WU History

Black Position Paper, 1968

By Karisa Tavassoli, WU Class of 2016 on September 17, 2014

As you read the following, as yourself: How much has changed at WashU since 1968? How much has not changed? What can we do to keep improving the safety and equality of students at our school? Excerpts from the Black Position Paper, December 6, 1968: The following statement is issued by The Associ...

Fashion Design Program Records

By Jennifer Kirmer on September 10, 2014

The Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts includes a number of programs, including the Fashion Design Program. The records for this program are now available for all researchers at the Washington University Archives. These unique records have many visual elements that provide great insight to ...

A Look Back: Dorm Rooms Over the Years

By Miranda Rectenwald on August 20, 2014

As WU students return to campus this August, we welcome the freshman class of 2018 into the “South-40” dorms.  The photographs at University Archives offers a glimpse into dorm rooms of students in decades past.   And while these images span more than nine decades, many similarities r...

What Are We Fighting For?

By Karisa Tavassoli, WU Class of 2016 on August 13, 2014

“I know that in the struggle for enlightenment against ignorance and prejudice Washington University will stand in the forefront of the battle.” — 1905 Commencement   With this bold mission Mr. William Donaldson (WU Class of 1863) ended his 1905 Commencement oration. Are we fighting ag...

Amelia Earhart: Aviation Adventures at WU

By Miranda Rectenwald on July 24, 2014

In honor of Amelia Earhart’s birthday (July 24) University Archives takes a look back at the famous flyer’s only campus visit: Tuesday evening, October 29, 1935, Earhart spoke as part of the W.U. Association’s yearly lecture series. (more about the Association below) The 12 part...

WU and the Moon Landing: 45 Years Ago

By Lillian Blotkamp, Graduate Student worker on July 20, 2014

Apollo 11’s moon landing on July 20, 1969 provided WU scientists with an historic opportunity. Physicists at WU were among those chosen to receive samples of the first rocks brought back from the moon.  Professor Robert Walker, a member of the Lunar Sample Advisory Planning Team (LSAPT), which ad...

Washington University Alumni Day at the World’s Fair: 100 Years Ago

By Lillian Blotkamp, Graduate Student worker on June 16, 2014

June 16th, 1904, Commencement Day, was designated by the World’s Fair authorities as Washington University Alumni Day. The Alumni Bulletin of 1904 called for “a general rallying of all friends of the University in Festival Hall” and noted that “this hall seats 3,500, and it is desired that it be ...

Fighting for Dandelions: A Past WU Tradition

By Lillian Blotkamp, Graduate Student worker on May 31, 2014

Today, the University Archives would like to share with you a seemingly forgotten but most amusing WU spring tradition: Dandelion Day. Pulling up these yellow weeds can be an arduous task, especially if you want to eradicate them from an entire university campus. In the early decades of the 20th ...

8 seldom recognized commencement traditions

By Miranda Rectenwald on May 13, 2014

Commencement is a time of long-held traditions: academic gowns, speeches, diplomas, processions, banners…in short, all the expected pomp and circumstance.   University Archives however, is happy to recognize some of the less discussed rituals  of commencement at Washington University. Below...

100 Years Ago: Advertisements on Campus, Spring 1914

By Lillian Blotkamp, Graduate student worker on April 16, 2014

Advertisements presented to WU students one-hundred years ago differed somewhat from those today, but in many ways they seem familiar. Featured below are various advertisements, from Student Life and The Hachet, dating to the spring of 1914 at Washington University. Coca-cola,  Anheuser-Busch, an...