From Woody's Couch

Our Playbook on OSU History

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Ohio State prepares for World War I

This blog post is part of a World War I series.  Throughout the month of April we will be posting student blogs relating to Ohio State and its involvement in the war.

The Ohio State University had a large impact upon the war effort for the Great War, (otherwise known as World War I), that is unknown by most.

OSU men in uniform, 1919

In the summer of 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed The National Defense Act into law, which included the Pomerene-Gard Bill.  The Pomerene-Gard Bill was legislation that created a national training program for students called the “Reserve Officer’s Training Corps”, or the ROTC Program.  The collegiate aspects of this bill can largely be attributed to Ohio State, as administrators and faculty recognized that during emergencies, the government would need to call on colleges for military officers.

SMA Bunk Room in Hayes Hall, 1917-1918

The ROTC program progressed in universities around the country, including Ohio State, where the military training greatly expanded. By the spring of 1917, the ROTC program began working with theU.S. War Department to build schools of military training and aeronautics at six universities across the US: The Ohio State University, Cornell, MIT, University of Illinois, University of California and the University of Texas. These programs thrived with thousands of men wanting to enter into the service. Here at Ohio State, the School of Aeronautics opened in 1917, and began with 16 cadets. They received intense military training for just over three-week’s time.  After that, up to eight weeks of supplemental technical and theoretical instruction was required.

Ohio Union, 1919

For the ROTC cadets and other students within the military, campus became both their home and training grounds during these years. Many of these students lived in Hayes Hall, which was turned into a bunkroom. The original Ohio Union, (Enarson Hall), became a dining hall to feed most of the troops.  The Ohio Union was also an area for recreation and social enjoyment for many young men in uniform.

As the men dove into military training, the women on campus also wanted to support the war. Many of them held meetings at the Ohio Union, worked with YMCA & YWCA, spent time making cloth surgical bandages and mended clothing for the Student Army Training Corps.

Red Cross Bandage Rolling, 1918

Women on campus also took first aide classes to help men recover from their wounds and injuries as they came home from war.  These were sponsored by the American Red Cross and held at Oxley Hall. They also worked with the Red Cross mending and sewing clothing that would come from Camp Sherman, in Chillicothe, Ohio, where troops were training. Many OSU students worked on mending these for the soldiers in Campbell Hall, the Home Economics building. The women also sewed a large memorial service flag, which contained over 2,640 gold stars. Each star represented a man or woman from the University who contributed to the war effort. The dedication for the flag took place in May 1918.  As part of the ceremony, the flag was hung over Thompson Library.

The University became a place of mobilization for war, specifically in military training and preparedness. The creation and growth of the ROTC program was a large change for many universities and OSU had a large role in encouraging this legislation to make it happen.

Service Flag at Main Library, 1918

Written by Sarah Hammond.

2nd Time Around for 2nd year students: Dorm Rule in the 60s

Novice Fawcett

Novice Fawcett

The requirement for sophomores to live in dorms went into effect this semester, but it’s not the first time second-year students have been told they have to live on campus.  In early 1965 President
Novice Fawcett enforced a rule stating that “unmarried freshman and sophomores under twenty-one years of age who do not live with their parents or close relatives are required to reside in University-owned residence halls.”  The rule was set to take effect in 1967.

This rule had originally come about in April 1958 when large amounts of money was raised by issuing bonds to pay for a large number of new residence halls.  The sophomore dorm rule was a way to maintain full occupancy in the new residence halls and ensure bond holders their money would be paid back.  Until the recommendation in 1965, the rule had never been enforced, likely due to high rates of occupancy in the residence halls.

Although the number dorm rooms in the mid-’60s met the demands of the current student body, the residence hall capacity was expected to increase.  Vice President Gordon B. Carson stated with these new openings, “it would be wise and prudent to reaffirm the Board of Trustees’ resolution.”

Construction of Towers, 1966

Construction of Towers, 1966

Students and politicians alike opposed the 1965 rule. Adversaries pointed out that there is a greater cost to living in dormitories.  They, including Robert Shaw, a Republican state senator of Ohio, believed that forcing students to remain in dorms for two years would prevent those with insufficient funds from attending the university and was therefore discriminatory.

Students, alumni and community members thought that it was not the job of the university to decide on living quarters; there should be freedom of choice.  Furthermore, students believed the reason for the enactment was a money-making scheme.

Regardless, the rule was enforced in the autumn of 1968 and remained in effect until 1976.  Throughout this period, sophomores could have a waiver signed by their parents allowing them to live off-campus.  The accessibility of the waivers fluctuated throughout

Lantern Headline, 1972

Lantern Headline, 1972

the eight-year period, with the most liberal period toward the end of dorm rule.  Waivers were given out so frequently that sophomores were able to choose if they wanted to live on or off campus and thus made the dorm rule obsolete.

The fight against dorm rule was part of a larger movement on campus led by students to have their voices heard by the administration.  You can learn more about the student movements on our Spring of Dissent exhibit  and Bill Shkurti’s new book The Ohio State University in the Sixties: The Unraveling of the Old Order.

Orton Hall Chimes have struck the right chord with Buckeyes for 100 years

Orton Hall Bell Tower, 1995For 100 years, students making their way across the Oval have been serenaded by the Orton Hall Chimes – 12 bells that have become an integral part of the OSU experience for many in the University community. They were delivered to OSU on Feb. 11, 1915, after the classes of 1906, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’13, and ’14 banded together to purchase the bells for roughly $8,000. (The class of 1912, apparently a group of nonconformists, decided to donate a mantel piece to the Main Library).

The dozen bells, together weighing roughly 7 ½ tons and all tuned in D flat, were installed over the following weeks. According to a “Contract for Chimes” signed by the Board of Trustees with the manufacturer, the McShane Co., the bells were to be made out of Lake Superior copper (about three-quarters) and imported East India block tin, and they were guaranteed not to crack. At Commencement that year, the Chimes were officially dedicated, and also that year, a new organization called “The Chimes Club” formed to take charge of playing melodies at 11:50 a.m. and 4:50 p.m. daily. Chemistry Professor W.L. Evans noted at the time that it was “expected that the advent of the chimes will create a new interest in college music at OSU.”

Orton Chimes before installation, 1915

Orton Chimes before installation, 1915

A few years later, the classes of 1919 and 1920 purchased an automatic striker for the bells to mark the time of day, and by 1949, the bells were renovated and an electric clock device was installed so the Chimes would ring on the quarter hour and the full Westminster Quarters melody would play at the full hour.

Allen McManigal, 1920s

Allen McManigal, 1920s

Meanwhile, the twice-daily serenades were still done by hand. Four faculty members – including Evans – traded the duty of climbing the 80-some steps twice a day to play the serenades in the Chimes’ early history. Later, an engineering drawing professor, Allen McManigal, took charge of the Chimes, playing them himself or supervising music students to do so. His direction continued for more than 25 years until his death in 1950; later, Music Professor Wilbur Held, an organ music specialist, supervised students. In the 1960s, these students, called Chimes Masters, were paid $25 a week for the responsibility of making it to the top of the tower in time to play such songs as “June is Busting Out All Over” on especially dreary or snowy days. In addition, “Carmen Ohio” was played during the football season, as well as carols during the holidays.

After roughly 60 years of ringing, the chimes needed a little tune-up, so the Class of 1978, in conjunction with OSU, made a $28,000 repair to the bells in 1985. A year later, a more modern electrical system was installed to automate the serenades as well, although an electric keyboard also was installed, making it much easier and less laborious to play by hand.

Orton Hall bells, 1985By 2003, two new bells were installed, this time chiming at G sharp and A sharp. This $12,000 addition enabled the Chimes Masters to have much more a variety in songs to play, which was often a complaint made by students over the years. These new notes could now play songs like “America the Beautiful” and “The Buckeye Battle Cry.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, the Ohio Staters, Inc., will host a 100th-anniversary celebration event at Orton Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature remarks by President Drake, refreshments, a display of related artifacts and tours of the tower. For more information go to the Staters’ Facebook page.

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