Research files: IWU Baseball & segregation

IWU Athletics made history with a 1930 spring Baseball training trip to the South (See the 1932 Wesleyana p. 133). A brief mention in the 1950 Wesleyana says IWU was the first school to take a team on this kind of trip annually. The trips spread IWU’s reputation and so were a good recruiting tool for out-of-state students. The Argus often attributes the success of our baseball teams to these non-Conference games and from the first mention on April 16, 1930 (p.6) it was clear that extra practice time was the primary goal.

A recent research request raised the question of our involvement with segregated schools during these trips. I have yet to find mention in the earliest articles on the subject, but in 1955 the Board of Trustees issued a statement that included a point about discrimination based on religion and race with regard to education. Our records are not clear about why such a policy was implemented but this was the year of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, so it is not difficult to imagine how topics in the larger world could influence decisions inside the Wesleyan Bubble.

Statement of Policy excerpt
Excerpt from a three page May 1955 IWU Bulletin insert titled “A Public Statement of Policy.”

More to the point of this post, on December 3, 1956 the Faculty Meeting Minutes show a question raised about policies regarding “colored players on our baseball trips and on other sports teams.” The Athletics Committee of the Board of Trustees took up the question.

IWU Board of Trustees' Committee on Athletic Relations with the stated purpose of reviewing athletics' policies and schedules.
1956 committee details are unavailable. The 1958 Board of Trustees committee name and purpose is pictured here.

The committee brought a policy back to the faculty on January 7, 1957 which was debated and approved. The policy below was written by the Committee on Improvement of Athletics Relations on December 13, 1956.

A 1958 restatement of the 1956 policy that IWU would not schedule games with athletic teams that discriminated against members of IWU teams.
1956 policy on athletics (Click to enlarge.)

A revision reported to the faculty on October 6, 1958 is pictured below and is attributed to the Committee on Athletic Policy. No separate records of these groups exist in the University’s archives and this statement was actually found in the March 1965 Faculty Meeting Minutes. It does not explicitly mention race and instead defines two criteria IWU uses, and expects its opponents to use, in determining eligibility of players.

1958 revision (click to enlarge)

Of course, agreed upon policies don’t always translate into actions. By early 1965 the faculty raised the question again. A February 5 (p. 3) Argus article implies that the Southern trips to segregated schools continue “because we at present have no Negro on the baseball team….” That statement is affirmed in a quote attributed to Jack Horenberger in the February 12, 1965 Argus (p. 1). Horenberger “agreed ‘in principle to the recommendation'” and added “that the present policy has never been fully invoked due to the fact that ‘he (sic) has never had a Negro come out for baseball.'” The same article mentions a new proposal that would prohibit IWU scheduling games with segregated schools regardless of the presence of an IWU athlete who is black.

A motion from the Human Relations Committee, which the February 5, 1965 Argus reports was recently formed, is raised at the March 1965 Faculty Meeting and is more explicit than previous statements regarding integrating athletic teams. It appears to receive approval and yet the record pictured below concludes that it is the 1958 policy that is ultimately affirmed.

This document shows the faculty affirming an explicit statement about playing only racially-integrated teams but the less explicit 1958 policy is affirmed.
March 1965 Faculty Meeting (click to enlarge)

At least one alumnus, the person who most recently prompted this inquiry, feels the policy was enforced. A further search of the student newspaper only reveals a later interview with a faculty member reminiscing on the controversy in the 1960s (February 22, 1985 Argus p. 6). She thought the lack of black athletes on IWU’s teams wasn’t a coincidence considering the poor climate of social justice on campus in the 1960s. Alumnus Luther Bedford (’59; track and 3x football letterman) shared his experiences, including examples of discrimination in this era, in a 1999 interview for the Minority Alumni Network.

Call for participation from Meg (your archivist):
A review of the sources for this post reveals several mentions of College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) policies regarding scheduling competitions. It would be an interesting exercise to compile a list of the IWU Spring schedules in this era in order to identify segregation policies of the schools we played and to look at the development of specific rules for CCIW schools. I would also be interested in hearing stories from IWU athletes during this time period and from any others who were impacted by these decisions. You, too, can contribute to our knowledge of IWU’s history! Any takers? Contact archives {at} iwu.edu

Named places: Hansen Student Center

Hansen Student Center is named in honor of lead donor Tom Hansen, Class of 1982. His gift made it possible to remodel the Memorial Gymnasium, the first athletic facility on IWU’s campus, which was built in 1922. The building was dedicated to IWU students who died in World War One and their names can still be seen at the entry to the main court, across from the Information Desk. The basement, now Tommy’s, once contained IWU’s first swimming pool. A dedication ceremony for Hansen took place on January 12, 2002.

The campus announced Hansen’s gift in an October 28, 1999 press release and the IWU Magazine ran a post-renovation feature story titled A Place to Call Their Own in the Summer 2002 issue.

Photo selections from the Memorial Gym’s early days are available online; more of these and of Hansen are held in the University’s archives online.

Student Senate President Harold Gauthier examining a scale model of the Memorial Gym/Hansen renovation with other students looking on.
Student Senate President Harold Gauthier, Class of 2000 sharing renovation plans with other students. October 25, 1999

Illinois political history in Special Collections

John Wenum

John Wenum, 1974 Wesleyana

In addition to legislative Illinois alumni, IWU has another connection to Illinois’ political history through the work of Political Science Professor John Wenum who compiled a collection about the fourth (and currently in effect) iteration of Illinois’ Constitution.

John Wenum was a delegate to the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention (Con-Con). The work at this Con-Con resulted in a first-ever state Constitution that explicitly guaranteed citizens the right to a healthy environment. Wenum joined IWU’s faculty in 1971 and received the Award for Teaching Excellence in 1992.

Click to enlarge

The Con-Con items in the display pictured here are a Farm Bureau handbook, the Constitutional Convention Newsletter, and correspondence between Wenum and the State Chamber of Commerce. These are just a few selections from the 14 linear feet (unprocessed) collection of materials Wenum gathered during his campaign to become a delegate and his work at the Con-Con itself.

Within The Ames Library’s 4th floor department called Tate Archives & Special Collections are thousands of unique materials and all are available to benefit people in the IWU and surrounding communities.

The items displayed in these posts about Special Collections holdings are just a small portion of the kinds of materials found in Tate Archives & Special Collections. These collections are in a variety of languages and formats (artifact, book, manuscript, and media) and creation dates range from the 11th-21st centuries. Some collections are completely described and identified and some have yet to be thoroughly organized or examined.

Although many holdings do have a direct connection to the University, many are distinct and unrelated to the others such as the supporting materials for research on the people who created and collected the pottery and basketry items displayed in the entry level rotunda.

Curious minds seeking inspiration for creative works and original research are welcome to stop by and explore the possibilities!

Apollo 8 and IWU

Earth rising above the lunar horizon

Earthrise, December 24, 1968. Photo by Apollo 8 Astronaut Bill Anders. (credit: NASA)

December 21st marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Apollo 8 mission–the first manned orbit of the moon. Just three months after that on March 18, 1969, the three Apollo 8 astronauts–Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders–were awarded honorary PhDs at the 1969 Founders’ Day Convocation (the latter two in absentia). During his time on campus, Borman, who was Apollo 8’s commander, laid the cornerstone for the new Mark Evans Observatory and spoke at a luncheon for the Board of Trustees.
Towards the end of the Founders’ Day recording Borman speaks and has some pointed and interesting comments about education in direct response to the event’s main speaker William Arrowsmith, University of Texas Professor of Classics and University Professor in Arts and Letters. A March 21, 1969 Argus article (p. 15)  describes the event.
Astronaut Frank Borman and a crowd of onlookers at the Evan's Observatory dedication

A sizeable crowd watches as Frank Borman gets ready to place the time capsule in the Mark Evans Observatory. [click to enlarge]


The University made an an audio recording of the cornerstone laying at Mark Evans Observatory and the University Archivist added the sound track over three brief (and silent) home movies that were donated in 2016. One of the films shows Borman placing a time capsule in the observatory’s wall. The photo on the left shows just part of the crowd that this event drew; several other photos are available online.
The time capsule included many items that were not connected directly with the campus such as a package of space food, the Apollo 8 astronaut’s Christmas Eve tape, a road atlas, the Illinois Agricultural Association (IAA) Record and fifty-year history, and the Bloomington-Normal Phone Directory on microfilm.
In President Eckley’s remarks at the dedication, he says he intends to open the time capsule in seven years, but the University’s archival holdings do not contain evidence of that happening. With the 50th anniversary of the observatory’s dedication coming up, Physical Plant personnel are examining the building to see if the time capsule is still there.
After the dedication, Borman gave a presentation to the Board of Trustees in which he shared details of the Apollo 8 mission and displayed a great sense of humor!
The Winter 2011 IWU Magazine story “Star Attraction” offers additional details on the history of the development of this observatory.

Happy Birthday, Illinois!

Illinois 200 logo

Illinois celebrates its 200th anniversary this month. This post honors Illinois Wesleyan’s connection to this history. One way that IWU alumni have distinguished themselves in our state is through service in elected offices. Here’s a list that includes names of alumni who have attained Federal and State offices in Illinois.
[Input on other names welcome! Contact archives@iwu.edu]

Federal
Executive Branch: Adlai Stevenson, Class of 1853, Vice President of the United States from 1893-97

Legislative Branch: Adlai Stevenson, Class of 1853, House 1875-77 and 1879-81
John A. Sterling, Class of 1881, House 1902-1912, 1914-1918.
Louis FitzHenry, Law Class of 1897, House 1913-15
Scott Lucas, Law Class of 1914, House 1935-1939 and Senate 1939-1951

State
Executive Branch: Joseph Fifer, Class of 1868, Governor of Illinois 1889-1893

Legislative Branch: John F. Winter, Class of 1867, House (1874-?; also served as U.S. Consul to Rotterdam and Mannheim, ca 1880s-90s)
Joseph Fifer, Class of 1868, Senator 1881-1883
Archibald E. Stewart, Class of 1872, Senate 1872-76(?)
Abraham Phillips, Law Class of 1884, House 1905-07
George R. Tilton, Law Class of 1884, House 1889-?
Reed Green, Law Class of 1886, IL House – 4yrs, IL Senator – 4yrs
Craig Curtis, Law Class of 1888, IL House – 41/42 Gen Assembly
Lee Brown, Law Class of 1889, House 1901
George English, Law Class of 1891, House 1907-12
Wesley Owen, Law Class of 1894, House 1902
Andrew Dennis, Law Class of 1898, House
Walter Dysert, Law Class of 1901, House 1906
Martin Brennan, Law Class of 1902, IL House 1913-1917/IL Senate1918-
Everett Werts, Law Class of 1904, IL Senator 45/48/51 Gen Assem
James Henson, Law Class of 1906,IL State Senator
Gerry Bradley, Class of 1950, House
J. Bradley Burzynski, Class of 1977, Senate
Tom Cross, Class of 1980, House Minority Leader/State Representative 84th District
Bill Brady, Class of 1982, Senate 2002-present/ House 88th District 1993-2000/Republician Gubernatorial Candidate 2010

Judicial Branch: Craig Curtis, Law Class of 1888, IL Supreme Court Judge

Rev. Dr. (and author) Charles Smith records in Special Collections

Within The Ames Library’s 4th floor department called Tate Archives & Special Collections are thousands of unique materials and all are available to benefit people in the IWU and surrounding communities.

Charles Merrill Smith

click to enlarge

The Reverend Dr. Charles Merrill Smith was a Methodist minister, a prolific mystery writer (whose detective was another Methodist minister), and a member of the IWU Board of Trustees from 1958-1968. Smith is best known for his Reverend Randolph mystery series, starring Reverend “Con” Randolph, a former professional football player turned clergyman and detective in Chicago.

 

Click to enlarge

The display pictured here shows selections from his collection (6 linear feet, unprocessed) comprised of manuscript and typescript works, correspondence, photographs, and all of the works he published in English plus four of the same that were translated into Dutch, German and Japanese.

The items displayed in these posts about Special Collections holdings are just a small portion of the kinds of materials found in Tate Archives & Special Collections. These collections are in a variety of languages and formats (artifact, book, manuscript, and media) and creation dates range from the 11th-21st centuries. Some collections are completely described and identified and some have yet to be thoroughly organized or examined.

Although many holdings do have a direct connection to the University, many are distinct and unrelated to the others such as the supporting materials for research on the people who created and collected the pottery and basketry items displayed in the entry level rotunda.

Curious minds seeking inspiration for creative works and original research are welcome to stop by and explore the possibilities!

 

 

Views of an old Bur Oak

In an article published today IWU Manager of Grounds Services Eric Nelson told the story of a campus bur oak that fell after a heavy rain. The oldest clear image found in IWU’s archival collections is in the 1929 yearbook, The Wesleyana (p. 15).

Here is a selection of other views over the years!

 

Digitized history of the Muslim Student Association

The archives continues to bring new life to old media. The latest result of this work is a brief but excellent history of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) that is now available online. It was created by the 2005 Summer Enrichment Program students who researched different student organizations and interviewed alumni. Two alumnae were part of this portion and their recordings are also available now:
Hyder Alyan,Class of 2006 and
Muneerah Maalik
,Class of 2000

Muneerah Maalik ‘00

Muneerah Maalik ‘00, co-chair of the Minority Alumni Network, led a mentoring session that paired alumni with current students. Photo from IWU Magazine, Winter 2008-09

Readers should know that the archives is always interested in working with everyone in the IWU community to make sure the history they are making here is known to the future. Contact Meg (mminer{at}iwu.edu), IWU’s archivist, to start discussing your and/or your group’s work today!

Named places: Stevenson Hall

Dr. Edgar M. Stevenson

Dr. Edgar M. Stevenson

Stevenson is the home of the School of Nursing and is currently IWU’s oldest building; when it was built in 1910 it received partial funding by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. It was originally called the Science Building and was renamed for local doctor Edgar M. Stevenson after being renovated in 1965.

 

Dr. Carolyn Jarvis

Dr. Carolyn Jarvis

The Jarvis Center for Nursing Excellence was completed, along with several other updates to the building, in 2016. It was named in honor of Professor of Nursing Carolyn Jarvis, whose lead gift provided substantial funding for these renovations.