Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Old Gym

One of the older buildings on campus is the Student Activities Center. The SAC, as it is known, was formerly BW’s gymnasium. The 1914-15 Baldwin-Wallace Catalog provides an informative description of the structure:

“The Gymnasium which is a building of exceptional beauty, was erected in 1911-12. It is built of Berea sandstone, and is thoroughly adequate in its proportions and appointments for systematic physical training. The plans for the building were completed after a thorough study of some of the best gymnasium buildings in the country.
In the basement are a baseball cage, a room for visiting teams, locker rooms, and bath-rooms with the most improved showers. On the first floor are offices and the main gymnasium floor, fifty-two by eighty-six feet. The gymnasium is completely equipped with all modern forms of apparatus for heavy gymnastics and special work. On the next floor is a running track and visitor’s gallery.” 

Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool Exterior
During World War II, a requirement of hosting a V-12 unit was that BW would need to build a swimming pool for the men to train. The pool was quickly constructed and added to the rear of the gym. If you look at the back of the SAC, you can still see the arch “scar” on the building.
Eventually the building became outdated and too small to hold athletic events.  In the 1977-78 catalog, the gym was described in the Athletics section as, “”The Women’s Gymnasium, which houses facilities for women students and the Baldwin-Wallace Swimming pool.”

 The gym was converted to the Student Activity Center and dedicated in 1990. For more information about the SAC, please visit: http://www.bw.edu/stulife/union/sac/
Gym Class

Friday, September 28, 2012


As the story goes, John Baldwin’s personal commitment to education spawned from an incident concerning his mother. He was aware that she was denied a college education because of her gender. The documented evidence of Baldwin Wallace University’s commitment to producing well-trained teachers can be traced through Baldwin Institute, Baldwin University, and Baldwin Wallace College catalogues. [The italics are taken from the catalogues.]

Students observing a teacher.

  The 1847 Baldwin Institute Catalogue documents the origins of the Normal Department:

“This department is designed particularly for those preparing to teach. The exercises will consist chiefly of a through and practical course of training, in the elementary branches, designed not only to instruct in the most thorough manner, but to illustrate the art of teaching. It will be sustained chiefly by the Acting Principal”

The next year an additional statement was issued: 

 “Those wishing to qualify themselves for teaching, will receive special instruction in a normal class.”

Students enrolled in  1849 might take courses such as reading, spelling, arithmetic, and penmanship.  However, it was noted that:  “Ladies who desire a more ornamental course may substitute Drawing and Painting for Latin, each quarter. Ladies or gentlemen of correct deportment, who thoroughly accomplish the course of study prescribed, will receive a diploma.”

In 1856, there was a designed “Teacher’s Class.”
“It is the design to organize a Teachers’ Class, composed of members of the Institution and others, on Tuesday, November 3d, 1856, near the close of the First Term—Course, two weeks—during which time a series of Lectures will be delivered, on subjects appropriate to Teachers; and the members of the Class will be drilled in those studies generally pursued in Common Schools. Efforts will be made to provide, on a reasonable terms, board, during the course, for those Teachers who are not members of the Institution. Tuition for the course—to members of the Institution, $1.00; to others, $1.50.”

Two years later, in 1858, the description for Education majors was fleshed out a bit more:

“Normal Institute:
Ira Pool graduate from Baldwin University. He
became a teacher, but his career was cut short
because of the Civil War. He fought and died
for the Union. 
It has been customary, at some suitable time during the year, to form a class of those wishing to teach, and to deliver lectures on subjects appropriate, as also to drill the class in studies generally pursued in Common Schools. As an improvement upon the plan, it is proposed the ensuing year to hold in this place a two weeks Normal Institute.

J. Ogden, general agent for the State, has been employed to give a course of lectures on the Science of Education and the Art of Teaching, and to give such other instruction as may be demanded.

Prof. J. Tingley, of this Institution, will give a course of lectures and experiments in Practical Chemistry, in which the nature and uses of apparatus will be taught and explained.

Classes in the common branch will be formed either in connection with or separate from those in the University, so that Teachers may have an opportunity of reviewing their studies before applying for certificates for their winter schools.

The Institute will commence Tuesday, Sept. 7th, 1858. Boarding can be had at the Hall or in private families at $2,00 per week, or in self boarding clubs at from 70cts. To $1,00 per week. Tuition $1.00 per week."

By 1888, a college degree became invalabule for anyone wishing to teach. This is evident in the first line of the description:

The time is past for thinking that “any body can teach school.” The demand for trained teachers is growing more emphatic every year. Boys and girls who have scarcely become acquainted with the branches of common school study will find here long that they are not welcomed as teachers by those who have charge of the district schools.

Personal fitness, substantial knowledge, some acquaintance with the nature fo the minds and bodies to be cared for, and special knowledge of the approved methods of teaching are soon to be required of every candidate for admission to the teacher’s desk.”

In order to graduate, a student must be examined and produce a thesis:

Examinations and tests of the Normal students will be frequent, and so thorough as to leave no doubt of the student’s knowledge upon the branches of study in hand.
Every student will be required to take his final examination before the Board of Examiners of Cuyahoga County, and receive from that Board grades, not one of which shall fall below eight-five percent .
The graduating thesis must be upon some subject connected with the profession of teaching.

By 1901, practice, or student teaching, had become part of the degree requirement:

“A Practice school has been secured for the coming year, and all those expecting to teach must take some training in this department. The school is divided into grades and the student will have an opportunity to do work along the line that he is preparing to teach. Practice allows theory and proves the worth or worthlessness of the theory. No student will receive a diploma from the Normal Department who has not had four weeks’ training as a minimum.”

By 1942, the curriculum became very similar to what is required today:

“The courses in education afford the student intending to teach opportunities for securing theoretical knowledge and practical experience in this vocation. Most states now require professional training as a prerequisite for a certificate to teach.”

A student wishing to teach in 1942 would have to take courses such as: Intro to teaching/ history of education/ educational sociology/ educational psychology/ vocational and educational guidance/ classroom management/ principles of teaching in secondary schools/ principles of secondary education/ adolescent psychology/ mental hygiene/ educational statistics/

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Rocks

Vaughn Mill

During the late 1890s and early 1900s, students attending Baldwin University and German Wallace College entertained themselves in a multitude of fashions. When students were not participating in the weekly meetings of the YMCA or YWCA, or taking part in the literary societies, they would gather at a location affectingly known as “The Rocks” for picnics and get-togethers.

The area known as The Rocks was once home to the Vaughn Mill. This was one of the earliest mills in Berea.

Students at The Rocks

Students at The Rocks
Today, hundreds of people pass by the rocks without notice.  Situated off of Barrett Road, on Valley Parkway (Metroparks), visitors can use the scenic waterfalls look out and view The Rocks from above. However, when students in the 1890s/1900s were visiting, they would often sit on the rocks. Some would even carve a name or a date on an old stone. Next time you are driving past the area, you might consider pulling into the parking lot and stepping onto the platform for a nice view of a Berea landmark. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Freshmen Beanie!

How do I look??

As I was walking around campus yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice all of the freshmen moving into the dorms. It got me thinking about the tiny brown and yellow hats that sit in the Baldwin Wallace Archive.
            What hats you ask? Well some of you might remember these hats, or beanies as they were known.  During the 1960s it was customary that frosh had to purchase a beanie during the first weeks of school. These hats singled out the new students and, according to The Exponent, “if caught without one, any upperclassmen could ask the beleaguered freshman to suffer such embarrassments as walking around trees backward.” Another Exponent article has a bit more serious result of the relationship, “This quaint practice often lead to an incoming freshmen having another adventure… his first visit to the Health Center. Or, in extreme cases it leads to the adventure of quitting his first college.”
            As it can be seen, the practice of wearing the beanies could be a bit frightful. When talks began about the possibility to get rid of the beanie, a student took to the editorials of The Exponent:
            “Don’t ban the beanie
Now, be reasonable, Charlie—how can you condemn the Freshman Beanie as being morally decadent when it’s actually one of the very few institutions (I know: “Who wants to live in an institution?”) remaining with B-W that really doesn’t harm anyone? Who cares that dinking is undignified? The petty embarrassment is only for the moment, and seven or eight hundred people having to dink in a common situation—that of being freshmen--might indeed have certain advantages.
            First, when a freshman is lost or even mildly confused while wandering about the campus attempting to get oriented, wondering where he’s supposed to eat, stay, go to classes, he is chagrined and shy, unwilling to ask anyone outright just where he should be; he doesn’t like being caught ignorant. But if he wears a beanie that marks him as a candidate for assistance, then most of the upperclassmen would thoughtfully inquire if they could help in any way, and he would not have to feel embarrassed. The dinking then becomes just one of those little irritations the freshman has to live with—and even then, for only a short period.
Teaching how to put on a beanie.
The gentleman to the right doesn't look impressed.
            Look at dinking more closely, though. The usually practice is pick on a frosh until his frustration toleration level is reached, then grin madly and introduce yourself. If he isn’t too sullen, he will reveal his mysterious identity, and you have each gained another acquaintance if not a friend. The freshman also realizes that it’s not a bad idea to get “connections” from the very start. Furthermore, in the line of meeting other people, he will know immediately which students are his own classmates and will not fear to break down and cry in their presence. So you see, what’s so bad about the Freshman Beanie? Recall that the student is under to real obligation to wear one, that he can beat the upperclassmen in some silly game and get out of his beanie days, and what upperclassmen doesn’t want posterity to have all the experience he had, besides? Plus the fact that it brings in a little more cash for College, and there’s no denying that nearly any source is welcomed these days. And colorful-brown and gold are rather attractive when you’re used to them, and the freshman will probably be satisfied with them eventually. The beanies begin a little cheer into the hectic weeks of becoming adjusted, here referring to all the student body. To summarize, each must find his own reason for wearing or in some cases, not wearing, the B-W Freshman Beanie, but the College should at least make them available to the freshmen at beginning of Fall Quarter.”

A beanie from the archive!
Needless to say, the beanie hasn’t been a campus tradition for some time now. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

 Just the other day I received a package from alumni, Ms. Sally Horton. Ms. Horton was a former May Queen and had quite a few pictures that she wanted to donate to the archive. Her photographs add a new prospective to the 1961 May Day festivities.  If you are thinking of donating to an archive, the Society of American Archivists has a useful link: http://www.archivists.org/publications/donating-familyrecs.asp
Students prepare a float for May Day
Students prepare a float for May Day

Students prepare a float for May Day

Friday, July 27, 2012

Past in the Present

            What makes a photograph so interesting is that it is a snippet of history caught in time. Photographs can capture a few seconds of an otherwise uneventful day, or become the key to answering questions about who was where and when.
            Photographs also capture of people, places, and things that are no longer visible, and document changes to those things that are still visible.  Being able to connect the past with the present using photographs is a neat way to get a feeling of what our ancestors saw on a daily basis.
            This first photograph documents Emma Lang Hall before Findley Hall was constructed. To the left is the former Smith Observatory. This observatory was later razed and the Burrell Observatory was built further North on campus.

When the Navy V-12 men came to BW, they used Burrell to learn about the stars in order to become expert navigators. Here the V-12 men are leaving class.

The Marting Hall Sundial was constructed by a BW student around 1915 and dedicated in honor of Dr. Berr. For years the sundial was a popular spot for students to gather around, especially after graduation.
            This photograph shows that the Philura Gould Baldwin Memorial Library used to have ivy growing all over the fa├žade. Eventually it was cleared and the library was connected to Carnegie Science Hall and created Malicky.


       Finally, Hulet Hall, created from the remnants of the original hall, used to stand right next to Lang. During the 1970s, the hall was razed due to maintenance costs.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ritter Library

Front Desk

When enrollment began to grow, Baldwin Wallace needed to build a new library. Groundbreaking for Ritter Library took place October 18, 1956 and was dedicated on October 15, 1958. Ritter Library was designed by Mellenbrook, Foley, and Scott and constructed by the R.S. Ursprung Co.
                The library was named after the parents of Dr. George W. Ritter.  Dr. Ritter was a Baldwin Wallace Trustee, and graduate of Baldwin University.  The main level of the library was named after Charles and Mary Jane Spahr.
                 Today the library is still undergoing changes and students returning to campus for next semester will be in for a treat as the new cafe style lobby will be available for studying and congregating. 

Gentleman walking up the stairs to study

Construction of Ritter Library

Cornerstone event with Dr. Bonds

Freshmen with beanies

Putting books away
Cornerstone event