Monthly Archives: August 2014

Edgar Stansbury


Edgar Stansbury

Edgar Stansbury

Edgar Bryant Stansbury, son of Emmet and Mable Stansbury was born 1906 in Corbin, Kentucky. He attended Shepherdsville high school and came to WKU in 1926 where he played basketball and football. Upon graduation Ed coached in Greenville and Lancaster, Kentucky high schools, married and attended Peabody where he received his master’s degree. Returning to WKU in 1935 Stansbury became assistant coach to E.A. Diddle. After World War II he returned briefly as athletic director in 1946-1947. Stansbury returned to the air force in 1947 and later worked for Honeywell. A lifelong WKU supporter, he died in Largo, Florida in 2009 at the age of 103.

He left his personal papers and photographs to WKU Archives.  This is a photo of Ed Stansbury aboard the Regent Sun touring the Panama Canal in 1988.  He and his wife Edith enjoyed many cruises during their retirement years.Panama Canal Logo

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What We Did Over Summer Vacation

Summer is quickly drawing to a close and thanks to our student worker Jack, we have quite a lot to show for our summer.  He has been diligently scanning scrapbooks, photographs, negatives and original documents.  Here’s a taste of some of the new old items now available on TopScholar.

1980 WKU Football Scrapbook

Bowling Green Business University Scrapbook

College Heights Herald, Vol. 54, Nos. 1-21 [the remaining numbers will be available soon]

College High Basketball Scrapbook 1946-47

Concerns Presented by Faculty Senate

Cook Twins Scrapbook

The Fourth Estate, Sigma Delta Chi publication

Gary Ransdell Installation negatives

Kelly Thompson Chapter, Public Relations Student Society of America records

Lady Toppers Basketball Press Releases, 1992-93

Phi Alpha Theta Petition

Progress Report of the Faculty Participation Committee

ROTC 1942 Notes

Stickles History Club Minute Books, 1924-1957

University Senate – Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Vietnam Moratorium Correspondence

Voices, publication of the Western Writers group

Western Players Scrapbooks 1934-1960

WKU Advertising Club newsletters

Thank you, Jack!

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Bowling Greeners in the Panama Canal Zone

Panama Canal LogoNative Bowling Greener, Ruel Sullivan Love (1903-1987), suffered from wanderlust.  He tried his hand at several occupations early in life before settling into a position as a court reporter in Chicago.  When Judge Richard Curd Pope Thomas (1872-1939) asked Ruel to serve as his personal secretary and court reporter in the Panama Canal Zone, the young man jumped at the opportunity.  Shortly after Ruel’s arrival, Judge Thomas, who was also from Bowling Green, wrote the young man’s father that his son was doing a fine job in the work, enjoyed plenty of rest, received a “good salary” of $27 per month, had a cozy home, and most importantly “married a fine little woman.”  Thomas reassured him that Ruel had picked out a woman “of good common sense” and was “sensible in every particular and much better looking” than Ruel had led the family to believe.


Letter from Thomas in the Canal Zone to George Love

When Ruel took time to write, he informed his father that he was enjoying his work and asked about ways that he could invest his money in Bowling Green.  In one letter he mentioned a recent court incident in which “They arraigned a Chinaman for murder.  He killed two of his countrymen on one of the Dollar line boats.  The case will come up soon before the Judge, and I imagine the Judge will have to pass the death sentence.”

Shaker Collectors342

R.C.P. Thomas

President Franklin Roosevelt appointed R.C.P. Thomas as the District Judge of the Panama Canal Zone in June 1933.  As he prepared to leave the U.S., local poet and friend John A. Logan penned a poetic tribute:  “We send him away that the world may known/That hospitality/With justice and mercy go hand in hand/With Kentucky gallantry.”  Thomas did an admirable job in Panama, but declined reappointment after his four-year term ended in 1937.  He returned to Bowling Green, retired from his law practice, and spent time working with a herd of Jersey cows on his farm until he died in 1939.

Ruel also returned to Bowling Green after Thomas’s term ended.  He and his “sensible” wife divorced soon afterward.  In 1943 Ruel moved to Louisville, where he established a court reporting business.  Later he became a court reporter in New Orleans, where he remained until his retirement.  Ruel died in 1987; both he and Judge Thomas are buried in Bowling Green’s Fairview Cemetery.

In celebration of the Panama Canal’s centennial, the Department of Library Special Collections will feature items from the collection during the month of August.

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WKU’s Library in Glasgow Gets a Makeover

Glasgow Librarian Audrey Robinson-Nkongola

Librarian Chris Robinson-Nkongola

Librarian Chris Robinson-Nkongola welcomes patrons to the newly renovated Glasgow Library. This renovation is phase 1 of the makeover. Phase 2 will take place next year with a new circulation desk and carpets.



Glasgow Library

Future site of circulating collection.


The circulating collection will include a McNaughton Leisure Reading Collection. We have new laptop chairs with swiveling tables and a Courtesy Charging Station.

New Dell Computers in Glasgow Library

Dell Widescreen Desktop Computers

New Dell Computers in Glasgow Library

Dell Widescreen Desktop Computers


WKU Glasgow will also have 10 new state of the art all-in-one widescreen Dell computers (approximately 24 inches).

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Panama Canal 100th Anniversary

Panama Canal Anniversary logoA century ago this month, on August 15, 1914, the steamship Ancon traveled fifty miles through the Panama Canal, making it the first vessel to pass from ocean to ocean through one of the world’s greatest shortcuts.

The Ancon‘s transit through the Canal marked the completion of a daring and ambitious engineering project.  This decade-long effort to save seagoing traffic the time-consuming and hazardous 8,000-mile detour around the southern tip of South America nevertheless cost about 5,600 laborers’ lives through accidents and tropical disease.  Amazingly, another 22,000 are estimated to have died during a failed French attempt to construct a canal in the 1880s.

In 1979, a treaty signed by President Jimmy Carter returned most of the Panama Canal Zone, then a U.S. territory, to Panama’s control.  The remainder of the territory, known as the Panama Canal Area, was returned in 1999.  Today, the Canal is a neutral international waterway through which some 15,000 ships pass each year.

SS Ancon in the Panama Canal, 1914

SS Ancon in the Panama Canal, 1914

Significant anniversaries such as the Panama Canal’s centennial allow WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections to showcase relevant material about the landmark occasion and to demonstrate how international events affect even local people.  Besides printed material related to the Canal, Special Collections also holds photographs of the engineering marvel, letters of people who worked in and visited the Canal Zone, and sound recordings that feature comments about the Canal when it became a political topic in the 1970s.  We will be sharing some of these items on the blog during the month of August.

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Out of the Box – July

This month’s out of the box items are a salute to Potter College of Arts & Letters.

Amy Bouse poster

Amy Bouse poster




Folk Studies & Anthropology


Journalism & Broadcasting

Modern Languages


Philosophy & Religion


Theatre & Dance

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