September 27, 2018

Namesakes - Charles B. Storrs and Storrs House

Charles Backus Storrs
The northside dormitory, Storrs House, was named for the first president of Western Reserve College, Charles Backus Storrs. Storrs was born 5/23/1794 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He was the son, grandson, and nephew of ministers. He attended the village school and then Monson Academy where he graduated in 1810. He entered the College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton University) in 1810 at the age of 16. He had to withdraw his junior year on account of ill health. He returned home and taught at the village school. He began the study of theology as a private student of a clergyman on Long Island. When he was 20 he was licensed to preach. In 1817 he entered Andover Theological Seminary and graduated in 1820. He served as a missionary in South Carolina and Georgia for a year and a half before suffering ill health again. While returning to Massachusetts he stopped in Ohio to visit a friend.

When he arrived in Ravenna, Ohio in 1822, a new church was being established. Storrs became the new pastor and served 6 years. On 7/6/1823 he married Vashti Maria Pearson of Avon, New York. They had 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. His first son (second child) died as an infant and his last child died a month before President Storrs himself.

The Western Reserve College President's House in Hudson, built 1829-1830

Storrs was offered the professorship of Theology at Western Reserve College in 1828. Before that time the faculty consisted of tutors. As the only professor he also performed administrative duties for the College. He was offered the presidency in 1829 but declined. In 1830 he accepted the presidency and was inaugurated as the university’s first president 2/9/1831.

He had been anti-slavery and was a Colonizationist. He became an ardent abolitionist some time in 1831. He was also an advocate for temperance. On 5/8/1833 Storrs gave a 3-hour long sermon on the subject of abolition; after which he became extremely ill. His health had been failing for some months. He was given a leave of absence by the trustees and went to his brother’s home in Braintree, Massachusetts. He never recovered and died from tuberculosis on 9/15/1833. John G. Whittier published 2 poems referring to slavery in 1833. According to university historian Frederick C. Waite, “In November, 1833, Whittier wrote a poem which ‘sounded through the abolition ranks like the notes of a trumpet.’ It was in memory of Charles Backus Storrs, who at that date was the only college president that had publicly advocated abolition. This was the first poem that Whittier published in Garrison’s journal, the Liberator. Its opening stanza, which indicates the place President Storrs held in the early abolition movement, is as follows:
Thou hast fallen in thine armor,
Thou martyr of the Lord!
With thy last breath crying, - ‘Onward!’
And thy hand upon the sword.”

Storrs House
Storrs House was built as part of the Adelbert I dormitory complex, which consisted of 4 dormitories and 1 commons building. The dorms were named for the first 4 presidents of Western Reserve College: Charles B. Storrs, George E. Pierce, Henry L. Hitchcock, and Carroll Cutler. The commons was named for the 8th president, Winfred G. Leutner.

Financing for the $3.3 million Adelbert I complex was through a loan from the Housing and Home Finance Administration ($2.6 million) and university funds. The Adelbert Alumni Association conducted a three-year $200,000 fundraising campaign to furnish the new men’s dormitories. There is a donor plaque in each of the 4 dorms to commemorate the donors. Some rooms may still have the original small plaque outside the individual doors.

Ground was broken in 1963 and Storrs House was completed by 10/15/1964. Instead of being ready for the Fall 1964 semester as planned, there was a delay in the completion of Storrs House and the rest of the Adelbert I complex and the Mather II complex because of a strike by the building trades workers. Students were housed in the old dorms and some were accommodated in local hotels. The dedication ceremonies included the Adelbert I, Mather I (Cutter House, Smith House, Taft House, Taplin House, and Stone Dining Hall) and Mather II (Norton House, Raymond House, Sherman House Tyler House, and Wade Commons) dormitory complexes on Sunday, 3/7/1965 at Leutner Commons. Storrs House has been in continuous use as a dormitory since its opening 54 years ago.

Gravestone for President Storrs

President Storrs is the only university president for which there is no portrait or likeness in any format. According to correspondence with his descendants, there never had been a portrait or other image of him. The Archives has a photograph of one of his brothers and of his gravestone. On Friday, 9/15/1933 a wreath was laid on Storr’s grave on behalf of Western Reserve University to mark the 100th anniversary of his death. University historian Frederick C. Waite had visited the site to make the arrangements.

For more information on abolition at the university see our 2009 Archives Month webpage, Taking a Stand: Abolition in Ohio (scroll down the page), and the Institute for the Study of the University in Society story, The College and Abolitionism.

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December 22, 2017

Namesakes - Frederick C. Robbins and Robbins Building

“In deep appreciation for the many contributions that Frederick C. Robbins, M.D. has made to this University and to society, the East Wing of the School of Medicine is hereby named: The Frederick C. Robbins Building”
- text from the building plaque

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Frederick C. Robbins and Robbins Building

Frederick Robbins (1916-2003)
It was 63 years ago this month that Frederick C. Robbins received the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology with John F. Enders and Thomas H. Weller “for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue.” This discovery led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines.

Robbins was Professor of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the time of his Nobel Prize honor. He was also Director of Pediatrics and Contagious Diseases at City Hospital (now known as MetroHealth Medical Center). He had begun his appointment at Western Reserve University (WRU) in 1952.

Born 8/25/1916 in Auburn, Alabama, he was raised in Missouri. He received his A.B. from the University of Missouri in 1936 and the B.S. from the University of Missouri Medical School in 1938. He attended Harvard Medical School where he received the M.D. in 1940. He was a resident in Bacteriology at The Children’s Hospital in Boston in 1940-1941 as well as an intern in 1941-1942.

He entered the U. S. Army in 1942, serving until 1946 in the U. S., Italy, and North Africa. He was assigned to the Fifteenth Medical General Laboratory as Chief of the Virus and Rickettsial Disease Section. This unit conducted research on infectious hepatitis, typhus fever and Q fever and supervised general virus diagnostic work. For a 6 month period he was Assistant Director of the Division of Virus and Rickettsial Diseases, Army Medical School under Dr. Joseph E. Smadel. Robbins received the Bronze Star. His rank upon discharge was Major.

Fred Robbins in Italy during World War II

After World War II, Robbins returned to Boston, serving as Assistant Resident and Chief Resident at The Children’s Hospital, 1946-1948, with a 3 month stint at Vanderbilt University Medical School as Exchange Assistant Resident in Pediatrics. In 1948 he began his work with Dr. John F. Enders and Thomas H. Weller in the Research Division of Infectious Diseases at The Children’s Hospital. As Senior Fellow in Virus Diseases he conducted investigations concerning the mumps virus and polio virus. He resigned his fellowship in 1950 to (in his own words) “continue with Dr. Enders on investigations concerning the cultivation of poliomyelitis virus and the application of these techniques.” At this time he was also a Research Fellow, Instructor, and Associate in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

In 1952 Robbins came to WRU. “I came here really because this school was so alive at that time. It was such a dynamic place. The faculty were an interesting group of people, some of whom I already knew quite well.” (Oral history interview with Frederick C. Robbins, 11/29/1993) These people included Charles Rammelkamp and John Dingle, who he knew through his work in the war at Fort Bragg. A friend and former roommate, Bill Wallace, became head of Pediatrics at Babies and Childrens Hospital of University Hospitals of Cleveland while Robbins became head of Pediatrics at City Hospital - both affiliated hospitals of the School of Medicine. 1952 was the year WRU School of Medicine radically changed its curriculum. Robbins served as chairman of the Committee on Medical Education 1958-1962.

In 1966 Robbins was named dean of the School of Medicine, serving in that position until 1980. It was during this time period that the Robbins Building and Sears Tower were built. In addition to his role as Professor of Pediatrics and Dean, in 1973 Robbins became Professor of Community Health. He was named Dean Emeritus and University Professor in 1980. After a 5 year term as President of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., Robbins returned to CWRU. He had an active research program and served as Director of the Center for Adolescent Health. According to his obituary, “In the late 1980s, Robbins was instrumental in establishing the Case medical school’s collaboration with the government of Uganda and Makerere University for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis research.” He was co-principal investigator of a multidisciplinary research program on AIDS funded by NIH.

Dr. Robbins received many awards and honors such as the First Mead Johnson Award with Dr. Weller, the Kimble Methodology Research Award with Drs. Enders and Weller, the Award for Distinguished Achievement (Modern Medicine), Ohio Governor’s Award, and the Abraham Flexner Award. He received honorary degrees from numerous institutions such as John Carroll University, University of Missouri, University of New Mexico, Tufts University, and The Medical College of Pennsylvania. He served on numerous committees and professional organizations.

On campus, in addition to the Robbins Building naming he received other recognitions: the Special Medical Alumni Association Board of Trustees Award, honorary doctor of science degree, the first Frank and Dorothy Humel Hovorka Prize, the Frederick C. Robbins, M.D. Professorship in Child and Adolescent Health, and a travel fellowship in his name.

Dr. Robbins was married to Alice Northrop and they had 2 children, Christine and Louise.

The Frederick C. Robbins Building
Construction for the Robbins Building began in 1967 and was completed in 1971. As recounted in the Medical Alumni Bulletin: “Ten years of planning and four years of building finally came down to February 1, 1971, when the handsome new East Wing of the School of Medicine was taken over by students, faculty and staff. With no interruption in the regular program of classes and laboratory sessions, Phase I and Phase II students started the day in their comfortable new lecture rooms; in the afternoon, they moved their microscopes and equipment to their new laboratories, where instructions began the next day.”

The Robbins Building, originally called the East Wing, was part of the larger University Medical Center Campaign. At a cost of $38,900,000 new buildings were constructed for the School of Dentistry, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, and 2 buildings for the School of Medicine. In addition to the Robbins Building which provided teaching and laboratory space as well as space for the Health Sciences Library, the Lester M. and Ruth P. Sears Administration Tower was built and connected the old Medical School building, renamed the West Wing (and later the Wood Building), and the East Wing [Robbins Building]. Sears Tower housed conference rooms and administrative offices.

Fred Robbins during building construction in 1967

The new Health Sciences Library, housed in the Robbins Building, included over 100,00 titles, 1,200 periodicals, an extensive catalog of AV-TV materials, general reading rooms, individual carrels and conference rooms. Three floors of the building housed student mulitidisciplinary laboratories, lecture and conference rooms, and 2 floors housed the Department of Anatomy. The lower level contained the Animal Facility and Surgical Research Unit, and the ground floor held the Health Sciences Communication Center (HSCC). The HSCC was “the hub of a network which will link the three health sciences schools, University Hospitals, and eventually the other affiliated hospitals of the School of Medicine for the transmission of programs of undergraduate and graduate education.”

On 5/15/2003, 32 years after he had seen it through to construction, the East Wing of the School of Medicine was dedicated and renamed in honor of Fred Robbins. It was a fitting tribute. Dr. Robbins died 8/4/2003. At his memorial service held on the CWRU campus 9/19/2003, his brother Dan spoke. As part of his remarks he said, “Fred was my big brother, my teacher, my friend and my hero. He was also the best man at my wedding and provided medication for my nerves---a small glass of sherry...You remember him as a great scientist, a great educator and a great humanitarian. I remember him as great brother. I want to thank all of you for coming to honor him.”

The CWRU Archives has Dr. Robbins office files as dean and his personal papers.

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September 15, 2017

Namesakes - Harland G. Wood and Wood Building

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Variously called the West Wing, the School of Medicine, and the Mather Building, the Harland Goff Wood Building is the School of Medicine Building opened in 1924.

Harland G. Wood
Harland Goff Wood was born 9/2/1907 in Delavan, Minnesota, one of six children. He graduated from Macalester College in 1931 with a B.A. in Chemistry and received the Ph.D. in Bacteriological Chemistry from Iowa State College (later Iowa State University) in 1935. He married Mildred L. Davis in 1929 and they had 3 children.

Before beginning his tenure at Western Reserve University (WRU) in 1946, he was a Fellow for the National Research Council at the University of Wisconsin, Instructor and Assistant Professor of Bacteriology at Iowa State, and Associate Professor of Physiological Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. In 1946 Dean Joseph Wearn recruited Wood to the School of Medicine.

Wood came to the University as the head of the Biochemistry Department. He served as Dean of Science 1967-1969. In 1970 he was named University Professor and he retired with the title University Professor Emeritus effective 7/1/1978. At the time of mandatory retirement ages for faculty, the Board of Trustees voted to allow Wood to continue his work. He worked until his death, having an article accepted for publication on the day before his death on 9/12/1991.

As a graduate student he discovered that carbon dioxide was used by bacteria and animals, including humans. “This discovery helped to change the current scientific thinking and led to the eventual understanding of the essential unity of metabolic processes in almost all living tissues.” Wood continued his research on how carbon dioxide was incorporated into the body, “tracing pathways of metabolism and discovering whole new enzymes in the process. His findings had far-reaching implications for understanding cell biology and for the treatment and cure of metabolic diseases.” He was one of the first to use radioisotopes to view the workings of a cell.

In addition to his research work, and leadership as chair of the Biochemistry Department, he was an important figure in the Medical School’s new curriculum introduced in 1952. He was chair of the Phase 1 Committee. As Greer Williams wrote in his book, Western Reserve’s Experiment in Medical Education and Its Outcome, “In retrospect, it is a open question whether curriculum revision would ever have gone beyond the talking stage if he had not called his fifteen committeemen...together in May 1951 and told them they were going to have a long, hard summer. The CME [Committee on Medical Education] could not have found a better man to lead the charge. Wood was not a CME member and did not speak for the Dean; he was pure faculty.”

Wood was involved in many professional activities, serving as president of the American Society of Biological Chemistry and secretary general of the International Union of Biochemistry. He served on many editorial boards of professional journals. He was a member of the President’s Scientific Advisory Committee, Atomic Energy Commission Advisory Committee for Biology and Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences. Wood was a Fulbright Scholar in Australia and New Zealand and a Commonwealth Fellow in Germany. He received many awards and several honorary degrees, receiving the honorary doctor of science from CWRU at the 1991 commencement ceremony.

Special symposia were held on the occasions of Harland Wood’s 70th and 80th birthdays. “A Symposium Honoring Harland Goff Wood” was held 9/9-9/10/1977 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Opened by CWRU President Louis A. Toepfer with a welcome by Medical School Dean Frederick C. Robbins and past dean Joseph T. Wearn, convenors and speakers included Nobel laureates Carl F. Cori, Fritz Lipmann, Severo Ochoa, Arthur Kornberg, Feodor Lynen, and Konrad Bloch. Other convenors and speakers included Harry Rudney, Jerard Hurwitz, Donald R. Helinski, Paul Berg (who had yet to win the Nobel Prize), Harland Wood himself, and his brother Earl H. Wood. Held 10/22-10/23/1987, the Harland G. Wood 80th birthday party and Symposium again brought many distinguished scientists together. Seven Nobel Prize winners attended: Severo Ochoa, Arthur Kornberg, Paul Berg, H. Gobind Khorana, Konrad Bloch, David Baltimore, and Frederick C. Robbins. The Ohio Governor, Richard F. Celeste, and Cleveland Mayor George V. Voinovich sent laudatory proclamations and October 22 was declared Harland G. Wood Day.

l-r: H. Gobind Khorana, Konrad Block, Richard Hanson, Harland Wood, Severo Ochoa, Arthur Kornberg, Paul Berg

On 11/16/1992 the CWRU Board of Trustees Executive Committee voted unanimously to name the old Medical School building the Harland Goff Wood Building. This naming was not the result of a donation by Wood, his family, friends, or colleagues. It was to honor him as a great scientist and teacher.

Constructed 1922-1924, it was completed in 1924 and dedicated 10/9/1924. It was planned as part of the group of buildings known as the University Hospitals and Medical School of Western Reserve University. The Medical School building, the Power House (now the Medical Center Co.), and Animal Hospital were built first, followed by Lakeside Hospital, Babies & Chidren’s Hospital, Maternity Hospital, Hanna House, Institute of Pathology, Nurses Dormitory (Flora Mather House, Robb House, Harvey House, Lowman House), and Service Building. With the completion of the building, the Medical School moved to University Circle for the first time.

The building was used for instruction as well as research. It became known as the west wing of the Medical School after the completion of the Health Sciences Center in the late 1960s-early 1970s when Sears Tower and the East Wing (now the Robbins Building) were added to the Medical School complex. A Research Tower, added to the Wood Building, was dedicated 5/16/2003. Dr. Wood’s daughter, Louise Wood Conway, participated in the ceremony.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the use of the building after the completion of the new Health Education Campus now being built on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic.

Note: for a copy of the video of Harland Wood, Merton Utter, and Lester Krampitz (01:28:54 duration, 4.3 GB) discussing how they came to WRU and the beginning of the Biochemistry Department, contact the Archives.

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September 05, 2017

On This Day in CWRU History: September

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 18
1967 CWRU's first academic year began.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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August 14, 2017

Namesakes - Nassau Astronomical Station and Jason J. Nassau

Sixty years ago next month (9/7/1957), Case Institute of Technology (CIT) dedicated the Nassau Astronomical Station in Montville Township, Geauga County, Ohio. After 50 years of use, the university sold the Nassau Station to the Geauga Park District in 2008. The Park District renovated and refurbished the Nassau Station (retaining the original name) and it will be reopened 8/19/2017. It is a key part of Observatory Park.

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Nassau Astronomical Station in 1957 and 2017

Jason J. Nassau
Jason J. Nassau.was born 3/29/1892 in Smyrna, Asia Minor, now part of Turkey. His parents were Greek. He came to the United States to attend college. Nassau began his academic career at Columbia before transferring to Syracuse University. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Syracuse, earning the Ph.D. in 1920. He also studied at Edinburg and Cambridge. He married Laura Alice Johnson in 1920 and they had 2 sons, James and Sherwood.

Nassau served in the U. S. Army during World War I and in the U. S. Coast Guard during World War II. He began his career at Case School of Applied Science in 1921 as Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Mathematics. He was appointed Director of the Warner and Swasey Observatory in 1924, serving in that position until 1959. He became Professor of Astronomy and Head of the Department in 1930. He retired in 1962 becoming Professor Emeritus of Astronomy. According to one of his obituaries, “One of Nassau’s major contributions to the fund of knowledge in the field of astronomy was the devising of a method for determining the intrinsic brightness of stars and the discovery of some 900 stars in our stellar system which are at least 6,000 times brighter than our sun.”

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Jason J. Nassau

He was a member of many scientific societies such as the American Astronomical Society, American Association of Astronomers, Royal Astronomical Society, and American Mathematical Society. He was the founder and first president of the Cleveland Astronomical Society and held offices in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council, American Association of University Professors and others. He authored over 150 articles and a widely-used textbook, Practical Astronomy. Case and Prof. Nassau served as hosts for the 67th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in 1941.

Professor Nassau was internationally known. He served on the U. S. National Committee of the International Astronomical Union. He was Secretary of the U. S. State Department Delegation to the 1952 Rome meeting of the International Astronomical Union; member of the State Department delegation to the 1955 Oslo Meeting of the International Council of Scientific Unions, also serving as member of the Executive Committee; Chairman of the State Department Delegation to the 1955 Dublin Meeting of the International Astronomical Union. Nassau was a member of the committee to organize the Conference on Stellar Evolution held at the Vatican Academy of Science in Rome, 1957. He was one of 2 Americans invited to attend the dedication of the Pulkovo Observatory in Leningrad in 1954.

He was a member of the Society of Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Keppa, and Tau Beta Pi. He received the Distinguished citizenship award from Denison University in 1956 and Nassau was the first winner of the annual Case Achievement Award (1959).

Nassau Astronomical Station
Planning for the Station began in 1953 when Maynard Murch and Jason Nassau visited several possible sites for a new observatory, identifying the property on Clay Street as a suitable site. Because of light pollution in the city, it was no longer practical to do astronomical research at the Warner & Swasey Observatory on Taylor Road.

Burrell Schmidt-type telescope at Warner & Swasey Observatory

From 1954-1958 a fundraising campaign was conducted to acquire land, construct and furnish the building, move the 24-36” Burrell Schmidt-type telescope from the Warner & Swasey Observatory, and replace that telescope with a new 36” Cassegrain telescope. Major donors included the Cleveland Astronomical Society, the Cleveland Foundation, the Warner & Swasey Company, Allan Austin, Helen B. Warner, Maynard H. Murch, the National Science Foundation, Hanna Fund, and Mrs. Wilbert J. Austin. Gifts ranging from $10 to $5,000 were received from numerous others. Total costs, exclusive of land, were approximately $300,000. CIT trustee Allan Austin donated the 10 acres on Clay Street on which the Nassau Astronomical Station was built.

Groundbreaking for the Nassau Astronomical Station

The ground-breaking ceremony was held 7/7/1956. The building was completed in 1957. The Austin Company designed and built it. The Burrell Schmidt-type telescope, used for research, was moved from Warner & Swasey Observatory to the Nassau Station. Its effectiveness was greatly enhanced by the relocation. The clarity of the sky was greater and the number of nights on which observations were possible increased. “The capacity of the telescope to penetrate into space proves to be some three times greater at the new station than in the Cleveland location.” Dedication ceremonies were held 9/9/1957.

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Dedication of the Nassau Astronomical Station and the Nassau family on the balcony

Background of the property
In February 1955 CIT obtained a 90-day option to buy roughly 170 acres on Clay Street. Allan Austin purchased the property and donated the 10 acres on which the Nassau Astronomical Station was built to CIT. In 1959 Austin gave the rest of this original acreage. In 1962 CIT purchased a little over 67 acres, which abutted the Nassau property, from Mr. and Mrs. George Phillips and just under 42 acres from the Farinacci Lumber Company.

In 1979 the Burrell Schmidt-type telescope was moved to Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona. Once again the problem of light pollution forced the move of the telescope. The following year the 36” Cassegrain parabolic reflector was moved from the Warner & Swasey Observatory to Nassau Station This telescope had been used primarily for educational purposes. It was more suitable for visual observing and public demonstrations. The optical design or ‘speed’ of the 36” reflector made it less sensitive to light pollution.

Moving the Cassegrain telescope from the Warner & Swasey Observatory

In 1998 the Cassegrain parabolic reflector became the country’s first Earth-bound robotic telescope available online to the public. When the Nassau Astronomical Station was sold to the Geauga Park District, the Cassegrain telescope was included with the sale.

Both telescopes were manufactured by the Warner & Swasey Company. The university owns 2 other Warner & Swasey telescopes: a 9 1/2” telescope in the dome atop the Albert W. Smith Building on the CWRU campus and a 10” telescope on permanent loan to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (this had been in the old WRU Physics Building). The 9 1/2” telescope was the original telescope at the Warner & Swasey Observatory on Taylor Road. It had been the personal telescope of Worcester Warner and Ambrose Swasey.

Other historical items of interest
•The site is 1,250 feet above sea level and was described at the groundbreaking as the highest spot in northern Ohio
•The building included a darkroom, workshop and living quarters for 2.
•The rotating dome is 17 feet high and 28 feet in diameter and used a 5 h.p. motor to rotate. The dome was constructed in Cleveland by the Paterson-Leitch Company.
•The research emphasis (1950s-1960s) was on galactice structure.

The CWRU Archives has the personal papers of Prof. Nassau which people are welcome to view. An appointment at least 24 hours in advance is required.

The staff of the Archives is happy to see the Nassau Astronomical Station reopen and happy to have assisted in a small way with this celebration. I personally look forward to attending the reopening and enjoying a tour of the building and seeing the refurbished Cassegrain telescope. If you cannot attend the reopening, a visit to Observatory Park anytime would be very worthwhile.

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On This Day in CWRU History: August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On This Day in CWRU History: July

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July 04, 2017

On This Day in CWRU History: July

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1887 Medical School building (left); Ribbon cutting to launch Cleveland Free-Net (right)

From time to time the CWRU Archives is asked for a list of significant dates in the university's history. We've used various platforms, including a Twitter experiment, described here, to highlight some of the people and events that have made our institutional history so rich. To make this information a little more accessible, we're going to compile the dates we've identified in monthly blog postings. We make no claims that these lists are comprehensive. In fact, we invite members of our community to let us know of other dates that warrant inclusion. Below are July's dates.

July 1
1947: The Case School of Applied Science was renamed Case Institute of Technology.

1967: Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University federated, creating Case Western Reserve University.

1986: The Matthew A. Baxter School of Information and Library Science closed.

1987: The Colleges, which combined the CWRU undergraduate schools of Western Reserve College and Case Institute of Technology, was established.

1992: The College of Arts and Sciences was established. It was formed from the humanities and arts departments; social and behavioral sciences departments; and mathematics and natural science departments of The Colleges. The Case School of Engineering was established. It was formed from the engineering departments of The Colleges.

July 3
1886: Cady Staley was elected the first President of Case School of Applied Science at a salary of $3,500 per year.

July 5
1967: The General Faculty of Case Western Reserve University was established by the Trustees. It comprised all enfranchised members of the Case Institute of Technology faculty and the eight Western Reserve University faculties.
1967: CWRU's first colors, seal, and coat of arms were approved by the Trustees.
1967: At the first meeting of the CWRU Board of Trustees, the University Archives was established and Ruth Helmuth was named University Archivist.

July 8
1887: Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley began a series of precise measurements to demonstrate the existence of the ether, thought to be the medium which transmitted light throughout space.

1994: 1977 Case Engineering graduate Donald Thomas began his mission aboard the space shuttle Columbia. While in orbit, Thomas flew a CWRU banner.

July 9
1856: Levi Bodley Wilson, an 1848 graduate of Western Reserve College, became the first alumnus elected as a WRC trustee.

1857: Henry Ward Ingersoll received the first Bachelor of Science degree awarded by Western Reserve College.

July 10
1862: Western Reserve College's Commencement was postponed until October 15 due to the absence of most students fighting in the Civil War.

July 11
1885: Cornerstone was laid for WRU’s second (and last downtown) Medical School building.

July 12
1845: Former slave and noted abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, addressed the Western Reserve College literary societies during Commencement Week. His topic was "The Claims of the Negro Ethnologically."

1855: Henry L. Hitchcock was inaugurated as Western Reserve College's third president.

July 16
1986: CWRU launched Cleveland Free-Net, the nation's first free, open-access community computer system.
1992: Campus News reported installation of a 16-foot, 1-ton clock on the tower of the new Biomedical Research Building.

July 27
1938: Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for an addition to Eldred Hall.

July 31
1925: Cleveland College, Western Reserve University’s adult education college, was incorporated.

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CWRU's 1967 coat of arms (left); Ruth W. Helmuth, CWRU's first University Archivist (right)

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December 16, 2016

“Adelbert at last to have Modern Lights - Fight for Electric Lighting System Finally Wins Out”

So read a small headline in the 12/17/1919 issue of The Reserve Weekly. The article read,

“When the fathers of Western Reserve University placed the word, ‘Lux’ on the emblem which has come down to us, they meant it as a motto, but it turned out to be a prophecy. After years of dark and gloomy waiting, lights are now to dispel the gloom that hangs over winter eight-fifteens. No longer will the ponderous brass structures used as chandeliers hang threateningly over the heads of sleepy students, for a new era of electric lights has arrived.

“Promises of lights have come regularly for the last few years, but, this time, wires, fixtures, and numerous electricians prove that the lights are almost here. Most of the wiring is done, so that it will be but a short time before the mere pressure of a button will flood a dark room with light.”

At the 10/13/1919 meeting of the Western Reserve University Board of Trustees, the trustees approved the measure, “Upon the recommendation of the Treasurer, it was voted that the electric light wiring equipment, be completed in the second, third and fourth floors of Adelbert College Building at an estimated cost of $2005.44.”

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November 29, 2016

Namesakes - I. F. Freiberger and Freiberger Library

01983D1 copy.jpg Plans for a new library building were announced as part of Western Reserve University’s 125th anniversary celebration in 1951. Trustees voted to name the new library in honor of Isadore Fred (better known as I. F.) Freiberger in 1953, ground was broken in 1954 and the new building was dedicated 2/5/1956 as the I. F. Freiberger Library Building. The cost of the building was approximately $1.6 million and was designed by Small, Smith and Reeb of Cleveland. Ralph Ellsworth (WRU School of Library Science class of 1931), director of libraries at the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa), was chief consultant on building plans. Its 80,000 square feet was designed for a capacity of over 500,000 volumes and a seating capacity to accommodate 600 students. The three story building plus basement, at the corner of East Boulevard and Bellflower Road, overlooked the Cleveland Museum of Art and Wade Lagoon. The exterior was of limestone to blend with Severance Hall and the Art Museum. Freiberger Library opened for the Spring semester 1956.

Freiberger Library centralized holdings from the university library housed in Thwing Hall and holdings in other campus buildings (Clark Hall, Harkness Chapel basement, Hitchcock Hall, and the Annex). The plan for the library was a modular design. There were few interior walls to allow flexibility in moving partitions and shelves as needed. Study areas were scattered throughout the shelving areas. Director of university libraries, Lyon Richardson said, “The library may be considered as a great browsing room of four floors. We consider the library not as a place for storing books, but as a place for arranging books and facilities to serve educational principles”

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Interior views of Freiberger Library

I. F. Freiberger, known as Izzy to his parents and Fry to his friends, was born 12/12/1879 in New York City, one of 6 children. His parents moved the family to Cleveland when he was 3 years old. Freiberger graduated from Central High School in Cleveland in 1898. He received his Bachelor of Letters degree from Adelbert College 6/13/1901. (A friend and classmate in high school and college was Winfred G. Leutner, president of WRU 1933-1949). As an undergraduate student Freiberger played on the class baseball team, class football team, and class basketball team. He was also a varsity member of the Reserve basketball team. He served as business manager of The Reserve (yearbook) and was class treasurer his senior year.

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He received the LL.B. in 1904 from Cleveland Law School of Baldwin Wallace College while working at Cleveland Trust Company (where he started work as a clerk upon graduation in 1901). He worked his entire career at Cleveland Trust: Third Assistant Trust Officer (1909), Assistant Secretary (1913), Trust Officer (1914), Vice President (1915), Director (1939), and Chairman of the Board (1941). He married Fannie Fertel in 1903 and they had 2 children, Lloyd and Ruth Mae.

Freiberger was a loyal alumnus and served as a trustee on the Board of Cleveland College (1925-1943), Adelbert College (1934-1941), and Western Reserve University (1941-1967). He was named an honorary trustee 10/5/1967. Reserve awarded Freiberger the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 1947. He received the first Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Adelbert College Alumni Association in 1968.

Freiberger was also Chairman of Board of The Forest City Publishing Co., director of the Interlake Steamship Co., Richman Bros. Co., Youghiogheny & Ohio Coal Co., Island Creek Coal Co., and Wyoming Pocahontas Coal & Coke Co as well as other companies. He served on a number of philanthropic and educational boards including Goodrich Social Settlement House, Jewish Community Federation, The Playhouse Foundation and Mount Sinai Hospital. Freiberger received The Eisenman Award on the 50th Anniversary of the Jewish Community Federation, the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Cleveland Medal for Public Service, and the Distinguished Service Award of the Cleveland Community Chest. The American Heart Association honored him in 1957 with the Award of Merit for Distinguished Service.

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I. F. Freiberger with Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1968

After he died 4/20/1969 the CWRU Board of Trustees honored him with a memorial resolution which read in part,“His friends remember Fry in part for his success and for his leadership, but they remember him especially for his remarkable personal qualities of humility, humanity, and gentleness. He loved his fellow men and was a true friend to literally thousands of people of all ages and from all walks of life. A part of his humanity and warmth was revealed in his happy family life and his devotion to his wife, Fannie Fertel Freiberger, whose death in 1962 ended a most happy marriage of nearly sixty years.”

Students playing softball on Freiberger Field

Freiberger Library was razed in 1996 after the Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) was completed. The Freiberger Pavilion on the second floor of KSL and Freiberger Field on the site of the old library were dedicated 11/16/1997 and continue to honor I. F. Freiberger’s memory. The portrait which used to hang in Freiberger Library now hangs in Freiberger Pavilion in Kelvin Smith Library.

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I. F. Freiberger portrait, 1955

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August 15, 2016

The only classroom that is available for life - the library – Ralph M. Besse


At the 1961 dedication of Case Institute of Technology’s (CIT) Library Humanities Building, Ralph M. Besse described the challenge facing higher education in a world of exploding knowledge.

“Yet the dilemma of higher education is that a normal college time span permits only the development of either an undisciplined generalist or a narrowly-trained specialist, and neither is adequately equipped to achieve the objective of leadership in cultural improvement. No such gap in the training of leaders is endurable in a progressive society. If the great constructive goals of democracy are to be achieved, a solution must be found. We cannot long sustain leadership in a world in which competition among ideologies increases as fast as competition for material power if our best human talent is trained in only half of the arts of leadership.”

He went on to point out the role of the library in meeting this challenge.

“The dedication of this great new library suggests one of the answers. Within these walls all of the past and most of the developments of the present are recorded. The educational dilemma could be solved at Case if every one of its graduates were to leave college equipped with the skill of extracting knowledge from a library and motivated by a desire to do so.”

That CIT’s first library building was a Library-Humanities Building symbolized the role envisioned for both in a technical institute.

“This building recognizes two fundamental educational needs. It is a center where students, faculty, and representatives of business, industry and other elements of the community can pursue intellectual and cultural activities in attractive surroundings designed to be conducive to learning... The gallery available for displays, the lecture and seminar rooms, the Kulas Hall of Music and the Kulas Record Library bring together the broad cultural interests of the campus.” (Library-Humanities Building brochure, 1961)

Library-Humanities Building at the center of the new Case Institute of Technology entrance

The building itself was envisioned as a key component of the New Face of Case. “Located at the mid-point of the campus, the Library-Humanities Building is the most prominent and accessible of all Case buildings.” enthused a 1961 brochure describing the building.

The library originally occupied 34,000 square feet on the first three floors of the 83,345 square foot, six-story, building. It had seating for just under 450. This sounds more impressive when compared to the library reading room in Case Main, which seated thirty-two. The original collection capacity was 160,000 volumes, with growth to 250,000 volumes planned.

Frederick L. Taft, librarian, described some of the technical innovations of the new library in a December 1960 Library Journal article. “... conveyors include a horizontal chain drive conveyor which moves books and other materials to and from the receiving and shipping room; a vertical conveyor which carries books from all the upper floors to the circulation workroom... and a dumbwaiter which lifts books from the lower level bookstack to the circulation workroom... The Stromberg-Carlson Pagemaster system has been installed at the circulation desk. This small radious communications system enables a desk attendant to signal by transistor radio certain staff personnel anywhere in the building. The circulation desk is also equipped with pneumatic tubes which carry call slips to and from page stations on all stack floors. There is provision for photo-duplication services including a darkroom...”

Kresge Gallery
Other floors had classrooms, seminar rooms, conference rooms and the offices of the departments of Humanities and Social Studies and Mathematics. The lobby of the fourth floor was the home of the Kresge Gallery intended for exhibits relating to the Western Civilization courses, CIT’s art collection, and travelling exhibits.

Located on the second floor, ”The Kulas Hall of Music, a handsomely furnished 60-by-30 foot lounge, paneled in English oak and teakwood, is a harmoniously designed room where students and visitors may listen to music. The high-fidelity sound equipment permits reproduction of recorded material from magnetic tapes, records and AM and FM radio, either monaurally or stereophonically.” The George Sanford Collection, the core of the music collection, contained over 4,000 albums of classical music.

Building construction began in fall 1959 and ended early in 1961. The total cost of the building was $2.8 million. It was one of several buildings funded through CIT’s $6,500,000 Building Fund Campaign, which raised over $8.3 million. Major donors included the Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund, the Kresge Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. David S. Ingalls, Harris-Intertype Corporation, Kulas Foundation. The architect was Small, Smith, Reeb, and Draz and the general contractor was the Sam W. Emerson Company.

In 1966, Lester M. and Ruth P. Sears donated $1 million dollars for the building. It was the single largest non-bequest gift from an individual received by CIT in its nearly 90-year history. In recognition of their generosity, on June 15, 1966 the building was named the Lester M. and Ruth P. Sears Library. The dedication plaque read, “The Lester M. and Ruth P. Sears Library honors the founder of Towmotor and his wife. Lester Sears, innovating engineer, manager and humanitarian and Ruth Sears, his staunch supporter, have set an example for all of us to emulate.”

Sears remained the library for Case Institute of Technology until 1996, when its collections and services were merged with Freiberger Library in the new Kelvin Smith Library.

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August 08, 2016

Shakespeare Performance as part WRU’s Centennial Celebration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn about the beginnings of Shakespeare in the classroom.

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June 29, 2016

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library. - Albert Einstein

In 1828 the first bequest given to Western Reserve College was half of Reverend Nathan B. Derrow's library. For the next nearly-190 years generous donors have supported CWRU’s libraries and generations of students, faculty, and staff have used library collections and services. In 2016 our most recent library, Kelvin Smith Library, celebrates its 20th anniversary. Below is a summary of KSL’s predecessor library buildings.

Henry R. Hatch Library (1896-1943)
Hatch Library was Western Reserve University's first building constructed and used entirely as a library. Before Hatch libraries occupied parts of multiple campus buildings, including Adelbert Hall, Clark Hall, and Case Main. Hatch was the library of Adelbert College, the undergraduate men’s college, until 1943, when its collection was integrated into the University Library in Thwing Hall. The building, on the southwest corner of Euclid and Adelbert, was razed in 1956. Henry R. Hatch, a trustee, donated the funds for the original building and for two additions in 1898. His generosity is memorialized in the Hatch Reading Room on the second floor of Kelvin Smith Library.

Thwing Hall (1934-1956)
Western Reserve University president, Charles F. 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.

Freiberger Library (1956-1996)
Along with several other buildings, Freiberger’s construction was financed by Western Reserve University’s 125th Anniversary Campaign. Construction was completed in 1956 and the University Library moved from Thwing Hall. Named for I.F. Freiberger, alumnus, trustee, and benefactor, whose generosity is memorialized in the I.F. Freiberger Pavilion on the second floor of Kelvin Smith Library.

Sears Library (1961-1996)
Constructed in 1960 as the Library-Humanities Building, Sears was Case Institute of Technology’s first library building. Previously, a reading room was housed in the Case Main Building and most academic departments maintained their own libraries. The building was re-dedicated in 1966 as the Lester M. and Ruth P. Sears Library-Humanities Building.

Kelvin Smith Library (1996-)
Constructed between 1994 and 1996, at a cost of $29.5 million dollars, the 150,000 square-foot Kelvin Smith Library merged the Sears and Freiberger collections and services. The lead gift was made by the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation. A. Kelvin Smith, for whom the library is named, was an alumnus, trustee, and friend.

In pursuit of brevity, this summary does not include the Cleveland Health SciencesLibrary and its predecesssors or the Judge Ben C. Green Law Library or the Harris Library of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

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May 24, 2016

Namesakes - Morley Chemical Laboratory and Edward W. Morley

Edward Williams Morley

A small building on campus, surrounded by Rockefeller Physics and Strosacker Auditorium, Eldred Hall, and Millis Science Center is the Morley Chemical Laboratory.

The building honored former faculty member Edward Williams Morley, renowned scientist, internationally known for his accurate determination of the atomic weights of hydrogen and oxygen. He also worked with Albert A. Michelson on the 1887 ether drift experiment now known as the Michelson Morley Experiment.

Edward Williams Morley was born 1/29/1838 in Newark, New Jersey. The family moved when he was a small child to Hartford, Connecticut. At age 19 Morley entered Williams College and received the A.B. in 1860 and the M.A. in 1863. He attended Andover Theological Seminary, 1861-1864 becoming an ordained minister. He served in the Sanitary Commission 1864-1865. Morley continued his studies for a year and then taught at the South Berkshire Institute 1866-1868. He was offered a ministry in Twinsburg, Ohio and was appointed to the Western Reserve College faculty in 1868. He and his wife Isabella Birdsall Morley arrived in Hudson 1/1/1869, and were met at the station by Professor Carroll Cutler, who later became president of the College. Morley served as Hurlbut Professor of Natural History and Chemistry at WRC (later Western Reserve University),1869-1906, as well as Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology (1873-1881) and Professor of Chemistry (1881-1889) in the Medical Department (now the School of Medicine). He was Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, 1906-1923.

In his early years at WRC, Morley taught a range of scientific subjects including botany, geology, mineralogy, zoology, mathematics, astronomy as well as chemistry. He offered practical instruction in the use of a microscope and field work. This was in an era when all students were taught the classical curriculum.

Professor Morley was one of the professors who made the move with the College from Hudson to Cleveland in 1882. He recounted the details of the move in letters to his parents. Transcripts of these letters were made available on the Archives blog, Recollections, in 2012.

Edward Morley retired from WRU in 1906 and moved to Hartford, Connecticut where he died 2/24/1923. The Morley Chemical Laboratory was constructed after his retirement. It was used by the Chemistry and Geology Departments upon its opening. It was in continuous use by academic departments through the 1999-2000 academic year. Several plans have been made over the last 20 years, including renovating it as well as razing it and constructing a courtyard in its place. The final fate of the building has not yet been communicated to the university community.

Professor Morley had a long and distinguished career in science. Some of the many honors he received were the Sir Humphrey Davy medal of the Royal Society, the Elliot Cresson medal of the Franklin Institute, and the Willard Gibbs medal of the Chicago section of the American Chemical Society. He received honorary degrees from Williams College, Western Reserve University, Lafayette College, University of Pittsburgh, Wooster College, and Yale. He served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society. He was a member of professional societies such as the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America among others. Morley served as honorary president of the Eighth International Congress of Applied Chemistry.

Morley's laboratory in Adelbert Hall

In 1995 the American Chemical Society designated Morley’s work on the atomic weight of oxygen a National Historic Chemical Landmark. A special program was held on campus and a new plaque was unveiled commemorating Morley’s work. This plaque hangs in the basement of Adelbert Hall, near the site of Morley’s laboratory.

Edward Morley's papers are held at the Library of Congress. Copies of the correspondence along with research notes and reprints are held in the University Archives.

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January 28, 2016

Namesakes - Frank Quail and the Quail Building

The Frank Adgate Quail Building was dedicated 5/22/1953 on the Case Institute of Technology campus. Its original occupants included the Building and Grounds Department on the first floor, the Gage Laboratory and Cleveland Regional Office of the Cleveland Ordnance District on the second floor, and Project Doan Brook and the Operations Research section of the Engineering Administration Department on the third floor. Located next to the New York Central Railroad tracks, the Quail Building was located where the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center indoor track now stands.

Quail Building

Ground was broken for the new building in May, 1952. The Consulting Engineers were McGeorge-Hargett & Associates and the General Contractor was E. J. Benes & Company. The cost of the building was $300,000. Originally planned as a one-story building, this idea was changed early in the planning phase and it was constructed as a three-story building. The building was faced with red brick and had white stone trim.

Portrait of Frank A. Quail

Frank Adgate Quail was born near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania 6/18/1865. He received the B.A. in 1887 from Washburn College and the LL.B. from University of Michigan in 1889. Quail was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1889. He became a Member of the Corporation of CIT in 1919 and became a Trustee and President of the Board of Trustees in 1924. He served Case as Chairman for 25 years until 1949; however, he continued his service as a trustee until 1959 when he was named an honorary trustee. He received the honorary doctor of humane letters from CIT in 1950.

Quail moved to Cleveland in 1889 when he entered into practice with his uncle, John M. Henderson. (Henderson had been President of the CIT Board of Trustees from 1899 until his death in 1924.) Their firm was later known as Henderson, Quail, Schneider and Peirce. Quail was president of the Cleveland Bar Association and vice president of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. He was a trustee of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and an organizer and trustee of Cleveland College. During World War I he was a member of the Board of Appeals of Selective Service.

In April 1956 the Case Computing Center was established. The IBM 650 computer was installed on the first floor in July. In early 1958 the Univac I was installed and the new quarters were officially dedicated 4/12/1958. The staff was headed by Raymond J. Nelson and Frederick Way, III. Computers were housed in Quail until Crawford Hall was constructed in 1968.

The University Archives moved into the third floor of Quail in 1974, taking over the space vacated by the University Press. The Archives stayed until 1996 when it was moved to the University West building (aka UCRC I or BioEnterprise). The other departments which also moved out near the end included Plant Services and Environmental Health and Safety.

Demolition of the Quail Building began in April 1996 and concluded in May, before commencement. The commencement ceremony was held in a large tent on the neighboring Van Horn Field 5/19/1996.

Frank A. Quail died 8/19/1961.

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December 23, 2015

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

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


Invitation and ticket for the Harlow Shapley lecture

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

Jason J. Nassau

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

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Warner & Swasey Observatory

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April 03, 2015

Namesakes - Newton D. Baker and the Baker Buildings

Newton D. Baker is well-known as Cleveland’s mayor from 1912 to 1916 and Secretary of War from 1916 to 1921. Baker’s CWRU connections are extensive, as well. He was a Trustee of Western Reserve University (1916-1937), Adelbert College (1929-1937), and Cleveland College (1925-1937).

Newton D. Baker, ca. 1937

An advocate of adult education, Baker was instrumental in the founding of Cleveland College in 1925. Opening in rented quarters in downtown Cleveland, Cleveland College focused on the part-time, adult student, with evening classes and an emphasis on life-long learning. When the Depression pushed the heavily tuition-dependent school to the brink of closing in the early 1930s, Baker was an energetic fundraiser whose efforts kept the college alive.

In 1942 the college acquired its own building on Public Square. It was understandable that it be named for Baker, who had died in 1937. When Cleveland College was moved to the Western Reserve campus in University Circle in 1953, the original Newton Diehl Baker Memorial Building was sold to the Society for Savings.

Downtown Baker Building, 1942

The proceeds of the sale, and other funds, financed construction of the university’s second Baker Building, on the southwest corner of Adelbert Road and Euclid Avenue. This Newton D. Baker Memorial Building served as the home of Cleveland College until it was consolidated, with Adelbert and Mather colleges, into what is now the College of Arts and Sciences in 1971. Baker Building, at various times, also housed the School of Management, Instructional Computing, several Arts and Sciences academic departments, the School of Library Science, Western Reserve College offices, Graduate Studies, and Alumni Relations and Development offices. Baker Building was razed in 2004.

University Circle Baker Building

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December 23, 2014

Mather Quad Restoration Campaign

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

Flora Stone Mather College campus, 1910

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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"

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.”


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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

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

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

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.


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

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.

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


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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