Gregory H. Williams became the University of Cincinnati’s 27th president when he took office in September 2009. Among more than 100 applicants for the position, he was selected in part because of his outstanding work in transforming the City College of New York, where he served as president before joining the UC. Williams received national acclaim for his book, Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black (New York, NY: Dutton, 1995). Over a decade later, he still received feedback from his readers while serving as the president here at UC. The memoir was his way of telling the world about struggling with poverty and acceptance during his youth and dealing with his biracial identity in Muncie, Indiana at a time when segregation was still highly overt in the United States. The book also brought to life other family issues such as alcoholism and abandonment. Throughout his account, he told the story of a normal childhood that spiraled into one of torment, welfare, and segregation, and then how he made the best of it. Williams became the star quarterback of his high school’s football team, excelled in college to earn four degrees, and worked his way up in higher education system until he became president of College City of New York from 2001-2009 and then president of the University of Cincinnati from 2009 to 2012. Continue reading President Williams Speeches Are Now Available in the University Archives
Oh, the things you can find when you go to an auction. Even the typical items that you find for sale, such as books, sometimes contain a surprise for the unsuspecting buyer. That’s exactly what happened to Linda Sheets of Jonesboro, Indiana when she bought a box lot of books and discovered a University of Cincinnati tuition receipt dated October 1, 1917. The strip of paper has yellowed with age, and fortunately Ms. Sheets realized it might have historical value for UC, and was kind enough to share her discovery with the Archives and Rare Books Library.
Jordon Alcott, the student from the 1917-1918 academic year, probably thought that $63.50 in tuition for one semester here at the university was expensive. That total comes from a $5 library fee, $50 for tuition to the College of Liberal Arts, a $ 1 registration fee, $2.50 fine to use the gymnasium, and a $5 contingency fee.
The Archives and Rare Books Library has completed processing an 81 box collection of College of Nursing Records from 1940-2004, and it is now available for research. The highlight of this collection is a large number of curriculum records dating from 1980-2003, documenting the development of the program and the changing face of nursing education during a 20+ year period. These curriculum records include syllabi, course outlines, handouts, presentations, and textbook lists. Development of the PhD program during the 1980s and 1990s is also documented. The Archives and Rare Books Library encourages all academic departments to transfer historic curriculum for inclusion in the University Archives Collection. Continue reading College of Nursing Records Now Available in ARB
With the first major storm of the winter about to hit us in the next couple of days, it seems appropriate for a campus trip down memory lane. And, it should be a quintessential Cincinnati weather experience of warm temperatures, rain, driving rain, gale-force winds, sleet, and snow all in the same 24-hour period. If any ghosts of ancient Mayans visit the Queen City tomorrow or Friday, in all likelihood they will say, “See! Told you so!”
College students are notoriously adventurous and University of Cincinnati students are not immune to the exploratory spirit. In the Archives and Rare Books Library, we are in the unique situation to learn about and discover student adventures that may have otherwise been forgotten. An example is the story of Mary Louise Eich and her friend and Delta Zeta sorority sister, Mary Nichols. Last week, we received a donation of a book entitled, An Odyssey in the Life of Mary Louise Eichwritten by William Neal, the son of Mary Louise Eich.
The book tells the story of Mary Louise’s life and the trip she made with Nichols in the summer of 1936 to Nazi Germany. Both Eich and Nichols spent a month working in Women’s Labor Service camps. Upon their return they both wrote articles for the Cincinnati Post about their experiences. Neal’s book provides transcriptions of the articles Eich and Nichols wrote for the Cincinnati Post and is a great addition to our library’s holdings on German-Americana and University of Cincinnati history. Continue reading Two UC Students Explored Life in Nazi Women`s Labor Camps
The Archives and Rare Books Library recently received a new collection from UC’s psychology department containing records from 1967 until 2011. The collection includes information on faculty and graduate students, annual reports, and accreditation documentation and supplements the very small number of items that the archives already held related to the history of the psychology department. This new collection is now available for research by faculty, student, staff, and the public.
The psychology department has a long history at UC. Wayland Richardson Benedict taught the first psychology courses at UC starting in 1876 as part of the philosophy department. Courses like Empirical Psychology covering topics in sensation, content, strength and tone of sensation continued to be offered until a separate Department of Experimental Psychology and Pedagogy was created in the Spring of 1901. The Psychology Department endured quite a bit of instability in its early years and the first three department heads stayed for only a short time. Continue reading New Department of Psychology Collection at ARB
One night in October of 1938, in Cincinnati’s General Hospital (now University Hospital), there was an unusual hustle and bustle as nurses, doctors, and interns searched throughout the building for a tiny piece of uranium which had disappeared. The radium, no larger than a sugar cube, was worth $1400 and hospital staff was intent on locating it. During the search, it was discovered that Dr. Isay Balinkin of UC’s College of Engineering had an electroscope that could be used to find uranium. The problem was that it was late at night, and Dr. Balinkin did not have a telephone. Instead, the hospital sent Postal and Western Union messengers to get Dr. Balinkin and his electroscope at his home on Auburn Avenue. (Yes it does seem like an odd way to fetch someone only a few miles away.) They did find Dr. Balinkin and Dr. Balinkin found the uranium in the trash. Dr. Isay Balinkin spent 40 years at the University of Cincinnati and did even more important things than locating uranium in the middle of the night. An enthusiastic teacher, he taught an estimated 8000 students demonstrating science with devices like bowling balls, rubber gloves, and mousetraps. He was also a great researcher and held 7 patents for devices he had invented. Some of his papers are held in UC’s Archives and Rare Books Library. Continue reading Dr. Isay Balikin: Innovative UC Teacher and Researcher
Look through historic photos of UC Commencement Ceremonies and discover some of the university’s traditions that continue to thread through Commencement today.
Who remembers Commencement at Nippert Stadium?
As depicted in the video that features Commencement photos stored in UC Archives, Nippert Stadium – for decades – was the venue for June Commencement.
UC last held Commencement in Nippert Stadium in 1984. UC President Henry Winkler delivered the Commencement address at the 1984 cerermony in Nippert Stadium. In 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988, June Commencement was held downtown, when the spring ceremony took place in Riverfront Coliseum, now called U.S. Bank Arena. Continue reading UC Commencement - A Time-Honored Tradition
When Daniel Laurence was at the height of his career at the University of Cincinnati, he was honorably dubbed “Mr. UC.” This is not a title that was given out lightly, but a testament to Laurence’s career and his devotion to the University. He spent 62 years of his life at the University of Cincinnati from 1890 to 1961. Of those decades, four years were spent as an undergraduate student, football star, and student leader, 40 as clerk of the Board of Directors, Secretary and Business Manager, and Vice President, and 18 as Emeritus Vice President. Laurence was there as the University grew from a small city school to a strong institution. He saw 12 presidents come and go. He watched as 43 buildings and Nippert Stadium rose from the ground and oversaw many of those building projects as Vice President. During his time, enrollment grew from 133 to 17,538 students and the one Academic Department of 1890 became six separate colleges. And largely under his supervision, the annual budget grew from $76,860.57 to over $18 million. If anyone deserves the title of “Mr. UC,” it is surely he. Continue reading "Mr. UC": The Life and Service of Daniel Laurence