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All Treats, No Tricks

A big thank you to all those who stopped by Distinctive Collection’s Halloween Haunts event yesterday. Our ghoulish games, snacks, and witch’s brew were a hit with those consumed with a thirst for regular-sized candy!

 

Treats Table

Our spookiest items on display can also be viewed in our Rare Book Room:

Case of Spooky Books

Display of items from Special Collections

The Amateur’s Guide to Magic and Mystery and the Black Art Fully Exposed

The Dance of Death

Los Vampiros del Aire

Exorcism Manual

The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tartocchi

Phadon: oder, Uber die Unsterblichkeit der Seele, in Drey Gesprachen 


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New Digital Exhibit: The New Collegiate Sound

In conjugation, with  WXVU 89.1 The Roar’s  big announcement of full ownership of the WXVU call letters, Distinctive Collections is excited to announce our latest digital exhibit, The New Collegiate Sound.

The New Collegiate Sound as a title came from a phrase from the 1964 Belle Air used to describe Villanova radio’s latest reinvention and is emblematic how each generation of Villanovans create a new radio sound representative of them and the times. Thus the exhibit invites you to explore the history of radio on campus from the early days as a radio club in the 1920s to today as FCC-licensed campus radio station.

The exhibit includes great photographs, newspaper clippings, programs, yearbooks, 3D model by Erica Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian, and scrapbooks from WXVU radio station.

The exhibit’s 3D image of the radio can be explored with VR in the CAVE. Contact Andrew Grace, andrew.grace@villanova.edu to schedule a demo.

And of course, if you haven’t already, check out WXVU 89.1 FM The Roar on your radio or stream it here: https://wxvu.org.


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From the University Archives: Welcome to Class of 2026

From the University Archives: Welcome to Class of 2026

A Peek into First Year Orientation of the Past

New Student Orientation is designed to welcome and introduce students to what it means to be a Villanovan. During Orientation, first-year and transfer students participate in programs, presentations and activities designed to familiarize themselves with academic and cultural life at Villanova. In celebration of Villanova’s orientation tradition is photographs from orientation throughout the years.


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From the Archives: Robert Langran papers

Robert Langran with Women's tennis team

                               Robert Langran with VU Women’s Tennis, undated

The University Archives is excited to announce a newly available collection of papers from former faculty and tennis coach Robert Langran. Langran spent his entire career at Villanova University, where he taught and researched in Political Science from 1959 to 2015. Langran taught civil rights, the study of the Supreme Court, constitutional law, women’s studies, and peace studies. While at Villanova University, Langran chaired the Political Science Department from 1968 to 1978 and from 2008 to 2009. He chaired the committee that devised the University Senate and was the first chair of the Faculty Congress. He was awarded the Best Advisor Award (2001), Faculty Service Award (1997), several Political Science Department Best Teacher Award, and Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (1972). In 1967, Langran revitalized Men’s Tennis, which had be absent from Villanova for twenty-five years. A year later he was approached by a group of young women wanting to create a tennis team and Langran helped form the first Villanova women’s tennis team and be their head coach for the next twenty-five years.

 

Robert Langran with VU athletics

                                        Robert Langran with VU Athletics

Langran’s family recently donated his tennis files to the University Archives, which includes scorecards and rosters from the Men’s and Women’s tennis teams from 1969 to 2013. As a lifelong VU Wildcats fan, the collection also includes a scrapbook of basketball and football tickets, programs, and season schedules. Langran left a indelible mark on the Villanova community and excited to have early tennis history available in the archives. Contact the University Archives at archives@villanova.edu to view the collection.

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From the Archives: Black Student League on Campus

From the Archives: Black Student League on Campus

Black Student League meeting, 1972

Black Student League, 1972 yearbook

“We Black Students see our purpose as being twofold: first, we are constantly trying to education relate more to the problems that all people face in society; secondly, we try to make the educational process reciprocal by impression upon teachers and other students that we have a worthwhile viewpoint which should be acknowledged.

Specifically, we would like to see more courses dealing with the problems of the community included in the curriculum. For example, instead of just having biology as a required course, why not make community health also a required course. Also, in teaching history why not include the contributions of other peoples as required courses.

These things are of the utmost importance because they will build understanding and respect for other peoples and their problems, and will get away from the viewpoint that only the majority opinion is right.” – Ronald Rothwell ’73

Black Student League event poster, 1971

Black Student League event poster, 1971

 

Looking back at our past is a way to recognize and honor the many accomplishments and contributions of Black individuals and communities to our Villanova history, culture, and values. For Black History Month, the University Archives’ highlights the Black Student League. Since its inception in the 1960s, the Black Student League (known today as the Black Cultural Society) has been a mainstay on campus with innumerable amount work bringing to light inequality on campus and contributing new ideas of equality and inclusion for a better campus culture. The University Archives invites you to learn more about the Black Student League and the Black experience in the 1960s with The Villanovan special issue, from April 23, 1969,  called, “Black Wildcat.” The issue included several articles about identity, racism, and campus culture. Please be advised there is a content warning of the issue.

 

Learn more about the Black Student League in the Digital Library.

 

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Happy Holidays from the Archives

Villanova Monthly Cover

The Villanova Monthly, Vol. 4. No. 8, December 1896

As the question, “what are you doing for break?” begins to spread over the land and deep sighs hoping for finals to end, the University Archives extends a Happy Holidays to all the Villanova students, staff, and faculty this year. Here is a past glance of the December 1896 Villanova Monthly (precursor to The Villanovan).

 

Christmas Time Poem by John Whelan

The poem is written by John I. Whelan, a 1895 graduate and 1894-5 school year recipient of Gold Medals for Logic, English Literature, & Chemistry.

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Thanksgiving Hop

Thanksgiving Hop

In continuation of exploring traditions of the past, the University Archives highlights Villanova’s penchant for a good party with the Thanksgiving Hop.

1927 Yearbook description of Thanksgiving Hop

1927 Belle Air Yearbook

Thanksgiving break has always gotten students excited for a study break and return home to see family and friends. In the 1920s, before students made their trek home for Thanksgiving, the Senior class would host a Thanksgiving Hop, later known as the Thanksgiving Dance, for all the students. The night would be filled with dancing, live music, and good food to send off students. The Hop appeared as a co-ed dance and lasted with different incarnations into the 1950s.

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International Students’ Day

Happy International Students’ Day! International students attending Villanova is as old as the institution itself, as we remember it was Irish Augustinians’ who founded the College. Not only were Irish the first international students to attend but also Spanish, Cuban, and Puerto Rican students. As you can see in the 1870-1871 list of students.

More history on the earliest students and campus life can be found in Distinctive Collections’ Annual Catalogue collection available in the digital library.

International Students’ Day originates from students’ resistance in the streets of Prague against Nazi occupation on November 17, 1939.  Nazis arrested 1,200 students from Czech universities and sent them to concentration camps and shut down all Czech colleges and universities. The resistance inspired the establishment of an anti-Nazi students coalition. In 1941, November 17 was declared International Students Day by the International Students Council in London, which became the  foundation for the International Union of Students. Today, International Students’ Day has evolved beyond observance of student activism, but a celebration the cultural diversity that international students bring to their universities.

 

 

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Homecoming Traditions

Homecoming got its start on college campuses as a fall celebration of the first football game of the season, for which alumni would return to their alma maters. For Villanova, in particular, originated as an annual homecoming known as Alumni Day, which consisted with a football game, dinner, and alumni business meeting. The alumni returning is a long tradition as the alumni association started in 1875.

Homecoming photographs, December 1941

Homecoming really took off as an all campus event around the 1930s. It was not until the 1950s when Homecoming became a multi-day event for the entire Villanova community.

Here are some of the major traditions:

Dorm Decorations

Dorm decorations, 1960

Dorm Decorations, 1960

Dorm, 1950s

Dorm Decorations, 1950s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During Homecoming week the dorms would have a decoration contest for the best decorations. The theme usually surrounded Villanova’s victory on the field.

Bonfire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Homecoming bonfire was a long-standing Wildcat tradition that kicked off the weekend’s festivities.

Parade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A surprising tradition, certainly not seen today, is the Homecoming parade where prior to the big game Wildcats would have a car parade through campus to the football field. Like the dorm decoration there would be float decoration contests.

Game Day

Kissing booth, 1983

Kissing booth, 1983

Homecoming, 1983

Homecoming, 1983

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, Homecoming revolved around the big football game. Longstanding foes have been Georgetown University and Temple University.

Homecoming Dance

Dance, 1939

Dance, 1939

 

And to cap off the festivities was the annual Homecoming dance.

Homecoming court, 1983

Homecoming court, 1983

Homecoming court, 1990s

Homecoming court, 1990s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many more images of Homecoming can be found in the Digital Library and Villanova University Archives


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Connelly Center 41 Years Young

40 41 Years of Connelly Center

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Connelly Center. Leading up to the anniversary Distinctive Collections was hard at work digitizing photographs of Connelly over the years. While COVID may have dashed in-person celebrations, the University Archives invites you to check out Connelly over the years and celebrate September 21st as the anniversary of the official dedication ceremony.

Connelly Center, March 26th 1979

Connelly Center, March 26th 1979

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the heart of campus, Connelly Center originally opened with a game room, music listening room, ice cream parlor, terrace for entertainment, and lounges. Some of the amenities and look haven’t changed.

 

More photographs of the early days of Connelly Center can be found in the digital library.


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Last Modified: September 21, 2021