On May 31, 1850, nine men gathered in a law office above a hardware store in Chicago to plan a university that would serve the former Northwest Territory, a vast region that included what are now the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and a part of Minnesota.
Given that they had little money, no land, limited higher educational experience -- only one had even attended college -- their vision may have seemed a bit ambitious. But through a combination of creative financing, shrewd politicking, religious inspiration, and an abundance of hard work, the founders of Northwestern University were able to make that dream a reality.
The founders were strong Methodists: three of them were Methodist ministers, and before the meeting all those in attendance joined in prayer. Nevertheless, they also firmly believed that Northwestern should be an institution that would serve people of all religions.
Three key leaders were John Evans, Orrington Lunt, and Grant Goodrich.
Northwestern University was officially established on January 28, 1851, when its Act of Incorporation was passed by the Illinois legislature. Nevertheless, Northwestern didn't enroll a student until November 1855. As John Evans stated in 1852 when offered the opportunity to purchase some land in Chicago, "We haven't a red cent. We've been doing the wind work."
What Evans meant was that the founders were spending their time talking to leaders of the city, the state, business leaders, the Methodist church, and other key institutions to gain support for the fledging University.
At the same time the founders began work on Northwestern's charter, they began raising money to construct and endow the University with an initial goal of $25,000. Evans and Lunt made the first contributions of $5,000 each, the first of many gifts from the two that helped keep the University solvent in its early, financially pressed days.
On November 5, 1855, the newly chartered Northwestern University opened its doors to 10 students in the College of Literature, Arts and Sciences, the first academic division at Northwestern. Two faculty members were on hand to provide the instruction.
As the first undergraduate college grew in size and expanded its curriculum, its name also changed. It was known in its early years as the College of Liberal Arts and became the College of Arts and Sciences in 1963. It was renamed the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1998 to honor the contributions of the Weinberg family. Today, it is the largest college and offers more than 50 academic concentrations.
Music became the second undergraduate school in 1895. It had its beginnings in 1874 when the music department of the Evanston College for Ladies became the Northwestern University Conservatory of Music and a department of the College. Seventy students enrolled in the new school. Today, the School of Music is the smallest undergraduate school.
Engineering courses were offered in the College as early as 1873. In 1909, the University created the College of Engineering, forerunner to the School of Engineering, Technological Institute and the current McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. McCormick is the second largest undergraduate school, with 13 degree and three dual programs and four special honors programs.
The School of Communication had its origins in 1878 when a Department of Elocution was established in the College; it later became the School of Oratory, essentially a privately owned and operated institution. The School of Oratory became the School of Speech in 1921, and then became the School of Communication in 2002. Today it offers a diverse assortment of programs that range from performing arts to learning disorders.
The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications was established in 1921 with a gift from the Chicago Tribune. The new school was named in honor of Joseph Medill, founder of the Chicago Tribune. Its academic programs today include editorial, broadcast news, magazines, news media, newspaper, and teaching media.
The School of Education can trace its origins to the College's Department of Pedagogy. That department became the Department of Education in 1906. The department was renamed the School of Education in 1920, and in 1926 trustees made education an independent academic division. The academic unit became the School of Education and Social Policy in 1988. It offers four programs tailored to individual interests and career goals.
One of the earliest academic areas from the University's early years no longer exists. The Preparatory Department, renamed the Academy in 1892, prepared high school-age students for the rigors of a Northwestern education. It was the most important source of undergraduates in the early years. It was closed in 1917 as a result of the growth in public high schools.
University Hall, built in a Gothic style, is the oldest building on campus. Its cornerstone was laid in 1868, 13 years after Northwestern opened its original building, a three-story frame structure at Davis and Hinman.
University Hall was completed in 1869 following the tumultuous years of the Civil War. The building's completion was a milestone. Trustees came through with $125,000 for the new main school building, mostly through a bank loan and the continued sale of lots on the old Foster farm, the lakefront site purchased by Northwestern's founders.
The Joliet limestone building, designed by Architect G.P. Randall, stood virtually alone on what is now the busy, nearly mile-long Evanston campus. The Chicago papers raved about the new building, with its picturesque towers, turrets, and mansards. According to The Chicago Republican, the site with trees curving down toward the shore was an "eyebrow of beauty," in the language of the Indians who once lived there.
Considered large and ample when it opened its doors, University Hall filled quickly, housing all university classes, the library, a chemical lab, a chapel, two society rooms, and a fourth-floor natural history museum.
Although the interior of University Hall has changed significantly over the years, its exterior looks much like it did 131 years ago. Much care was put into maintaining the building's original wooden picture frames and enhancing the building's interior with natural wood wainscoting and traditional light fixtures.
On September 8, 1860, the Milwaukee-bound steamer Lady Elgin collided with a lumber-laden schooner, the Augusta, a few miles north of Evanston. The death toll of 287 would have been greater had it not been for a dozen or so Northwestern and Garrett students who volunteered their help. Edward Spencer, class of 1862, was credited with the rescue of 17 people.
The tragedy led to a public outcry for better lifesaving facilities. After an especially harsh winter, the government presented Northwestern University with one lifeboat in 1871. The boat was entrusted to the senior class, who supplied the crew.
A crew of six to eight students manned the lake during navigation season, from April 1 to December 1. Strong and vigorous routines were established, including an inspection program and practice with the rescue equipment. The men were to be in a constant state of readiness. These early crews were declared to be "the best organized, drilled, and equipped on Lake Michigan."
In 1876, the federal government built and equipped a lifesaving station in the area of what is now Fisk Hall. Northwestern students continued to man the station until 1916 when the U.S. Coast Guard relieved them. "From 1871 until 1916, lifesaving was one of the liveliest extra-curricular activities on campus," reported The Daily Northwestern in 1947. "Students here actually stood watches, manned lifeboats, and saved lives."
After numerous rescue operations in the 1880s, the lifesaving crew faced its biggest challenge during the early morning of Thanksgiving Day 1889. The 1,500-ton steamer Calumet, carrying 18 men, had run aground off Highland Park's Fort Sheridan in "one of the fiercest blizzards known in that region in years," according to the station chief's log. The temperature was not much above zero.
After receiving a telegram from local residents, the Northwestern crew quickly towed one lifeboat north through the snow and arrived as the vessel was falling apart. Lifelines fired by the cannons fell short, so the crew had no choice but to brave the high and crashing surf.
In three trips to the wrecked ship more than 600 yards off shore, the Northwestern students saved the entire Calumet crew. When the rescue was completed, the students were so numb they could barely walk.
Secretary of the Treasury awarded Captain Lawson and each of his seven crew members the Gold Medal for distinguished conduct and bravery, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Lifesaving Service.
One of the oldest landmarks on the Evanston campus is Dearborn Observatory, which traces its origins to pre-Civil War Mississippi.
In 1859, F.A.P. Barnard, president of the University of Mississippi, commissioned construction of an observatory lens that would surpass the 15-inch lenses at the Harvard College Observatory and the Pulkova Observatory in Russia. Lensmaker Alvin Clark of Cambridge, Massachusetts, crafted the 18-1/2-inch glass, which was made in Birmingham, England. The lens, to be installed in an observatory structure erected at the Oxford, Mississippi campus, was never installed due to the beginning of the Civil War.
In 1863, the newly formed Chicago Astronomical Society bought the lens from Clark for $18,187. Because the society did not have an observatory, it promised the use of the lens to the original University of Chicago, which agreed to build an observatory. However, the original University of Chicago went bankrupt in 1887, and the Astronomical Society decided to move the telescope to Northwestern. It was installed in the new Dearborn Observatory on the Evanston campus in a building donated by J.B. Hobbs. It was built in 1889 on what is now the site of the Technological Institute. Henry Ives Cubb, who had designed the Newberry Library in Chicago, served as the observatory's architect.
Dearborn's refracting telescope was used by generations of astronomers to study the planets, discover hundreds of double stars and nebulae, and measure the precise rate of continental drift.
In the latter years of the 19th century, when many American colleges and universities began to establish formal sports programs, Northwestern President Henry Wade Rogers endorsed student athletics on many counts. However, Rogers thought that athletic activities should be regulated so that they did not interfere with studies or become an end in themselves.
"In the West," he noted, "college athletics have never been carried to the excess that has characterized the eastern institutions."
In 1891, a University faculty committee formed to consider the conduct and control of athletics at Northwestern. The following year, the committee adopted rules forbidding competition with professional teams and requiring players to meet certain academic standards. In 1895 Rogers joined the presidents of the universities of Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Purdue at a conference to consider the regulation of intercollegiate athletics.
This initial meetings produced what became known as the Presidents' Rules. The rules included the following: each college was to have a supervisory athletic committee; each contestant was to be a bona fide student of six months' residence; no coach or professional athlete could compete; and players could receive no payment for their participation.
A year later, representatives of the seven universities met again to create a permanent faculty organization to supervise sports among the group. Named the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives, this board was subsequently enlarged and became The Big Ten Conference.
In 1899 Indiana University and the University of Iowa accepted invitations to membership, and Ohio State University became the 10th member in 1912. The University of Chicago withdrew in 1946 and was replaced three years later by Michigan State University.
Today, the tradition of the conference endures. It continues to be known as The Big Ten despite growing to 12 schools with the addition of Penn State University in 1990, and the University of Nebraska in 2010.
In 1907, Peter Christian Lutkin arranged the University's traditional hymn, "Quaecumque Sunt Vera," which students sang in Latin. Lutkin, who served as the first dean of the School of Music, based the song on Franz Joseph Haydn's "St. Anthony Chorale," an Austrian Pilgrim's hymn. J. Scott Clark wrote the Latin lyrics based on the University's motto, "Quaecumque Sunt Vera," which means, "whatsoever things are true."
In the 1950s, a decision was made to "revive the Hymn." Despite debate that alteration would detract from the song's prestige and elegance, English words were added by Thomas Tyra, a 1954 Bienen School of Music graduate. Instead of literally translating the Latin text, Tyra wrote the text that the Northwestern community is familiar with today:
Hail to Alma Mater
We will sing thy praise forever
All thy sons and daughters
Pledge thee victory and honor
Alma Mater Praise be thine
May thy name forever shine
Hail to purple
Hail to white
Hail to thee Northwestern
While the "Alma Mater" has gone through changes over the years, the tradition and the pride associated with the song continues. Today, the marching band performs the hymn during halftime at Wildcat football games. The orchestra performs it during formal and special occasions, such as commencement or convocation ceremonies.
Before the University's popular "fight song" was written in 1912, the marching band only performed collegiate songs from other universities. Band member Theodore C. Van Etten decided that Northwestern should have a song as its own, and began to work on the words and music. His song, "Go U Northwestern," premiered at halftime of the Northwestern vs. University of Illinois game on November 23, 1912.
Go U Northwestern
Go U Northwestern break right through that line
With our colors flying we will cheer you all the time (U rah rah!)
Go U Northwestern fight for victory
Spread far the fame of our fair name
Go Northwestern win that game
For over a century, Northwestern's Marching Band has delighted millions of students, alumni, and spectators with their rousing music while cheering our football teams to victory. The ensemble even performed in the 1949 and 1996 Rose Bowl games.
The first University-sanctioned marching band was organized in 1911 with 21 men who performed at the season's first game against the University of Chicago. The "Pep Band" also played during basketball games.
School of Music dean Peter Christian Lutkin placed the band under the supervision of the School of Music in 1926, and Glenn Cliffe Bainum was appointed the first full-time band director. At the time, band membership had dwindled to 17 men. By the following year, Bainum had expanded the band to 80 members. Bainum, an innovator in marching band formations, had enough uniformed bodies to impressively spell out "HELLO" on the football field during the first game of the season.
During World War II, female students began performing with the band, but lack of personnel caused it to disband in 1945. It wasn't until the fall of 1947 that the band was revived once again under Bainum's direction.
John Paynter, who earned his Master's degree in Music Theory and Composition at Northwestern, became band director in 1953 after Bainum's death. Under Paynter's leadership, women were re-admitted as band members in 1971.
In the fall of 1995, Wildcat Marching Band members received new uniforms that were first worn during their 1996 Rose Bowl game appearance. Private donations funded the black, purple and white uniforms, which cost $350 each.
Paynter, who had performed with the band during the 1949 Rose Bowl, accompanied the band to the 1996 Rose Bowl. He died a few weeks later. Alumna Mallory Thompson, who had studied conducting with Paynter, was named director of bands later that year, a position she continues to hold.
The current Northwestern Wildcat Marching Band performs pre-game and half-time drills at each home football game. The band occasionally makes special appearances in the Chicago area, performing at Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears events.
The Pep Band performs at men's and women's basketball home games at Welsh-Ryan Arena and travels with the team to post-season tournaments.
About 1,200 former loyal members from all of the University's band programs are affiliated with NUMBALUMS, a marching band alumni group that was informally organized by Paynter in 1972, and formally organized in 1999. You can hear many of them perform during Homecoming games.
The Garden Club of Evanston established the 70- by 100-foot plot of land in 1915 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. A product of our wartime sympathy for our British allies, the garden also celebrated the ties between America and England.
Planting was completed in 1920. All of the garden's flowers, shrubs, trees, and herbs are mentioned in Shakespeare's plays. The Shakespeare Garden still contains many of the original hawthorns that were started from seed in France and which form the formal garden's base.
In 1929, an Elizabethan-style stone bench and fountain designed by Hubbard Burnham were installed. The bronze and stone fountain was dedicated in memory of Burnham's mother, Margaret Sherman Burnham, an early Shakespeare Garden Chairwoman and wife of internationally known Architect Daniel H. Burnham. The fountain features a bronze relief of Shakespeare's head with quotations from As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Winter's Tale.
A new sundial was added to the west end of the garden in 1990 in memory of Jean Whitton Haskin, a former garden club Chairman.
John Brookes, a distinguished English garden designer, visited the garden in 1990 and suggested a few changes that are now reflected in the garden. In addition to moving the sundial, Brookes suggested a more traditional English garden style with more mixed plantings and more emphasis on perennial plants.
Garden club members, many of whom are Northwestern alumni, continue to serve as the garden's caretakers. They assess the garden's color and pattern and vary summer annuals each year. The Garden is a popular site for garden tours, marriage proposals, and weddings. It is open year round to all visitors.
In the early years of World War I, few in the Northwestern community thought their lives would be affected by what was viewed as a European conflict. But in 1916 the Allied armies were in dire need of hospital facilities. Northwestern responded by forming a field hospital that would treat some 60,000 servicemen in France over the course of nearly two years. The Northwestern unit would go on to have distinguished records of service in both World War I and World War II.
In October 1916, the American Red Cross and Dr. Frederick A. Besley, a surgeon on the Northwestern University Medical School's faculty, began organizing the general hospital unit. By the time the United States declared war in April 1917, the unit was ready to head to France.
Although officially called U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 12 (Chicago Unit), it also was known as the Northwestern University Base Hospital because 75 percent of the enlisted men were Northwestern students. The medical officers also came primarily from Northwestern, while the nurses were recruited from various training schools in Chicago and Evanston.
Northwestern's unit landed at Boulogne, France, on June 11, only the second U.S. hospital unit to reach France. For the next 22 months, Base Hospital No. 12 operated a tent-and-hut hospital with 1,200 to 1,500 beds, treating some 60,000 patients, mostly British soldiers. Occasional German air raids in the area brought the hazards of war even closer.
At the end of the war, most of the enlisted personnel who had been Northwestern students returned to the University to finish their schooling. Some were pre-med students who went on to graduate from the University's Medical School. Two of the unit's commanding officers became Surgeon General of the U.S. Army.
Northwestern revived Base Hospital No. 12 during World War II, primarily through the efforts of two Medical School physicians, Dean J. Roscoe Miller, who later became president of the University, and Michael L. Maso, who served with the unit in World War I as Sergeant in charge of the orderlies. A group of graduates and professors of the Medical School acted as the nucleus of the 2,000-bed general hospital with eight operating rooms.
From December 1942 through August 1945, the Northwestern unit operated in North Africa, Naples, Rome, and Leghorn, Italy, receiving its "full quota of patients through the rain, cold, and slush." The personnel worked in rehabilitation of war casualties, combat and war fatigue, and infectious jaundice.
Northwestern's Waa-Mu Show, the musical revue that helped to launch the careers of dozens of Broadway and Hollywood performers, has been a campus tradition for more than 80 years. The annual show celebrates all the aspects of music theater and highlights the talents of undergraduate student performers.
The Women's Athletic Association and the Men's Union presented the first Waa-Mu Show during the 1929-30 academic year. Joe Miller ('29) and Darrell Ware ('29), two Phi Delta Theta seniors, wrote the script and staged the college musical comedy that became "Waa-Mu." The "Waa" stood for the Women's Athletic Association, which had been staging popular female musical comedies since 1912. The "Mu" came from the Men's Union, which had presented less successful all-male comic operas for a number of years.
The premiere show, "Good Morning Glory," was such a smash that the Daily Northwestern wrote, "Campus interest is the highest yet for any single dramatic activity in University history."
After graduating from Northwestern, Wade headed to Hollywood to write screenplays and Miller remained at the University. He became Director of Student Affairs, and directed the Waa-Mu show until 1975. Tom Roland succeeded Miller as the second director of the Waa-Mu productions in 1976.
Waa-Mu went on hiatus during the World War II years, but re-launched in 1946 with a show that featured two students who went on to become television and stage comedy legends, Paul Lynde ('46) and Charlotte Rae ('48).
Warren Beatty ('59) donned a cowboy hat and a Native American headdress and buckskins for his stage appearances in the Silver Jubilee of Waa-Mu in 1956, prior to becoming a leading man in movies. In 1960, Ann-Margaret Olson ('63) was a cast member in a Waa-Mu show entitled "Among Friends."
Waa-Mu performances have been presented at the Cahn Auditorium since 1940, the year that Scott Hall was completed. At the time, Cahn was considered one of the best-equipped theaters in the Midwest.
The Waa-Mu Show continues to serve as an important launching pad for many of the University's most talented performers. Many former Waa-Mu performers have gone on to successful careers on Broadway and in Hollywood.
In 1932, the last year Northwestern hosted, "The World's Great Collegiate Circus," the event was complete with a parade, a midway, sideshows, trapeze acts, and even the occasional elephant.
Introduced in 1908 by the YWCA as a fundraiser for the University Settlement, the circus (then called the County Fair) was held in Willard Hall, where "there was little room for stunts and more attention was given to the booths where dainty eatables and Christmas gifts were sold." In 1910, the YWCA joined forces with its counterpart men's organization, changed the event's name and its venue (to Patten Gymnasium) and expanded the program to include a circus, a vaudeville show, and "the famous Red-headed Band."
The circus was held every year except 1918, during the nation's entry into World War I. By the 1920s, the circus was a highly anticipated and well-choreographed annual fundraising event that brought together the University community with socialites from Chicago and the North Shore.
In the 1920s and early 1930s, fraternities and sororities organized most of the circus. It grew so large that it took a board of 48 students and almost an entire year's planning to pull it off. In 1931, a huge three-ring "tent" show was constructed in Patten Gymnasium.
Legend has it that 1932's circus was the biggest and best ever. It was also the last. Before the big top folded and the last elephant left the ring in Patten Gymnasium, the administration canceled future circuses because planning the event took too much time from the real purpose of the University.
Northwestern President Walter Dill Scott called it "the most important problem ever presented to the Board of Trustees." He was referring to the 1933 proposal by Robert Maynard Hutchins, President of the University of Chicago, to merge the two institutions.
In a memo accompanying his letter, Hutchins based the radical proposal on several assumptions. Among them was that the Depression would make it difficult to secure new money for education, and the operation of the two universities as one would create the greatest educational enterprise in the world. Ultimately, the two presidents drafted an outline for the benefit of the merger committee, proposing a three-campus system with graduate work based in Hyde Park, undergraduate training in Evanston, and professional education on Northwestern's Chicago campus. Scott and Hutchins sought a plan that would avoid duplications in educational administration and curriculum and thereby save money.
In the summer of 1933, Northwestern's merger team met with its counterpart at the University of Chicago. Inevitably, the behind-the-scenes ruminations spawned rumors regarding the motives of the proposal. Some alleged that the prime objective was to permit the University of Chicago to share Northwestern University's tax-exempt status.
When the story hit the local press, it took on an added dimension. On January 18, 1934, an anonymous author wrote that a $25 million endowment would become available from the Rockefeller Foundation on the condition there be only one university in the Chicago area.
The Evanston City Council and Chamber of Commerce asserted their opposition to the merger on the grounds that it would, as one business representative said, "deal a staggering blow to Evanston" through the decline in volume of trade and a reduction of real estate values.
Not long after, opposition within the Northwestern community began to swell. Alumni feared the loss of traditional associations and loyalties, as well as the Northwestern name itself: An early proposal called for the name The Universities of Chicago.
The strongest criticism of the move came from the Medical School. The objections of faculty and students were based mostly on differing educational philosophies. While University of Chicago medical faculty was engaged largely in the research and teaching of theoretical aspects of medicine, Northwestern aimed to teach its students applied medicine. The faculty body echoed the displeasure of the students, who burned the effigies of Scott and Hutchins at a mass rally.
Scott eventually concluded that the plans be scrapped as it was unlikely the board would vote for the merger. Hutchins agreed, and the deal died February 25, 1934, when trustees from Northwestern and the University of Chicago voted to set aside the plans and discharge the committees.
Both presidents revealed their deep disappointment over the proposal's failure. Hutchins called it "one of the lost opportunities of American education."
Within weeks of the final vote, Scott wrote a letter to a board member. "The more I studied the merger, the more desirable I found it to be," he wrote. "It is a great regret to me that conditions were such that it could not become a reality. In my judgment the merger will become a reality at some future date."
Thousands of Northwestern faculty, staff, and students left the University for military service in World War II, while thousands of other men and women came to Northwestern to take part in massive military training programs on both campuses.
The Navy's V-7 program, the Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School, became the largest training program at Northwestern. Abbott Hall, completed in 1940, was used for training midshipmen. Between 1941 and 1945, the campus's V-7 program turned out more than 24,000 ensigns, including John F. Kennedy.
The major Navy program in Evanston was V-12, the Navy College Training Program, which placed uniformed trainees in class for 18 months of study, then sent them to active duty and officer training. The Navy Radio Training School brought apprentice seamen to Evanston for 16 weeks at the Technological Institute. They studied theory, code, and radio operations; 6,000 graduated as Seamen Radioman or Radioman Third Class.
Northwestern also was home to other military programs during war, including Navy Flight School, Army Signal Corps, Army and Navy medical and dental programs, Army Civil Affairs School, and Army, Navy and Marine Reserve programs. The University also provided tuition-free instruction to civilians engaged in war work.
The Evanston campus changed dramatically to handle the influx of military trainees. Lunt and Swift halls were transformed to house and feed the trainees. Laboratories were used for classified research. Foster House became a sick bay. A blood bank was placed in operation. Quonset huts sprung up near Dyche Stadium to house those enrolled in training programs.
Four hundred faculty members were granted leaves by the University to serve in the armed forces or other forms of war-related activity. Some 11,000 alumni also served, and 247 lost their lives in the war. Two were awarded Congressional Medals of Honor. Army Maj. John L. Jerstad ('40) died while piloting the lead plane in a raid on a Romanian oil field. Army Lt. Walter E. Trumper ('41) died in a crash after taking controls of a B-17 that was hit near Leipzig; he stayed in the cockpit while other crew members bailed out.
After finishing eighth in the Big Ten the previous year, hopes were low for Northwestern in 1949. Head Coach Bob Voights was in just his second season at the helm of a group that included several World War II veterans.
But after a strong start, Northwestern took a 6-2 record into its final game with Illinois. A win meant sole possession of second place in the conference and a berth in the Rose Bowl since first-place Michigan -- the previous year's representative -- was prohibited from going two years in a row. Three first-half touchdowns sealed the 20-7 victory over Illinois and a campus celebration unlike any seen before. When classes were canceled, more than 3,000 students paraded through Evanston with the school band. Five hundred more took the El to downtown Chicago and danced through Marshall Field's.
The Rose Bowl versus California started out with halfback Frank Aschenbrenner sprinting 73 yards for a touchdown in the first minute of play. Cal responded within two plays with an equalizing score. The game remained tight, and Northwestern trailed 14-13 with only minutes to play.
With the ball on Cal's 43-yard line, Northwestern called a trick play. Center and team captain Alex Sarkisian snapped the ball past the quarterback into the hands of Ed Tunnicliff, a junior halfback. Tunnicliff saw the confusion and took off for the end zone, scoring the winning touchdown.
"The play was borrowed, stolen, maybe leased from the Chicago Bears," Sarkisan laughed. "We practiced it all year." Tunnicliff added, "From a ball carrier's standpoint, it was a great play and great trickery."
Most serious scholars of Africa are familiar with the name Melville J. Herskovits and the Library of African Studies he established at Northwestern. He was one of the first scholars to study and recognize the importance of the African heritage of black people in the New World, and was a member of Northwestern's faculty from 1927 until his death in 1963.
In 1928, he founded the University's anthropology department and, two decades later, founded what is now the University's internationally renowned Program of African Studies (PAS). He also provided much of the stimulus for the African library collection that officially opened in 1954 in Deering Library.
From the time he arrived at Northwestern, Herskovits made a point of developing close relationships with University librarians and encouraged them to buy books on African history and ethnography. He dealt frequently with rare book collectors in search of volumes on slavery, African American history, and other topics. He also facilitated Northwestern's purchse of the private library of Franz Boaz, the founder of the discipline of anthropology.
For Herskovits, the establishment of the Program of African Studies was incomplete without the establishment of a library of Africana. In 1948, librarians at Deering began identifying all African-related books and printed materials and creating a special library for them.
Herskovits would be astounded to see the library now, housed on the fifth floor of University Library. It contains 245,000 bound volumes and subscribes to 2,500 periodicals and journals. Its rare book collection includes more than 3,500 titles, including early accounts of European explorations of the African continent.
In addition to videos, movies, and television programs made in or about Africa, the library boasts an extensive collection of ephemera, maps and posters, electronic resources for the study of Africa and 12,500 books in 300 different African languages. It gained national attention for its ‘Africa Embracing Obama’ collection, which features African souvenirs, crafts, and products inspired by the U.S. president.
During his tenure as the twelfth president of Northwestern, J. Roscoe Miller devoted a great deal of time and energy to enhancing the University's physical facilities. His efforts on the Evanston campus met resistance when, in the late 1950s, it became clear that existing land holdings would not support further expansion.
Miller's Business Manager, William S. Kerr, identified three options for future development in Evanston: move west across Sheridan Road into residential neighborhoods; build an "asphalt campus" by crowding new buildings on to green spaces east of Sheridan Road, such as Deering Meadow; or extend eastward into Lake Michigan.
The obvious drawbacks of the first two options -- taking valuable real estate of city tax rolls and ruining the natural beauty of the lakeside campus -- led Kerr to recommend filling in part of the lake. It was estimated that this project could be done at one third of the price to buy land in Evanston.
After studying the recommendation, Miller obtained approval for the trustees, and in October 1960, publicly announced that the Evanston campus would extend eastward approximately 1,200 feet. The University would add 74 acres of new land at a cost of about $5.2 million.
Lakefill construction took two and a half years, beginning with a limestone retaining wall around the perimeter of the underwater expansion zone. The sand fill came on barges from Indiana.
By 1964, solid ground had been established. Vogelback Computing Center was the first of many buildings to appear on the new land, just beneath what was a low bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. Before opening, the low, flat roof of Vogelback served as the speaker's platform for a ceremony to dedicate what was named the J. Roscoe Miller Campus.
The newly created lakefill made room for the construction of facilities, including the University Library in 1970; the Norris University Center, and the Frances Searle Building in 1972; Pick-Staiger Concert Hall in 1975; and the James L. Allen Center in 1979.
In recent years, the lakefill campus has grown to include the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Norris Aquatics Center, Annenberg Hall, the Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly, and the Arthur and Gladys Pancoe-Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Life Sciences Pavilion.
Student protests against the Vietnam War had their roots in 1965, when students organized a chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). With chapters at colleges and universities nationwide, the SDS was pivotal to student activism at the time.
Northwestern's first massive anti-war rally was a teach-in held in April 1967. That same month, a student rally was held on the steps of the administration building. The rally started as a demand for a voice in academic issues and financial aid decisions, but it turned into an anti-war protest when students asked to discontinue the National Reserve Training Officer program, which had existed on campus since 1926.
The tempo of protests took a more radical turn in 1969. In May, demonstrators tried to block the entrance to the ROTC Review at McGaw Hall.
In the fall of that year, Chancellor J. Roscoe Miller issued a statement that the University would not countenance any disruptions. A month later the SDS students stepped up their demands and tried to force their way in to see the Chancellor. Forced back by security, the students staged a sit-in at the NROTC headquarters in Lunt Hall.
In February 1970 William Kunstler, defense lawyer for the Chicago Seven on trial for disruption during the 1968 Democratic Convention, was invited to speak on the campus by the Northwestern Faculty Action Committee. After the lecture, some people went on a rampage in downtown Evanston, smashing windows and causing several thousands of dollars in damage.
Violence broke out again in April 1970, when an arson fire caused extensive damage to the Linguistics building. Arsonists also burned down the Traffic Institute building at Hinman and Clark, and a group of SDS protestors tore up the NROTC offices.
Protests stepped up the next month when President Nixon announced U.S. forces were moving into Cambodia, and Ohio National Guardsmen killed four students at Kent State University.
Chancellor Miller closed Rebecca Crown Center as a symbol of Northwestern's participation in the national protest and then ordered all classes canceled for the rest of the week.
Two thousand students rallied on Deering Meadow that night and called for a strike and the cancellation of classes. Some militant students set up a barricade to block Sheridan Road near Scott Hall. The City of Evanston diverted traffic to prevent any violence.
The events thrust ASG President Eva Jefferson into the spotlight. She led the strike in Deering Meadow and became a nationally recognized student leader, later appearing on the David Frost television show with three other students and Vice President Spiro Agnew.
Two days later, students held a second rally at Dyche Stadium. Evanston officials called in the National Guard as a precaution. Approximately 7,000 people attended the peaceful rally. A week later, the barricade was removed and classes resumed.
The campus remained peaceful until 1972, when a rally to protest increases in room and board rates turned into an anti-Vietnam War rally at Rebecca Crown plaza. Students again declared a strike and erected a barricade across Sheridan Road. The barricade was removed three days later.
In 1964, Walter S. Netsch, Jr. of the Chicago architectural office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill was hired to design University Library, the $12 million edifice attached to Deering that opened in 1970. The same year, the library dedicated the Herskovits Library of African Studies, named for the vast Africana collection developed by Northwestern anthropology giant Melville J. Herskovits.
Today University Library and its libraries on the Evanston and Chicago campuses serve 1,800 patrons each day and employ 200 full-time staff and 275 students. Researchers worldwide use its renowned collections, including the Herskovits Library of African Studies and the Transportation Library. Northwestern's first one-room library has grown into a library system with more than 4.6 million volumes, 4.5 million microforms, 45,000 current periodicals, and holdings that rank 11th among the nation's private universities.
Latin professor Daniel Bonbright presided over one of the most important Northwestern library developments of the 19th century: the purchase of the library of Prussian Ministry of Education Johannes Schulz. That 20,000-volume collection of Greek and Latin classics, dissertations in philosophy, fine arts and history, and rare books transformed Northwestern's library.
The transformation continued in the 1860s with the completion of the University's first library catalog (at a cost of $25) and, later, the library's move to then new University Hall. At that time, the library included 13 periodicals and newspapers from cities as "far away" as New York and St. Louis. The decision by a U.S. Senator in 1876 to make the library a depository for U.S. government publications resulted in today's Government Publications and Maps Department.
Students protested the library's limited hours -- from 1-5 p.m. weekdays -- and the policy under which only faculty until 1886 could borrow books. A full-time librarian, first hired in 1885, introduced Saturday hours and eventually created reading room space for 120 in a new facility in Orrington Lunt Hall.
Under the leadership of Lodilla Ambrose, the Lunt Library added staff, further expanded hours and, in 1894, won praise in The North Shore News as "one of the finest, if not the finest college library in the West." With her encouragement, the library sought gifts of books and began listing donors in its report to the president.
By 1919, Lunt Library's walls cracked and floors sagged under the weight of books. Outdated wiring threatened fire, causing faculty and students to relentlessly petition for a new building. The result: the Charles Deering Library, which cost $1,250,000 and incorporated government publications, rare books and browsing rooms, and shelving for 500,000 volumes excluding government publications. It opened in 1933.
A plan for the residential college system at Northwestern developed in the early 1970s in response to a 1969 faculty committee report that urged the formation of smaller intellectual communities within the University. The report spurred the creation of another committee to study these colleges across the nation and to make recommendations on the development of such a system at Northwestern.
In January 1972, the committee recommended establishing residential colleges at Northwestern to "help connect curricular with extra-curricular experiences by extending the intellectual atmosphere to residences."
Northwestern's 11 residential colleges offer programming that involves more than one-third of the University's on-campus undergraduate population and nearly 200 affiliated faculty, staff members and visiting scholars. Most are structured around a theme that provides a focus for academic and social programming. Each residential college has its own faculty "master" from that field who serves as an adviser to the student officers and helps with academically focused programming.
The oldest residential college building on campus, the Humanities Residential College, also known as Chapin, welcomes students from all schools within the University and from diverse cultural backgrounds.
The Thomas G. Ayers Residential College of Commerce and Industry, which seeks to promote a broad understanding of business in the United States and the world, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009.
Willard, the largest and one of the oldest residential colleges at Northwestern, continues to attract diverse students interested in a wide range of academic interests.
The Communications Residential College (CRC) encourages its residents to explore the mass media of broadcasting, print journalism, and film. The Residential College of Cultural and Community Studies (CCS) students are interested in the interaction of diverse cultures and urban communities in the United States and abroad, as well as philanthropy.
The International Studies Residential College (ISRC) welcomes American and international students who share an interest in languages, cultures, politics, and people from around the world. The Wayne V. and Elizabeth R. Jones Fine and Performing Arts Residential College residents are interested in the creative arts: writing, poetry, music, theatre, dance, and art. Lindgren encourages a humanistic view of science and engineering.
The Public Affairs Residential College (PARC) examines political, economic, and social questions. Shepard attracts residents from around the world. Women's Residential College (WRC) attracts diverse students from all six undergraduate schools.
Completed in fall 2002, the $10 million Slivka Residential Hall became the new home of the Residential College of Science and Engineering. The 120-bed residence hall with apartment-style suites was funded in part by a $4 million gift from the Wissner-Slivka Foundation, which is based in the Seattle area.
Sore and blistered feet have become a badge of honor on the Evanston campus since 1975, when Dance Marathon -- one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the country -- launched at Northwestern. Today, Dance Marathon has raised a combined total of more than $12 million for various Chicago-area charities.
Student Cheryl Wexler Scott came up with the idea for Dance Marathon when searching for a philanthropic endeavor to kick off the weekend festivities. Inspired by the film, "They Shoot Horses Don't They," which chronicled a Depression-era marathon dance, Scott's brainchild was originally co-sponsored by Alpha Tau Omega and Associated Student Government. The event, titled "Dance to Give them a Chance," raised more than $9,000. Only 15 of the 21 participating couples had the stamina to dance the full 52 hours.
Dance Marathon has evolved since "Dance to Give them a Chance." The grueling dance time was ultimately decreased to 30 hours and includes more than 1,000 volunteer dancers. To show their support and school spirit, alumni groups in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and London held their own mini-marathons.
After its first two years in Blomquist Memorial Gymnasium and Patten Gymnasium, Dance Marathon was moved to Norris University Center, where it continues to be held today. In the early days, Dance Marathon also featured movies, fencing and karate demonstrations, a backgammon tournament, and a mime troupe. A beauty spa was introduced in 1988. Now, hair stylists from the local saloons cut hair at Norris, and other professionals offer massages and manicures. A casino was added in 1999.
Celebrity appearances were also added to the festivities in the 1980s. Attendees who have stopped by to dance include the musical group Sha Na Na, TV celebrities Jeff Probst and Scott Wolf, and Northwestern alumni Cindy Crawford and David Schwimmer.
Since 1978, a new primary beneficiary is selected each year. Dance Marathon funds have benefited charities such as United Way Crusade of Mercy, United Cerebral Palsy, Chicago Lung Association, Arthritis Foundations, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Juvenile Diabetes, Easter Seals, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Howard Brown Memorial Clinic, and the Leukemia Society.
In the early 1990s, former University President Arnold Weber had a vision to create a physical entrance to the University. He felt the absence of a single gate through which students, faculty, alumni and visitors officially entered Northwestern was an architectural “gap” on the Evanston campus.
He commissioned Ann Ziegelmaier, University landscape architect, to design The Arch. Today, after more than 25 years of service, Ziegelmaier still considers this project among her favorites at the University. At the time, she didn't realize it would become one of the most recognizable features of the Northwestern campus.
In 2011, the University dedicated The Arch to Arnold Weber with a ceremony in his honor. President Morton Schapiro unveiled a plaque with words of tribute to Weber, who attended the gathering, that now hangs on the structure.
In a new tradition, each incoming freshman class is led by the marching band in a "March Through the Arch" to kick off the school year. Current students, faculty, and friends line campus pathways to cheer on and welcome the newest members of the Northwestern community. It has quickly become a treasured campus tradition.
On March 23, 2009, officials from the University and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Research, and Community Development formally marked the opening of Northwestern's campus in Education City in Doha, Qatar. President Emeritus Henry Bienen called it "one of the most important legacies of my presidency." Northwestern joined other top American universities with campuses in the area.
Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) offers students from the Middle East and around the world degree programs in communication and journalism, with the hope that graduates will help bring the story of the Middle East to the wider world. A hallmark of NU-Q education is the "learn by doing" philosophy, which prepares students to be leaders in their field. Its close proximity to news network Al-Jazeera, and regional events like the Arab Spring, provided infinite learning experiences in NU-Q's first years.
NU-Q celebrated its inaugural graduating class in the spring of 2012. Thirty-six students donned purple robes, received diplomas, and left the university ready for a 21st-century media world. A traveling delegation of more than 50 senior officials, trustees, faculty, and deans from Evanston, including President Emeritus Henry S. Bienen, came to Doha for the ceremony.
Northwestern will open its permanent facilities in Education City in 2013. It previously borrowed space from Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon University buildings.