The earth in front of The Ames Library

A view of the brick-laying equipment in front of the library taken from the northwest corner in 2001.

NW-side-view-2022

The same view in June 2022.

It’s been 21 years since the steps to the Ames Library first rose up from the ground level. It sure isn’t pretty right now but safety for our community is the goal! Crews are working to resolve the buckling issues that developed on the plaza and at the head of the stairs.

It took a truly monumental effort to lay all the brick and stone for this building! Danny Sylvester, the mason who was the foreman for J.J. Braker & Sons (Morton, IL) in the spring of 2001 donated a collection of 25 panoramic prints he took during the project.

A view of the north facade, before the build-up of steps from ground level.

Two kinds of scaffolding are visible in the photo below: the yellow is “Morgan scaffolding” and was used for working inside the cupula. Sylvester said these were operated with hydraulics and purchased specifically for this project. Tube scaffolding is visible on the outer circumference. Sylvester described this as his “most intriguing project” since it is unusual to make round building features with stone and brick.

Scaffolding being prepared for laying brick of the cupula.

Follow this link for more birds-eye views like this one in the days when Sheean Library still stood to our north and there were no windmills on the horizon!

Chinese works translated!

In the last post, I announced that our work making a collection of Chinese art available was complete. I am pleased to announce that due primarily to efforts by current students we now have more information to share about these works! This post contains individual images of the works, their translations, and details the students found on some of the artists. I will also add information to the works in the descriptions in the online Campus Art Collection.

Special thanks for providing English translations of these works go to
Dawn Mengheng Wang, Class of 2022;
Esther Siqi Yang, Class of 2023;
and Amber Ruofei Shuang, Class of 2025.

Dawn’s father, Yuhua Wang, who is a Professor of Chinese History, identified the traditional Chinese characters on the paintings.

Thanks also to Dr. Tom Lutze, IWU Professor of History, for finalizing the translations of the poetry. Dr. Lutze notes that, as with any attempt to translate poetry from one language to another, more improvements would be possible.

What follows is a gallery of six images that contain brief text about the works. Two pieces with poetry are shown individually below the gallery.
[Click on any image to enlarge.]

mountain and temple scroll

Artist: XU Shi
Date: Winter, 1987
Location: Suzhou

 

The waterfall cascades down from the rock,
the timbre of pine needles blends with the tenor of water–a chorus of nature
(万壑涛声巌下瀑)
The mountain rain gathers into clouds,
the billows envelop the house where the hermit lives
(千峰雨气屋头云)

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this last work, our students offer two possible translations.

Bamboo and Orchid

Title: Bamboo and Orchids Original ink wash artist: ZHENG Xie (commonly known as ZHENG Banqiao).             The Rongbaozhai workshop, located in Beijing, created this print.

Translation (#1) (written as the artist completed the painting):

Every day, I drink with my friend on the red bridge.
(日日红桥斗.酒)
Everywhere, peaches and plums present their beauty.
(家家桃李艳芳)
Yet only orchids and bamboo adorn my home
(闭门只是栽兰竹)
They mark my independence–I follow no trend to change my lifestyle.
(留得春光过四时)

Translation (#2):

Day after day, in the beauty of spring, I go to Hongqiao to drink with friends.
(日日红桥斗.酒卮),
House after house, everywhere I look, peach and plum trees blossom in beauty.
(家家桃李艳芳姿).
Yet in my yard I prefer to grow elegant orchids and bamboo.
(闭门只是栽兰竹).
I thereby stay true to myself, refusing to conform to the ways of the mainstream.
(留得春光过四时).

Our students also provided these additional details about the original artist and the printer of this work:

ZHENG was a significant figure in Chinese art history. Born in 1693 (Qing Dynasty), he was known for his love of bamboo, a central feature in many of his paintings. He also drew attention for his non-conformist anti-conservatism and was identified as one of the “Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou.”

This painting is an original piece of Rongbaozhai’s woodblock watermark art. Woodblock watermark art is a centuries-old copying technique that itself is a skilled art form, involving painting, carving, and printing to create extremely high-quality reproductions of traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy, both vivid and colorful. Rongbaozhai is an art workshop with a long history in Beijing, one of whose specialties is the preservation from generation to generation of the skills of producing woodblock watermark art.

Memorial Gym/Hansen Student Center Time Capsule Revealed!

(click to enlarge all images)

In a previous post I shared images and information on the time capsule that was recovered from the Memorial Gym. This photo shows an exhibit I installed on the main court of Hansen after the opening last night. The exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Gym and 20 years of its transformation into Hansen.

When the campus photographers’  images and video of the opening are available I will link them here. For now, here is a close up view of the side that shows just the time capsule contents.

The first item removed from the box was a Bible and the second was a packet of paper that turned out to be several sheets of paper that contains different facts about IWU and names of people involved in different parts of campus. The first sheet, though was this description of what was placed in the time capsule.*

Prior to the opening, I invited people to submit guesses about what we would find and two people guessed right!

  • First year student Liam Killian’s submission included newspapers and dust, dirt or rust. I am happy to say there was no moisture so no rust! All the dirt and dust was on the outside, but there were LOTS of newspapers.
  • University Librarian Stephanie Davis-Kahl’s submission included newspapers and photos. The one photo in the box was an 8×10″ of the 1921 football team. Unfortunately it had to be folded into quarters to fit in the box. It is cracked at those folds but the image is sharp!

It is amazing how much was in the small box. As the students kept removing more and more booklets, pamphlets and paper, the image of a circus car with endless clowns exiting popped into my head! When I remove the exhibit on October 11 I will do a more thorough assessment but these few photos can act as a teaser.

*The list of contents is as follows:
Copy of Bloomington Bulletin, November 4, 1921.
Copy of Bloomington Pantagraph, November 5, 1921.
Copy The Christian Advocate, October 27, 1921.
Copy Northwestern Christian Advocate, November 2, 1921.
Copy Epworth Herald, November 5, 1921.
Copy Wesleyan Argus.
Copy Articles of Incorporation of the Wesleyan.
Copy Catalogue Illinois Wesleyan University, 1921.
Copy Alumni Roll Illinois Wesleyan University.
Copy Spaulding’s Football Rules, 1921.
List of Faculty and students, current year.
List of student organizations.
Copy of Discipline Methodist Episcopal church, 1920.
Copy Year Book Methodist Episcopal Church, 1921.
Copy Minutes Illinois Annual Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, 1921.
Photograph of Football Team, 1921.
Copy of Holy Bible.

A virtual walk through IWU history

ca 1940 aerial photo

IWU ca. 1940

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.

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 Sept 30, 7PM on Kemp Commencement Plaza.*

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 48″ wide x 25″ 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 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!

*Student Senate is hosting the event and we are hoping Tom Hansen will be on hand since the Gym-to-Hansen renovation is 20 years old. The event will be livestreamed as part of virtual Homecoming activities, so be sure to sign up!

**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 😉

 

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!