Warhawk Almanac: A New Addition

Late June of 1925 saw the completion of an addition to Whitewater Normal School’s (now UW-Whitewater) Old Main building. The east wing was the last wing added to Old Main, and it opened for classes for the summer term of 1925.[1] Once the construction was completed the school enlisted the help of its students in moving equipment into the new wing. Students “gladly carried books and equipment into the new part [wing] for a chance to see what the interior… was like.”[2] The new wing featured an auditorium, new classrooms, and staff offices. The dedication ceremony for the east wing was held later that year on November 7th. The ceremony featured several speakers, including Governor John J. Blaine. The ceremony was well attended and many who went stayed for the homecoming football game that followed.[3]

Whitewater's new east wing
The latest edition to the Old Main was its East Wing, now Hyer Hall.
Royal Purple, June 1925.

When Old Main Burned down in 1970, the East wing was the only wing that was not destroyed. The wing suffered water and smoke damage but was salvaged and renamed Hyer Hall, after President Frank S. Hyer who was president in 1925 when the wing was built. In 1997, University personnel decided to renovate Hyer Hall. This renovation lasted two years and cost $6.5 million.[4] In 1999, Hyer Hall reopened and now houses the Chancellor’s office, classrooms, and more.  

The interior of the East Wing
The interior of the East Wing included a new auditorium
UW Whitewater. Minnieska 1926, 96.

[1] “Use of New East Wing Features Summer School Session of 1925,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), June 24, 1925.

[2] “Locals,” Whitewater Register, June 11, 1925.

[3] “Dedicate New East Wing Saturday,” Whitewater Press, November 5, 1925.

[4] Kayla Edgar, “History Recalled,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), October 15, 2013.

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Warhawk Almanac: Albert Salisbury Dies



On June second 1911, Albert Salisbury was pronounced dead at the Sacred Heart Sanitarium in Milwaukee. Salisbury, the fourth president of the Whitewater Normal School (now UW-Whitewater), had taken a leave of absence for health reasons but his death still shook the school community. Salisbury was already an accomplished man when he became the president of Whitewater Normal in 1885. He had been principal at Broadhead High School, served in the army, traveled across the country inspecting schools, and more.[1] While in Whitewater, Salisbury was dedicated to helping his students succeed. The 26 years that Salisbury was president were marked by steady growth, and under his guidance the school was expanded three times.[2] Students also found new ways to get involved on campus; 1901 saw the establishment of the campus newspaper, The Royal Purple. However, it was not all peaceful growth for Salisbury as on April 27th, 1891, the early morning was pierced with the cry “Normal is afire!”[3] The north wing of the school was destroyed by the fire, but it was rebuilt later that year.[4]

Albert Salisbury at his Desk
Salisbury sitting at his desk.
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI. 

Salisbury was well loved by students and faculty alike, and at his funeral “every seat in church was filled.”[5] His death left the office of the president empty, and so George Shutts was chosen to act as interim for a year until a new president could be found. Though Salisbury was a president and leader for all departments of the Normal School, his passion was for botany. It was his goal to “plant every kind of tree, shrub, and forb that will grow in our climate on the school grounds.”[6] To this day the university has pledged to follow this dream by planting native trees across campus. Overall, Salisbury was dedicated to making this school a better place and distinguishing it as a place of excellence.  

Albert Salisbury
Albert Salisbury.
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI. 

[1] Mary Janette Bohi, A History of Wisconsin State University Whitewater, 1868-1968, (Whitewater WI: Whitewater State University Foundation Inc, 1967), 68.

[2] “President Salisbury Dead,” Whitewater Gazette, June 8, 1911.

[3] Bohi, Whitewater, 114.

[4] Ibid, 116.

[5] “President Salisbury Dead.”

[6] “The Salisbury Idea” UW-Whitewater Sustainability, retrieved from: https://www.uww.edu/sustainability/campus-initiatives/salisbury-idea.

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Book-O-Beards: A Wearable Book (New Stuff Tuesdays)

Book-O-Beards book cover

This “wearable” book will keep the kids out of trouble for a few minutes. If you add a camera to the mix, it may keep them busy all day. Each page has the beard of a new character and corresponding funny line for the kids to say while “wearing” the book under their noses. Instructions are on the back of the book. Set the kids loose and enjoy their antics!

Author Donald Lemke and illustrator Bob Lentz are two playful dads who like to have a little fun with their interactive books. Watch for their Book-O-Hats, which is coming soon to New Arrivals.

Book-O-Beards: A Wearable Book
by Donald Lemke & Bob Lentz
New Arrivals, 2nd Floor, Curr Coll E Lem

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Warhawk Almanac: First Graduation

As we see another class of UW-Whitewater students graduating and moving on into their careers after college, it reminds us of graduations gone by and long past. After opening its doors in 1868, Whitewater Normal School (now UW-Whitewater) saw its first class of graduating students in 1870. Six students graduated in that first commencement; they were Samuel Alden, George Bowen, Charles Brockway, James Congdon, Mary McCutchan, and Andrew Steele.[1] The commencement ceremony took place in late June, and despite the sweltering heat, was well attended. The ceremony was held at the Universalist Church and was “crowded with those anxious to witness the exercises of the first graduating class of the Normal School.”[2] The ceremony began after the students and faculty processed from the school to the church. After an opening prayer by Reverend Rogers, pastor of the Universalist Church, each of the graduating students gave speeches. After the graduates spoke, President Arey awarded their diplomas and gave a speech that was “touching and truthful.”[3]

A Band Plays for the First Graduation
A band plays for the first commencement ceremony.
UW Whitewater Special Collections.

            Most of these students went on to start their careers in education or other fields. Charles Brockway became a successful lawyer. James Congdon went into administration and became a principal in La Crosse. Andrew Steele became an early faculty member of Le Moyne Normal Institute in Memphis, TN. Mary McCutchan stayed in Whitewater and became principal of the preparatory and grammar departments at the Normal School.[4] McCutchan Hall was originally constructed as a dormitory and named in honor of the first women graduate. The building still stands on campus and now houses the Royal Purple Newspaper, the ROTC, and other organizations and programs.

Old Main
Whitewater Normal School celebrated its first graduating class in 1870, two years after opening.
UW Whitewater Special Collections.

[1] Albert Salisbury, Historical Sketches of the First Quarter Century of the State Normal School at Whitewater Wisconsin, (Madison WI: Tracy, Gibbs & co., Printers, 1893), 6.

[2] “Commencement exercises of the first graduating class of the Normal School,” Whitewater Register, July 6, 1870.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Mary Janette Bohi, A History of Wisconsin State University Whitewater, 1868-1968, (Whitewater WI: Whitewater State University Foundation, Inc., 1967), 50, 261.

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Warhawk Almanac: War and Peace in Whitewater

On May 8, 1945, the United States celebrated victory over Hitler and the Nazis in Germany, the day known as Victory in Europe (V-E) Day. In Whitewater, the end to the conflict in Europe was celebrated with religious “services of thanksgiving and prayer.”[1] The Whitewater City Council had decided previously that it would be inappropriate to hold a celebration for V-E Day unless they were religious ceremonies.[2]

Though the end to the fighting was celebrated, the students of Whitewater Teachers College (now UW-Whitewater) paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the conflict. Earl Fritz was Whitewater’s first alumnus to die in the war. Fritz, who had graduated only one year prior in 1941 was involved in many activities on campus including sports and the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. He was even elected junior prom king in 1940.[3]  Those who knew Fritz during his time in Whitewater remembered him as “proud, strong, [and] courageous.”[4] He was also a leader on the football team, and his coach called Fritz “the greatest athlete I’ve ever coached.”[5] The news of Fritz’s death in 1942 shook the campus community and reminded everyone of the realty that they were “a nation at war.”[6]

Earl Fritz
Earl Fritz was the first Whitewater Alumnus to die in service in World War II.
UW-Whitewater. 1942 Minneiska, 131.

Students found ways to help the war effort while staying in Whitewater as well. Many sororities volunteered with the red cross preparing bandages to be sent abroad. The Homecoming committee sponsored a scrap metal drive, and the Royal Purple newspaper promoted stamp and bond sales.[7] Students did what they could to support the war effort while “looking forward to the day when… peace will reign.”[8]

Students volunteering with the Red Cross
Students found many ways to volunteer on campus and in the community. Here students can be seen volunteering with the Red Cross.
UW-Whitewater. 1943 Minneiska, 15.

World War II took its toll on Whitewater as it did to every community across the country. Though the conflict in Europe was over, fighting would continue in the Pacific until August of that year. Even though victory in Europe was an important step in ending the war, it would have been inappropriate to hold victory celebrations while American soldiers were still fighting in the Pacific. The most respectable way for Whitewater to recognize this victory was to remain “happy but dignified.”[9]


[1] “We Were Happy But Dignified On V-E Day,” The Whitewater Register, May 10, 1945.

[2] “Council Proceedings,” The Whitewater Register, May 3, 1945.

[3] UW-Whitewater. 1942 Minneiska, n.d. https://jstor.org/stable/10.2307/community.29546575.116.

[4] Ibid,131

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] UW Whitewater, 1943 Minneiska. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.29546576. 13,14.

[8] Ibid, 15

[9] “Happy But Dignified.”

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Warhawk Almanac: Founders Day

The newly constructed Normal School
The newly constructed Normal School.
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI. 

On April 21, 1868, Whitewater Normal School (now UW-Whitewater) held its dedicatory service. The Whitewater community had been watching and waiting for the school to open since construction began in 1866.[1] The preliminary term, which began in April of 1868 saw 48 students enrolled in the normal department, that number went up to 105 when the school opened up again in September after Summer Break.[2]

The day of the dedication service saw many excited townsfolk and new students filling the large lecture hall long before the service began.[3] One student remembered that “the sound of the hammer was still echoing through the halls and the workmen rested from their labors, while citizens of the village and students who on the morrow would meet to begin the active work of the school, gathered in the assembly room.”[4] At three-thirty the service began and the people present heard speeches given by William Starr, the President of the Board of Normal School Regents, and Oliver Arey, Whitewater Normal’s first Principal and President. The Whitewater Glee Class then sang a dedicatory song proclaiming the merits and virtues of the Normal School.[5] This was followed by more speeches and then the service was concluded.

the register of the first students
The register of some of the first students to attend Whitewater Normal School.
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI. 

The first class to graduate from Whitewater Normal did so in 1870 and was made up of only six students.[6] The school has grown and changed through the years, now almost 12,000 students attend the university.[7] Though much has changed, we still remember our humble origin and look back with pride to see all that we have accomplished.


[1] Albert Salisbury, “Historical Memoranda,” in First Quarter Century of the State Normal School, Whitewater Wisconsin, 1868-1893, ed. Albert Salisbury (Madison WI: Tracy, Gibs & CO., Printers, 1893), 5.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “The State Normal School. Dedicatory Services,” Whitewater Register, April 24, 1868.

[4] Charles Brockway, “Early Days at the Normal School,” in First Quarter Century of the State Normal School, Whitewater Wisconsin, 1868-1893, ed. Albert Salisbury (Madison WI: Tracy, Gibs & CO., Printers, 1893), 40.

[5] Ibid.

[6] “The First Commencement,” Historical Timeline, Retrieved from https://www.uww.edu/150/timeline.

[7] University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Historical Student Enrollment, retrieved from https://www.uww.edu/irp/university-data/enrollment.

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Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter (New Stuff Tuesdays)

Eager book cover

When I was a teenager, a family of beavers took up housekeeping behind my parent’s bunkhouse. They made their tidy lodge of sticks and mud in the swampy bay. After they toppled a good-sized tree onto the bunkhouse roof, the beaver-sized trees near the buildings were off-limits to the eager little critters. But my mom was indulgent with wildlife: she allowed bats to fly around indoors to keep down the mosquitoes. So the beavers were free to harvest any trees that were out of harm’s way. We liked to sneak to the water’s edge to catch a glimpse of our furry neighbors. If we got too close, they slapped the water with their flat tails and disappeared under the water lilies. Sadly, they lasted only a few winters before the trappers caught onto them.

This award-winning work by environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb chronicles these clever dam-building engineers and explains why they are so important. The health of rivers, streams and wetlands is dependent on them. But much like what happened to our industrious little friends, the entire population of North American beavers was nearly wiped out — by fashion (beaver fur was all the rage in the 1800s), habitat loss, and a failure by humans to understand how these rodents could be partners rather than pests.

If you can manage the microscopic font, this is a well-written and worthwhile story. For more on Ben Goldfarb, see his web site.

Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter
by Ben Goldfarb
New Arrivals, 2nd Floor, QL737 .R632 G64 2018

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Warhawk Almanac: Opening of the Library

The construction of Andersen Library began on April 9, 1951 with a formal ground-breaking ceremony that was well attended by students and faculty alike. It featured a variety of speakers including Librarian Edith Knilans, Student Council President Fred Bertolaet, College President Robert Williams, and architect E. H. Berners.[1] The Whitewater State Teachers College (now UW-Whitewater) band performed as well. Williams stressed that his vision for the library was to be “a service station for learning materials.”[2] He went on to explain, “we want to have a place where the college will provide and students can get whatever types of learning materials are available and can be used. I [Williams] think that is what a library building in 1951 ought to have.”[3]

Newspaper image of the library groundbreaking
Many students, faculty, and visitors came for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Whitewater Register, April 12, 1951.

Two years later in the spring semester of 1953 construction had finished and the library opened. Once the library building was complete, the next great challenge was to move all the books from the old library located in Old Main to the new building across the street. The college planned the move for February 25th. To complete this momentous task the college enlisted countless students and faculty to volunteer in creating an assembly line between the two buildings.[4] Thanks to this effort, the move was completed in just one day. President Williams later wrote, “there has never been a finer demonstration of college spirit than on last Wednesday when you [the students] moved out books to the new library building. How else could we have moved all of them in one day?… I’m proud of what happened and of you who did it.”[5]

students move books from old main to the new library
Students helped move books across the street from Old Main to the new library.
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI. 

[1] “Construction of Library Acclaimed by Guests at Ceremony,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), April 10, 1951.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Students and Faculty Asked to Move Book According to Committee Plan,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), February 24, 1953.

[5] “Thanks Gang!” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), March 3, 1953.

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Warhawk Almanac: Happy International Women’s Day!

On April 4, 1987, UW-Whitewater celebrated International Women’s Day in a fun way. Sponsored by the UW-Whitewater Alumni Association, the Women’s Day celebration featured speakers and a luncheon.[1] The theme of the seminar was “the Entrepreneurial Spirit” and six speakers were brought in to discuss a variety of topics relating to that theme.[2] Professor Donna Clasen from the UW-W College of Education and Professional Studies was the opening speaker. She discussed “how to make the best use of your special talents.”[3] Clasen’s talk highlighted the importance of self confidence in all matters, but especially in the workplace.

two of the speakers for the women's day seminar
Clasen and Goder both spoke at the women’s day celebration.
Whitewater Today, Winter 1986-1987.

Another highlight of the seminar was an alumni panel discussing “Women in non-traditional roles.”[4] On the panel were Gail Patterson, who worked as a manager at Price Waterhouse in Milwaukee; Jill Fady, who worked as an assistant trust officer for Associated Commerce Bank in Milwaukee; and Jan Goder, who was the UW-W Chief of Police. They discussed sexism in the workplace and how they persevered despite it.[5] Entrepreneurs Jim and Kris Rowe who graduated in 1971 and 1974 also presented at the seminar. The theme of their talk was “what it takes to start a successful business.” They discussed starting a business without much experience using their own lives as examples. [6] The seminar was ultimately a success and showed that UW-Whitewater cared deeply about issues relating to women’s rights and roles in the workplace. Issues that the UW-Whitewater community still hold dear.

More of the speakers for the women's day seminar
The Women’s Day seminar included many speakers who discussed a variety of topics about the Entrepreneurial Spirit.
Whitewater Today, Winter 1986-1987.

[1] “Speakers Announced for Women’s Day ’87,” Whitewater Register, March 26, 1987.

[2] “UW-W Offers Women’s Day 1987,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), April 1, 1987.

[3] “Cynthia Freeman, “Women’s Day Focused on Grads and Business Success,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), April 8, 1987.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

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Warhawk Almanac: Ice-O-Rama Celebration

On the weekend of March 3 -4, 1961, Wisconsin State College-Whitewater (now UW-Whitewater) students found a new way to enjoy themselves during the cold winter months. The Student Union Activities Board sponsored the first annual Ice-O-Rama event. Ice-O-Rama was an ice themed carnival that was full of fun activities for students to partake in to warm spirits during the chilly wintertime.[1] Though unseasonably warm weather prevented students from participating in some planned activities, such as ice skating, there was still plenty to do that weekend. On the first night students participated in a fireside sing fest followed by a casual dance.[2] The following day saw many games and challenges, including an ice carving competition. The competition had two categories: serious and humorous. The Delta Zeta Sorority won first place in the serious division with their sculpture “Fire and Ice.” The humorous division was won by the Cavaliers Fraternity and their sculpture “Yogi Bear.”[3] The climax of the weekend happened that night with a formal concert and dance performed by the Art Hodes Band, a famous jazz band from Chicago.[4] In 1972, Ice-O-Rama was renamed Winterfest, the name it still has today.[5] Though the events and activities have changed over the years, the heart of Ice-O-Rama remains the same, that is a venue for students to celebrate winter and the beginning of a new semester together.

Ice Sculpture Ice and Fire
Ice and Fire sculpture created by Delta Zeta. Minnieska (Whitewater: University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, 1961), 80.
Ice Sculpture Yogi Bear
Yogi Bear sculpture created by the Cavaliers. Minnieska (Whitewater: University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, 1961), 80.

[1] “UAB Sponsors Ice-O-Rama,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), February 21, 1961.

[2] “Warm Weather Forces a Change In Ice-o-Rama’s Schedule of Events,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), February 28, 1961.

[3] “Delta Zetas and Cavaliers Take First Place in Sculpting,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), March 7, 1961.

[4] “Warm Weather.”

[5] “Winterfest week begins tomorrow,” Royal Purple (Whitewater WI), February 1, 1972.

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