Historical Row

HISTORICAL ROW: BUTCH LIMBACH AND THE ART LABORATORY

Who remembers Foss House? And what about the Art Lab? Appropriately located on Foss Hill, Foss House was once the home of Archibald Foss, Class of 1852, professor of Latin and Hebrew and brother of Wesleyan President Cyrus Foss, Class of 1854. In 1880, George I. Seney, Class of 1845, bought Foss House and donated…

HISTORICAL ROW: WESLEYAN’S TIME MACHINE

Did you ever wonder what Wesleyan was like more than 140 years ago? Find yourself daydreaming about what students of the time thought of the brand new buildings on College Row or the fledgling sport of “base ball”? Perhaps you’ve wondered about the elaborate facial hair of Wesleyan students in a period when sideburns and…

HISTORICAL ROW: ELIZABETH C. WRIGHT, FOUNDING MOTHER

Wesleyan graduates have a long tradition of founding educational institutions. Some were established to help right social wrongs. The Colored Normal School in Richmond, Va., the first public high school for African American students in the former capital of the Confederacy, was founded in 1867 by Ralza Morse Manly, Class of 1848, and funded by…

HISTORICAL ROW: A PASSION FOR POETRY

Did you know that Wesleyan owns one of the country’s most complete collections of William Butler Yeats? Also in Special Collections & Archives in Olin Library, you’ll find more than 30 different editions of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Our poetry collections are both broad and deep: British poets of the World War I era,…

HISTORICAL ROW: “REVEREND DOCTOR JEKYLL AND PROFESSOR HYDE”

The new College of the Environment stands firmly on the foundation of nearly 180 years of science at Wesleyan. From its beginning in 1831, the natural sciences have been a key part of the University’s curriculum. Early science instruction was especially strong in geology and astronomy, and several early alumni made their marks in these…

HISTORICAL ROW: CLEMENT VOSE AND THE COLLECTION ON LEGAL CHANGE

Trick question: What do the 18th-century British legal reformer Lord Mansfield, migratory birds, the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and Prohibition repeal in the United States have to do with each other? Answer: All can be studied through Wesleyan’s Collection on Legal Change. These seemingly unrelated topics offer a glimpse into the riches of a fascinating group…

HISTORICAL ROW: WOMEN RETURN TO WES

For most of Wesleyan’s first century and a half, the issue of whether men and women should be educated together seemed to be considered in forty–year time periods. From 1831 to 1871, all male. From 1872 to 1912, coeducational. From 1913 to 1955, resolutely all male, with no plans for coeducation. But in 1956, the…

HISTORICAL ROW: THE COLLEGE PLAN

Imagine a Wesleyan without academic departments based on traditionally recognized disciplines. Students (perhaps even faculty) live, eat, study, and socialize together in groups organized around intellectual interests. Faculty teach in areas far removed from their academic specialties and students take an active role in developing their own educational programs, in independent study, and even in…

HISTORICAL ROW: WESLEYAN IN THE DEPRESSION

The Great Depression brings a series of iconic images to mind. There’s the unemployment line, the bread line, the line to get money out of the bank before it goes bust. There’s the Dust Bowl and Dorothea Lange’s migrant mother photograph. We think of Black Tuesday, the New Deal, and the Works Progress Administration. But…

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…