Leith Johnson

HISTORICAL ROW: WESLEYAN AND WORLD WAR I7

In 1914, The Great War—known later as World War I—broke out in Europe. As United States entry seemed imminent, the Wesleyan faculty approved the formation of a Reserve Officer Training Corps in December 1916. After the U.S. Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917—100 years ago this year—375 students enrolled in military training.…

EDGAR BECKHAM: “TURN DIVERSITY INTO AN EDUCATIONAL ASSET”

The College of Letters annual report for 1968–69 notes that Edgar Beckham taught COL 370: The Literature of Black Experience: “It was the first course in black studies offered by a black instructor.“ EDGAR BECKHAM: “TURN DIVERSITY INTO AN EDUCATIONAL ASSET” Edgar F. Beckham came to Wesleyan from Hartford in 1951. As most students did,…

HISTORICAL ROW: WILLIE KERR: A WESLEYAN ORIGINAL

Clarence Williams “Willie” Kerr was truly a Wesleyan original, filling many roles during his time at the university. Kerr was “a father figure for Wesleyan,” according to the Argus. He was “urbane, witty, almost courtly in manner,” as described in these pages in 1974. In the words of Professor Nathaniel Greene, Willie was “an institutional…

HISTORICAL ROW: SYR PERECYVELLE OF GALES: A BRILLIANT ASSOCIATION

Some of the most amazing creative partnerships originate in college. Special Collections & Archives holds an evocative example of the deep connection between William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, two 19th-century British artists who were central figures in the movement to return to the medieval and early Renaissance artistic ideals they felt had been abandoned by…

HISTORICAL ROW: HENRY BACON’S IMPRINT ON WESLEYAN

Henry Bacon is known today primarily as the architect of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., dedicated in 1922. Before his death in 1924, he designed a number of prominent public buildings and monuments. He also played a critical part in shaping Wesleyan in his role as, in the words of Wesleyan historian David Potts…

HISTORICAL ROW

Four Days In SpringA visit by the Grateful Dead, as memorable as it was, was only one of the happenings that together turned four days in spring 1970 into a microcosm of an era. During that short period of time, campus bombings, Black Panther Party rallies, and calls for a student strike also grabbed the…

HISTORICAL ROW: WESLEYAN’S UNDERGROUND RADIO STATION

When sophomore Arch Doty moved into room 23 of Clark Hall in September, 1939, he brought with him a radio transmitter he had built at home the previous summer. Using a turntable, 78 rpm records, a microphone, the transmitter, and an antenna wire hanging out of Arch’s window, student-run radio at Wesleyan hit the airwaves. …

HISTORICAL ROW: NORTH COLLEGE FIRE

During the night of March 1, 1906, North College went up in flames. “No more will the sound of the paddle reverberate through the halls of Old N.C.,” wrote freshman Eric McCoy North, class of 1909, to his mother three days later. “The scene of many a glorious rough-house and the place of golden tradition…

HISTORICAL ROW: WILLIAM MANCHESTER, THE WRITER AT WESLEYAN

William Manchester was a well-known figure on the Wesleyan University campus for nearly 50 years. He served first as an editor of university publications, then as a fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies, later as adjunct professor of history and a writer-in-residence, and, finally, as adjunct professor emeritus. After enjoying modest success writing fiction…