Friday, February 24, 2017

African American History: John Lewis Marches On

ShipLibrary's Films on Demand  presents Moyers & Company: John Lewis Marches On.
Two icons of the ’60s civil rights era—John Lewis and Bill Moyers—meet to share experiences and revelations related to the momentous March on Washington, which they both attended 50 years ago. Their discussion takes them to the spot in front of the Lincoln Memorial where Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, Roy Wilkins, and others famously spoke about freedom and justice, creating critical momentum for both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Representative Lewis (now a 14-term congressman) shares new insight into how the event unfolded, while Bill (who at the time was deputy director of the newly created Peace Corps) shares his own memories of the day. He concludes with an essay about how the pursuit of equal rights and opportunities for all Americans—so championed at the March on Washington—continues to be thwarted. Broadcast date: July 26, 2013. (57 minutes)
Films on Demand is a multimedia database with over 13,000 films covering education, business, criminal justice, psychology, sociology, anthropology, art, history, English, biology, earth science, and environmental science. The average film is 40 minutes long, contains a summary description of the film, and is divided into segments that can be viewed independently. It is an excellent source of audiovisual material on a wide range of subjects.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 2/23/17: Old Main facelift

When Old Main was constructed in 1871, it was the only building of the newly-chartered Cumberland Valley State Normal School. During the next century, it consistently contained dorms and offices as well as classrooms, dining facilities, and after a renovation around 1902, a chapel.

The reception hall in Old Main in 1923-1924.

The chapel as it appeared in the 1920s.

By 1976, Old Main had been in service for more than a century, and it was in need of a renovation. In early December 1975, state officials decreed students move out of Old Main and Horton Hall immediately because they "violate(d) state regulations for fire protection." The buildings were wooden structures, and didn't have sprinkler systems. Shippensburg State College appealed and in January 1976 got permission to continue using both buildings for dorms until June. Safety measures were put in place to ensure student safety.

According to The Slate, student fire guards patrolled the halls of Old Main every night from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and reported to campus safety officers every half hour. Additional fire extinguishers were installed.

When students moved out of Old Main for the last time in June 1976, college officials planned to renovate the building and move administrative offices there. By the early 1980s, the university launched a capital campaign to get the project off the ground. Pennsylvania allocated $3.7 million for renovations, and officials estimated that $1.9 million more was needed.

Scaffolding covers the side of Old Main in the spring of 1984.

The campaign was a success and work began in 1983. Exterior updates included a new slate roof, repointing and re-mortaring the bricks, and a new paint scheme - beige and brown. Additionally, a new weather vane featuring "1871" was placed on the tower.

A crane is used to repaint the tower in September 1983. The new weather vane was installed Nov. 19, 1984.

Inside the building, the first three floors were completely updated - new wiring and plumbing, new heating and air conditioning, updated telephone system, and an elevator. Plus the chapel was restored to its 1920s appearance including stained-glass windows. The whole thing was completed with new paint and reproduction furniture.

The chapel was restored to its 1920s appearance.

Administrative offices re-located to Old Main, including the President and Vice Presidents, Provost, Registrar and Admissions. The campus celebrated Old Main's next century of service with a rededication ceremony on October 13, 1985.

Want to learn more about Ship's history? Contact Archives & Special Collections via email at or phone, (717) 477-1123, ext. 3357.

Cumberland, 1986.
Old Main, capital campaign book, Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Ezra Lehman Memorial Library, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA.
Old Main, rededication book, Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Ezra Lehman Memorial Library, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA.
The Slate, December 9, 1975.
The Slate, January 27, 1976.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Happy Presidents Day!

Happy Presidents Day!

"Presidents Day originated in the 1880s when the birthday of George Washington was celebrated as a federal holiday. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which moved a number of federal holidays to Mondays. During the debate on the bill, it was proposed to have George Washington’s birthday be renamed Presidents Day to honor the birthdays of both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Washington’s birthday is February 22nd and Lincoln’s birthday is February 12th. Although Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was celebrated in many states, it was never an official federal holiday. Following much discussion, Congress rejected the name change. However, after the bill went into effect in 1971, Presidents Day became the commonly accepted name."(1)

1. National Day Calendar. (2017) Presidents Day - Third Monday in February. Accessed 2017.02.15. Retrieved from
Credit for both halves of this animated gif to Phoebe Migliano for her adaptations from WikimediaCommons

Thursday, February 16, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 2/16/17: Circus at Heiges

Heiges Field House has hosted many events over the decades. But it's hard to think of an event more unique than a three-ring circus.

The Hanneford Circus, then nationally known for its animal acts and aerial stunts, arrived on campus Sept. 19, 1974 to perform two shows for students, faculty and staff, and local residents. According to the Sept. 17, 1974 edition of The Slate, the circus was "one of the largest in the country." The paper added that the circus started in 1821 in England as a showcase for one man's horsemanship and had continued operations for 150 years managed by the Hanneford family.

Thirty different acts were featured at the 4:30 p.m and 8 p.m. field house shows, which The Slate reported were well-attended. Among the feats performed were dogs playing basketball, a performance involving tigers, lions and elephants trained by Tajana Hanneford, lions and tigers jumping through flaming hoops, aerial stunts by Marian Radulesce, on her first U.S. tour, and "Ramona."

A highlight of the show was the Hanneford Family Bareback Riding Act, which involved family members riding horses without saddles. Hanneford family matriarch Mrs. George Hanneford, Sr., then 84, appeared with the riders.

The circus was hosted by the campus Activities Program Board. Admission was 50 cents for children and students, and $1.00 adults.

Want to find out about events Shippensburg students enjoyed in the past? Archives & Special Collections has photos and newspaper articles about a wide variety of APB and student-sponsored events. Contact Archives & Special Collections via email: or phone: (717) 477-1123, x3357. 

The Slate. Sept. 17, 1974.
The Slate. Sept. 24, 1974.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 2/9/17: FM radio @ Ship

A 1978-79 bumper sticker advertising WSYC.
When you think of the ways you listen to music, you might first think of your smartphone and one of the many streaming radio apps. Or you might think of satellite radio, or buying digital versions of your favorite songs on the Web.

For SU students in the 1970s, radio was the most popular way to hear new hits and artists as well as music news and commentary. WSYC - the campus AM radio station - launched broadcasts in 1957. The station could be heard in dining halls and dorms on campus thanks to eight local transmitters.

We might think of AM radio as the scratchy part of the radio dial where it's hard to get a clear signal. Today, news, sports and talk radio are AM's main programs. In the 1970s, it was a common way to hear Top 40 music and pop hits. But FM format was gaining popularity. It offered better sound due to high frequency waves transmitted at high power. Typically, music stations now broadcast on FM.

In May 1974, President Gilmore Seavers authorized work on the new campus FM station. Seavers set three goals for the project: Install a new transmitter and equipment, appoint an FM station board to resolve programming disputes, and name a faculty rep from Communications-Journalism. Students hoped to begin FM broadcasts by September 1975.

Construction began on the transmitter by October 1974.

As soon as Seavers gave the OK, WSYC applied for an FCC license, which was granted in late October 1974. In the meantime, a transmitter building was constructed. After a few equipment delays, WSYC-FM went on the air on March 24, 1975 at 88.7 on the FM dial.

President Seavers signs the guest log at the WSYC-FM open house on March 24, 1975.

On AM, WSYC listeners were used to hearing popular music. The FM station was classified as "education" and had to expand programming. Communications-Journalism faculty used the station to train students studying broadcasting. Students offered news and commentary daily on a variety of topics. The station also played classical, jazz, R&B and progressive music. Top 40 was rarely heard.

Today, SU students continue to broadcast live at WSYC-FM. Programs include music, sports and interview and news programs. Many students use their experience to get ready for future broadcasting careers. WSYC-FM also offers streaming radio at

Archives and Special Collections has a lot of information on student-run media at SU, including The Slate, yearbooks, Reflectors, and more. Contact Archives & Special Collections via email at or phone, (717) 477-1123, ext 3357.

All source materials can be found in Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Ezra Lehman Memorial Library, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA.
The Slate. May 7, 1974.
The Slate. Oct. 15, 1974
The Slate. Oct. 29, 1974.
The Slate. Jan. 21, 1975.
The Slate. Feb. 4, 1975.
The Slate. April 1, 1975.

Library will open at 11:00 am on Thursday, Feb. 9th, 2017

Due to the severe weather, Lehman Library will open at 11:00 am today, Thursday, Feb. 9th, 2017.
Enjoy the snow, and be safe!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

#TBT in the Archives 2/2/17: SU Presidents

Since the founding of the Cumberland Valley State Normal School in 1870, Shippensburg University presidents have always been leaders in guiding change for the campus community. Whether these changes meant new buildings, groundbreaking academic programs, or even new names, each president (or principal!) has had the honor of guiding the campus forward.

Recently, President Jody Harpster retired. He may have served as University President for just two years, but the institution made great strides under his watch. Since January 2015, Shippensburg has launched the first electrical engineering degree in PASSHE, and its first two doctoral programs in educational leadership and counselor education and supervision. Plus, the Fashion Archives & Museum moved into a new home at the Davis House in March 2016, while the John L. Grove College of Business and the computer engineering and software engineering programs earned national recognition.

Let’s take a look back at other major changes that took place during the tenure of past presidents: 

Ezra Lehman served as the principal of the Cumberland Valley State Normal School from 1913 until his death in June 1931. One of the most momentous changes during his tenure was the change of the school’s name to Shippensburg State Teachers’ College. The title became official in August 1927 when the first seven students graduated from the college’s new four-year Bachelor of Science in Education program.

In addition, Lehman oversaw the construction of the campus’ first library building, which was finished in 1931. Prior to this, the library was located in Old Main. To get there, students had to walk through the chapel, which prevented library visits when religious services, rehearsals, and lectures were scheduled.

The new library building was dedicated in President Lehman's honor during the 1931-1932 academic year. The 1932 edition of the Cumberland yearbook included this page about the dedication. Today, this building is home to Huber Arts Center.

President Ralph E. Heiges (1956-1970) also oversaw momentous changes at Shippensburg. In 1960, the General Assembly removed the name “Teachers’” from the school name, and Shippensburg State College entered the decade with a new name but a familiar mission – training teachers. Another big change in the early 1960s was in 1961-1962 when Ship restructured the academic calendar into two 18-week semesters, instead of three 12-week terms.

President Ralph E. Heiges

By the time Heiges was president, the college also offered a master’s program in education. By 1969-1970, master’s degree programs included Master of Arts in history, English or political science, and Master of Science in communication or counseling. 

Heiges and his successor, Gilmore B. Seavers, served while the campus dramatically changed in appearance to accommodate ballooning student enrollment. Heiges witnessed the completion of Kriner Hall and Reisner Dining Hall, Huber Arts Center, the current Ezra Lehman Memorial Library, as well as seven dorms (Wright, McCune, Harley, Kieffer, Lackhove, Naugle, and McLean). Seavers greeted the completion of Franklin Science Center, Heiges Field House, the CUB, Dauphin Humanities Center, and Mowery Hall. President William N. Ruud (2007-2013) oversaw similar updates to campus with the construction of six new dormitories that replaced the old dorms, but took their names.

McCune Hall was completed in 1959. After it was demolished in 2012-2013, a new dorm took its name.
Librarian Alma Winton (1935-1970) surveys the construction of Ezra Lehman Memorial Library in the mid-1960s.

President Seavers also led the campus through the centennial celebration in 1970-1971, and the founding of the campus ROTC program. 

President Anthony F. Ceddia guided the college from 1980 until his retirement in 2005. On July 1, 1983, the school was officially renamed Shippensburg University when the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) was established. 

The Slate announces the college's impending name change in late 1982.
Under Ceddia’s leadership, the university saw updates to campus police and security, renovations at Old Main, the growth of the Shippensburg University Foundation, the establishment of the John L. Grove College of Business, and the construction of Grove Spiritual Center, Luhrs Elementary School, and the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center. 

President Anthony F. Ceddia

Still other presidents and principals have overseen physical changes on campus, expansion of programs and enrollment, and have guided students and faculty throughout Shippensburg University's nearly 150 years. Congratulations to our new Interim President, Dr. Barbara Lyman, who will guide our school during this transition period.  

Want to learn more about Shippensburg University presidents? The Archives and Special Collections houses business and professional papers of many presidents, as well as yearbooks and newspapers from years past that bring their work to life. Contact Archives & Special Collections via e-mail: or phone: 717-477-1123 x3357. 

All source materials can be found in Shippensburg University Archives & Special Collections, Ezra Lehman Memorial Library, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

Cumberland, 1932, volume 15.  
Cumberland, 1968, volume 51. 
Cumberland, 1980, volume 63.
Cumberland, 1981, volume 64.
Normal School Herald, vol. 31, no. 3. Shippensburg: Cumberland Valley State Normal School, April 1927.
The Slate. April 16, 2005.
Shippensburg State College Bulletin, 1960-1961, vol. 64, no. 3. Shippensburg: Shippensburg State College, June 1960.
Shippensburg State College Bulletin, 1961-1962, vol. 65, no. 3. Shippensburg: Shippensburg State College, June 1961.
State Teachers’ College Herald, vol. 31, no. 4. Shippensburg: Shippensburg State Teachers’ College, July 1927.