Month: October 2013

50 years ago: News of the consolidation

ARC2013-181On Tuesday morning, October 22, 1963, Milwaukee-Downer College students, faculty, and staff gathered for a special convocation. The chairman of the Board of Trustees, Charles Stone, delivered a brief address. He announced: “The Trustees of Milwaukee-Downer College and of Lawrence College have agreed to join together in the establishment of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.” The Downer campus was to be sold to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Students were shocked and many were in tears. Even the faculty had not been informed ahead of time. Reporters and photographers from The Milwaukee Journal were on hand, and they printed photos of Downer students receiving the news on the front page of the paper.

Consolidation_headlinesMeanwhile, Lawrence president Curtis Tarr (who had been formally installed only five days earlier) had gathered the faculty in Harper Hall to announce the consolidation. He told Lawrence students shortly thereafter. The press release was sent out to the papers and radio stations at the same time as the meetings, and the news dominated the headlines in both Milwaukee and Appleton.

This announcement was the first step in the consolidation process that was carried out in less than a year. For many, especially Downer students, faculty, and staff, it was a traumatic beginning.

But this year, we will commemorate and celebrate fifty years of “strength through union,” as a contemporary publication put it. The joining of Lawrence College and Milwaukee-Downer College created Lawrence University, and this shared history is reflected in our campus, our traditions, our alumni, and our mission today.

For more information about Milwaukee-Downer College and the consolidation with Lawrence, explore Milwaukee-Downer  written and oral histories or visit the Archives.

Archives Month!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – that’s right, October is American Archives Month! This year, the LU Archives will celebrate by showcasing our wonderful photographic collections in some new and exciting ways. First up, we’ll have a photo caption contest. If you have a caption in mind for this photo, submit your entry at the display on the first floor of the library anytime October 7th through 11th. Library staff will judge the entries, and the contest winner will receive a gift card for Harmony Cafe.

The Memorial Chapel, circa 1970 and 2013.
The Memorial Chapel, circa 1970 and 2013.

All month, we will also be exploring the intersection of the past and present at Lawrence with rephotography – recreating historical images and comparing “then and now.” We’ll post some examples of modern and historical images juxtaposed or overlaid on our Facebook page. We hope you will consider creating some of your own! You can browse and search our digitized photograph collections for inspiration in our collections database. If you create your own rephotograph, please share it with us on Facebook or email it to us at archives@lawrence.edu!

Lastly (but unrelated to photography), we will again offer the Haunted Lawrence tour. Further details will be forthcoming, but mark your calendars for Monday, October 28th at 8pm!