A virtual walk through IWU history

Curious about what changes have taken place to IWU’s campus over the years? Interested in exploring locations related to campus lore? The University Archives is pleased to offer a few insights on an interactive map.

ca 1940 aerial photo

IWU ca. 1940

Pandemics can’t keep us down! Visit this online walk through IWU history! At the bottom of each entry’s description is a line that starts with “Permalink” and contains a link to that location’s “Pin.” When you open that page there’s a comment box. Leave a memory, post a selfie, or let me know if I got something wrong!

100 year old time capsule

dedication day

(click to enlarge) The man in the light colored jacket who is facing the camera is famed local architect Arthur Pillsbury

This photo shows a large crowd gathered on November 5, 1921 to place the cornerstone in the Memorial Gymnasium. Look to the left of the man standing below the tip of the flag and you will see a small box resting on top of the stone. That time capsule will be opened this fall by members of Student Senate.

Anyone who came to IWU after 2002 would know the building as the Hansen Student Center. The building was originally dedicated to the memory of IWU personnel who died in World War I, hence the name Memorial Gym.

This post is dedicated to honoring the efforts it took to locate that small box in a stone that’s 30″ wide x 18″ high and 17″ thick. The thickness of the cornerstone was unknown up until this week! There is a program for the event with a line that says E. Mark Evans would be “placing box in cornerstone” (pictured below).

dedication stone

The photo of the crowd (at top of this blog post) and another one from the same vantage point but without people are the only visual clues about the time capsule and stone in the University’s archives.

view with no crowd

Director of Physical Plant Jim Blumberg assigned the work of pinpointing the time capsule’s location to John Zmia, a mason with Western Specialty Contractor. After testing the thickness by removing bricks at the top of the stone on the outside of the building, Zmia determined that extensive brick removal would be needed. In consultation with our Physical Plant personnel, they concluded that the best approach was to work from the back of the stone.Memorial Gym time capsule removal

Blumberg said the effort to find the box’s location in the stone took about 12 hours over two days and then 3 hours of chiseling the cornerstone to get to it. Blumberg took this video of Zmia removing the time capsule removal from the stone on August 31, 2021.opening the box

This is the third time capsule we’ve recovered since 2011* and it is our tradition to pre-open the box for safety reasons and then hold a public event to remove the contents. This time the work of opening fell to Manager of Maintenance Kenton Frost (on the left) and Supervisor of Building Trades Matt Gentes.

Because the building is now a student-centered space, Student Senate is conducting the opening event. Stay tuned for an event announcement!

*The other two were removed from Sheean Library and the Mark Evans Observatory, which was named for the person who placed the time capsule in the Memorial Gym!

“HOURS” was a codeword for WOMEN’S Curfew

Editor’s note: This story was published in the June 2021 Class of 1971 newsletter  “Remembering our College Days” and is reprinted here with the permission of the author.

Guest post by Judith Schulz, Class of 1971

In our 1967-68 student handbook they were called CLOSING HOURS. That is when the dorm entrance doors were closed, and Locked. Hours really meant “curfew.”   It was a form of in loco parentis.

I didn’t think anything about these rules when I arrived at IWU as a freshman in Sept 1967 at age 18. Those were the rules, so those were the rules.  Both the 1967 and 1968 IWU student handbooks had the same closing hours listed for Women (but not for men students!) (Men had NO closing hours.)

excerpt from1968-69 IWU student handbook

(click any image in this post to enlarge)

WOMEN STUDENTS HAD TO BE INSIDE BY 10:30 pm
On weeknights we had to be inside our residence hall/dorm by 10:30 pm, Friday & Saturday by 1 am, Sunday night by 11 pm. It didn’t matter to me anyhow during my first semester as I was tired, had homework or was working late hours in the Dug Out as a short order cook/ order taker.   Men did not have any of these rules, just we women. (hmmm.)  Obvious double standard. HOURS were an issue at many colleges around the USA at the time.

DORM BED CHECK?
I lived in Pfeiffer Hall, second floor East wing and right after 10:30 there was a “bed check” where an assigned student living in the dorm came around and checked your name against the list to make sure you were in your room.… we didn’t actually to have to be “in bed.”   Just writing this on paper, I mean on the computer, makes we wonder why we didn’t question this.

AFTER 10:30 pm
Sometimes after the bed check there would be a “house” meeting, party, holiday activity or gathering in the first-floor lounge. (I see they called it a “parlor” in the handbook, but we called it “the Lounge.”)  These after- hours gatherings helped us to make friends and become part of the residence hall “family,” but it also functioned to distract you from the fact that we were under a strict curfew, even though we were of adult age.

IF YOU WERE LATE: LATE MINUTES!
And if you were late coming into your residence hall, after hours, “late minutes” resulted in punishment.

One Saturday night I signed out for a 2 o’clock, but was late just 2 minutes getting back inside Pfeiffer Hall. This was considered very serious. (And whoever was working the desk had to wait up until you came in.)

– Pfeiffer’s House Council voted to restrict me to the dorm for the entire next weekend, only being allowed to go for a short visit to the commons to eat meals. It was called “dorm pro” for probation.  I was also required to contact the house mother regularly, proving I was in the dorm.    I thought this restriction was extreme and absurd, so I called the house mother every hour throughout the weekend and even late into the night to report in, hoping frequent calls would make a point.  (They did.)

IN THE SPRING of 1968, the idea of changing or getting rid of “hours” was a topic of discussion everywhere. Was the university really supposed to be in the role of parenting, and supervising students who were of age?  Student Senate made motions, there were “university studies” and a growing frustration among students.

May 15, 1968 handout, Q&A about hours & a protest

POSTERS were hung up around campus and talk of having an after-hours protest was everywhere.  The protest was to be at 10 pm Thursday, May 17, 1968 and last until 11:30 pm—AFTER HOURS!— We would definitely be breaking the rules!  And think of it: more than 60 LATE MINUTES?

While I agreed 100% with the cause and the protest, it made me nervous.  I knew what late minutes meant, and we would all be more than 60 minutes late if we attended the protest.

Note: I have this original handout (above) and poster (next image) 8.5×11” paper. Copies were made on an old fashion ditto duplicator machine in purple lettering. (not old fashion at the time.)

May 17 flyer

May 17, 1968 Original poster, 8.5×11” ditto

That night I heard many students encouraging others to attend saying “they can’t make the late minutes stick” which matched the posters that were also all over campus.

It was a time to think for yourself, and support what you believed in.  I was still very nervous walking over, even with so many others, to the outdoor stage of McPherson.  I recall Wenona Whitfield encouraging everyone in the group I was with while walking over to the protest.

May 17, 1968 Argus coverage

IWU ARGUS newspaper story May 17, 1968 – note both stories

 

Women's hours protest

May 17, 1968 Hours Protest, after hours- IWU Archives

Women students and men students attended the hours protest, even a few IWU staff.  There was a band, and 4 students spoke: Vicki Wentrcek, Marcelle Wilkins, Brian Spears and Connie Husson.

WERE YOU THERE? Did you stay out 1 hour past “Hours” and get any “late minutes?” Please share your stories and memories about hours in the reply box below.

~ Watch for the stories of what happened next…..
what changed and what didn’t.

~ SEE you at our 50th Class of 1971 reunion in October 2021!

The actual posters shown here, MORE artifacts and photographs from this time will be on display at our 50th IWU Class of 1971 reunion October 2021.

       ~author Judith Schulz, Pfeiffer Hall resident, IWU class of 1971(and in the crowd in the photo above) written June 2021 for the Class of 1971 Alumni newsletter

Research info from Judi Kasper Ballard, Mark Sheldon, IWU archivist Meg Miner, Vicki Wenger Warren, and Judith Schulz

Images from Judith Schulz’s collection and IWU Archives

IWU Women’s History via JeopardyLabs

Several years ago I co-presented on IWU women’s history during a Council for IWU Women Summit with Claudia Brogan (’77), Stephanie Davis-Kahl. I gamified my findings on the topic up to that point by using PowerPoint. Recently I updated it and now it can be played three ways, all at a safe distance in these pandemic times, of course 😉 Test your IWU-quotient today!

1) The version pictured here is as it was originally presented: IWU Women’s History (2021 update) in ppt format.  This version has photos and behind-the-scenes details, not just the facts!

3) And here is the same JeopardyLabs edition but in an embedded format.
Note: numbers 2 & 3 due not have photos since I used their free version 😉

 

1970s School of Drama productions

Winnie the Pooh and friends

Winnie the Pooh and friends in “A Pooh Picnic,” Summer 1975

Even though thousands of photos have been taken of theatrical performances, due to issues surrounding intellectual property rights, very few of them have been recorded and saved. In fact, the University’s archives has only six known films of performances. They have recently been digitized and are now available to the IWU community at the links that follow. Each link leads to a file that contains clips from all of the productions that were on that reel of film. All are in color but only the first three have sound. We welcome any information people can provide to expand our knowledge of the time periods, performances and individual performers shown in the clips.

Carnival and Equuis(?), 1978-79 Season

unknown summer productions Summer productions not named but some songs are from Follies so may be 1977-78 season. They include Mrs. Worthington, Let’s Fall in Love, Waiting for the Girls Upstairs, Who’s That Woman. A drama and other musical theater clips follow.

Unlabeled but the first is Midsummer Night’s Dream so may be 1976-77 season

Summer Theatre 1974 The label reads “Prisoner of 2nd Ave. – Drama 1975” but clips include images of production programs. Titles shown are Dames at Sea, Arsenic and Old Lace, The House of Blue Leaves, and The House at Pooh Corner.

1974-75 The label reads “Equus; Drama 1974-75” but clips include images of production programs. Titles shown are The Boys from Syracuse, The Night of the Iguana, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Good Woman of Setzuan, She Stoops to Conquer. At the end of the footage there is about a minute of film with images of IWU School of Drama personnel and a sign-off note from Director John Ficca.

Summer 1976 and 1976-77 The label reads “IWU: Summer 1976: Where’s Chelsey; Forty Carats; Good Doctor. 1976/77: Pajama Game; Delicate Balance; Jacques Blvd.”

A timeline of changes in the program name and degree requirements was published in an earlier post.

New special collection

BuscandoMiColor

Buscando Mi Color (2017) by Lucero Sanchez

Bamboo Quay by Kyobashi Bridge (Kyobashi Takegashi) by Utagawa Hiroshige NOW ON EXHIBIT see https://blogs.iwu.edu/library/japanese-woodblock-prints/

There’s a new addition to the University’s special collections! It doesn’t all live in The Ames Library but we are going to be administering it in the same way that we handle all materials Tate Archives & Special Collections.

That means that everything in the IWU Campus Art Collection is available for classroom and research use! The online exhibit is the result of a four-year initiative* to locate, catalog, and photograph the variety of art on campus.

The collection contains more than 1,000 pieces of artwork which have been created or donated by Friends of the University, alumni, faculty, and students.

It contains paintings, prints, sculptures, pottery, and more by famed artists including Salvadore Dali, Arrah Lee Gaul, Frederick Hart, Utagawa Hiroshige, Leroy Neiman, and Rembrandt van Rijn. Notable faculty artists are Miles Bair, Fred Brian, and Rupert Kilgore. Items in the collection date from the 12th century to the present day.

We invite you to peruse the collection, and we emphasize that the collection is available for classroom use, individual students’ assignments, and research. To discuss specific needs, please contact the University Archivist, Meg Miner, at mminer@iwu.edu or phone at (309) 556-1538.

*Library Technology & Resources Director Suzanne Wilson led the project over the past four years with the assistance of library staff Tod Eagleton, Julie Wood and Elizabeth Jensen, spouse of former president Eric Jensen, who worked diligently to research and describe each work. The Jensens also supported the project with funds for flat-file storage. Photographers Jason Reblando, Trey Frank III, and Nick Helten ensured that our digital images reflect the beauty of the tangible artworks. Past University Librarians Karen Schmidt and Scott Walter lent their strong support of the project from its inception. Physical Plant crews moved much of the collection to a secured storage location that they also adapted for this purpose.

World War I and II primary sources

What we now know as Veterans Day was first celebrated as Armistice Day, the day that active hostilities during World War I ceased in 1918. President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the focus of the day in 1954 “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.” (see this Dept. of Veterans Affairs page for more).

This post offers an opportunity for promoting several unexplored collections in the University’s archives & special collections that contain perspectives on the experiences of veterans and their communities. The images in the gallery below (click to enlarge) highlight just the items currently on display across from the Library Services Desk in The Ames Library. These and other collections are available for exploration throughout the year on the library’s 4th floor.

Fred Brian, January 1945

Examples of these documents include service applications of the WWII-era Nurse’s Cadet Corps, alumni responses to a post-WWI and WWII survey of activities, correspondence from two brothers during WWI to their sister Ester Vissering, correspondence from several WWII soldiers to student Nell Carmichael, correspondence and sketches from alumnus and Professor of Art Fred Brain to his family during WWII,  Nursing Superintendent Maude Essig’s WWI diary, and administrative meeting notes and student reporting on war-related activities on campus and abroad. And, of course, The Argus provided extensive reports on campus involvement in world events.

We have no primary sources related to veterans of the Cold War or the active U.S. wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq, but thanks to Pat Rosenbaum, administrative specialist in the Dean of Students Office, we have a list of all known alumni with military affiliations. Contact the archives to find out how you can contribute more to our knowledge of the effects these events had on your lives.

Timeline of visiting activists

Human Rights Activists @IWUFor quite some time I have marveled at all the prominent human rights speakers who have visited campus. I’ve done physical exhibits in the library on this topic but have also wanted to be able to share this information online and, hopefully, reach a wider audience. This timeline contains a compilation of my research on the topic.

A good overview can be found on pp. 49-53 of Through the eyes of the Argus: 100 years of journalism at Illinois Wesleyan University by Barrell, Jennifer and Christopher Fusco, but coverage ends in the 1970s. The present work contains sources that take our understanding closer to the present.

This is only a start. Someday I hope we’ll have a comprehensive view of the amazing speakers who have come here. If you know of more I’d love to hear it!

Resources for #ScholarStrike @ IWU

#ScholarStrike

This blog post is a response to the #Scholar Strike that’s being organized by Dr. Anthea Butler of UPenn and Kevin Gannon, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Grand View University.
I am compiling a selection of e-texts here and plan to sit in front of The Ames Library (Tues 9-12:30, Wed 11-2:30). I will be happy to listen to and/or share them with anyone who passes by. Masks and social distancing will be observed!
Many of these links go to IWU sources but anyone in IWU’s community can contribute to this list anonymously and is welcome to read them aloud in front of the library or reflect on them individually.
1) The organizers of this event developed this resource page.
2) Closer to home, Dr. Nicole Brown ’99 gave a stirring address titled “All the Lies are White” during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Teach-In on January 16, 2017. She provided an oral history to the archives’ collection in which she relates examples of IWU’s lack of progress on lasting change with regard to hiring and retaining Black faculty.
3) March 8, 1985 Argus coverage of the Reverend Ralph Abernathy with the headline “The greatest problem in America is racism.” He also spoke at IWU’s Chapel Hour on April 13, 1977. “In a speech entitled ‘A Nation in Crisis,’ Abernathy addressed the issues of unemployment and national health insurance.”
4) Titled “Lest We Forget”, this is a recording of a 1963 meeting in Birmingham, Alabama that includes Revs. Abernathy and King and others. Available though a library subscription.
5) Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider : Essays and Speeches. Crossing Press, 1984.
6) Smithers, Gregory D. Native Diasporas : Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas. University of Nebraska Press, 2014.
7) Pimblott, Kerry. Faith in Black Power : Religion, Race, and Resistance in Cairo, Illinois. University Press of Kentucky, 2017.
8) During an October 23, 1967 speech at IWU, Dick “Gregory names U.S. prime racist country.”
9) Sullivan, Denise. Keep on Pushing Black Power Music from Blues to Hip-Hop. Lawrence Hill Books, 2011.
10) “Reform Jewish Movement Votes to Support Reparations for African-Americans.” Israel Faxx, Electronic World Communications, Inc, 2019.
11) Nolen, Claude H. The Negro’s Image in the South: The Anatomy of White Supremacy. The University Press of Kentucky, 2015.
12)This oral history interview Paul Bushnell: Nashville Memories is with Emeritus Professor of History Paul Bushnell and includes memories of training for non-violent protests and being part of lunch counter sit-ins. The interview is conducted by Professor of English Pam Muirhead ’68, who has also been interviewed: once in 2016 (this is the only one with a transcript so far), once in 1997, and once at an unspecified date for an IWU promotional purpose. She gave a presentation in 1989 when she received IWU’s award for teaching excellence.
14) TBD. Additions this list are welcome!]
Still under development as of posting time: a timeline of Civil Rights and other activists who have spoken at IWU. Check back in on it to see additions. You can also use the comments field to suggest people/events you know of that haven’t been included yet!

New story collection initiative: Racism, COVID-19 & the IWU curriculum

Black Lives Matter logoIn March, I sent out an open call to the IWU community, inviting reflections on their lives in this pandemic era and in May I created a collection of the responses to that call. I set a deadline for those initial collections as the time when IWU’s campus started in-person classes again. That date was August 17th. This post announces the beginning of a second story-seeking initiative that expands on that call.

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. At the time, this latest incidence of anti-Black racism brought a global response that continues. More anti-Black violence has taken place and just last night a police officer in Kenosha, WI shot Jacob Blake multiple times. He is in the hospital as of this writing on August 25, 2020.

Protests in response to Floyd’s killing have increased public attention on anti-Black violence and other forms of racism. Throughout the summer and into our early times of gathering as a campus this fall, the issues of racism and white supremacy are being called out and named in our community. The pandemic has also unevenly affected communities of color and people who had fewer personal resources to begin with.

Protests have also taken place virtually and physically at IWU regarding recent announcements of program closures and termination letters that are being sent to faculty. Issues of power and privilege are evident in the responses from alumni, administrators, faculty (current and retired), and in the local press.

IWU community members (alumni, students, staff, faculty and administrators) are invited to share their experiences of these events or other, similar periods in history they have been involved in.

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 these events:
Have you observed or experienced racism or other forms of social injustice on our campus and/or in your home community? In what ways has the pandemic affected your life? How is distance learning affecting your perspectives on your classes? What are your views on IWU’s responses to the pandemic and/or incidents of racism? How are you reacting to the recently announced program/curricular changes? If you have you participated in any activities related to these events as a volunteer or activist, please describe them. 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 on 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/e-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.