Tag Archives: WKU Student Organizations

The Testimony of the Spirits

In Commencement Programtheir  Junior year the Class of 1922 put on “The Second Annual Anti-Homesick Treatment,” the fourth portion of which was a “grand opera” that tells the story of a new student caught between the Spirit of Homesickness and the Spirit of the Institution.  In order to defeat Homesickness the Institution calls forth the Spirits of Friendship, Hard Work, Loyalty, Knocking, Class and Beauty.  For the incoming freshman we give you the Testimony of the Spirits:

Hard Worked Students:

We study hard both by night and day
And that’s the way we always play
But since no labor we ever shirk
We must just here get at our work

Spirit of Homesickness

Right here methinks I’ll take my stand
Some new student may happen by
I’ll grab the poor thing by the hand
And teach her how to say good bye
I’ll try to get her good and blue
And get her ready to skidoo
My mission is where’er I roam
To get ’em blue and send ’em home

New Student

My home I love so dearly
Is far away from me
I begin to feel so queerly
What can the matter be
What can the matter be
I feel so gloomilee
And I fear some frightful illness
Has seized a hold of me

Continue reading

Comments Off on The Testimony of the Spirits

Filed under University Archives

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

We have been processing and posting meeting minutes of all kinds.  There are University Senate minutes, Congress Debating Club minutes, departmental faculty meeting minutes, Stickles History Club minute books and FCG Classical Club to name a few.

WKU minute takers have done a great job in relaying accurate information to us.  They have also found and recorded humor in their meetings.  Here are a few examples:

Congress Debating Club, Book 4, page 279

Senator Searcy blew his breath at the crowd and at the same time his vocal chords vibrated in an unintelligble manner.

On page 290 of the same book we find a notation that the previous minutes are an “unhealthy bit of propaganda.”

In a memo addressed to the History faculty April 29, 1977, Dr. Richard Troutman outlines a number of meetings as:

The first meeting will involve consideration of two proposals from the Departmental Curriculum Committee . . .

The meeting following the first meeting should be brief and will involve a continuation of our discussion on graduate assistants.

The meeting following the brief meeting which follows the longer meeting will concern my concern about what direction the Department should take as we seek a new teacher for next year.  This meeting should take longer than the brief second meeting, but perhaps not as long as the longer first meeting.  But then again, it may take longer.

History faculty meeting minutes have begun “Once upon a time” and ended “. . . and they all lived happily ever after.”

A belated but slight reminder of things past . . . !

As quickly as was humanly possible, Dr. Crowe adjourned the meeting. Deferentially yielded, crowe the younger

The Sept. 19, 1974 meeting minutes open: “This is the Way it Was . . . !”  and conclude with:

If there are any questions as to particulars mentioned in this monsterpiece, check with the man who keeps a pad in his shirt pocket.  His note-taking ability far surpasses anything done by ‘little old me, honey.’

Stickles History Club

Stickles History Club

[signed] Scarlott O’Crowe

This image from the Arndt Stickles History Club Minute Book 1, page 4  relates the seriousness of manner in which the members organized:

In ancient days students sat at the feet of the old philosophers or followed them about through gardens, in order to get the gleam of life that scholars of the age had or to hear marvelous stories of the universe, or perhaps, just to be near great and noble characters.  Even so, do students of the modern age long for contact with just such noble men as those of old.

These and many more records are available for researchers in WKU Archives.

Comments Off on Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

Filed under University Archives

Out of the Box – August

Welcoming students back to campus through the years.


Board of Regents, 11/6/1914

Moving In

Moving In

College Heights Herald 8/24/1982 Diddle Dorm

Dress Code

English Club Gazette

Meredith Hall

Northeast & Southwest Halls

Ogden College Entrance Exam, 1889 Residence Halls

Rodes-Harlin Hall

WKU Housing

Zacharias Hall

Comments Off on Out of the Box – August

Filed under University Archives

“Here’s to Coach Arthur and the Victorious Basketball Girls!”

1915 WKU Hilltoppers

1915 Varsity Team*

The 2012-13 women’s basketball team is a roll. Led by Coach Michelle Clark-Heard—herself a former Lady Topper—they join a long line of great basketball teams here on the hill. But where did that tradition begin?

98 years ago, on this day in 1915, the women of Western Kentucky State Normal School played their very first game against another school. This team was an unusual group. In the fall of 1914, each literary society in the school organized a girls’ basketball team. That’s right—the athletes came from the literary set. They learned the rules, practiced diligently, and then played each other.

The Senior team handily won every game they played, but all of the teams came in for compliments in the school magazine, The Elevator. Even the Kit-Kats and the Loyals, who only won three games between them, were praised, “because they have improved so much since they began. They have nerve, courage and ‘that other thing’ that has strengthened them against the attacks of a stronger force.”

When their intermural season was over, a varsity team was chosen from the best players of all the society teams. They challenged Logan College in Russellville to a game for the first day of March, 1915. The Elevator reporters reveled in the game: “On that great and memorable day the chosen ten from the Western set forth to seek renown for our dear old Normal by completely vanquishing and utterly subduing the basketball Amazons of Logan College.” Vanquish, they did. The newly formed varsity team “played with all the vim and determination and ‘that other thing’ that Normalites are famous for,” and won the game, 12 to 8.

When that game ended, that was it. One game and the “season” was over. Regular games didn’t start again until 1921. However, the legacy of this plucky team was on-going. In fact, one of those winning varsity players, guard Josephine Cherry, became the coach of the 1921-22 team and supported the teams that followed.

The Elevator said at the time, “The whole school joins in congratulations to these valiant girls in whose hearts are ever burning the bright fire of zeal and interest in every phase of our athletic work.” 98 years later, we join them in congratulations and appreciation to the 1915 Women’s Basketball varsity team for laying down a lasting foundation.

To learn more about this team, check out the February and April Elevators.
Search our online catalog, KenCat or visit the Harrison-Baird Reading Room of the Kentucky Library & Museum (Monday – Saturday, 9 – 4) for more information on women’s intramural basketball or any of the teams that have played since.

[*Photo Identification, first row, l-r: Zona Lee Searce, Mary Brown, Anna McClusky. Second row: Pearl Jordan, Josephine Cherry, Lucy Booth, Laura Phelps.  Third row: Coach J. L. Arthur, Mary Holton, Martha Holton, Louise Jordan.]

Blog post written by WKU Archives Assistant Katherine Chappell.

Comments Off on “Here’s to Coach Arthur and the Victorious Basketball Girls!”

Filed under University Archives

Military Resources in WKU Archives

1917 saw the creation of the Army ROTC program at Western under the National Defense Act of 1916.  In 1918, the Board of Regents allowed for the formation of the Student’s Army Training Corps.  Barracks were provided for participating students.  In January 1919, this group became the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

During World War II the 321st Army Air Force Cadet Training Detachment took up residence on campus. From 1943 through 1944 the group published a newsletter The Open Post, which has been digitized and is now available TopScholar.

A Military Bibliography of primary and secondary sources in WKU Archives has been created.  It documents WKU student military units such as the Pershing Rifles and Scabbard & Blade.  There is information regarding veterans, World War II, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War as well.

Comments Off on Military Resources in WKU Archives

Filed under University Archives

Spirit Masters Turn 30!

The Spirit Masters have been around for awhile and will be celebrating their 30th anniversary this weekend.

WKU Archives holds several composite photographs of the group such as this one.  The 1991-92 photos are special as the Spirit Masters signed them with well wishes for Elizabeth Esters and WKU President Thomas Meredith.  This image and and notes are now available for viewing on TopScholar.

WKU Archives also hold UA12/2/16 Spirit Masters records.  Mentions of the group are also found in UA4/2 Academic Budgets & Administration and UA12/2/20 Phi Delta Theta records.  These records are available for researchers to use in the Harrison-Baird Research Room Monday – Saturday 9 – 4.

Comments Off on Spirit Masters Turn 30!

Filed under Events, University Archives

Phi Delta Theta

Phi Delta ThetaFormed in 1848 at Miami University (Ohio) by six students Phi Delta Theta has grown to over 160 active chapters. The WKU chapter was formed May 7, 1966 when the Phi Delta Chi chapter won their petition to become a Phi Delta Theta chapter. 

Records and photos of both Phi Delta Chi and Phi Delta Theta were donated to WKU Archives this past week.  These records have been processed, described and a collection inventory is now available online at:


These and other records are available for researchers to use in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room.  Selected images have been digitized are now available through KenCat our online catalog. 

We are always looking for documentation of student organizations, fraternities and sororities.  There are gaps in the records regarding these groups.

Comments Off on Phi Delta Theta

Filed under Events, University Archives

SGA Records

SGA Elections 1968

SGA Elections 1968

The Student Advisory Council of 1956 was the first incarnation of WKU’s Student Government Association. A constitution was written in 1963 and a student council was active in February and of March 1965.   In 1966 things finally got underway with a newly written constitution and approval of the Kelly Thompson administration.  Since then the group has been active on campus taking on the issues of the day from discrimination to tuition hikes, ice machines to visitation policies.

University Archives holds the existing records of the SGA and these are being digitized.  The constitution and amendments; meeting minutes 1969; 1976-1979; 1986-1990; 1994-1999; 2002-2003 and 2005-2007 ; legislation and documents are now available for researchers on TopScholar.   These records are also available to researchers in the Kentucky Building’s Harrison-Baird Reading Room, Monday – Saturday 9 – 4.

Comments Off on SGA Records

Filed under Events, University Archives

Debate Team in WKU Archives

Debate Team at Harvard, 1959

Debate Team at Harvard, 1959

The debate team, now known as the WKU Forensics Team, has been around nearly as long as WKU.  And they’ve been winning awards all through the years.  The WKU Archives holds some documents regarding the team.  These include programs for oratorical contests dating back to 1910, group photos and photos of individuals in debates.  These records are part of record group UA68/6/2  English Department Student Organizations.  This picture includes Mary Grise and Lerond Curry, but the remaining team members have not been identified.  Please contact the University Archivies at archives@wku.edu if you recognize it.  Members of the team from any era are invited to share memories of great debates for inclusion on Shared Memories.

The University Archives is a great resource for research on student organizations.  Check out Hilltopper Heritage and KenCat for more information.

Comments Off on Debate Team in WKU Archives

Filed under Events, University Archives