Warhawk Almanac: Accessibility and Progress: A Warhawk Tradition – 1974

Gebel. Graphically illustrating the plight of wheelchaired students, Chancellor James Connor ponders a means of entering Hyer Hall. in the Royal Purple (Whitewater: University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, October 9, 1974), 1.

In 2020, New Mobility magazine ranked UW-Whitewater fifth nationally in wheelchair friendly campuses.[1] This honor reflects more than 50 years of dedication to improving the accessibility of campus for all Whitewater students. Although campus officials were concerned with accessibility before the 1970s, movement towards reform found significant support under the guidance of Chancellor James R. Connor.

Chancellor James Connor. in the Whitewater Register (Whitewater: Whitewater Register, October 10, 1974), 1.

On October 7th, 1974, Chancellor Connor and eleven other campus and community members participated in an Awareness Day activity hosted by the Students of an Accessible Society organization. To participate in this activity, Chancellor Connor completed his daily tasks on campus while using a wheelchair in order to have a better understanding of the struggles faced by the university’s mobility restricted students.[2] The experience identified numerous accessibility problems throughout campus including building access, water fountain height, and restroom layout and design.[3] The identification of these problems immediately sparked actions towards reform. By the week of October 23rd, public telephones had been lowered, and a new ramp was constructed into Hyer Hall.[4] In November, disabled students found more inclusion in sports and activities with the introduction of wheelchair basketball.[5] Finally, by December, the university was granted a budget of $148,000 dollars to make buildings more accessible.[6]

The program on October 7th sparked an initial round of reform, but many improvements have enhanced Whitewater’s accessibility in the years since. It is that continued dedication that has allowed UW-Whitewater to become one of the most accessible campuses in the nation.

Johnson. “In keeping with more accessibility for handicaps on campus, a back door ramp trading to another inside ramp receives much use in Shalom. Pictured from left to right are David Shaefer, Trisha Cox and Lisa Blatt.” in the Royal Purple (Whitewater: University of   Wisconsin – Whitewater, December 4, 1974), 5.

[1] Craig Schreiner, “UW-Whitewater a top-5 mobility-friendly campus in the nation,” last modified January 21, 2021, https://www.uww.edu/news/archive/2021-01-wheelchair-friendly-campus

[2] Marge Ernst, “Problems roll in Awareness Day,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.) Oct. 9, 1974.

[3] “Experience Not Easy Connor’s Wheelchair,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.) Oct. 10, 1974.

[4] “Awareness? Yes!” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.) Oct. 23, 1974.

[5] “Handicapped eye ‘cage’ fame,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.) Nov. 13, 1974.

[6] Marge Ernst, “Inzeo Relates Energy Idea,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.) Dec. 4, 1974.

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The Radium Girls (New Stuff Tuesdays)

Radium girls book cover

The “Young Reader’s Edition” (we also have the adult’s version in either ebook or audiobook) of the compelling and sad story of the employees who painted with radium-laced paint on clock faces to make the numbers glow in the dark. It was thought to be a marvelous technology and radium promoted to be a healthful, wonderful cure-all, even while the scientists warned of its dangers as early as 1912. It didn’t take long for the girls and young women to start experiencing pain, disintegrating teeth and jawbones (they used their lips to keep their paintbrushes to a fine point), and eventually sarcomas and other types of cancer throughout their bodies from the radium.

Several women eventually sued their employers, and the trials (1928 in Orange, New Jersey, and 1938 in Ottawa, Illinois) were both called the Trial of the Decade. The newspapers devoted much ink to the story, and the book contains plenty of compelling images from the time, including the 1938 trailblazer making her final testimony from her home hospital bed, ghastly thin, only weeks away from her eventual death.

I was compelled to review this title because by happenstance, I just recently visited Ottawa, IL, just about 2 hours south of Whitewater, which was home to two radium-dial factories. Radium Dial, which was sued in 1938, shortly went out of business, but another company, Luminous Processes, was still employing radium hand-painters and disposing of its radioactive waste around town, as recently as 1978. Several sites in and around Ottawa where LP disposed of waste were designated as Superfund sites and cleanup is still ongoing. The town today has this small memorial in its downtown to the radium girls, on the site of the old LP building, which today is a parking lot:

While the book’s Epilogue notes the radium girls’ ongoing contributions to setting safety standards during the Manhattan Project and other work with radioactive materials in the ensuing 80+ years since the trials, an ominous Postscript notes how the Luminous Processes case illustrates the need for every workplace and employer to take seriously the safety lessons that were taught so dearly from others’ lives.

The radium girls: The scary but true story of the poison that made people glow in the dark
by Kate Moore
New Arrivals, 2nd Floor
363.1799 Moo

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A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games (New Stuff Tuesdays)

book cover: A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games

Far more than a history of a single sporting event, “A Sporting Chance” is at the same time an informative, well-researched and referenced, and uplifting narrative. Author Alexander and illustrator Drummand begin with the Greek surgeon, Galen, who studied the spines of gladiators who had fallen from their chariots. Although the spine, injuries to it, and treatments are studied in the intervening millennium, survival past the first year of an accident is unheard of. People with paraplegia were still often considered – and referred to – as “incurables” through the 1940’s. Enter Dr. Ludwig Guttman, a German neurologist, refugee from Nazi Germany. His personal story, as a young athlete and outdoors enthusiast, German Jew, researcher and physician, is crafted in such a way as to provide the context of the Holocaust and society’s (dis)regard of disabled people in his time. Guttman is asked to take the lead of a hospital which cares for hundreds of WWII soldiers with spinal injuries – a position deemed by colleagues to be a hopeless, dead-end job. This is not so for Guttman, who, in a short time, changes the outcomes and hopes of his patients, by insisting they sit, move, create, and participate in athletic games. The hospital begins to host “The Stoke Mandeville Games,” eventually attracting participants from 20 countries competing in 11 sports. The narrative culminates with vignettes of Paralympians such as skiier Muffy Davis and wheelchair basektball player Brian Bell.

Just the right number of informational insets (“Nervous System,” “Learning to Sit,” “Treatment of People with Disabilities Throughout History”) are interspersed throughout the text along with Drummand’s illustrations which are full of energy and motion. This middle level non-fiction book lends itself to an upper elementary or middle school read-aloud, and a most interesting read for the rest of us!

A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games

written by Lori Alexander; illustrated by Allan Drummond.
New Arrivals, 2nd Floor
(Curriculum Collection, Non-Fiction) 2nd Floor 796.0456 Ale

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Warhawk Almanac: And So the Season Begins – 1993

Construction of the Irvin L Young Auditorium at the University of Wisconsin -Whitewater began in 1991 but was not completed until 1993. The lengthy project was a significant endeavor that ended up costing around $9.3 million. However, this cost was covered by donations from the Irvin L. Young Foundation, fundraising efforts, and even a contribution from UW-W students. The result was a beautifully designed auditorium with enough space to hold up to 1,300 guests.[1] All that was left was for the shows to begin.


Cultural Affairs, Sunday in the Park with George, in the Royal Purple (Whitewater: University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, September, 15, 1993), 13.

Although construction was completed earlier in the year, the Young Auditorium’s dedicatory season did not commence until the fall. The first event was held on September 20, 1993. On Monday night, UW-W Cultural Affairs presented “Sunday in the Park with George,” a Broadway musical based on Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” The play had two acts: one that depicted Seurat’s experience as he painted his well-known masterpiece and another, set in the future, that explored the more modern perspective of Seurat’s descendants.[2] Before the play, the university also introduced a new pre-show series. Titled “Dessert and…”, the pre-show events offered audience members a chance to arrive early and enjoy extra entertainment or lectures. Before the “Sunday in the Park with George” showing, UW-W professor and local artist Lawrence Harrison introduced Georges Seurat by giving a history of his life and work.[3] Overall, the art-focused play and pre-show event provided the perfect opening for the new auditorium’s first full season.

Young02, Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

[1] “Young Auditorium Construction Lauded,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.), February 25, 1993.

[2] Laurie Mersch, “Cultural Affairs Presents First Event in New Auditorium,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.), September 15, 1993.

[3] “Sunday in the Park with George,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.), September 9, 1993.

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Great Lakes Sea Lamprey (New Stuff Tuesday)

Great Lakes Sea Lamprey book cover

When I was growing up in the 1960s, Lakes Michigan beaches were littered with the carcasses of rotting alewives, an invasive species of fish that swarmed the Great Lakes at the time. Little did I know that the sea lamprey, another interloper, was responsible for the overpopulation of the small silvery fish. The parasitic lamprey had wiped out most of the whitefish and trout that would normally have eaten the alewives. (p. vii)

In its native habitat, the sea lamprey fits neatly into the saltwater ecosystem. It sucks blood from the host fish while the fish swims merrily along. But freshwater fish have no ability for this symbiotic relationship — and they usually die from a sea lamprey attack. The author works for the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center and studies the lamprey in an attempt to control it.

The snorkel-nosed nuisance on the cover of this book looks like something out of bad science fiction. Fortunately, energetic scientists and conservationists like the author are doing their part to eliminate this alien creature from the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Sea Lamprey: The 70 Year War on a Biological Invader
by Cory Brant
QL638.25 .P48 B73 2019

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Warhawk Almanac: The Halverson House Arrives – 1907

Alumni Log Cabin, 1909, in 1909 Minnieska (Whitewater: University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, 1909), 48.

When students of the Whitewater Normal School returned for classes in September of 1907, they noticed a new addition to the campus layout. Earlier in the spring, President Salisbury posted an advertisement in the local newspaper inquiring about pioneer-era log houses in the area surrounding Whitewater.[1] Right before the school year began, President Salisbury found a suitable house and moved it to campus. The log house, donated by the Halverson family, was placed on the hill behind the Old Main building. Although Old Main may be gone, the old log cabin still sits on the same hill overlooking the University Center. The Halverson log house was moved to the Normal School to be protected and preserved while also serving as a museum of pioneer-life for Whitewater students and the local community. Work quickly began to fix any weaknesses in the building’s structure, which included installing a new roof.[2] As the semester continued, donations and participation from the community allowed for the addition of period-specific furniture and a working fireplace.[3] Finally, by December, the old log house was ready for more than just simple walk-throughs. The Normal School faculty hosted an event that included food, music, and even some pioneer appropriate costumes.[4]

04-LC-108 Log Cabin, Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library,  University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

[1] “Wanted, a Log House,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.), Apr. 26, 1907.

[2] “That Log House,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.), Sept. 6, 1907.

[3] “The Alumni,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.), October, 1907.

[4] “The Alumni,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.), December, 1907.

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Westlaw Campus Research (New Stuff Tuesdays)

Westlaw Campus Research logo

Westlaw Campus Research has replaced NexisUni as our legal database. It contains primary and secondary legal sources including statutes, codes, and case law, the American Jurisprudence legal encyclopedia, and the Corpus Juris Secundum.

It also contains some business information such as Hoover’s Company Profiles and Westlaw’s own Company Investigator.

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The Art of Ramona Quimby (New Stuff Tuesdays)

Westlaw Campus Research logo

Who remembers Ramona Quimby, Age 8?

Or Ramona the Pest?

I hope these books are a treasured memory of your childhood, like they are mine. But if they are, chances are, the books you read might have had different illustrations than the ones I remember. Like many classic children’s books, Beverly Cleary’s well-loved and enduring series has had many illustrators over the years — five, in this case. (GASP! What do you mean, the pictures in my head aren’t THE ONLY version of Ramona and Beezus to exist?! How dare you!)

Once you get past that moment, this book celebrates all those illustrators and their different visions for this classic set of characters. The illustrations are interspersed with biographical information and interesting essays about each illustrator’s vision and intent. Even if you just browse through the illustrations, this is a lovely diversion and trip down childhood memory lane!

The art of Ramona Quimby : sixty-five years of illustrations from Beverly Cleary’s beloved books
by Anna Katz
New Arrivals, 2nd Floor
NC975.5.C54 K38 2020

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Warhawk Almanac: President Phelps: A Two-Year Term – 1876

8-P-100, Photo Collection, Presidents and Chancellors, Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

On August 17th, 1876, the Whitewater Register published a series of letters that praised a man named William F. Phelps.[1] These letters were published only a short time after President Arey, the school’s first President, unexpectedly retired from his role in June.[2] Prior to the 17th, the Normal School had announced their decision of hiring Professor Phelps to fill the role made available by President Arey. The letters showed that Professor Phelps had a stunning reputation and seemed like the perfect candidate to fill the school’s recently vacated position. Phelps had previous experience in the presidential role at the Normal schools in Winona, Minnesota, and Trenton, New Jersey.[3] Everything seemed to be falling into place for President Phelps, but things quickly changed.

Unfortunately for Phelps, the Board of Regents would call for his resignation before he could even complete his second year as acting president.[4] The strong attitude and fierce determination that landed Phelps the job also ultimately lead to his removal. After only one year as president, many of the students became dissatisfied with the way Phelps managed the school. They grew so dissatisfied that the entire junior class of 1876-1877, as well as some underclassmen, decided not to return to Whitewater the next year. Fortunately, long-time members of the faculty were able to convince the students to stay.[5] However, the issues did not stop there.

8-P-101, Photo Collection, Presidents and Chancellors, Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

By January of 1878, more issues had arisen. First, the students began to again consider leaving the school for other opportunities. Then the faculty began to express concern with Phelps’ style of administration. Eventually, the teachers and staff began looking for new openings or asking for transfers to other institutions. Thus, the Board of Regents was forced to act. On January 30th, the board passed a resolution that called for all ties to be cut with President Phelps at the conclusion of the school year.[6] However, the Normal School quickly recovered and was ready to start anew under the leadership of J.W. Stearns.[7] Fortunately, the school returned to normal and continued to grow into the University seen today.

[1] “President Phelps,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.), August 17, 1876.

[2] Albert Salisbury, Historical Sketches of The First Quarter-Century of The State Normal School At Whitewater, Wisconsin With A Catalogue of Its Graduates And A Record of Their Work: 1868-1893,(Madison: Tracy, Gibbs & Co, 1893) https://search.library.wisc.edu/digital/AFMLJNVST2GMHT85/pages/A4Y246BY6D5TQG9D.

[3] “New President of Whitewater Normal School,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.), August 10, 1876.

[4] Albert Salisbury, Historical Sketches of The First Quarter-Century of The State Normal School At Whitewater, Wisconsin With A Catalogue of Its Graduates And A Record of Their Work: 1868-1893,(Madison: Tracy, Gibbs & Co, 1893) https://search.library.wisc.edu/digital/AFMLJNVST2GMHT85/pages/A4Y246BY6D5TQG9D.

[5] “Regent Chandler Reviews the Normal School Case,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.), August 8, 1878.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

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Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera (New Stuff Tuesdays)

Honeybee book cover

The New Arrivals shelves are filled with a yummy assortment of children’s books in all sizes and flavors. ‘Tis the season for ordering children’s award books and since Honeybee alighted on the top shelf, I picked her up (gently, of course).

After reading this book, which gives a fascinating glimpse into the short and extremely busy life of a honeybee, I realized how little I had known about them. Lavishly illustrated and uber-informative, this book makes me more appreciative than ever of the gooey, nutritious goodness of honey.

Honeybee has won two children’s book honors: The Robert F. Sibert Medal, awarded to the author or illustrator of the best informational book published in the U.S.; and the Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book for nonfiction writing.

If you’re interested in a storytime with Honeybee, join the Wheeler Library of North Stonington, Connecticut for a reading.

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera
by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann
Curr Coll 595.79 Fle

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