New library exhibit showcases campus history

By Kitt Fresa

In 1918, former President William Howard Taft spoke in Shryock Auditorium about the events that were leading the U.S. into World War I. Anthony Hall was used to house Army Air Force cadets during World War II. The university’s former central building — Old Main — was set ablaze in 1969 in a mysterious suspected arson case that was never solved.

What do all these historical campus events have in common? Students can learn about them in Morris Library’s new exhibit “The Old Campus: an Historical Exploration.”

Located in the library’s Hall of Presidents, this exhibit is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and will run through December. It is free and open to the public.


Ten campus buildings, including Wheeler Hall, Davies Gym and Parkinson Laboratory, all have their histories displayed along with original photographs, some dating back as far as 1874.

Exhibit curator Matthew Gorzalski said the exhibit took him several months to finish. He said the process involved putting displays together by obtaining microfilm from early 20th century newspapers and taking the microfilm to an offsite microfilm reader because Morris Library doesn’t have the resources to scan and blow up minuscule images.

“[Students] should come and check it out to learn more about the school they go to,” Gorzalski said. “I wanted it to go up this time of year because I think it’s a good welcome back type of thing, you know? Showcase the campus.”

Staff writer Kitt Fresa can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @kittfresa.

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