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From the Archives: Welcome to Villanova!

From the University Archives: Welcome to Villanova

A Peek into First Year Orientation

The next installment of the University Archives exploring past traditions of Villanova is how incoming first year students, or also known as Frosh or Yearlings, experienced their first days on campus in the first half of the twentieth century.

Freshman Orientation

Upon arrival incoming students were given logistical and academic information, housing details, class schedule, introductions to faculty and upperclassmen, religious registration, and introduction to student organizations. The first day also required a physical exam by a doctor. All of this would be guided by the Orientation Committee (White Cappers), who were the Sophomores.  The committee who would prepare incoming students with “regs” (dinks, ties, identification buttons, and handbook) and teach them the “Frosh rules and regulations” and the very important Hello Habit.

Much of orientation was like an initiation where cultural aspects to Villanova life were heavily indoctrinated and Freshman learned the college songs, yells, and rules. Orientation Committee reinforced etiquette and rules from day one. Frosh would be taught they would have to partake in trunk carrying (help move-in all students in their dorms), coal shoveling, gridiron marking, and stadium cleaning. Noted in the 1946 Belle Air yearbook, infractions would result in haircuts or being molasses and feathered.

Description of Etiquette Expectations

after we had a chance to become acclimated to the surroundings a series of impromptu meetings were held in the amphitheatre with the white cappers scolding yearlings...bellowing instructions to wear the regs...omit smoking cigarettes...learn the college cheers and songs...carry matches for the upperclassmen...get the "hello habit"...

keep coats buttoned and hands out of pockets...and above all stand erect while in the presence of upper classmen.

 Belle Air, 1937

First day of freshman year

First Day for Yearlings, Belle Air, 1943

 

Frosh being directed to jump

Frosh being directed to jump, Belle Air 1967

…and be sure to remember the “Hello Habit”Hello Habit Request for Freshmen

The Hello Habit was simply students saying hello to each other as they passed each other on campus. The gesture was serious business for upperclassmen as they would patrol the halls making sure Frosh did it as well as lament in The Owl and Villanovan for years how the time-honored tradition was at constant risk because of freshmen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Owl, 1931

 

It was later in the school year Freshmen got  “revenge” on the Sophomores during annual Frosh-Soph field day called “Muff Day” and annual Tug-O-War in the Spring.

Frosh-Soph game

tug of war

Belle Air, 1938

Changes

Many of the rituals, dress, initiations, and student hierarchies were abandoned by the late 1960s. Mostly because the university had become co-ed, the student body became more diverse, and the styles and trends of a college student focused more on individualism. In the 1980s, Villanova saw a significant cultural shift as orientation became more about preparing students for their college experience as a whole, including how to navigate the academic rigor and learn the support systems throughout campus.

For more images of campus life: https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Collection/vudl:171664

 

 


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From the Archives: AIDS Awareness Week

AIDS Ribbon Illustration, 1995

In continuation of presenting traditions of the past, the University Archives draws attention to Villanova’s AIDS Awareness Week held in the early 1990s. June as Pride Month is a celebration of the progress of LGBTQIA+ community and the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies a time of reflection of forty years ago when the world started to live through another epidemic that suffered from rampant misinformation and government inaction. Just like with COVID-19, health inequities and social injustices, stigma, fear and bigotry around HIV/AIDS fueled the spread and destruction of so many lives. AIDS remains decades on an unspoken epidemic, but is so clearly entrenched in our history and its affects reverberate through the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond.

Through articles from the Villanovan, the University Archives highlights how Villanova community responded to the AIDS crisis. Villanova established an AIDS task force in the 1980s as the virus was gaining media traction. Into the late eighties, lectures and panel discussions would be sponsored by student organizations or departments on campus about the virus and transmission. Though, through perceived lack of interest and advocacy, the task force faded away by the end of the eighties. The necessity to address the crisis really emerged in the early 1990s and the task force was reorganized in 1992 (Compitiello, 1992). By the early 1990s, AIDS cases had peaked and college campus across the nation were faced with the reality of positive cases on campus (CDC, 2001).

In 1991, the University started AIDS Awareness day, which expanded into AIDS Awareness Week in 1993. Awareness Week included invited speakers, panel discussions, student performances, masses, and vigils. The main goals were,

Raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS; to offer HIV/AIDS educational programs during the week; to create an opportunity for spiritual reflection on the impact of HIV/AIDS upon the University community at the beginning of the Lenten season; to provide members of the University community with opportunities for reconciliation and for consideration of their own personal outreach in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and to raise money for local HIV/AIDS care advocates and provider (Lee, 1994).

Panel discussions and lectures would cover questions related to AIDS in relation to discrimination, health care, and how perception is affected by the Church and what is the Church’s response to HIV/AIDS.

One of the most longstanding traditions has been selected panels of the Names Projects AIDS Memorial Quilt on display at the Connelly Center (which continued in to the 2000s).

In 1994, Villanova started to contribute to the quilting project. Here are images from the “Have a Heart” Quilting Bee campaign in 1995. Students could help with quilting and banner making at St.Mary’s Library.

For more information on the AIDS Awareness events on campus, visit the Villanovan in the Digital Library: https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:183783

 

 


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Falvey Then and Now, Through the lens of an Intern

  In my senior year of college, I found myself in a stressful living situation and so became a frequent visitor to the basement reading room of Falvey Library. We became fast friends since we spent so much time together (the moment it opened until its closing). At a time of immense confusion and uncertainty, Falvey embraced me with a quiet, steady sense of permanence that I so desperately needed. Yes, it was an escape, but it was also the perfect place for reflection without distraction. It was where a young woman could uncover her inner strength and achieve academic success through focus and fortitude. These very qualities would help me get through the tragedy of the 9-11 terrorist attacks that I experienced in New York, not long after graduation.  

  Twenty years later, the library beckons again, this time as an intern finishing up a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Clarion University. It’s proven to be a very different experience than as an undergrad, especially amidst a pandemic where movement is limited. Students and faculty are finding their own ways through another stressful period of history, and the library evolves. There’s still permanence in those physical walls, though they’ve become less significant for me. Indeed, what I’ve learned most is that the library has played a key role in tearing down metaphorical walls in order to improve access to information. Of course, it’s not just the building itself that holds weight, but the precious information it maintains waiting for students and faculty to discover. 

  With urgency, the pandemic has revealed the importance of information without barriers and the speed in which researchers and scientists need unencumbered access to digital journal articles, studies, and data sets. These concepts drive the Open Access publishing movement, which has been of particular interest to me as information needs change amidst this pandemic. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Sarah Wipperman in the Scholarly Communications Department on a guide to Open Access (OA). Sarah was generous with her time, patient with questions, and incredibly knowledgeable about copyright, fair use, and scholarly publishing in general. We explored big picture concepts pertaining to new ways of publishing such as: What is Open Access? How can it affect stakeholders? What OA options and funding are available at Villanova and beyond? How will publishing in various ways affect the breadth of readership? The guide we developed presents students and faculty with information regarding different avenues for publishing their work. Each scholarly publishing experience is unique, but arming writers and researchers with quality information and options prior to signing agreements and publishing is essential. We hope that the document we created will be a useful tool in helping Villanovans make pivotal publishing decisions now and into the future.  

  While this internship hasn’t been in person, I still hear the student and faculty voices, this time in the articles I’ve read and archived for Beaudry Allen with the Documenting Covid Digital Archives project. While I archived articles about significant events in the past year which seem indelibly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic such as lockdowns, local BLM protests, themes of racial inequity, sexual assaults, vaccination efforts, effects on learning and the economy, I found myself eventually gravitating toward the stories told by individuals, which vary according to experience and societal lens. A look back on the year from the Villanovan Magazine, “A Letter to the Class of 2021”, Philadelphia Magazine’s “Coronavirus Pandemic Impact Stories” provide the viewpoints of regular Villanovans and Philadelphians struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel in this pandemic. We hope that the content captured during this difficult time will provide future generations with a balanced perspective and general history, as well as a means of processing the events of these last 18 months. Afterall, the effects of the pandemic reach well beyond the virus itself. Experience has shown this Villanovan that while we cannot control negative events that arise, we can process and learn from them, and try to make sense of what has occurred. In due course, these experiences will shape us, and the university itself, in ways we’d never imagine.  

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*The intern, age 9, joined by the Wildcat, at Sibling’s Weekend (circa 1986) with a lifetime ahead of her. 

By Anne Walkenhorst                                                                                               

Scholarly Communications and Digital Archive Intern 

Clarion University of Pennsylvania (ALA accredited) MLS spring 2021 

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From the Archives: New Exhibit, Old Tradition

By Beaudry Rae Allen

Junior Week Committee, 1934

Distinctive Collections is excited to announce our new Spring exhibit, Blazers & Class Rings: Junior Week at Villanova.

Corsage pinning, 1951

Corsage pinning, 1951

Take a peek into Villanova traditions from the past with this digital exhibit that explores Junior Week, one of the most popular week-long events on campus. The honored tradition of Juniors receiving their senior blazers and class ring, celebrating all things Junior, and, of course, a special visit from Mother. All the items in the exhibit are from the University Archives.

Junior Week Mascot, 1948

Junior Week Mascot, 1948


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From The Archives: Spring Zine

The University Archives Spring Zine is Here!

Zine cover

Spring Zine Volume 2, Issue 2 Cover

Oh what a school year it has been!  Under the weight of all the massive changes, chaos, and continued uncertainty, this issue is a brief summary of the Documenting COVID-19 project and other collecting initiatives around the pandemic. It is also a peek into all the new Spring digital exhibits  going live this month from Distinctive Collections.

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From The Archives: Owl Hop

When you step onto campus, you’ll discover Villanova’s many unique traditions. Some you may find are as old as the University itself and others are much more recent—but they all play an important role in the life of Villanova students. The University Archives is taking a look back at long forgotten traditions that have shaped the Villanova community. One of which is the Owl Hop, a popular Villanova dance between the 1920-50s.

In 1919, Owl Hop started as a dance hosted by the Phi Kappa Pi fraternity, which was the Engineering fraternity at the time. In the 1920s, it became a more annual event where the dance was held on the night of a Temple vs Villanova football game held in the late Fall. Although Temple “Owls” and the name of the dance were synonymous, the “Owl” originated from the engineering department having an “Owl” as a mascot and its believed the dance started before Villanova and Temple met on the football field.

 

As the years progressed the football connection faded away and the dance was held Spring semester as a reprieve from midterms. Throughout the 1930s Phi Kappa Pi tried to distance themselves from the owl connotations to Temple with sometimes calling the dance the Engineer Hop. Though the name change did not quite stick for long and quickly returned as the Owl Hop.

The dance was such a popular social event with attendance records reaching 700 couples. While the dance paused during WWII, the Owl Hop resumed until 1958, when the dance discontinued for inter-fraternity dances instead.

For more information about the Owl Hop and other Villanova traditions, you can visit the Distinctive Collections Digital Library and/or contact the University Archives (archives@villanova.edu).

 

 

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From the Archives: New Finding Aids Published

The University Archives is excited to announce our Spring release of new finding aids. Finding aids are inventories of our archival holdings and having them published allows researchers to review our holdings before they visit or able request a item to be digitized.

This would not have been possible without the tremendous help, during the pandemic, from our Access Services team members Gerald Dierkes and Mike Sgier. And additional thanks to our Student Assistants Jacob Artz ’23, Thomas Dorrance ’21, Ali Stinchfield ’23, and Emma Poley, ’21 for helping with link digital objects to the finding aids and doing major migration clean-up. A special shout out to our Student Assistant, Kamryn Dow ’22, who has spent over a year working on our database clean-up.

Sherman Thackara collection (OM E467.S53) finding aid now has links to digitized images in the digital library.
Finding Aid webpage

Image of finding aid webpage

 

Newly Published University Archives finding aids:

Centers records

The collection is consists early records of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Center for Peace and Justice, and Center for Alcohol and Drugs.

Occasional Outside Groups records

The collection is comprised of programs, planning and research materials, and ephemera related to non-Villanova organizations or people who conducted events and activities on campus. Of particular note, the collection includes research material from Kyle Keiderling’s work on The Perfect Game.

Campus Ministry records

This is a small collection of records of the Campus Ministry. The collection includes letters and announcements sent by the Campus Ministry to students; summaries of the religious affiliation of students (1947-1952); mass and novena cards; posters and flyers; printed prayers; hymn, and remembrance cards; copies of the illustrated weekly bulletin the Mirror (1926-1931); copies of the weekly bulletin ‘Neath the Spires (1939-1941); printed letters to Villanova Students from Father Edward V. Stanford (1931); and retreat brochures. The collection also includes a volume of notes on religious life at Villanova between 1926 and 1943.

And more Presidents’ records:

James A. Donnellon, O.S.A. records, 1955-1959

Laurence Augustine Delurey O.S.A. records, 1903

John M. Driscoll, O.S.A. records, 1964-1988


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Black History Month

Black History Month is a celebration of the contributions of African Americans have made to our history and a time of deep reflection on the continued struggle for racial justice. 2020 has shown our society has fallen short on racial equality and justice. For Villanovans, we were confronted with our own inequalities with stories from @blackvillanova (Black at Villanova) on Instagram. The stories presented are a glaring reminder the work Villanova needs to work harder for better inclusion and equality. For the University Archives, this means continually striving towards the archives as a place that empowers and advocates increased representation in our historical record.

To learn more about the history of the black experience at Villanova and pay tribute to those who have shaped our community, you can explore:

MLK speaking at Villanova

MLK Speaking at Villanova, 1965

 

 

Nova Stories : Campus Life from the 1960s

 

 

 

Black Villanova: An Oral History Banner

Black Villanova: An Oral History Banner

 

 

Black Villanova: An Oral History

 

 

John "Chubby" Cox, 1973

John “Chubby” Cox, 1973

 

Villanova Digital Library

Image can be found in the Villanova Athletics collection.

 

 

 

 

Though these stories only touch the surface of the black experience at Villanova, it’s an starting point to learn more about our history.

For more information on social, political sexual, racial, and gendered issues in today’s world, check out the Diversity and Inclusion Libguide.

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From the Archives: Fall Zine

Zine Cover

Well another crazy semester for the record books!

COVID-19 has upended so much of our lives, yet here you are continuing to going to school and trying to stay connected with friends and family. To decompress from the whirlwind of finals and enjoy a well deserved break, enjoy the new issue of the University Archives Zine. This issue has a special game, created by our own Library Technology Developer, Chris Hallberg. The game is a re-imagined version of the game Manifold.

Download Vol.2 Issue 1 

If you want to contribute the next zine email archives@villanova.edu with your idea 😆


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Walter Wallace Jr and West Philly History

By Beaudry Rae Allen, Laura Bang, and Deborah Bishov

 

Illustration of a smiling young Black man with shoulder-length locs. Text says “Walter Wallace Jr.” and “Black Disabled Lives Matter”

Illustration of a smiling young Black man with shoulder-length locs with text saying “Walter Wallace Jr.” and “Black Disabled Lives Matter” By Micah Bazant

This week we mourn and once again must grapple with the senseless killing of a black person by the police, this time in Philadelphia. Walter Wallace Jr. was gunned down by Philadelphia Police on the 6100 block of Locust Street, despite the fact that his family had called for an ambulance and begged the police not to shoot, because he was experiencing a mental health crisis. The events unfolding are not a microcosm, but they highlight issues around race, police brutality, and mental health services in our communities.

The use of excessive force by the police, particularly in this geographic location, is sadly not an anomaly and sparks a reminder of the Philadelphia Police Department’s sordid history with the West Philadelphia community. Only a few blocks from the site of Wallace’s murder is the site of the 1985 MOVE bombing in which Philadelphia Police dropped a bomb on a residential home of the black liberation group MOVE. The bombing killed 6 adults and 5 children as well as destroying many homes in the area. If this is your first time reading about the MOVE bombings the library has many resources available to learn more about the events and how Philadelphia has been shaped by the events.

Physical Books Available for Contactless Pickup

Digital Access

Additional resources for support:

Please contact these departments, as they are available for emotional, mental, and spiritual support. Support and services are available to all students, whether on-campus, off-campus, or at home.

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Last Modified: October 30, 2020