Found in the University Archives!

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Chancellor's Scholarship
Interview with Mercile Lee

"Instead of sleeping in on an early September morning, I walked, what felt like twenty miles, to my first Chancellors-Powers-Knapp Scholarship event. This program awards merit-based, campus-wide scholarships to academically outstanding and talented high school students from around the nation. Specifically, they recognize students who held leadership positions and were active in their communities.

Knowing no one at this event, I did what all Wisconsin freshmen do, I wandered around. While doing that I crossed paths with my scholarship’s founder, Mercile Lee. I remember being so surprised at her energy and her presence; people, myself included, seemed drawn immediately to her.”

The clip in this post comes from an interview between Lee and Barry Teicher conducted in 2000. Lee discusses how a car ride to a Connecticut summer camp with an instructor and another student began her path towards graduate school and, eventually, to her career in higher education.

To learn more about this interview with Lee, go to her page on the UW-Madison Oral History Program’s website.

Or, go to her interview at Minds@UW.

Photo of Mercile Lee by Bryce Richter, University Communication.

Matthew Jackson for UW-Madison Archives

*****

For more information about campus history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under campus history history WIHistory

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2 Plays
Interviewed by Troy Reeves
Interview with Bill Cronon

The only graduation ceremony I attended in my life was high school, primarily because my school’s valedictorian fell a bit short with his speech—he compared our graduating class to “The Brady Bunch”. After this disappointment, I didn’t see much point in ceremonies and chose to not attend my undergraduate graduation.

With my forthcoming graduation from the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies, however, I will soon be confronted with the option to attend and eat cake or stay home and disappoint my friends and family yet again. After hearing about UW-Madison professor Bill Cronon’s honors convocation address, he has renewed my faith in graduation ceremonies.

In honor of both this year’s graduation and Earth Day, we share an excerpt from Cronon’s oral history interview. During his senior year at UW-Madison, he spoke at commencement. As you will hear, he chose this opportunity to push the boundaries of a senior’s speech by asking his fellow graduates and those in attendance to think about their physical environment—specifically preserving it—as they moved forward in their lives and careers.

More information about the oral history interview with William Cronon can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/myf58va

Photo of UW (Madison) Commencement, 1970.

Michelle Dubert-Bellrichard for UW-Madison Archives

*****
For more information about this tradition or campus history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit 
http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under UW-Madison William Cronon Earth Day Commencement campus history WIHistory madison history

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Red Meat and Running

Today’s college athletes have a wealth of nutritional advice and support at their disposal to help them perform at the top of their game. The 1920s were no different, as shown by this ‘Training Diet’ found in the collection of Ralph Spetz, captain of the UW Track Team in 1923.

Well, maybe a little different… 

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"Broiled steak, beef, roast beef, mutton or lamb…" Lean protein? What lean protein? Although, the assertion that all breakfast foods are good was probably truer in an age before marshmallows had a place in cereal. 

Spetz, who graduated from the UW in 1922, studied engineering and made his mark as a sprinter on the track team. He was drafted during the last weeks of the First World War and served as a private in the Military Police Company on campus.

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Apparently, his training regimen was enough to keep up with whatever dietary advice he took, as Spetz captained the team in his senior year, becoming the third engineer in a row to do so. 

So how did that diet work out in competition? See for yourself: 

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That’s Spetz, third from the right, leading the pack. Note the anguished look of the runner second from the left, surely wishing he’d eaten to win. Choosing the day old bread over that tempting fresh loaf can be the difference between triumph and humiliation.

By Elzbieta Beck for UW-Madison Archives

For more information about this story or UW-Madison campus history, visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under history UW-Madison track and field Spetz university athletics wihistory campus history meat

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8 Plays
Recruiting Scholars Clip
Chancellor’s Scholarship, Part 2: Recruiting Scholars

About two weeks after being admitted to the University of Wisconsin, I received a letter about a merit-based program, called the Chancellor’s Scholarship. Receiving an opportunity to apply to this program made me feel as if Wisconsin was actively trying to recruit me. I ended up receiving a scholarship to the Powers-Knapp program, but I always wondered why the program selected me to apply.

The following clip help explains the methods for recruiting students to these merit-based scholarships. As you will hear, it is much more than just the scholarship staff that recruits students. Staff and the faculty of the university have supported the program. Some faculty invest their own money into the program because they believe in this important initiative. Another huge help for recruiting and maintaining the program is the school’s alumni; they give both their time and funds to make sure that programs like these keep on growing.

Learn more about Lee on the UW-Madison Oral History Program’s website: http://archives.library.wisc.edu/oral-history/guide/501-600/551-560.html#lee Listen to the interview at Minds@UW:http://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/68202.

Matthew Jackson for UW-Madison Archives

*****

For more information about campus history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under UWHistory UW-Madison Chancellors scholarships

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congressarchives:

Think your driver’s license photo makes you look silly? At least you aren’t Department of Commerce official J. Mishell George. No, this isn’t a April Fool’s prank. Newspaper reader Judge L.S. Oliver really thought George looked downright nefarious.
Letter from Judge L.S. Oliver to the Permanent Subcommitte on Investigations, 3/13/1956, Records of the United States Senate

congressarchives:

Think your driver’s license photo makes you look silly? At least you aren’t Department of Commerce official J. Mishell George. No, this isn’t a April Fool’s prank. Newspaper reader Judge L.S. Oliver really thought George looked downright nefarious.

Letter from Judge L.S. Oliver to the Permanent Subcommitte on Investigations, 3/13/1956, Records of the United States Senate

(via todaysdocument)

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117 Plays
Leslie Janett
St Patricks Day

From 75 degrees and sunny to 30 degrees and a foot of snow, Badgers have experienced many different St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Madison. UW students typically celebrate this holiday but festivities have changed quite a bit over the years.

While current students may simply celebrate at a friend’s house or a State Street bar, the Engineer’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was once a time-honored spectacle that included the entire campus and provided an forum for campus rivals to poke fun at each other.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/uwmadarchives/12994763485/

St. Patrick, the patron saint of engineers, motivated UW engineering students to adopt and embrace the holiday. From clothing accessories and parade floats to elaborate pranks, the engineering students’ celebration was bold, exciting and included an opportunity to skewer their campus rivals, the law school students.

As their buildings were situated across from each other on Bascom Hill, a natural rivalry brewed between these two groups over the years.

What started out as merely whimsical banter grew to be an intense rivalry, as evidenced by occasional snowball fights and egg throwing. Floats created for the St. Patrick’s Day parade provided an opportunity for both sides to poke fun at the other’s field of study and future profession.
 
As the rivalry escalated, the engineering and law school deans were called upon to mediate. Like many campus traditions, the St. Patrick’s Day parade ended by the 1940’s, as WWII and the departure of many students disrupted campus activities. Engineering did continue, however, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just not with an annual parade.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/uwmadarchives/6690261483/in/set-72157628852991839

This tradition no longer exists on campus now gone but remnants of the long-time campus rivalry remain. Students still enjoy a good snowball fight on Bascom Hill and, on occasion, law and engineering students engage in good-natured ribbing on campus social media sites.

More information about the oral history interview with Leslie Janett can be found here: http://bit.ly/1oJPbeT. 

Matthew Jackson for UW-Madison Archives

*****

For more information about this tradition or campus history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under UW archives engineering law school st patricks day

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todaysdocument:

The “Hello Girls”

"American telephone girls on arrival for "hello" duty in France. They all can speak both English and French., 03/1918"

During World War I, over 400 women were enrolled in the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate telephone* switchboards in France.  Despite the sometimes hazardous conditions of their service, they were denied veterans status after the war ended.  It would take 60 years until a bill was signed by President Carter granting them veterans status in 1978.
Read more about the “Hello Girls” at the Signal Corps “Regimental” History Site - The Hello Girls
* Today is also the anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell’s patent for “Improvements in Telegraphy”, aka the telephone.

todaysdocument:

The “Hello Girls”

"American telephone girls on arrival for "hello" duty in France. They all can speak both English and French., 03/1918"

During World War I, over 400 women were enrolled in the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate telephone* switchboards in France.  Despite the sometimes hazardous conditions of their service, they were denied veterans status after the war ended.  It would take 60 years until a bill was signed by President Carter granting them veterans status in 1978.

Read more about the “Hello Girls” at the Signal Corps “Regimental” History Site - The Hello Girls

* Today is also the anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell’s patent for “Improvements in Telegraphy”, aka the telephone.

(Source: research.archives.gov)

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The Right Stuff!

March 1, 1966. Upon their arrival at Truax Field in Madison, Wisconsin astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr. (Capt. USN) and Donald K. “Deke” Slayton entertained question from local and state press at news conference in the Base Operations Hangar. Some three to four-hundred spectators were present. Lovell attended UW-Madison for two years before transferring to and graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952. 

Left to Right: Fred Harrington, president of the University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Governor Warren P. Knowles, Lovell, Slayton, Major General Frederick R. Terrell, commander of the 30th Air Division (ADC), Truax, and Otto Festge, Mayor of Madison. 

Image #S12817 (Acc 1985/054). 

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For more information about Lovell and Slayton’s 1966 visit to Wisconsin and UW-Madison, or campus history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under UW-Madison James Lovell Deke Slayton astronauts WIHistory campus history Madison Fred Harvey Harrington university Warren Knowles

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Chadbourne Hall Foreign Students Program

The Chadbourne Hall Scrapbooks contain a thorough record of Chadbourne Hall activities and the lives of its residents in the 1960s when Chadbourne Hall was an all-girls dorm. The four scrapbooks cover 1960-1967 and include photographs, newspaper clippings, newsletters, and more documenting students’ academic achievements, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities.

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One of my favorite stories from the scrapbooks is about Chadboure Hall residents raising money to sponsor international students.  Beginning in 1964 and continuing through at least 1969, Chad Hall students raised money to pay for the room and board of one to two undergraduate international students. In 1966, this cost $940 per student.

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The Chad girls used a variety of methods to raise the funds. They sold cookies, candy bars, and popcorn, auctioned off items like sweaters, jewelry, and hair rollers, and offered their services cleaning rooms, fixing hair, washing cars and clothes, and shining shoes. In all, the efforts of Chad Hall residents helped students from Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Norway pursue their education at the UW (Madison).

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One of the students was Maria Carlota Pinheiro Maia, who received funding from the Chadbourne program to study at Madison from 1964-1966. She was a native of Fortazela, Brazil and was recommended for the program by a UW student who met her while studying in Brazil. Pinheiro Maia attended the UW from 1964-1966 and studied English and French with the goal of becoming an interpreter.

Rachel Thompson for UW-Madison Archives

For more information about Chadbourne Hall or UW-Madison history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under UW-Madison chadbourne hall study abroad dorm life

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Ralph Spetz: A Wisconsin Track Legend

The University Archives recently acquired a small collection of photos and memorabilia documenting campus life as experienced by UW alumni Ralph R. Spetz (‘23).

Ralph Ferdinand Spetz attended UW Madison as a Civil Engineering student and was a track team star captain. The University Archives received this collection of Spetz’s photographs, ribbons, athletic event programs, newspaper clippings and other materials from a distant relative. Together, they document Spetz’s time at UW, his participation on the track team and in athletic fraternities.

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There is just something about this style of portrait, it shows a very handsome and serious looking Spetz! 

He was part of several athletic and fraternal organizations, including the Star and Arrow, Delta Phi Epsilon, and Pi Kappa Alpha. Spetz was originally from Milwaukee, and returned there after he earned his degree in 1923 to work as a building inspector. He died very young, at 43.

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A tiny, startled version of Spetz. He was born April 5, 1898.

I got my hands on this small photograph collection a few weeks ago, and have been busy organizing, researching, and trying not to get too much crud on my hands (scrapbooks fall apart pretty easily guys). I loved researching Spetz, because I felt like I got to know him a little bit. These are a few more of my favorite photographs in the collection: 

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Three track team members dressed in their uniforms - take a close look at the shoes and imagine running in them…Also, if you squint, the guy on the right looks just like Joseph Gordon Levitt. 

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An action shot of Spetz closing in on the finish line.

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The “speedster” himself, on the cover of the Wisconsin Athletic Review.

By Lotus Norton-Wisla for the UW Archives. 

*****

For more information about this collection or UW-Madison history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin! 

Filed under UW-Madison wisconsin wihistory history track and field Spetz athletics university campus history fraternities

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Harry Steenbock in his Laboratory (1929).

Steenbock, a UW biochemistry professor, is perhaps best known for effectively curing rickets by discovering that irradiation of food increases the food’s Vitamin D content. Quaker Oats offered him $1 million for patent rights to his irradiation device but he believed any profits from his invention should be for the benefit of the university as a whole. He and eight colleagues founded the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), he transferred his patent to WARF, and WARF in turn licensed the patent rights to Quaker.

Over the years, rights were also given to pharmaceutical companies and dairies. WARF continues to use its income to further the University’s research mission.

For more information about this photo or UW-Madison campus history, visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu.

Video clip from 16 mm film titled “On to Wisconsin” (1929). Posted by Molly Temple for UW Archives.

Filed under Steenbock WARF research UW-Madison WIHistory university Vitamin D