A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University Digital Exhibition

As part of our continuing commemorations of Syracuse University’s sesquicentennial, Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center has released “A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University” digital exhibition. This online exhibition mirrors and expands upon the physical exhibition that has been on display on the first floor of Bird Library since September 2019. It is a companion to our marquee sesquicentennial digital exhibition “150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University.”

Curated by Pan Am 103 Archivist and Assistant University Archivist Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn, “A Legacy of Leadership” includes documents and photographs from the Syracuse University Archives. From Alexander Winchell to Kent Syverud, this digital exhibition examines how each of the 12 individuals who have held the University’s highest office have helped to shape the institution over the past 150 years.

Photo Image: Photograph of Chancellor James Roscoe Day speaking at Commencement in Archbold Gymnasium, 1916. Syracuse University Photograph Collection, University Archives


Special Collections Research Center Reflects on Sesquicentennial

UPDATED 3/17/20: EVENT POSTPONED

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) will honor Syracuse University’s founding 150 years ago on March 24, also known as National Orange Day, with special exhibition tours and a pop-up exhibit.  Visitors of Bird Library on March 24 can experience five different University history exhibitions:

  1. 150 Years of Syracuse University in Maps on the 3rd floor,
  2. 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University on the 6th floor,
  3. A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University on the 1st floor,
  4. Milestone of the Syracuse University Libraries on the 1st floor, and
  5. Student Life at Syracuse University pop-up exhibit on the 6th floor.

University Archivist and curator Meg Mason will offer tours of the exhibition 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University on the morning of March 24. Featuring a wide selection of photographs, printed materials, textiles, and other memorabilia, this exhibition presents the numerous traditions of Syracuse University and shows the University’s roots in the past and how some of the heritage has been passed forward. Tours are scheduled for 10:00 am and 11:00 am in the SCRC gallery space on the 6th floor of Bird Library. Reserve your place in a tour by contacting Julia Chambers (jschambe@syr.edu) by March 18.

SCRC staff will also present a pop-up exhibition, Student Life at Syracuse University over 150 Years, in Room 606 (Hillyer Room) Bird Library from 1 to 4 pm on March 24. Visitors will have an opportunity to see additional historical materials from the University Archives, including photographs, maps, memorabilia, and the papers of past SU students. Those interested in old photos and maps of campus, curious about where students lived when the campus did not yet have dorms, or the classwork and student extracurricular activities from the past should attend this pop-up exhibition for glimpses into student life over Syracuse University’s history. 

In addition to the five exhibits at Bird Library, the Libraries will also provide:

  • A display of the Milestones of the Syracuse University Libraries in Carnegie Library’s Diana entryway display case from March 16 through commencement weekend.
  • Five episodes highlighting Syracuse University’s 150th anniversary in Sound Beat, the Libraries’ 90-second daily radio program based on recordings from SCRC’s Belfer Audio Archive.  The episodes, scheduled to air in March, will focus on the school colors, the block S logo, campus songs and singing, the number 44, and student traditions. Sound Beat is carried by commercial stations in major markets, community-supported stations in small communities, and reader services that provide news and entertainment to the elderly and visually impaired.

150 Years of Tradition Showcased at Syracuse University Exhibition

 

black and white photo of male and female students sitting closely on concrete bench in winter in front of Hendricks Chapel
Students on the Kissing Bench from the 1963 Onondagan. Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

In celebration of Syracuse University’s sesquicentennial, Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) will open an exhibition on the sixth floor of Bird Library from Sept. 5 through spring 2020 titled “150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University.” Curated by University Archivist Meg Mason, the exhibition commemorates the University’s founding through a selection of traditions, customs and ideas that unite the University community and connect the past with the present. The exhibition will be open for public viewing Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This exhibition is an opportunity for our campus, community and visitors to view interesting artifacts, memorabilia and other items that have been carefully curated by Syracuse University’s outstanding special collections team. It provides a fascinating look into the origins of many of our traditions and an engaging way to learn from our history,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud.

black and white photo of crowd of students in graduation caps and gowns cheering in the Dome
Graduates cheering at the 1983 Commencement. Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

On display will be items from the University Archives—including photographs, printed materials, textiles and other memorabilia—that exemplify a variety of old and new traditions. Visitors will learn about the origins of the University’s official color, orange; the Block “S” logo; and the mascot Otto the Orange. Other traditions represented include alumni reunions, Commencement and other events such as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Winter Carnival. Beanies and other items related to first-year student traditions will be on display, as well as cheerleading and marching band memorabilia, illustrating traditions that inspire spirit. For limited times (September to October 2019 and March through Commencement 2020),visitors will be able to view two especially rare items from the University Archives: Ernie Davis’ No. 44 jersey and the Alma Mater handwritten in author Junius Stevens’ hand.

Many special events and tours are planned throughout the run of the exhibition. Mason will provide tours of the exhibition during Orange Central weekend, Sept. 13-14; alumni can register for tours at orangecentral.syr.edu. The exhibition will be also be open for viewing during Family Weekend, Oct. 18-19.

In addition to the primary exhibition in Bird Library, the Syracuse University Libraries will draw from University Archives materials to present additional exhibitions in celebration of the University’s sesquicentennial, both on and off campus. These include:

black and white photo of two male students standing outside holding beanie caps in their hands directly above their heads
First-year students tipping their beanies, circa 1960s. Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

  • Reproductions from the “150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University” exhibition on display at Joseph I. Lubin House, home base for the University’s New York City operations.
  • “A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University” in the exhibition case on the first floor of Bird Library. This exhibition will provide a glimpse into the administrations of the 12 individuals who have guided the University through its 150-year history. Curated by Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn, assistant University archivist and Pan Am 103 archivist, these documents and photographs from the University Archives chart the ways in which the University has grown and changed, from the institution’s first leader, Chancellor Alexander Winchell, to current Chancellor Kent Syverud. It will be available for viewing from September 17, 2019 through spring 2020.

color photo of 7 male chearleaders holding 7 female chearleaders on their shoulders. Each female is holding a letter to ame the word "Orange" with the last female holding a photo of an orange. Otto the Syracuse mascot is standing in front of the cheerleaders while they are in cheer. In background Dome is packed with fans.
Cheerleaders and Otto on the basketball court in 2000. Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

The “150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University” opening reception will be held at the Robert Ortwine Gallery on the sixth floor of Bird Library on Thursday, Sept. 5, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tours may also be provided upon request by contacting the SCRC at scrc@syr.edu or 315.443.2697.