

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

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

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January 14, 2013

Famous Campus Visitors - Nikki Giovanni

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

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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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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.

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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.

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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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June 22, 2012

Namesakes - Haydn Hall and Hiram C. Haydn

Haydn Hall was the first WRU building formally named for a president, Hiram C. Haydn. It was dedicated 11/11/1902 for the use of Mather College. President Haydn was instrumental in the establishment of Mather College (originally known as the College for Women) in 1888.

The building was a student union, headquarters for commuter students and also served as a dormitory for the overflow of resident students from Guilford House (the first dormitory). While the building was a gift of Flora Stone Mather, the furnishings were a gift of the Mather Advisory Council and this group was in charge of the building. The building has been in continuous use for 110 years, its most recent major renovation in the 1980s as part of the Mather Quad Restoration Project. It is currently home to the Music Library, classrooms and offices.

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Mather College students having tea in Haydn Hall drawing room, 1929/30

When elected president of Western Reserve University in 1887, Haydn was a trustee. Born in 1831 in Pompey, New York, he studied at Pompey Academy and then Amherst College. After graduation from Amherst he attended Union Theological Seminary. Haydn came to Ohio in 1866 as pastor of the First Congregational Church of Painesville. He became associated with Western Reserve College (then in Hudson) in 1869 as a trustee. In 1872 Haydn became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland (commonly known as the Old Stone Church). As pastor of Old Stone Church he knew many of Cleveland’s influential families, such as the Stones and Mathers.

As president Haydn became a faculty member, teaching religion courses. He continued as a faculty member and trustee after his tenure as president ended. President Haydn had accepted the presidency with the understanding that he would serve until another suitable candidate was found. in 1890 he was succeeded as president by Charles F. Thwing, who became the longest-serving president in the university’s history.

President Haydn’s 2 sons attended and graduated from Adelbert College of WRU. His son, Howell, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a faculty member at WRU from 1899 until his death in 1938.

President Haydn died 7/31/1913.


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Hiram C. Haydn in his study, ca. 1900

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April 27, 2012

Namesakes - Kent H. Smith and Case Quad

The Case Quad, the Main Quad -- these are titles given to the area bounded by Crawford Hall, Rockefeller Building, Albert W. Smith Building, Bingham Buiding, White Building, Olin Laboratory, Nord Hall, Sears Library Building, Wickenden Building, Yost Hall, and Tomlinson Hall. The formal name of this space is the Kent H. Smith Quadrangle. You may notice a plaque identifying the area mounted on the plaza area of Crawford Hall.

Kent Smith was born 4/9/1894 in Cleveland to Mary and Albert Smith. He graduated from East High School before attending and graduating from Dartmouth College in 1915. He continued his education at Case School of Applied Science, graduating in chemistry in 1917. His father, Albert W. Smith, was a faculty member at Case as well as an alumnus, class of 1887. The Albert W. Smith Chemical Engineering Building was named for him. Kent’s brother, Albert Kelvin, was also a Case graduate, class of 1922. The Kelvin Smith Library was named in his honor.

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Edith Stevenson Wright painting of Kent Hale Smith

Kent Smith was elected to the Case Board of Trustees in 1949, serving until he was named honorary trustee in 1966. He served Case as Acting President 1958-1961 when President T. Keith Glennan was on leave as first administrator of NASA. He served on numerous committees, such as the Case Alumni Council, Diamond Jubilee Campaign, and Case Building Fund. Mr. Smith received the Case Alumni Meritorious Service Award in 1952, the honorary degree of engineering degree from Case in 1954 and an honorary doctor of law degree from Western Reserve University in 1960. A special dinner was held in his honor in 1961 at which his formal portrait was unveiled.

Mr. Smith was a founder of the Lubrizol Corporation and president 1932-1951. He was a member of the American Chemical Society and served on the boards of Euclid Glenville Hospital, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Cleveland Trust Company, and the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.

The quad underwent complete redesign in the early 1970s. William A. Behnke Associates was retained as landscape architect. There was no parking allowed on the quad. Old Case Main was razed. The Michelson-Morley fountain was installed. The Tony Smith sculpture, Spitball, was installed. The entire area was re-landscaped. In 1974 the Quadrangle won the Landscape Design Award of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Cleveland Growth Association for an educational institution.

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Kent H. Smith Quadrangle looking towards Bingham Building

The Kent Hale Smith Engineering and Science Building was dedicated 9/16/1994 in his honor. This building is commonly referred to as the Macro building or Macromolecular Science building.

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March 30, 2012

Celebrate Women’s History Month: Florence E. Allen

Florence Ellinwood Allen was the first woman appointed Assistant County Prosecutor of Cuyahoga County (1919) and the first woman elected to the Court of Common Pleas in the County (1920), winning by the largest margin of victory at that time. She was the first woman elected to the Supreme Court of Ohio (1922) as well as any state Supreme Court. She was also the first woman appointed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, serving the Sixth Circuit 1934 until her retirement in 1959. She was named the chief judge in 1958.

Miss Allen graduated with a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from the College for Women of Western Reserve University (WRU) in 1904. She entered the WRU Graduate School in September 1907 and received the Master of Arts degree in June 1908.

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Florence E. Allen as a college senior

As an undergraduate, Miss Allen was a member of Sigma Psi sorority and YWCA. She was president of the Dramatics Club and editor-in-chief of the student monthly newspaper, College Folio. Following her graduation she was a student at the University of Berlin. Returning to Cleveland, she began teaching at Laurel School in 1906 and was music editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

She sought admission to the Law School but was denied because she was a woman. She attended law school for a year at the University of Chicago and earned the L.L.B. degree from New York University in 1913. She was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1914 and entered private practice. While in New York, Florence Allen became involved with the suffrage movement, becoming secretary for the College Equal Suffrage Association. Upon passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, she ran for office. In her autobiography, To Do Justly (published by the Western Reserve University Press), she wrote, “I was the beneficiary of the entire women’s movement.”

Working through the College for Women Alumnae Association she headed the committee that worked with the WRU president and trustees to open legal and medical education for women. In 1964 she was still providing assistance to the Alumnae Association as honorary chairman of the Mather College Dormitory Fund Campaign.

She received an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, from WRU in 1926. Florence Allen died September 12, 1966.

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December 16, 2011

Namesakes - Eldred Hall and Henry B. Eldred

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Eldred Hall

Eldred Hall was originally built as a YMCA building. It was used as a recreation building for the men of Adelbert College of Western Reserve University. It had an assembly room, meeting rooms, and a reading room with popular literature. Over time a snack bar was added and space was leased to a barber.

The bulk of the funds for the building came from Henry B. Eldred, a local minister and friend of the university. Fundraising for Eldred Hall was conducted at the same time funds were being sought for the Biology Building (now DeGrace Hall ). Donors to Eldred included President Charles F. Thwing, WRU president and Monroe M. Curtis, faculty member.

Various dramatic clubs and later the Drama Department were installed in Eldred. In 1938 a major addition, featuring a new theater, was made to the building. Instead of a traditional dedication, the opening of the new building addition was held 1/17/1939 with the production of The Spook Sonata by August Strindberg.

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The Spook Sonata at Eldred Hall

The building had minor renovations over time including the lobby renovation in 1984 and the more recent renovation and addition of an elevator.

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November 17, 2011

Namesakes - George E. Pierce, Pierce Hall, and Pierce House

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Portrait of George Edmond Pierce and Pierce Hall

George Edmond Pierce served as Western Reserve College’s second president, from 1834 to 1855. A graduate of Andover Theological Seminary and Yale University, Pierce was Pastor of a Congregational Church in Harwinton, Connecticut before coming west to Hudson, Ohio to accept the presidency of the eight-year old Western Reserve College. In an interesting instance of multi-tasking, Pierce served as Mayor of Hudson in 1851-52. During his 21-year tenure as Western Reserve College's president, enrollment doubled (from 58 to 120), the size of the faculty more than tripled (from 4 to 14), and tuition was raised from $20 to $30.

Nearly 30 years after Pierce resigned from WRC, the College moved from Hudson to Cleveland and changed its name to Adelbert College of Western Reserve University. In 1882 there were 4 buildings: the classroom and office building, the dormitory, the president’s house, and the privy. This 1885 map shows the Case School of Applied Science and Adelbert College campuses.

One hundred years after the beginning of his presidency, the Western Reserve University Trustees formally named the dormitory Pierce Hall. It had ceased being used as a dormitory some years earlier. In fact, Pierce Hall had a variety of names (Adelbert Hall, Adelbert Dorm, Pierce-Cutler Hall) and a variety of occupants (Schools of Law, Library Science, and Architecture, numerous fraternities and academic departments) and was pressed into service during both WWI and WWII as a residence for military trainees. Pierce Hall was razed in 1960 to make room for the Millis Science Center, now part of the Agnar Pytte Center for Science Education and Research.

But in 1964 President Pierce was again honored when one of the new men’s north side residences was named Pierce House. The citation reads, “For his self-sacrifice and devotion, his unyielding honesty, fidelity and untiring perseverance for the College.”

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November 11, 2011

Namesakes - T. Keith Glennan and Glennan Space Engineering Building

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Glennan Space Engineering Building

T. Keith Glennan was fourth president of Case Institute of Technology. He served from 1947 to 1966 with 2 leaves of absence for government service: commissioner with the Atomic Energy Commission (1950-1952) and first administrator of NASA (1958-1961).

Glennan came to Case Institute via a different path from most college and university presidents. He was a businessman not an academic. However, he had a successful presidency by a number of measurements: increased enrollment; increased faculty size; 2 successful fundraising campaigns; expanded physical plant; curricular revisions; increase in grant-funded research. He was also instrumental in closer cooperation with Western Reserve University and work leading to Federation. He was popular with the campus and local community and the students held a Students Salute Keith Glennan Day on May 14, 1965.

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T. Keith Glennan cuts the ribbon at the Glennan Building dedication, 1/9/1969

On January 9, 1969 CWRU dedicated the Glennan Space Engineering Building. NASA contributed over $2 million to the $4 million cost of the eight-story building. The Austin Company was the designer and engineer, Albert M. Higley Company was the general contractor, and Kilroy Structural Steel Company was the fabricator and erector of the steel frame. The Glennan Building originally housed aerospace research activities, electrical science research, chemical engineering, plasma physics, solid-state micro-electronics and laser research. These types of research were expected to provide a closer link between the university and personnel of NASA Lewis Research Center (now NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field). The building is currently home to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, which has current research programs with the NASA Glenn Research Center.

A stainless steel mural by artist Buell Mullen was installed in the 3rd floor lobby of the Glennan Building at the dedication. The 6’ x 9’ foot mural, Challenge of Space, was commissioned in honor of President Glennan. It is currently installed in the Canavin Room, a 4th floor conference room. Another Mullen mural, The Unlimited Horizons of Youth in the Eternal Quest for Knowledge, is in the lobby of Strosacker Auditorium.

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October 07, 2011

Ruth W. Helmuth, University Archivist, 1964-1985

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As October begins another Archives Month in Ohio, it seems fitting to celebrate the CWRU Archives’ Founding Mother, Ruth W. Helmuth. Practitioner, educator, advocate. It is difficult to identify an aspect of the archival profession’s development in the 1970s and 1980s to which Ruth Helmuth did not contribute.

As a practitioner she merged classical archival theory with innovative use of technology and practices from related fields. The functional classification system she developed to describe the hierarchical arrangement of archival series was adapted by dozens of college and university archives. Even though she wasn’t certain how they would be used, she knew, in 1983, that the new desktop computers would be an important tool for archivists and provided funds and encouragement for her staff to experiment.

In the 1970s there were few opportunities for formal archival education in the United States. In 1970, Ruth Helmuth began a ten-year summer workshop that trained hundreds of archivists. In 1975, under her leadership, Case Western Reserve University established a double-degree program in archives administration which offered an MSLS from the School of Library Science and an MA in History. This was one of the earliest such programs in the United States. She worked within the Society of American Archivists (SAA) to develop educational opportunities and raise standards as a member of the Education and Training Committee, the Basic Workshop Committee, and the Professional Standards Committee.

Ruth’s service to the broader profession included chairing the Society of American Archivists’ College and University Archives Section and the Nominating Committee. She served on SAA Council and as Vice President and President. She was one of the founding members of the Society of Ohio Archivists (SOA), one of the earliest statewide archival associations. She also served a seven-year term on the Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board. She served on panels to review qualifications for the Archivist of the United States and director of the Gerald Ford Library.

In recognition of her accomplishments, SAA made her a Fellow, SOA issued a Special Citation, and CWRU named its archival endowment fund for her. A tribute by former MIT Archivist, Helen Samuels, at Ruth’s death summarizes the esteem in which Ruth Helmuth is held by the hundreds of archivists she influenced:

“Ruth taught us the basics and grounded us in our profession. Even more, she instilled in us the excitement and commitment to be first rate academic archivists. She trained a generation of college and university archivists, and I believe, contributed greatly to the strength and leadership that college and university archivists have played in our profession.” (Helen Samuels, posting to the Archives and Archivists list, July 22, 1997)

In 2011, in celebration of its 75th anniversary, the Society of American Archivists published a set of 75 trading cards featuring, among other notable achievements, people who made significant contributions to SAA or the archival profession. Ruth’s selection gave us one more opportunity to bask in her reflected glory and be grateful for her legacy.

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July 07, 2011

Namesakes - Kate Hanna Harvey and Harvey House

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Gertrude L. Paul painting of Kate Hanna Harvey

Kate Hanna Harvey (1871-1936) was an ardent supporter of nursing. She was chairman of the Lakeside Training School Committee, and after the school merged with Western Reserve University, chairman of the Nursing Committee. She was also a founder of the Visiting Nursing Association and helped establish the Cleveland chapter of the American Red Cross.

For many years she advocated for nurses and nursing education, which included new living accommodations for the nurses. In 1924 Mrs. Harvey paid for the refurnishing and redecorating of the old nurses’ dormitories. When the new Medical Center Group for University Hospitals and the School of Medicine was being planned, she won approval for the Nursing Committee to be represented on the University Hospitals budget committee. In 1931 one of the 4 new nursing dormitories, Kate Hanna Harvey House, was named in her honor.

The new dormitory was part of a quadrangle of dormitories for nurses. (Though Robb House was soon turned over to medical residents.) The dorm was a 5-story building of buff brick. The rooms were furnished in early American and in addition to a large living room, each floor had a lounge and kitchenette. Each nurse had her own room.

Mrs. Harvey was also the namesake of a professorship, the Kate Hanna Harvey Professorship in Community Health Nursing. Her granddaughter, Louise Ireland Humphrey, and great-grandson, George M. Humphrey, II, served on the university’s Board of Trustees.

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July 01, 2011

Namesakes - Flora Stone Mather House

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Flora Stone Mather House and Flora Stone Mather

Flora Stone Mather might be CWRU’s most frequent building namesake. We haven’t accounted for every formally named building in the university’s history, but we know four buildings were named for Mrs. Mather:

Flora Mather House (Mather College dormitory)
Flora Stone Mather Memorial Building (Mather College administration and classroom building)
Stone Dining Hall (part of the Mather housing complex built in the 1960s) and
Flora Stone Mather House (nursing residence)

Mrs. Mather was a generous donor to Western Reserve University and other Cleveland institutions. She was also one of a small group of women, the Advisory Council, who contributed their time, energy, and influence to ensure a successful start for WRU’s College for Women. In 1931, the College was named in her honor.

Flora Stone Mather House was one of four buildings constructed as residences for nurses as part of the then-new University Circle campus of the WRU School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Architect of the nearly $1.8 million complex was Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch & Abbott. Opened in 1930, Robb House, Harvey House, Lowman House, and Mather House formed a quadrangle, building 2 on this aerial image, on the south side of Euclid Avenue between Adelbert Road and Abington Road (now University Hospitals Drive).

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Flora Stone Mather House living room (left) and commons room (right), early 1903s

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June 17, 2011

Namesakes - Isabel Hampton Robb and Robb House

Isabel Adams Hampton Robb (1859-1910), was one of the pioneers of modern nursing education. Among other ideas, she championed the adoption of the three-year training program with reduced duty shifts (eight hours each day instead of twelve) to leave time and energy for more thorough classroom study. Isabel Hampton was a graduate of the Bellevue Hospital Training School for Nurses. She headed the Illinois Training School for Nurses and the Johns Hopkins Hospital Nursing School. She wrote three books, Nursing: Its Principles and Practice, Nursing Ethics, and Educational Standards for Nurses. She was involved in founding the organizations that would later become the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses’ Association. She was also one of the founders of the American Journal of Nursing.

She came to Cleveland after her marriage to Dr. Hunter Robb in 1894. In 1895 Mrs. Robb gave the first course of lectures to nurses at Lakeside Hospital. She served on the Lakeside Training School Committee which supervised the curriculum of the hospital-based nurse training program.

In her remarks at the 1898 dedication of Lakeside Hospital, Mrs. Robb spoke of the new Training School, “...the women who enter as pupils will be those who come seeking knowledge and who have high ideals... To the building up of a fabric of personal education and personal character, to the preparation for boundless opportunities for good work in the world, to happy, useful lives, and to the welfare of future generations are the women dedicated who become part of this new Hospital and Training School...” [quoted in Margene O. Faddis. A School of Nursing Comes of Age, 1973, p.27]

It was entirely fitting, then, that one of the four new nursing dormitories opened in 1930 was named Isabel Hampton Robb House. From Lakeside’s move to University Circle in 1924, the nurses had lived in several houses on or near Adelbert Road. The other new dormitories were Lowman House, Harvey House, and Flora Stone Mather House. With their commons areas, dining rooms, kitchens, and individual bedrooms, the new nursing dorms were a considerable improvement from previous residential life.

Robb House, however, was not long used by the nurses. Shortly after it opened, the building was turned over to the hospital’s male interns.

Isabel Hampton Robb’s papers are held by the J. Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives at The Johns Hopkins University

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June 08, 2011

Namesakes - Isabel Wetmore Lowman and Lowman House

Isabel Wetmore Lowman House was built as part of the Medical Center Group. It was one of 4 dormitories built for nurses at the new campus for the School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland. The other dormitories were Robb House, Harvey House, and Flora Stone Mather House. Construction for the dormitory began in 1929. The dedication was held 6/17/1931.

Mrs. Lowman was involved in the Lakeside Hospital School of Nursing, which was a precursor to the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. She was a member of the Advisory Committee studying affiliation of the College for Women (later Flora Stone Mather College) with various nursing training schools in Cleveland. She was married to Dr. John Lowman who was a physician at University Hospitals. He was one of the first lecturers in the new training school for nurses.

In addition to her extensive committee service for the School of Nursing, Mrs. Lowman was a founding member of the Visiting Nurses Association. She was involved in the development of the Infants’ Clinic, which developed into Babies’ Dispensary and Hospital (later, Rainbow Babies’ and Childrens Hospital). She was a board member of the Cleveland Nursing Center and the Anti-Tuberculosis League among others. She was also a worker with St. Barnabus Guild for Nurses, heading the scholarship committee which brought nurses to Cleveland for training. Mrs. Lowman died in 1954 at the age of 85.

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June 02, 2011

Namesakes - Florence Harkness Chapel and Florence Harkness Severance

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Florence Harkness Severance and Harkness Chapel

“Her works praise her in the gates.” So reads the inscription (Proverbs 31:31) on the north side of Harkness Chapel. Based on contemporaneous accounts of her life, the quote is a fitting tribute to Florence Harkness Severance. Her philanthropy benefited the Lend-a-Hand Mission and other charities.

Florence Harkness was the daughter of Anna Richardson Harkness and Stephen V. Harkness. Her father was a prominent Clevelander and an early investor in Standard Oil Co. Her mother was a notable philathropist. In 1894 she married Louis H. Severance, treasurer of Standard Oil and a Western Reserve University trustee. Florence Harkness Severance died less than a year after her marriage, at age 31.

The chapel named in her honor was a gift from her mother, husband, and brother, Charles W. Harkness. It was constructed 1899-1901, with transepts added in 1917. The chapel was only the third building constructed for Western Reserve University’s recently established College for Women. Besides serving as a chapel, the building contained classrooms and study rooms. It was used for assemblies, lectures, concerts, classes, and weddings. Designed by Charles H. Schweinfurth, Harkness Chapel was named a Cleveland Landmark in 1973.

Additional images of Harkness Chapel are available in Digital Case.

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May 26, 2011

Namesakes - Guilford House and Linda T. Guilford

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Guilford House, 1892 and Linda T. Guilford


Guilford House was originally known as Guilford Cottage. It was dedicated October 24, 1892, the same day as Clark Hall. These were the first 2 buildings constructed for the fledgling College for Women.

Flora Stone Mather donated $25,000 for this dormitory. She requested it be named in honor of her former teacher, Linda T. Guilford, a well-respected educator.

Miss Guilford (1823-1911) was educated at Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary, graduating in 1847. She came to Cleveland the following year. She was principal and vice principal of several private schools, including the Cleveland Academy, 1866-1890. After her retirement from active teaching, she was involved in temperance groups, a settlement house, and Mt. Holyoke alumnae activities. She was the author of a book, Margaret's Plighted Troth (a temperance story), and many short stories. She was also a member of the Advisory Council for the College for Women.

Guilford House closed as a dormitory in the 1970s. For a number of years it was unused. In 1979 a plan was developed to establish a fund for the restoration of the Mather Quad buildings. The Mather Quad Restoration Campaign was conducted from 1980 to 1985, with a goal of raising $1.6 million to renovate the 7 Mather Quad buildings (Guilford House, Clark Hall, Harkness Chapel, Haydn Hall, Mather Gym, Mather House, Mather Memorial). The alumnae of Flora Stone Mather College were the major supporters of the campaign along with other gifts from foundations.

An architectural study was conducted in 1981 to determine a detailed plan for the use of Guilford. In January 1984 the Board of Trustees Executive Committee approved the restoration of Guilford House. Alumnae Day, May 4, 1985, saw the re-dedication of the beautifully restored building. The English, Modern Language, Philosophy, Religion, and Political Science departments were the new occupants.

Additional images of Guilford House are available in Digital Case.

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May 18, 2011

Students Salute Keith Glennan Day

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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.

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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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April 20, 2011

Namesakes-William E. Wickenden Electrical Engineering Building

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William E. Wickenden and the Wickenden Building

As President of Case School of Applied Science from 1929 till 1947, William E. Wickenden led Case through the Great Depression, World War II, and the first years of the G.I. Bill enrollment surge. Case’s enrollment at the beginning of Wickenden’s presidency was 689; it had tripled by the end.

While many honors were bestowed on him during his lifetime, Wickenden did not live to see the construction of the building named for him. His unexpected death came mere hours after his retirement was official.

The William E. Wickenden Electrical Engineering Building was constructed in 1953/54, at a cost of $1.65 million. It was part of the post-World War II building boom that saw Case Institute of Technology construct several classroom-office-laboratary buildings, its first dormitories, its first on-campus athletic center, a library-humanities building, and a student center. The difference between Case’s campus in 1950 and 1960 are striking.

The Wickenden Building boasted a closed-circuit television system, with camera and receiver outlets in all labs, classrooms, and conference rooms. Special-purpose labs were designed for illumination, transmission, high voltage, small motors, measurements, servomechanisms, and machinery, as well as industrial electronics, computers, communications, microwaves, acoustics, networks, and vacuum tubes.

In his dedication remarks, Case President T. Keith Glennan said of William Wickenden, “...he exemplified the high ideal that the profession of engineering was not merely a means of livelihood but was a means for employing knowledge and skill to contribute to human welfare... In recognition of a great leader and with renewed confidence in the ability of future generations to apply technology for the good of mankind” the new electrical engineering building was named the William E. Wickenden Electrical Engineering Building on April 18, 1955. [1]

[1 1K 10:20 T. Keith Glennan, “Dedication of Electrical Engineering Building,” 4/18/1955]

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April 14, 2011

Namesakes - Thwing: the man and the building

“The rocks crumble; bricks dissolve; some day another building will stand here in place of this one. But it is pleasant to have one’s little day, to know that this building will bear the name of my family.”[1]

So spoke Charles Franklin Thwing at the dedication of Thwing Hall on 11/9/1934. Dr. Thwing was the 6th president of Western Reserve University, serving from 1890-1921, the longest term of any CIT, WRU, or CWRU president.

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Charles Thwing, ca. 1930s and Thwing Hall, 1934-1957

Though he retired as president in 1921 he continued to live “on campus” at 11109 Bellflower Road until his death in 1937. He also continued to be involved in campus activities such as athletic events, teas, lectures, and reunions.

Thwing had stated that if a building was ever named for him, he wanted it to be a library. In 1929 WRU purchased the Excelsior Club for $650,000. In 1934 it was converted to a library and dedicated on President Thwing’s 81st birthday. It was the first WRU university-wide library building.

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Thwing Hall library periodical room and reference room, ca. 1935

In his speech at the Thwing Hall dedication, WRU President Winfred Leutner said, “When the question of the naming of this building came up for discussion there was only one possible solution. With a unanimity which speaks the affection in which we hold him, the trustees of both the university and the Case Library, and later the faculty of the university, approved the decision to name it for our loved Dr. Thwing.” [1]

Thwing Hall served as the university’s library until Freiberger Library was built in 1956. At that time the building was converted into a student union and an Open House was held to show off the new space on 2/10/1957.

In 1972 Thwing Hall was named the Charles F. Thwing Student Center, incorporating Thwing Hall and Hitchcock Hall. After remodeling, the addition of an atrium connecting it to Hitchcock Hall, and the addition of a bookstore, the Center was re-dedicated in 1980.

According to CWRU historian C. H. Cramer, Thwing was known as the “last of the great personal presidents....because of an impressive physique, an intense interest in students and their problems, a phenomenal memory, an optimism that was euphoric, and a dramatic quality that sometimes bordered on the euphuistic and the ‘hammy.’” [2] Thwing was committed to making the university a warmer place for students. He knew the names of the students and their families; he was a friend and advisor; and was affectionately known as Prexy long after his retirement. It is fitting that after a library, a student center was housed in Thwing Hall.

[1] “Dr. Thwing sees hall dedicated” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/12/1934
[2] C. H. Cramer, Case Western Reserve. A History of the University, 1826-1976 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1976)

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April 05, 2011

Namesakes - Hatch Library and Henry R. Hatch

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J. Colin Forbes painting of Henry Reynolds Hatch

At his death in 1915, the Western Reserve University Trustees honored Henry R. Hatch with a memorial resolution which read, in part, “Through a long and successful and highly honorable business career he showed an ever developing interest in whatever tended to the betterment of life, both intellectual and spiritual, and so it was that he brought to the service of this Board not only great business acumen but high ideals and a most generous self-giving.” [1]

Henry Hatch served on the Adelbert College Board of Trustees, 1895-1915, and on the Western Reserve University Board of Trustees, 1897-1915. Above and beyond 20 years of service as a Trustee, Hatch was the donor of the first WRU building constructed as a library.

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Hatch Library, 1895-1898

Hatch Library was constructed in 1895 on the southwest corner of Adelbert Road and Euclid Avenue. Until its construction, the Adelbert College library was housed in a single room in Adelbert Hall. A description of the room’s amenities in the 1901 WRU Annual Report made particular mention of the two tables for the use of students, another table to display current periodicals, and a fourth table for the use of the librarian. Clearly, the two-story Hatch Library was an improvement. In 1898, Mr. Hatch donated additional funds to add two one-story wings, further expanding collection and study space. In 1901 the students dedicated the yearbook to Henry Hatch, “a true and tried friend.” By 1901, the collection had reached 43,000 volumes. [2]

In 1943 the collection was integrated with that of the University Library in Thwing Hall. Hatch became the home of the Geology and Astronomy departments and, for several years, the Reserve Tribune, the WRU student newspaper. Hatch Library was razed in 1956 to make room for construction of the Newton D. Baker Memorial Building. The auditorium in Baker and, later, the Special Collections reading room in Kelvin Smith Library were named for Henry Hatch.

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Hatch Library reference room (left) and second floor (right)

Henry Reynolds Hatch was born in 1831 in Grand Isle, Vermont. He came to Cleveland in 1853. He found work at the dry goods firm, E.I. Baldwin & Co., which eventually became H. R. Hatch and Co. Hatch’s other interests included serving as director of Cleveland National Bank and First National Bank. He was a trustee of Lake View Cemetery Association, Elder of the Euclid Avenue Presbyterian Church, and a trustee of the Young Women’s Christian Association.

[1 2KD 1:2 Western Reserve University Trustee minute, 6/13/1916]
[2 1DA 2:2 Western Reserve University. Reports of the President and Faculties, 1900-1901]

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March 31, 2011

Grazella Puliver Shepherd

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“Those who knew Grazella Shepherd will not forget her. That is the safest of prophecies. Her creativity, dynamism, and faith in life’s possibilities brought opportunities for intellectual growth to thousands, many of whom never met her or shared the joy of dialogue with her.” [1]

Grazella Shepherd was the director of the Division of General Education at Cleveland College of Western Reserve University. Cleveland College was the unit of the university dedicated to educating part-time, working adults. It offered degree programs, non-degree programs, and a vast array of courses to stimulate the minds of adults. It was located in downtown Cleveland (where most people worked at that time).

Mrs. Shepherd was born 12/25/1892 in Lawrence, Kansas and grew up in Abilene. She received her B.S. from Kansas State Normal School. She moved to Cleveland as an educational representative of the Victor Talking Machine Company, selling their music appreciation records to school systems. She married Arthur Shepherd in 1922. He was assistant conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra and later, Professor of Music at Western Reserve University.

Cleveland College hired Mrs. Shepherd as Radio Education Secretary in 1930 and she was appointed Director of the Division of General Education in 1943. (This was the non-credit arm of Cleveland College.) By her retirement in 1960 almost 40,000 people had registered for non-credit courses. Through her work in the Division of General Education Mrs. Shepherd worked closely with the Women’s Association of Cleveland College on various projects such as the Lecture Series (later, the Fall Lecture and now the Grazella Shepherd Lecture Day) and the annual Book Sale. In 1954 Mrs. Shepherd worked with the Women’s Association to start Living Room Learning.

Grazella Shepherd had envisioned “a new kind of educational program. Her basic idea was to move adult education from the confines of classroom and campus, extend its curriculum far beyond traditional, sequential offerings, and take this education out to the many adults whose formal education had been completed, but who harbored a desire for further learning in the company of others.” [2] She tested her idea in 1947 with 8-week sessions in various homes. Together, Mrs. Shepherd and the Women’s Association secured a $20,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation for a 3-year study of the possibility of launching such a program. The program began in February 1954 and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1979 shortly after Mrs. Shepherd’s death.

At her retirement in 1960 university trustees elected Grazella Shepherd Director Emeritus of the Division of General Education.

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Grazella Shepherd at her retirement reception May 20, 1960.

Grazella Shepherd was involved for many years with the Musical Arts Association (parent organization of the Cleveland Orchestra) as trustee and executive committee member and president of the Women’s Committee. She established the record lending library and developed the Music Memory Contests. Her memorial service was held in the Severance Hall Chamber Music Hall on 4/7/1979.


[1] Margaret W. Gokay, Twenty-Five Years of Living Room Learning (Women’s Association for Continuing Education, CWRU), 1979, p. 3.
[2] Ibid., p. 5.

Other stories about CWRU women
Other Women’s History Month recollections include Carolyn Neff, Bess Barr LeBedoff, Mary Frances Pinches, and Helen Stankard

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March 23, 2011

Helen Stankard

"First Woman Named to a Case Deanship"

In announcing Helen Stankard’s appointment as Assistant Dean, Case Institute of Technology (CIT) Dean Donald E. Schuele commented, “the title has properly been Miss Stankard’s for a long time as she has been performing all of the duties of a dean.” [1]

Helen Stankard was hired by Case Institute of Technology in 1959 as special assistant to the president, serving both Kent Smith and T. Keith Glennan. It was also the first year that Case admitted women to the regular (i.e., peacetime degree-granting) undergraduate program. In 1967, when CIT joined Western Reserve University to create Case Western Reserve University, Miss Stankard became assistant to the CIT Dean. In 1973 Helen Stankard became the first woman assistant dean of CIT. In 1977, she became CWRU Registrar, a position she held until her retirement in 1986.

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Helen Stankard, 1985

Born in Cleveland in 1921, Helen Stankard earned a B.S. in business education from the University of Akron in 1946. In 1947 she earned a certificate from Radcliffe College’s Management Training Program. Years later she commented that her management training was for businesses employing high concentrations of women, such as hospitals and department stores, but not in the “man’s domain of industry.” [2]

Before her arrival at CIT, Miss Stankard held personnel jobs at several department stores and served as Assistant Personnel Director at the University of Pittsburgh. She served as a Newman Foundation trustee and CWRU Hallinan Center executive committee member. Helen Stankard died in 1991.

[1] 7PI “First Woman Named to a Case Deanship,” press release, 9/21/1973
[2] 7PI “Registrar to Retire in March...” Campus News, (12/4/1985)

Other stories about CWRU women
Other Women's History Month recollections include Carolyn Neff, Bess Barr LeBedoff and Mary Frances Pinches

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March 17, 2011

Mary Frances Pinches

In 1964 Mary Frances Pinches was the first woman to win the Case Achievement Award which recognized exceptional service by a member of the Case Institute of Technology (CIT) faculty or staff. This award, which included a $1,000 honorarium and illuminated scroll, was given to a person who “shall have made a distinct contribution to the well-being of Case -- beyond the scope of normal duties; service shall have been prompted by genuinely unselfish motives -- and the recipient shall have demonstrated a warmth of personality felt by the entire Case community.”

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Mary Frances Pinches, ca. 1929

Miss Pinches was born 2/28/1904 in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. She received the A.B. degree from Flora Stone Mather College in 1927; the B.S. in Library Science in 1930 and the M.S. in Library Science in 1958 from the Western Reserve University School of Library Science.

She worked at Cleveland Public Library (1927-1943) and Ferro Enamel Corporation (1943-1947) before her career at CIT began. On 7/1/1947 she was appointed Supervising Librarian and Assistant Professor. Miss Pinches was responsible for much of the planning for Sears Library, the first all-campus library for CIT. She became Librarian and Associate Professor in 1960 and retired in 1970, when she was named Associate Professor Emeritus and Librarian.

She was involved in professional groups such as the American Library Association, Special Libraries Association, Ohio Library Association, serving on and chairing various committees.

Miss Pinches died in 1987.

Other stories about CWRU women
Other Women's History Month recollections include Carolyn Neff and Bess Barr LeBedoff and Helen Stankard

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March 11, 2011

Bess Barr LeBedoff

“I was a woman in an industry perhaps more traditionally masculine than any industry in the country.” [1]

Thus did Bess Barr LeBedoff describe the numerous personnel positions she held in manufacturing and shipbuilding during World War II. As for many women, when the war ended, so did her employment. After her husband died in 1949, she returned to the workforce, serving as Director of Western Reserve University’s Personnel and Placement Service from 1951-1958.

During her tenure as director the Personnel and Placement Service helped match students and alumni with job opportunities. The department also operated as the university’s employment office, recruiting, screening, and training employees for secretarial, technical, clerical, and minor administrative positions.

On behalf of students and alumni, Mrs. LeBedoff was tireless in her outreach to potential employers. She also adopted a no-nonsense approach to career counseling, including “a frank discussion of what the well-dressed candidate does not wear…” [2]

Among her many civic activities were Cleveland League of Women Voters trustee, Cleveland Metropolitan YWCA director, Lakewood Hospital Board, Women’s City Club, College Club, and others.

Mrs. LeBedoff retired from Western Reserve University in 1963 and died in 1977.

[1] 7PI “Bess Barr LeBedoff” obituary, Cleveland Plain Dealer, (3/25/1977): 48
[2] 4ND 1:1 Memorandum, Bess Barr LeBedoff to Webster G. Simon, 1950

Other stories about CWRU women
Other Women's History Month recollections include Mary Frances Pinches, Carolyn Neff and Helen Stankard

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March 04, 2011

Carolyn Neff, Secretary of the University

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Carolyn Neff, 1958

Trusted right hand of University presidents, trustees, and faculty; coordinator of self-studies and accreditation visits; organizer of anniversary celebrations, countless building dedications, conferences, and commencements (when there were three ceremonies each year!), Carolyn Neff was the first woman to serve as an officer of the corporation as Secretary of the University.

Miss Neff “had a great organizing ability....She was, in my mind, the epitome of the staff person, which is a high and honorable calling. She knew how to get things done...her instinct for strategy was formidable.” [1]

She was born Mary Carolyn Neff 7/23/1914 in Memphis, Tennessee. A graduate of Bay Village High School, she entered Cleveland College in 1936 while working as an office manager at Bonne Bell, Inc. After her 1945 graduation from Cleveland College, Miss Neff held several administrative positions at Cleveland College and in the University Development office. In 1955 she became administrative assistant to the president and Secretary of the University in 1959.

In 1967 the newly created Case Western Reserve University faced the challenge of reconciling different policies, systems, and cultures of Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University. Miss Neff shepherded and supported the Constitutional Assembly, which devised the new faculty governance structure.

In recognition of decades of service, the 1978 University Ball was given in her honor. She was named Secretary Emeritus of the University in 1979. Her memorial service was held at Amasa Stone Chapel June 20, 1985.

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President Louis Toepfer escorts Carolyn Neff to the University Ball, 11/18/1978

Other stories about CWRU women
Other Women's History Month recollections include Bess Barr LeBedoff, Mary Frances Pinches and Helen Stankard

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February 17, 2011

John Sykes Fayette

CWRU’s earliest documented African-American student was John Sykes Fayette. Having prepped at Western Reserve Academy, Fayette entered Western Reserve College in 1832 when the college was a mere 6 years old. He graduated in 1836 with the A.B. degree and was a theological student for the 1836/37 academic year.

Born in 1810, Fayette arrived in Hudson with a letter of introduction from his pastor, James H. Cox, of the Leight Street Presbyterian Church in New York.
“To the Rev. President Storrs, of Hudson College, Ohio; & others, to whom this document may come:

“The bearer, Mr. John Fayette, being about to remove for a time to your neighborhood & collegiate care, I recommend him to your esteem & Christian confidence, as a regular & worthy member of the church of my pastoral care; a young man (of colour) whose principles appear fixed & sound; a candidate for the Christian ministry, of good & hopeful promise; & a scholar of respectable attainments and behaviour.

“He has the best wishes of Christians who know him, for his prosperity in all things. May the guidance & grace of God be with him in the way of his pilgrimage to the end, & make him useful in his own blessed cause!”[1]

All students entering Western Reserve College in 1832 pursued the same curriculum: Greek, Latin, Mathematics, History, Philosophy, Chemistry, Astronomy, Natural Philosophy. Fayette would have attended devotional exercises twice a day in the college chapel and public worship on the Sabbath with the Faculty (unless permission was granted by parents or guardians to attend elsewhere). Systematic exercise was “deemed indispensable to health and improvement of the students.” To further this goal, mechanical labor (manual labor) was provided for. Fayette paid a tuition of $20 per year, room rent of $4.00-$6.00 per year, and $.50-$1.00 a week for board.[2]

In the Abolitionism/Colonization controversy on campus in 1833, Fayette joined 24 fellow students in signing a petition defending their professor (Beriah Green) who supported the abolitionist cause. In 1835 he voted for an anti-slavery resolution in the Western Reserve College Church.

Fayette became a minister and served for many years in various churches in Canada. He died in London, Ontario, Canada in 1876.

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John Sykes Fayette in later years.

[1] Letter of James H. Cox to Charles Storrs, 4/23/1832
[2] Catalogue of the Officers and Students, of Western Reserve College, 12/1832

Other African American History Month recollections include CWRU's Afro-American Studies Program and African-American Society

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