Share your thoughts and experiences with the future!

sharing-thoughtsIllinois Wesleyan University’s archives is creating a digital record of IWU community members’ (students, staff, faculty and alumni) experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic beginning with the first campus communication on February 3, 2020 (or earlier, for Titans who are further afield!) and extending through the time that in-person activities resume on campus.

CURRENT IWU students may complete this brief form and/or submit reflections by the methods below. (Note that the form allows you to request a copy of your responses.)

Everyone in our community is invited to share reflections on this global public health emergency:
What are you doing during your time away from campus? How are you staying connected with people you care about? Where are you getting information from about IWU, your extended community and the larger world? How is distance learning affecting your perspectives on your classes? How is telecommuting affecting the way you view your work? Anything else you’d care to share?

Other ideas are welcome and physical items may be accepted at a later date, but here are a few ideas of how you can make contributions now:

  • recollections–in text, audio or video (for video, please limit submissions to <5 minutes);
  • photographic images of physical art you create; and/or
  • copies of digital art or performances.

You may only submit material created entirely by you and not copied from or based, in whole or in part, upon any other photographic, literary, or other material, except to the extent that such material is in the public domain, or you have permission of the copyright owner, or its use is allowed by “Fair Use” as prescribed by the terms of United States copyright law.

Please include a signed copy of this form with your submission to archives@iwu.edu. IWU’s archives is not obligated to include your content in this project or preserve it in perpetuity.  Decisions to decline submissions will adhere to the guidelines of our collecting policy.

If you would like to refer or nominate material which you do not own, please contact Meg Miner at mminer@iwu.edu.

The 50th Anniversary of “The Last Shot”

ISU_scoreboard

Scoreboard image captured from the film linked in this post.

January 13, 2020 marks an historic day in Titan Basketball history. Fifty years ago IWU’s annual cross-town rivalry came to an end with a last second shot by team Captain Tom Gramkow, Class of 1970. His top-of-the-key jumper was called “The last second, last shot, last game!” by the editors of the 1970 Wesleyana.

According to the January 16, 1970 coverage in The Argus, “This victory gave the Titans a final 69-42 .series lead. In coach Jim Collie’s first year at ISU and in this his last year, the Titans beat State by one point. In 1958, Collie’s first year, the score was 62-61, IWU.”

This silent film shows segments of the last half of the last game IWU played against ISU. The creator of the film is unknown but at some point a copy was made on VHS and this file contains all of the game that was donated to the archives.

This link leads to photos of the team in the locker room after the game and an additional link to the film. The film is also briefly shown during an interview Dennie Bridges and Coach Jack Horenberger recorded in 1991 about the history of IWU athletics. Other items related to athletics history are available online through the University Archives’ collections of photos and documents as well as the official IWU Athletics website.

If you have additional photos or more information about this event, please contact archives@iwu.edu or 556-1538.

 

Evans’ time capsule contents

Although many more are known to exist, only three time capsules have been opened in IWU’s 169-year history. One was discovered accidentally when the iconic arch that still led into Duration Hall, last remnant of Hedding Hall/Old Main, was torn down. All that remains of the contents of that box are pieces of bank notes it contained and the description of its other contents as reported in the 1966 Wesleyana (p. 23).

The second was a much more purposeful removal from Sheean Library.The contents of this box were in excellent condition and are reported on in previous blog posts. The third was also a planned removal, this time in honor of the 50th anniversary of its placement rather than being due to the building’s destruction. This post describes the discoveries made as a result of this recent unveiling.

As previously reported, when the Evans Observatory’s time capsule was opened in preparation for the official unveiling at Homecoming 2019, much of the content was too deteriorated to salvage. Moisture interacted with a battery and food inside the copper box and the to the other material damage was extensive!

poster of damaged objects

A poster of several of the damaged objects (clockwise from top right): the thermal battery, a microfilm reel with the Bloomington phone directory (rolled and unrolled), close-up of a rolled map (enclosed in a plastic sleeve and closed by a metal snap; unrolled map in center), a long shot of the capsule’s damaged contents. (click any image in this blog post to enlarge)

Everything that was paper-based was congealed into a solid mass but fortunately, most of these were all widely distributed publications from the University and local businesses. We were able to separate two unique paper items:

Several unique objects survived their 50-year odyssey and one even went on the Apollo 8 mission, circling the moon ten times! Astronaut Frank Borman personally added the medallion picture below before placing the capsule in the Mark Evans Observatory.

Other items found in the capsule were donated by the Bloomington branches of several companies. Noteworthy among the survivors are a miniature engine, supplied by Caterpillar Tractor Co.; a vacuum tube and circuit board from the Admiral Corporation; a selection of electric relays from General Electric; and an integrated circuit, the kind which made putting a computer on the Apollo 8 flight possible, supplied by General Telephone.

Other views of the objects contained in this post are available in our Historic IWU photo collection. The objects themselves will be on permanent display in the Mark Evans Observatory.

list of time capsule contents

Contents list that was read by President Eckley on the day of the time capsule’s placement.

IWU alum’s “astronaut food” discovered in time capsule

Guest post by Anthony Romanelli, Class of 2023

Illinois Wesleyan’s Founders’ Day of 1969 was a momentous occasion. Apollo astronaut Frank Borman was being hosted by the University. His entire Apollo 8 crew were presented with honorary doctorates and Borman placed a time capsule in the newest building on campus. Borman, the University, and local Bloomington-Normal businesses all contributed to an extensive list of items to place in a time capsule in the Mark Evans Observatory. Some of the notable items on the list include an audio tape recording of a Christmas message by the astronauts, an integrated circuit identical to the ones on Apollo 8 (provided by the General Electric division in Bloomington), and perhaps most noteworthy, a medallion that had joined the astronauts on the first crewed flight to reach the Moon’s orbit. [A post about the time capsule contents is available here.]

But when the capsule was opened during Homecoming of 2019, many of the perishable objects had been completely destroyed, including much of the papers. Moisture had somehow penetrated the copper box and corroded the material. Upon closer inspection, one of the culprits may have been a packet of “space food” contributed to the capsule by the local candy company Beich Industries. The food itself was gone; all that remained was a label from the company and a product description by its head researcher, one Mr. Alikonis. The man behind the space food had a story of his own, one that eventually led to his product in space.

Justin J. Alikonis was born in Johnston City in southern Illinois on December 7, 1912. When he was 18, he hitchhiked to Bloomington during the Great Depression looking for work to pay for college. He found a job at the Quality Café at 426 Main St in downtown Bloomington. There, he worked as a busboy, a waiter and a short-order cook as needed to pay his tuition. Luckily for him, IWU president Henry McPherson had instated in 1932 a “livestock for tuition” plan, where students could trade in live animals or produce from family farms as tuition payments. The controversial policy was enacted to keep young Central Illinoisans in school in the wake of the Depression, and this video shows Alikonis trading in a pig for his first semester of 1932. (While family relatives of Alikonis confirmed his appearance in the film, it is unknown why he uses the name “Isaac Rosenburg” in it.)

Justin Alikonis with lab equipment

Justin Alikonis ’35 with lab equipment

Alikonis graduated from Illinois Wesleyan in 1935 as a chemistry major, and completed graduate school at the University of Illinois. By the late 1930s, Alikonis had a lab in Bloomington and respected reputation as a preeminent chemist. Alikonis provided Bloomington with a variety of services using his homemade equipment, from manufacturing stain removers for the local laundromat to providing forensics for the McLean County Sheriff’s Department in a suspected poisoning case.

It wasn’t until World War II that Alikonis began working for the Beich Candy Company, his employer for the next 40 years. Paul F. Beich was born in Wehlen, Prussia (now part of the German town of Bernkastel-Kues), a German immigrant to New York. He moved to Bloomington to live with his aunt, and in thirty years went from not knowing a word of English to being one of the most notable businessmen in Blommington. It was Beich who convinced John Hershey to set up a factory in McLean County to be closer to the dairy supply, and Beich himself later bought the factory. Beich Co.’s then-owner, the elder Beich’s great-grandson William, employed Alikonis as a researcher and designer in his candy factory in west Bloomington (since sold to Nestle) and the young chemist began working on high-energy candy bars to feed the G.I.s in the Pacific. During the war, over 95% of sales went straight overseas to the Armed Forces. In 1951, Beich and Alikonis participated in a rations design conference hosted by the United States Army Quartermaster Corps, and Beich helped supply the candy for homesick troops.

Justin J. Alikonis (fourth from left) participates in a candy taste test at Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station with other representatives of the industry on behalf of the Quartermaster General of the United States Army, October 1952.*

Alikonis quickly realized how valuable his caloric little bars were, and as the Cold War dawned, Alikonis began making bars designed for long-term storage in bomb shelters. At the height of the Space Race, Beich rebranded its bars and sold them to NASA for consumption during space missions. During the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, astronaut Wally Schirra ate Beich bars made with Alikonis’s patented formula, and on Apollo 8, Frank Borman shared them with his crewmates. The Beich bar recipe was also contained in the IWU time capsule, which reveals the new technologies Alikonis was working on. Determined to create an inexpensive, non-perishable candy, Alikonis was one of the first to use sorbitol, a natural sugar substitute, in his candies. Sorbitol, along with aspartame, is one of the most common natural flavorings used in diet soda today.

Alikonis was equally successful in the civilian market. He designed and patented, among other things, a marshmallow-making machine, the “Whizolater”, named after the Beich flagship candy bar, the Whiz. With no moving parts and operating solely on pressurized air, the Whizolater could make 1,400 gallons of marshmallow or nougat per hour. Curtiss Candy Company, the original makers of the Baby Ruth (then called the Kandy Kake), bought several Whizolaters for their Chicago-based plant. In the 1970s, “Beich’s Caramels”, which in reality were fruit-flavored taffy squares, became a hit once jokes (submitted to the company by children) were added to the wrappers. Beich’s Caramels became known as Laffy Taffy, a popular candy to this day.

Alikonis returned to IWU during Founders’ Day ‘69 to advertise his “space food” rations, and place a sample of his famous ration bar in the time capsule. While the bar may have rotted away, IWU will always have the story behind it, of the curious chemist-turned-candymaker who made history, on Earth and beyond.

Survival ration instructions found in the 1969 time capsule.

This informational leaflet concerning the Beich survival bar was found in the 2019 after the 1969 time capsule was opened, but was unfortunately moisture damage deteriorated it beyond preservation. Alikonis’s name can be seen towards the bottom of the decayed paper.

*Group photo credit: Quartermaster General of the Army. Activities Report of the Quartermaster Food and Container Institute for the Armed Forces. Vol. 4, No. 3, pg. 257. Research and Development Associates, Food and Container Institute, Inc., 1952. https://books.google.com/books?id=svDhVf4KeDAC&lpg=RA1-PA98&dq=beich rations&pg=RA2-PA163#v=onepage&q=beich rations&f=false.

Presidential Biography: S. Georgia Nugent

After serving as interim president since August 2019, S. Georgia Nugent has been appointed to serve as Illinois Wesleyan University’s 20th president by the Board of Trustees. Nugent is president emerita (2003-2013) of Kenyon College, OH and served as interim president at The College of Wooster, 2015-16.

A widely published scholar of the classics and of higher education, Nugent earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a doctorate from Cornell University. At Princeton she was assistant to the president, associate provost, and dean of the Center for Teaching and Learning. She was professor of classics at Princeton and Brown universities and also taught on the classics faculties of Cornell, Swarthmore College and Kenyon.

Dr. Nugent is the first woman to officially hold the presidency at IWU. There have been two previous interim presidents: Wendell Hess, 1988-89 and Janet McNew, 2003-04.

President Georgia Nugent

Named places: Munsell Hall

Munsell Hall is named for two brothers: Charles W. C. Munsell and Oliver Spencer Munsell. Both are credited with seeing IWU through its first financial crisis in 1857, growing student enrollment, and securing funds for the second campus building (1870). Charles served as IWU’s financial agent, in charge of raising funds for the struggling school, and Oliver served as second president of the University. President Munsell’s tenure also saw positive Board of Trustee action on admitting African American students (1867) and female students (1870). He resigned in 1873 due to questions raised about inappropriate contact with student. No criminal charges were brought but the incident was investigated by both the Methodist Conference and the Board of Trustees. Minutes of the latter are available in the University Archives.

Charles W. C. Munsell

Oliver Spencer Munsell

Join us for the Kindred collection opening!

On Friday October 4, 2019 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. we will celebrate the opening of the Dave Kindred Papers.

Dave stands next to his 20-shelf collection! (click to enlarge)

Dave Kindred, IWU Class of 1963, and others in the IWU community will offer remarks and selections from his vast collection will be available for viewing. Guests may also tour the repository in Tate Archives & Special Collections on The Ames Library’s 4th floor.
 
After a 50-year sportswriting career, the archive of Dave’s work contains more than 300 of his reporter’s notebooks; articles he’s written; scrapbooks from his trips to cover the Olympics; materials related to the 12 books he’s written; and correspondence with colleagues, readers, and research subjects.
Dave’s work continues and as his collection continues to grow, researchers and the general public will benefit from being able to access his award-winning insights!

Kindred holds the caricature presented to him by colleagues on staff at The National on the occasion of his work being recognized with the Red Smith Award.


Dave Kindred’s legacy as a sportswriter was cemented when he became the recipient of the Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement in sports journalism in 1991. He was the youngest winner of the prestigious award at just 50 years old. Other awards that he has received include the National Sportswriter of the Year (1997), The Curt Gowdy Media Award (2000), The Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism (2011), The Nat Fleischer Memorial Award (2012), the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award (2013), the Dan Jenkins Medal for Career Achievement in Sportswriting (2018), and the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing (2018).

Only Frank Deford and Dave Kindred have won the Smith, Jenkins and PEN/ESPN awards–the three highest awards in sports journalism!

Kindred shown looking at the contents of a folder in his collection.

Dave also recorded this interview about his career with journalist, New York Time best-selling author and Stanford lecturer Gary Pomerantz.
For details on this event or accessibility assistance, contact Meg Miner (309) 556-1538 and mminer@iwu.edu

Research Files: The Mission of IWU

This post records an answer to a question regarding the process for drafting the most recent IWU Mission Statement. It extends that question further to explore the origins of the phrase “liberal education” that appears in the IWU Mission statement.

     Most recently, CUPP was charged with revising the Mission Statement as part of the Strategic Planning work done from 2000 to 2003 (see Record Group 10-2/16/6 Strategic Planning Committee, 2003-2004 (Folder1). The first page lists all committee members for the final year and even though the minutes reference a draft revision being circulated, there isn’t one in the packet.
[N.B., Many governance records, like CUPP minutes, are accessible online. If using the site from off campus, an IWU login is needed. I have summarized my findings for those who lack the necessary credentials.]
     We have to go to the CUPP Minutes from August 27, 2003 that note Wes Chapman was taking on the revision work of an earlier version. I have not attempted to find what version they started out with in their minutes because it must have been the published version from the 1990 catalog which shows the most recent wording differences. The only real discussion I saw recorded on the work is in the Faculty Meeting for September 8, 2003 (see pdf p. 5). Most minutes just mention discussion and don’t detail them but a few refer to minor word changes that have nothing to do with the use of the word liberal.
The Board of Trustees made minor revisions at the October 20-21, 2003 meeting and then approved the version adopted by the Faculty (see RG 1-2/9/29 : 2003 Oct. 20-21
Board of Trustees Meeting Packet). The Faculty minutes on this topic are for October 6, 2003 (see p. 3).
AACU Statement on Liberal Learning

The first paragraph of the “AAC&U Statement on Liberal Learning,” 1998 (the complete document is at https://bit.ly/2tZIeFL)

This image is from a document in the Feb. 9-10, 2004 Board of Trustees Meeting Packet. It is part of what the Academic Affairs Committee presented to the full Board for approval of the recent Mission changes. The fact that the back of the AAC&U document has the BOT approved version signifies a relationship between what the AAC&U advocates for and what the Board approved.

     Regardless, the phrase “liberal education” in the context of IWU curricular offerings predates all of this. Skimming backwards from 1989 in the printed catalogs, I find the mission statement using the phrase going back to the 1960s (where I stopped looking).
     I conducted a search of our old catalogs (1851-1954 are freely available online) and the first use of the phrase “liberal education” is in regards to offerings listed by the Women’s Education Association in 1879-80 catalog (p. 50). The next area of IWU to use the phrase is the School of Music in the 1891 catalog (p. 62). Our Home Economics program used it in 1916 (p. 70) and the first use in describing the University as a whole is in 1920 (p 25).
So if the question is how long have we embraced the phrase “liberal education” I’d say it’s been a good, long, time!
1920 Type of Institution statement

1920 Course Catalog, p. 25 (click to enlarge)

A report on our Summer 2019 intern

Cynthia O’Neill standing ready to examine audiovisual media from the Arends Collection

Earlier this summer, University Librarian Scott Walter posted news on the start of Cynthia O’Neill’s graduate school internship.As Scott stated, we view the library as “the site for research, internships, and community projects that demonstrate our commitment to engaged learning, both for our undergraduate students and for graduate students working toward a future in library work.”

During her 150 hours in Tate Archives & Special Collections, Cynthia accomplished her internship goal of putting classroom experiences to work in a real-world environment.

Tulasi (left) and Cynthia stand in a row containing the Arends Collection at the completion of their work.

The largest project Cynthia undertook was conducting a preservation assessment of the media contained in the Leslie Arends Congressional Collection. She also created a framework of analysis for Special Collections Student Assistant Tulasi Jaladi (’20) as she conducted an assessment of the papers held in over 5,000 folders in this collection. Tulasi also re-boxed the collection, replacing from 80 records-storage boxes that had become acidic over time with the smaller document boxes you see on the left in their photo.

Throughout this work Cynthia and I discussed the kinds of preservation analysis resources available and how these sources could apply to the work at hand. The result of Cynthia and Tulasi’s work will guide me to the specific parts the collection, some of which is over 80 years old, that need preservation treatments. Most of the paper (the bulk of the collection) is in good condition, but the audiovisual content on older media (like 35mm film and reel-to-reel tapes) is quickly becoming inaccessible because the technology needed to play it is no longer widely available. Some of these recordings are also showing tangible signs of age-related damage. With these details, I will estimate costs of the preservation actions needed.

Cynthia’s experiences in both a museum and public library led us to interesting cross-institutional discussions about policy needs, patron types and research and staffing concerns. Her passion for material culture also resulted in a timely exhibition on the Apollo 11 moon landing. Cynthia proposed the idea based on her survey of the Congressman’s collection, which contains additional material on the Apollo program. She also reached out to a museum in the region to make a connection between us for a larger exhibition she knows they are doing in the fall. I appreciate having the opportunity to collaborate outside of academia!

The processing project Cynthia undertook for a recent donation by artist and alumna Marjorie Kouns (’79) was small enough—and had enough unique aspects to it—that we were able to dive into theory vs. practice discussions right away. There was so much variation in this personal “papers” type of collection that we could consider strategies for different types of arrangement.

Afterwards, Cynthia conducted a thorough assessment of materials and presented me with her observations and ideas about their organization and preservation needs. After I approved a final arrangement plan, I taught her how to use ArchivesSpace to make a record for the collection. To enhance our understanding of this artist’s work, Cynthia agreed to conduct an oral history interview with the donor.

One day I mentioned receiving a fairly typical-to-the-archives donation from a long-time staff member who just retired. I outlined how this would be a different collection from the artist’s. On her own initiative, Cynthia offered to assess and process this material. She readily made the transition from the concepts we discussed about arrangement for a personal collection to a professional one.

To enhance her understanding of book history, Cynthia capped off her experience by creating a tutorial on historical book construction techniques and their preservation needs. She used selections from Special Collections to provide examples of these works, and so we now have a resource to help prepare visitors about what they can expect to find in special collections, how book history relates to these specific items, and how they can interact with them to help preserve them for the future.

Exhibits: Apollo 11 at 50

astronaut with lunar test equipment

Aldrin sets up seismic test equipment. (click to enlarge)

No doubt, news outlets everywhere are noting the 50th anniversary of this milestone in human achievement. This post also commemorates the lunar landing and provides me with a chance to highlight both the work of our summer intern Cynthia O’Neill and one of the collections she’s been working on: The Leslie Arends Congressional Collection.

In a previous post, University Librarian Scott Walter profiled the range of learning experiences Cynthia is engaging in this summer. In the course of her preservation assessment on the Arends material, she found many Apollo program items, including a clipping that describes Arends as one of only three Illinoisans named on the 1.5″ silicon Goodwill disk left on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

Close-up of canceled first-issue stamps commemorating the Apollo 11 Moon landing

Close-up of President Richard Nixon and Postmaster General Winton Blount’s signatures on a commemorative print of the Earth as seen from orbit and a first-day-of-issue stamp created in 1971. The Armstrong quote printed at the bottom of the Moon photo states “…one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

That clipping, commemorative photos and stamps are on display in the John Wesley Powell Rotunda on The Ames Library’s entry level from now through August. (see a selection of images from the exhibit below)

Arends received these and items from other Apollo missions in thanks for his support of the program. A copy of the speech he gave on July 21, 1969 is part of this exhibit, too. In it he makes note of historic and contemporary global contributions that led to the success of Apollo 11. Visitors are invited to reflect on the broader implications of this achievement.

Another exhibit case just beyond the rotunda commemorates Arends’ involvement in the visit that Apollo 8 Commander Col. Frank Borman made to IWU in March 1969.

I will share more details on Cynthia’s internship in a future post, but I will add one additional benefit we gained by hosting her this summer. Cynthia’s full time work is as the Program Coordinator at the Eureka Public Library and she recently arranged a visit to her library by a museum director from Peoria. Cynthia shared her insights into the Arends collection with that person, and I am hoping we can arrange a loan of some materials from the Arends Collection for their Apollo-related exhibition this fall.

We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with others and readers should know that the Arends Collection and other materials located in Tate Archives and Special Collections are available for use by both the IWU community and the general public. So stop by the library’s first floor for a look at our Apollo exhibits M-F, 8-4 now through the end of August and let me know if you are interested in exploring this or any of our other collections!