September 08, 2014

Cleveland Browns and Fleming Field

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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November 13, 2013

Inscriptions on Campus Buildings

Several of our early twentieth century campus buildings display inscriptions. Three of these, on Mather Memorial, Harkness Chapel, and the original home of the Law School on Adelbert Road, were taken from the Bible. All three buildings shared the same architect, Charles Schweinfurth and were built within 15 years of each other.

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The inscription on the Law School building, just below the main cornice, is related to the discipline of law: "And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do." - Exodus 18:20

The Mather Memorial and Harkness Chapel inscriptions honor the women for whom the buildings were named. Flora Stone Mather and Florence Harkness Severance were noted philanthropists. Both buildings were gifts from their families as memorials.

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The inscription which encircles the top of the Mather Memorial Building is from Proverbs 31: 10-12, 20, 26-31. "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life... She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy....She openeth her mouth with wisdom: and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth no the bread of idleness. Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excelleth them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates...Glory to be to the father and to the son and to the holy ghost"

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The Harkness Chaple inscription, below the stained glass window on the north face, is from Proverbs 31:31. "Her works praise her in the gates."

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October 30, 2013

The Flood of 1975

October is Archives Month. The theme this year is Disasters in Ohio. On campus there have been several severe floods which have affected buildings bordering the Doan Brook culvert. While floods occurred in 1959 and 1969 this article will discuss the flood of 1975.

On Sunday, August 24, 1975 severe localized thunderstorms between 3:45 and 4:15 p.m. resulted in flooding of campus buildings along East Boulevard (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive). The buildings most severely damaged by the flood were Sears, Wickenden and the subbasement and tunnel area of Tomlinson. Less severe damage occurred to Crawford, Olin, White, Glennan, and Adelbert Hall. The landscaping on the west side of the campus was completely destroyed and power to Wickenden, Yost, Sears, and Tomlinson was disrupted.

The Mail Room on the first floor of Wickenden was one of the hardest hit locations. It flooded to a depth of 6.2 feet, water flowing 2.5 feet over the first floor windowsills. The mail trucks parked outside were completely submerged and had to be replaced. All the mail was in mailbags which helped minimize the damage.

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CWRU mail vans and Mail Room after the flood

Also affected in Wickenden was the high energy physics group of the Physics Department. Magenetic data tapes, equipment, instrumentation, and tools were damaged. The departmental library of books, journals, proceedings, reports, and office files were damaged. Most faculty personal papers, books, and files were damaged or lost. Physics Department losses were $150,000 and damage to Wickenden was $90,000.

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Physics laboratory and stairwell in Wickenden

Water ran over the loading dock of Tomlinson and flooded the basement and utility tunnel. The transformers in the subbasement were completely flooded, resulting in their loss. The cafeterias and kitchen areas, one flight up, were less affected as the water crested at that floor level. Food service was suspended.

The greatest monetary damage happened in Sears Library where the ground floor stack area and work areas were flooded. The area damaged was 100 long, 35 feet wide and 16 feet high with stacks of books running floor to ceiling. Damaged were 50,000 volumes and 50,000 maps. The university hired 2 experts, Willman Spawn, Conservator of the American Philosophical Society, and Peter Waters, Restoration Officer at the Library of Congress, to direct the salvage operation. Ten thousand volumes were permanently lost with the remainder restored. The damage to the building was $10,000 while the collection was $800,000.

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Stack area and work area in Sears Library

The Crawford ground floor was covered with 6-7 inches of water. In Glennan water came through the mechanical steam room door, flooding the corridor with 2-3 inches. Damage in White and Olin was kept to a minimum because the sump pump in Olin continued to pump after being submerged. The first floor of both buildings received 2-3 inches while the structures laboratory and electron microscope (which were at a lower elevation) received 1-2 feet, resulting in $10,000 in damage. The basement of Adelbert Hall suffered flooding from a backed-up sewer.

A complete study was done to determine how the water entered each building and how to minimize loss from flooding. The losses from the 1975 flood totaled over $1.1 million.

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October 21, 2013

Travelling Behind the Iron Curtain

In the 1950s the Cold War imposed restrictions on travel from America to the Soviet Union. In 1954 Case Professor of Astronomy, Jason J. Nassau, was one of the very few Americans to visit Soviet Russia. Nassau was one of two American astronomers invited by the USSR Academy of Sciences to attend the dedication of the reconstructed Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, destroyed in World War II. For sixteen days Nassua participated in the expected scholarly conferences, but also attended the opera, ballet, and theater. “I saw Hamlet and heard Carmen in Russian,” he reported.

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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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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 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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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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December 14, 2012

Hudson to Cleveland: Moving In

We finish our description of Western Reserve College’s move from Hudson to Cleveland 130 years ago. Faculty member, Edward W. Morley, chronicled the event in letters to his parents. Extracts from those letters describe moving into the new buildings in spring 1883.

March 18, 1883
“Our carpenters promised to get out yesterday. I was not at the building yesterday, and do not know the result. But the end cannot be far off. I went to Hudson last Monday, in the morning, to pack up the chemical apparatus. I took with me the boy who prepares my lectures at the Medical College. He is the son of a druggist, and familiar with the handling of glass ware. He staid through the week, and is there still. I came up Monday evening, and went down and back each afternoon and evening till Saturday. Saturday, I went in the morning; and shall go in the morning tomorrow. Tomorrow will finish the whole matter. The boxes will come up by freight on the rail road; we loaded a good deal into the car yesterday, and shall finish that car, and perhaps put some things into a second car tomorrow; but shall not require the whole of a second car. At my rooms at the college I have nothing done. I have a lecture table making downtown; and an apparatus for supplying distilled water from the steam used for heating the building. Mr. Stone is sick, and hence we have not yet had the money paid over to us, and so do not know what our income is to be, nor when it is to commence. As salaries must first be paid, I have concluded to wait till we know what to expect. So the unpacking of my apparatus will take place under difficulties. There will be no place to put it but on the floor and on boards supported on packing boxes.”

April 22, 1883
“I am getting my laboratories into condition for work. Half of the senior class are at work in practical chemistry in the room intended for such purposes. In the lecture room, the lecture table is nearly finished for work; though the front on it is merely temporary; this front is made of matched flooring. Sometime one will be made of mahogany or cherry. The back of the table is of cherry; the top is also of flooring. There are sixteen drawers, and three closets, with six doors. There is a pneumatic sink, and gas and water and connections with air pumps, gas holders, and other connections very convenient. I have not yet used it for lecturing; it will be done and used during the week.”

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Edward Morley's laboratory in the Adelbert Main Building

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November 15, 2012

Hudson to Cleveland: Constructing the New Buildings - Year 2

We continue our description of Western Reserve College’s move from Hudson to Cleveland 130 years ago. Faculty member, Edward W. Morley, chronicled the event in letters to his parents. Extracts from those letters describe the September 1882 to March 1883 construction efforts.

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Two of the three new Western Reserve buildings: the president's house is on the left. Adelbert Hall, the student residence is on the right.

September 25, 1882
“The dedication of our new buildings will be on the twenty-sixth of October. I do not suppose they will be entirely done then, but they will be habitable... Our numbers are now larger than they ever were at Hudson, although the delay in getting the buildings done doubtless kept away many who would have come in case we were ready to go into the new buildings.”

November 4, 1882
“The buildings are getting along in the same slow way. I think we are likely to get into them by Christmas. The dormitory will not be done much if any before that time so that students can get into it. This is a great disappointment to them, as many have not purchased stoves yet, in the hope that such purchase will not be necessary.”

December 16, 1882
“Our building is getting on slowly. We are going to occupy the lower floor for examinations tomorrow. We shall have prayers in the library room. I am making drawings for my lecture table, and hope to have it begun soon, so as to be done by the middle of the term, if possible. The table will be nineteen feet long, and I think will be one of the most convenient and complete yet devised. The arrangement for introducing gas, water, blast, and exhaust will be particularly neat and convenient.”

January 28, 1883
“The college buildings go on slowly. The carpenters are putting on the wood-work of the stairs. I think this is about the last work remaining for the carpenters. The man who puts in the stair rails has got his rails there, and is drawing plans. He can not begin putting up rails till the steps are laid. The painters are somewhat behindhand. The work of the carpenters is very poor work, not one of the men will ever do work for me. I have some work to be done, which they want to get; but there is absolutely no use in their talking to me about it. Our Mr. Freeman, who is Professor of Physics, has got his apparatus up from Hudson, by going down there and packing it mostly himself. He had it brought up on sleds during a few days of good going on runners. I wish very much that the chemical apparatus were packed and brought here. I cannot go and pack it up till the weather is so that I should not be likely to take cold; and I want it to use before very long.”

February 19, 1883
“Work is slowly going on at the building. The carpenters are putting up the stair rail; and have but little left now. I put in a guage [sic] the other day to show how much water was contained in the tank put in the attic. The plumbers put in one which would not work, though it was only designed to let a stream of water run down when the tank was full. Mine tells just how much water there is in the tank, and works all right.”

March 4, 1883
“The carpenters move as slowly at the college buildings as the hour hands of a clock. They put up the front doors the other day. The workmanship of the men left on the job is pretty poor. The boss carpenter want the job of putting up the tables in the chemical rooms, and of the shelves in the library. These he will not get if I have any influence on the decision. He has let he men deface and defile the building so offensively, that no men under his direction will every work for me. The man wants to do right, but he has no idea of work the grade which is required, nor of using care to keep things neat and clean till the building is turned over to the owners.”

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October 26, 2012

Hudson to Cleveland: Constructing the New Buildings - Year 1

We continue our description of Western Reserve College’s move from Hudson to Cleveland 130 years ago. Faculty member, Edward W. Morley, chronicled the event in letters to his parents. Extracts from those letters describe the July 1881 to July 1882 construction efforts.

July 1, 1881
“The new buildings are not yet begun, but I do not see why they may not be begun soon. Mr. Stone is a man who does not at all appreciate statements of reasons: nothing short of a collision would show him that two trains cannot pass each other on a single track. Owing to this deficiency, it takes a great while for him to take some very short steps. Hence endless delays. The division of the land has not made any delay: that is settled: we have the eastern half of the lot.”

September 1, 1881
“Things are going on well at Cleveland. They are now a little ahead of what is called for in the contract. If they suffer no delay in getting stone, things will move rapidly. The other day they were doubtful about getting stone, but found that nine car loads were on the way, so that there was no delay.”

November 10, 1881
“The buildings at Cleveland are getting on slowly, on account of delay in getting the iron for the fire proof floors. They will only get up to the second floor this season, instead of getting the roof on, as was called for by the contract. Mr. Smith was out there a few days since, and reports the building as very fine in its appearance and workmanship.”

December 18, 1881
“The buildings of the college at Cleveland are now getting along pretty well. There was a delay of ten weeks waiting for a few pieces of iron beams which did not come with the first lot. They have now come, have been laid, and the walls are now going up again.”

January 16, 1882
“The buildings are getting along pretty well. The weather has permitted the men to keep at work almost every day so far. The main building is now up to a point beyond the tops of the second windows. I think it will be done in time.”

March 19, 1882
“During the summer, Mr. Cutler and I shall have to buy the furniture for the new building. The amount of salary to be paid after we go to Cleveland was not fixed at the meeting, but a committee was appointed to consider the matter, with power to act, and this committee will probably meet during the present week, and may be able to settle the matter at one sitting. The point to be settled first is, the probably amount of income. This can be decided only when we know what securities Mr. Stone in going to make over to us. The committee contained among its members the son-in-law of Mr. Stone, Colonel John Hay, who was to get light on this point.”

April 6, 1882
“Mr. Cutler is busy trying to write a circular announcing the future of the college, and the point now to be settled concerns the course of study. It gives us a good deal of trouble to settle it. he is coming in here in a few minutes, to work at it with me. Mr. Smith has such a disposition that he does not add much to our resources in settling such a matter, and Mr. Potwin is a weakling, and is moreover unwilling to go outside of his routine of work.”

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Charles J. Smith and Lemuel S. Potwin

July 8, 1882
“I have been out to the college buildings for two or three days, to correct errors of the workmen, or, more likely, of the architect. They have things all right now, I believe. The work is going on fast now; whether fast enough to get through it yet remains to be seen.”

July 21, 1882
“I have been detained somewhat by the necessity of looking after some things in the college buildings. The treasurer is away, and Mr. Cutler is gone up the lakes to take some rest which is very necessary if he is to do any work in the autumn... Dr. Bushnell the new treasurer of the college, promised to see to some of these things, but he seems to be so occupied with removal, and some such matters that he is in danger of putting them off too long.”

July 26, 1882
“... now almost every thing is done which I meant to do before going east. We have got the range selected for the college building; which Dr. Bushnell and I had to select.”

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Ebenezer Bushnell

Mr. Amasa Stone provided $500,000 to move the college from Hudson to Cleveland. Mr. Smith was Perkins Professor of Material Philosophy 1870-1882 and Professor of Mathematics 1882-1913. He was also an alumnus of Western Reserve College. Mr. Cutler was president of Western Reserve College. Colonel John Hay was diplomat, statesman, U. S. Secretary of State and son-in-law of Amasa Stone. Mr. Potwin was Lemuel S. Potwin, Professor of Latin 1871-1892 and Professor of English Language and Literature 1892-1906. Mr. Bushnell was Secretary-Treasurer of Western Reserve University 1882-1901. He was also an alumnus and a member of the Board of Trustees, 1861-1901.

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October 12, 2012

Hudson to Cleveland: Planning the Buildings

We continue our description of Western Reserve College’s move from Hudson to Cleveland 130 years ago. Faculty member, Edward W. Morley, chronicled the event in letters to his parents. Extracts from those letters describe the efforts to plan the new college buildings.

November 30, 1880
“Things about the college are not quite so bad as I judge you thought. The thing is moving on slowly; Mr. Stone has asked to see our plans for a building as soon as we can conveniently make them, and I have been at work at them for a day or two. I made one last Friday which Mr. Cutler took up to show Mr. Stone, and the report is that he was pleased well with it. There is now some chance that we may get there next autumn.”

December 6, 1880
“I am just about through with the plans for the college building. Mr. Stone is rather troublesome to deal with, I judge, and the thing goes slowly. But it now looks as if delay was about ended, and as if the getting money for a lot would not be as difficult as we had feared. That work is to be begun at once, I believe.”

April 22, 1881
“The plans for the college building are mostly in. The building committee is to meet tomorrow to examine them.”

The map below shows how the land was divided between Reserve and Case. Larger versions of the image are available.
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May 2, 1881
“Matters are in good shape as to the college. I wrote a letter last week, in which were enclosed five hundred dollars, being the first payment out of the half million promised to the college; which gives a sort of air of reality to the matter. Today I go to Cleveland to look over the plan with the architect, to give direction about details as may be needed. Mr. Cutler will also go up to see about the division of the forty-three acres which have been bought for us and the Case School jointly. There was a meeting for the purpose, but there was so much delay on the part of our side that nothing was accomplished towards the actual agreement of the two parties. The division will very likely be made today. In case agreement is not reached, the committee of arbitration will be called on to act; they say the way to decide the question of size of the shares must be determined by asking the subscribers to whose site they gave their share of the money; this course will give us what we claim, namely two thirds or three quarters of the land. A railroad is to run across the rear of our lot, cutting off about three acres. Perhaps this may give us rapid transit into the city; but the station would be at least two thousand feet from the college.”

May 30, 1881
“Matters at Cleveland drag at present. It is ten weeks since the vote to remove and the architect is not quite done with the specifications; though I suppose we could not have expected any quicker dispatch on this part of the business. Now we have to call for bids, to make a contract, and to wait. The lot is not yet divided, but that matter is now committed to Mr. Stone, and I presume he will have it done in time: he is brother to the man who built a bridge across the Schuylkill for the Pennsylvania Railroad in thirty days from the burning of the previous bridge. ... The Hudson people have given up all purpose of doing anything to oppose the removal of the college. As they cannot do anything, this seems a wise resolve.”

June 12, 1881
“Things are going on very slowly at Cleveland. Mr. Stone told me yesterday, as I met him on the street, that he thought some of the delay was unreasonable. I hardly think Mr. Cutler has kept the matter pushing as he ought. Still we may get to Cleveland by the beginning of February of next year, which is what has been planned for the last two months, and what has been announced to our students as our expectation.”

June 22, 1881
“I enclose a cutting from a paper which has a description of the proposed buildings for the college. To day the papers contain an account of the donation by Mr. Wade of a hundred acres just opposite the lot on which we are to build, for a public park for the city of Cleveland. The Council took action on looking towards accepting the gift and expending one or two hundred thousand dollars in beautifying it. This is of course very acceptable to us.”

The Mr. Stone who features so prominently in Morley’s letters was Amasa Stone, who provided the $500,000 to move the college from Hudson to Cleveland. Mr. Cutler was president of Western Reserve College. Mr. Wade was Jeptha Homer Wade, Cleveland industrialist and philanthropist.

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September 28, 2012

Hudson to Cleveland: Financing the Move

We continue our description of Western Reserve College’s move from Hudson to Cleveland 130 years ago. Faculty member, Edward W. Morley, chronicled the event in letters to his parents. Extracts from those letters describe the efforts to finance the move.

November 14, 1880
“The matter of moving the college stands still chiefly for lack of a man of affairs to attend to it. Mr. Cutler has absolutely let whole weeks pass without doing anything whatever. It is no wonder that a report has been started that there is a hitch somewhere. There is no hitch, but things which might have been done quickly are done so slowly that it looks just as if there were a hitch, which is about as bad for the present interests of the college. From what Mr. Cutler said to me last week, I judge he has only just now got to the point which he ought to have reached three years ago. The delay in settling things with Mr. Stone will make it impossible to get to Cleveland next autumn. This is a great pity; we shall be likely to have no senior class at all next year, as the members of the junior class think that they would stay out a year, or go elsewhere rather than graduate in Hudson after a year from the vote of removal. There is some talk in the papers of getting an injunction against moving the college, but it is hard to see who is going to move the matter to the extent of giving security for the costs if the case goes against the application.”

November 30, 1880
“Things about the college are not quite so bad as I judge you thought. The thing is moving on slowly; Mr. Stone has asked to see our plans for a building as soon as we can conveniently make them, and I have been at work at them for a day or two. I made one last Friday which Mr. Cutler took up to show Mr. Stone, and the report is that he was pleased well with it. There is now some chance that we may get there next autumn.”

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December 6, 1880
“I am just about through with the plans for the college building. Mr. Stone is rather troublesome to deal with, I judge, and the thing goes slowly. But it now looks as if delay was about ended, and as if the getting money for a lot would not be as difficult as we had feared. That work is to be begun at once, I believe.”

January 21, 1881
“The removal is in good shape now. The last agreements are made, and the committee went to work yesterday to raise the money. This will not take long; as they are greatly interested in the matter at Cleveland. One man, who is worth a few millions, a Mr. Wade, saw on the table of a Mr. Everett, who was one of our committee, a note to Mr. Cutler, saying that he was greatly interested in the removal, but was so very busy, that he thought he must withdraw from the committee, and Mr. Wade said to him, No, no, stay on the committee, and if you get in a tight place, I will help you out. So Mr. Everett staid, and told the story. The committee have made a list of the men who are to be asked to give towards the site, and divided the work among themselves.”

January 30, 1881
“The matters preliminary to the work of our committee in raising the money are successfully ended. The papers binding the different parties are made out and found satisfactory. The committee is a strong one, composed of some twenty prominent business men, well disposed to the college, and to the plans for its future. I think the money may perhaps be raised in a week. The committee begins work on Tuesday next, and I hope they will be able to report substantial progress by Tuesday the eighth of February. At which time there is to be an alumni banquet of our alumni at Cleveland.”

February 3, 1881
“The committee have got two subscriptions of five thousand dollars each towards the lot for the college. Things are all right apparently.”

February 23, 1881
“The removal business gets on all right, as far as I know. Mr. Cutler went up to Cleveland on Monday to see how matters stood then, but I have not seen him since that time. Last Thursday they had thirty thousand dollars secured, and the Case School men had signified that they would see the thing through by giving towards the end of the subscription. The thirty thousand came from some men whose names had to come first on the list; some were trustees, and others were also in such position that the committee thought that they must get these subscriptions before they could even approach others. As soon as they got these names they approached several men at once, and expect a lot of subscriptions almost at the same time as the result of such efforts. I think they will get the money now in a couple of weeks, or so. Mr. Cutler does not now think that the college will be opened at Cleveland till the summer of 1882; which seems to be the most likely time, as far as we can judge. The putting up the buildings will certainly take more time than to permit the removal this year, and if we begin next year here, we may as well finish, as students would not like to have to get rooms ready here, if they were to stay but part of a year.”

March 3, 1881
“There was a meeting of our trustees on Wednesday, at which things were satisfactory. Mr. Cutler was very blue on Tuesday; he had gone to see Mr. Upson on that day, and Mr. Upson does not take quite the right view of the removal business, I am inclined to think. But on Wednesday, Mr. Lee, who is a little inclined to see all the objections to any proposal, seemed not to find any difficulty with any matters proposed.”

March 15, 1881
“They have seventy-six thousand dollars raised out of the eighty-five which are required; and there is a man who is certainly good for six or seven thousand who is reserved for the last. So there is no danger of the whole matter falling through now.”

Mr. Stone was Amasa Stone (pictured above) who provided the $500,000 to move the college from Hudson to Cleveland. Mr. Upson was William Hanford Upson, trustee 1860-1910. Mr. Lee was John Calvin Lee, trustee 1874-1891. Mr. Wade was Jeptha Homer Wade, Cleveland industrialist and philanthropist.

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September 14, 2012

Hudson to Cleveland: the Decision to Move

We continue our description of Western Reserve College’s move from Hudson to Cleveland 130 years ago. Faculty member, Edward W. Morley, chronicled the event in letters to his parents. Extracts from those letters describe the discussions leading to the decision to move and some of the reactions to that decision.

The picture is of Carroll Cutler, about whom Morley writes.
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March 28, 1880
“Nothing further has been said about the removal of the college, except that Mr. Cutler has been to Cleveland to talk with some of our trustees about the probable organization of the Case School.”

May 9, 1880
“Last Wednesday was the time for Mr. Cutler’s report on the question how much it would take to move the college to Cleveland, and put it on a good footing there. He had a paper which gave satisfaction to those who are ready to see it moved; and it was put in the hands of the man, as yet unknown to us, who is asking how much will be required to do so. On Monday, tomorrow, Mr. Cutler is to read the same paper to the trustees of the Case School, the reading being at the request of those trustees, and intended to give them some notion of what a college is; some suppose it is a fine building.”

June 20, 1880
“The Common Council of Cleveland passed a resolution a few days since to appoint a committee to confer with the trustees of this college and to see how much land we should want for the college in case we move to Cleveland. Last Friday the committee met the trustees of this college and of the new Case School of Applied Science. Mr. Cutler attended. Nothing definite was done or proposed, the meeting being chiefly useful in getting the matter before the public. One thing which I think it accomplished is this: there was on the part of some of those who favor the removal to Cleveland, the idea that the college should be put about five miles from the centre of Cleveland. Against this notion Mr. Cutler had labored; the feeling developed at this meeting will settle the question in favor of a central location; which is what we judge the best.”

June 27, 1880
“A Cleveland gentleman is ready to give the college four hundred thousand dollars to increase the endowment, and one hundred thousand dollars for a building as soon as a building lot shall be secured at Cleveland. It is not to be made known here till after Commencement.”

September 14, 1880
“The meeting to move the college adjourned, as was the plan, on account of the absence of two trustees, who were at a good distance. They will meet next week Tuesday, and there is now no doubt that there will [be] a majority of three fourths for removal. It is likely that there will be but two against removal, and perhaps only one. There is a good deal of bitterness about it in town, but it does not seem to make much difference to us. Mr. Cutler has to take it; this is partly because the paper which he read to the trustees concerning the removal spoke a little hastily of Hudson, and gives offence. He meant to revise it before publication but gave it to the reporter without revision. The effect is that some who never lacked friendship for Mr. Cutler think the remarks he makes about Hudson are not just. But we shall go to Cleveland all the same.”

September 20, 1880
“The trustees have met today, and have voted fourteen to two and one absent, to remove the college to Cleveland. Amasa Stone give four hundred thousand dollars to add to our endowment, and one hundred thousand for building. We have to secure a site in Cleveland in six months or less. A preparatory school is to be kept up here at least five years. Mr. Cutler has not got back yet, so that I do not know all the details. But after all the somewhat acerb feelings of people in Hudson, it is good to win by so good a majority. And all the men were decided in their opinion; every man had his mind made up, except one of the men who voted not; he was not decided against it. He would have voted the other way, probably, if it had been necessary to carry the measure. So we have to plan a building, and get it built.”

Mr. Cutler was President of Western Reserve College from 1871 to 1886. Cutler’s History of Western Reserve College During Its First Half Century, unfortunately ends in 1876, so we do not have his account of these events. It is, nevertheless, an illuminating account of the college’s earliest years. Other records in the Archives document Trustee discussions and the decision to move the college.

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August 24, 2012

Hudson to Cleveland

Universities don’t often pack up and move to another city. But 130 years ago Western Reserve College moved from Hudson to Cleveland. Numerous records in the Archives document the decision to move, raising funds for the land and buildings, planning the new buildings, and, of course, delays. In the next few weeks, our blog will feature a firsthand account of this momentous decision.

02523D1.jpg In 1880 Edward W. Morley was Hurlbut Professor of Natural History and Chemistry at Western Reserve College. He had recently begun the research on oxygen that would make him famous. His significant research career is well-documented elsewhere, so won’t be repeated here. Morley had taught in Hudson for about a decade when discussions about moving to Cleveland began. Because he also taught at the Medical School, then located in Cleveland, he traveled frequently between the two. In letters to his parents he recounts the discussions, decisions, and activities that accomplished that move. We’ve transcribed sections of these letters and will be sharing them over the next few weeks.

Below is the extract from his September 12, 1882 letter describing the beginning of the first academic year in Cleveland.

“College opened last Thursday, as advertised. One recitation is held in an armory, which would accommodate about six hundred; one is held in an old church, not now used as such, but used for some meetings; one is held in the lecture room of another church, and two are held in two rooms belonging to the Young Men’s Christian Association. Prayers are held in the armory. All these buildings are near each other, and we do not lose much or any time in making changes from one room to another. Prayers are at nine o’clock, the first recitation at fifteen minutes past nine, the second at twenty minutes past ten, and the third at twenty-five minutes past eleven. All of the exercises of the college therefore are over by half past twelve.

The number of students is good, and we are going to get along well enough till the buildings are done. I see no reason to suppose that we shall get into the buildings this term. All of our students are quartered where they can be comfortable enough, though at a greater cost than if the dormitory were done. The buildings are very satisfactory, so far; of course there are little things in which our wants have not been understood, which have to be corrected, and sometimes the trouble required is out of all proportion to the work required.

I had three flues for carrying off fumes in chemical experiments. It took a couple of days to get them made. I come back, and find that one is spoiled, one has been altered, and will have to be altered back, and the other is stopped up so that it is doubtful whether it can be cleared without cutting through the wall. Also, where they run into the chimney, joists all run into all of them, so that there is some danger, though slight, of their taking fire.

Today, Mr. Smith, who is hard to satisfy because he has not yet learned that there are any trifles in the world, is in trouble, or rather is troubling me, because he thinks his blackboard is two inches too low. As this involves only the loss of half an ounce of lamp-black needlessly used in blackening the mortar of those two inches, I was inclined to think the matter a trifle, especially as the hight [sic] was agreed to by him at Hudson, and is made just what he agreed to. But I had to agree to go four miles and back to attend to the matter.”

The new buildings to which Morley refers are the classroom and office building, Adelbert Main, and the residence, Adelbert Hall. In coming weeks we’ll share Morley’s account of events that preceded the move.

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July 27, 2012

Transformation of the Bellflower Road-East Boulevard Corner

Construction of the Tinkham Veale University Center represents yet another transformation of the University’s use of the Bellflower-East southeast corner. All the images below are oriented with East Boulevard to the left and Bellflower Road at the top.

In 1927 Western Reserve University created the first athletic field for the College for Women (later Flora Stone Mather College) on the Bellflower-East southeast corner. Over the next twenty years, the athletic field contained a running track, tennis courts, and a hockey field. In her 1928/29 annual report, Eva May, Director of Physical Education, wrote in restrained tones that, “We used our new athletic field this year and are very grateful for the running track, and also for the small house in which to store our field equipment.”

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In 1948, asphalt replaced grass. The need for additional parking displaced the athletic field across Bellflower to the northeast corner, currently the Cleveland Institute of Art. The image below shows Severance Hall with the growing parking lot.

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The southeast corner remained a parking lot until the construction of Freiberger Library in 1956. Constructed at a cost of $1.6M, Freiberger’s four floors of 80,000 square feet accommodated over 500,000 volumes and seating for 600. Designed as “areas not rooms,” Freiberger was an open stack library with browsable collections on all floors and study areas in and around shelving. Freiberger is the building in the upper left corner. Parking still occupied a considerable part of the area for forty more years.

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In 1996 Freiberger was replaced by Kelvin Smith Library. When it opened, the 150,000 square foot building included fourteen miles of compact shelving that could house over 1.2M volumes and provide seating for approximately 900. The land around the library, the Campus Greens, was described as “5 acres of greenery replacing 7 acres of asphalt.” One section of the area was renamed Freiberger Field and was intended for intramurals and informal outdoor activities.

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In 70 years the corner of Bellflower Road and East Boulevard came full circle - from athletic field to athletic field.

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July 05, 2012

Student Centers

In May 2012, CWRU celebrated the formal groundbreaking for the new Tinkham Veale University Center.

Any new building seems to prompt questions about previous buildings used for the same purpose. Here, then, is a brief sketch of the university’s previous student centers.

1897 Eldred Hall

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Adelbert College’s first student center featured an assembly room, meeting rooms, and a reading room containing popular literature. Over time a snack bar was added and space was leased to a barber.

1914 Haydn Hall

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Originally planned as a study and recreation facility for the College for Women’s commuter students, Haydn was pressed into service as a dormitory when it opened in 1902. Beginning in 1914, it served a dual purpose as a student union and residence.

1915 Case Club

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A former church, the building was purchased in 1913 and served as Case School of Applied Science’s first student center. It included a gymnasium, pool, bowling alley, dining room, and offices.

1947 Tomlinson Hall

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Dedicated in 1948, Tomlinson included a library, lounge, ballroom, faculty dining room, cafeteria, gameroom, and offices for student clubs and organizations, as well as the Case Alumni Association.

1956 Thwing Hall

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In 1929 WRU purchased the building from the Excelsior Club, a private men’s club. 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.

1980 Charles F. Thwing Student Center
In 1972 the student center was re-conceived as incorporating Thwing Hall and Hitchcock Hall. In 1979 the Atrium joining the two buildings was constructed and significant remodeling was completed. The new student center was re-dedicated in 1980.

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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 09, 2012

League Park

Recent news that Cleveland’s historic League Park is to be renovated has raised interest in the many memorable sports moments in the park’s history. According to the League Park Society it was the site of the first grand slam in World Series history, baseball’s first unassisted triple play, Babe Ruth’s 500th home run, and the first game of the Cleveland Indians’ Bob Feller. Between 1891 and 1950 League Park was home to baseball’s National League Cleveland Spiders, American League Cleveland Indians, and the Negro American League Cleveland Buckeyes.

And Western Reseve University’s football team, the Red Cats.

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From 1929 through 1949 the Red Cats played most of their home games at League Park. The first three seasons saw mostly losing records (3-6; 1-7; 3-5-1). In 1932/33 the Red Cats were 7-1. Playing in Cleveland Stadium the following season, they were back to 4-3-1. Returning to League Park in 1934/35 the Red Cats had season records of 7-1-1; 9-0-1; 10-0; 8-2; 9-0. The early 1940s were mostly winning seasons, too. WRU’s varsity football was interrupted by World War II from 1943 through 1946. Reserve’s last three seasons at League Park saw records of 4-5, 1-8-1, and 4-5-1.

In fall 1951 Reserve’s varsity football home games were finally played on campus at Clarke Field.

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March 02, 2012

Namesakes - Bingham Building and Charles William Bingham

The Charles William Bingham Mechanical Engineering Building, commonly referred to as the Bingham Building, is the oldest building on campus used for engineering teaching and research. It was originally constructed in 1926 and 1927 for the Mechanical Engineering department by the Sam W. Emerson Company. Wilbur J. Watson and Associates was the architect. Both Sam Emerson and Wilbur Watson were alumni of Case School of Applied Science. It was built behind the original building used by the Mechanical Engineering department, the Mechanical Laboratory. It is now used by the Civil Engineering department and Centers of The Case School of Engineering.

Charles William Bingham (1846-1929) was born in Cleveland. He graduated from Yale University and went into the family business, the W. Bingham Co., eventually becoming president. He was a trustee of Case School of Applied Science 1899-1929 and Western Reserve University 1901-1922. He was a philanthropist who made his gifts anonymously, supporting several institutions like the Cleveland Museum of Art and Lakeside Hospital, in addition to Case. The gift of $500,000 he made to Case for the building was a challenge grant seeking another $500,000 from other donors. A gift from his son, William Bingham, II, provided endowment for the maintenance of the building. His daughter, Frances Payne Bolton, congresswoman and namesake of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, also made a gift for an addition to the Bingham Building in 1940.


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2 views of the Bingham Building

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February 03, 2012

Squire Valleevue Farm

Squire Valleevue Farm was left to Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University by Andrew and Eleanor Squire. Andrew was one of the founding partners of the law firm Squire, Sanders, and Dempsey. He was a trustee of Western Reserve University from 1900 until his death in 1934.

Though their residence was on Euclid Avenue, Andrew and Eleanor purchased their first plot of land, Valleevue Farm, in Hunting Valley in 1911, adding other parcels at various times. The University had access to the farm for picnics, outings, and research since 1930, and took full possession in 1937, after both Squires died.

Mather College used the farm for many purposes over the years. It was a working farm for a number of years and provided the campus with food for the dining rooms. The women often helped with farm chores. The Pink Pig was used as a weekend residence for the Mather women. The students enjoyed skiing, ice skating, hiking, putting on theater productions, and other activities.

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Students enjoying the Pink Pig and getting ready to ski and ice skate

The May Squire House was used as a laboratory for the Home Economics students.

Several departments conducted research at the farm. Franklin J. Bacon, originally professor of pharmacognosy and later biology, lived at the farm, managing its operations, conducting classes and performing research. The School of Pharmacy grew a medicinal herb garden at Squire Valleevue for many years.

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Andrew Squire in the medicinal herb garden

The Manor House has been used as a private residence, the university president’s home, and an event venue. Presidents Louis A. Toepfer (1970-1980) and David V. Ragone (1980-1987) called the Manor House home during their tenures.

In 1977 the University received a gift of 104 acres of the adjoining Valley Ridge Farm from the George Garretson Wade family.

You can view more images of the farm by visiting the University Archives Image Collection in Digital Case.

Bill Claspy, Research Services Librarian at Kelvin Smith Library, recently interviewed Ana Locci, director of the farm, and Christopher Bond, horticulturalist at the farm, about their book, Case Western Reserve University: Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farms. Listen to the podcast.

Kelvin Smith LIbrary is hosting an exhibit of watercolor paintings done by continuing education students taking classes at Squire Valleevue Farm. You can view the exhibit during regular library hours February 13 through March 16.


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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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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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June 23, 2011

Adelbert Hall burns - 20 years ago

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Adelbert Hall before and during the fire

On Sunday, June 23, 1991 fire broke out in the oldest campus building, Adelbert Hall, gutting the historic building. Built 1881-1882 it was formally dedicated October 26, 1882; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

President Pytte arrived at the building in the early afternoon to do a little work. He was met by a security guard who was checking the building because a fire alarm had tripped. The security guard could not locate the problem until the fire alarm tripped again. The Cleveland Fire Department was called at 1:57 p.m. and arrived at 2:02 p.m. Firefighters first tried to fight the blaze from inside the building, but evacuated when the roof collapsed. The fire was declared under control at 3:43 p.m. Sixty men and 10 trucks from 3 battalions fought the fire. The loss was estimated at $10-$15 million.

Salvage started the next day, after the Fire Department allowed entry to the building. Staff working on the direct salvage of materials from the building included staff from Plant Services, University Archives, University Libraries Preservation Department, Administrative Information Services and Development Information Services, University Movers. Personnel from the displaced offices were on hand to help identify records, computers, equipment, and belongings. Wet paper records were first frozen and then underwent a vacuum freeze-drying process to remove the water. Paper records that were not wet, were deodorized to remove the smell of smoke. Many paintings were restored by several art conservators or repainted from photographs of the paintings. More than 130 personal computers were retrieved from Adelbert. Most information was recovered by backing up the hard drives to tape. Nine seriously damaged units were sent off-site to On-Track Data Recovery in Minnesota. Data was recovered from all but one hard drive. The university’s mainframe was located in Crawford Hall and was unaffected by the disaster.

The university hired R. M. Kliment and Frances Halsband Architects to coordinate the renovation. The firm was experienced with building rehabilitation, additions, historical restorations, and educational facilities. The rebuilding of Adelbert Hall took 2 years with a cost of $12.4 million. The Krill Company was the construction manager.

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Adelbert Hall exterior and interior after the fire

Twenty offices were displaced by the fire, including the president. Personnel from the affected offices were housed in Crawford 13 and 14 until arrangements were made for temporary office space. Some offices, like the Controller, never returned to Adelbert. Other offices, such as Student Affairs, were added as new tenants.

Some changes made to Adelbert in its reconstruction included a different tower, redesigned central hall with the stairs in the tradition of the original double staircase, an expanded skylight, central air conditioning, wiring for CWRUnet, a modern elevator (if you remember the old elevator this was a big deal), and 9 new conference rooms.

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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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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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December 30, 2010

The Tombs

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Mary Chisholm Painter Memorial Gateway

A university as long-lived as ours is bound to develop interesting myths and legends. Some of our more intriguing stories have formed around campus structures. The Tombs, for example, seems a grim nickname for the lovely structure on the north side of Euclid Avenue between Mather House and the Church of the Covenant.

In spite of its menacing sobriquet, the Painter Arch was Flora Stone Mather College’s most frequently used symbol, appearing on yearbook covers, calendars, event programs, postcards, and class pins. It is also a designated Cleveland Landmark.

The Mary Chisholm Painter Memorial Gateway, as it was formally named, was designed by Charles Schweinfurth and constructed in 1904. The Arch, as it was also called, was a gift of William and Mary Stone Chisholm in memory of their daughter, who died in 1901. William Chisholm was a prominent Cleveland businessman with social and business connections to several Western Reserve University trustees.

According to the 1904/05 Western Reserve University Annual Report, the Painter Gateway was the first of what President Thwing hoped would be a series of gateways at the entrances to Western Reserve University.

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