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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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Photo Friday: The “Wright” Attitude

Coach Wright talks with former Villanova basketball player Randy Foye.

Image courtesy of the Villanova University Archives.


Thank you, Coach Wright.

Thank you for the wonderful memories these past 21 years. Thank you for your dedication to Villanova basketball and the Villanova community.

Over the past few days, many have commented on Coach Wright’s legacy; just ask Jessica Bianchi ’20, who quantified Wright’s greatness in her honors thesis for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. ‘Nova Nation is thankful for Coach Wright’s leadership and attitude—both on and off the basketball court. His values and principles have had a lasting impact on all Villanovans, inspiring us to be leaders in our own lives.

As the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova President, says, “Jay taught us all the true meaning of attitude.” That mindset will stay with us all, whether we’re playing for a team, learning in the classroom, or upholding Villanova’s Augustinian tradition.

Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial 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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Photo Friday: 1842 Day Gifts Continue To Support Falvey Memorial Library Patrons

Beaudry Rae Allen '13 MA, Preservation and Digital Archivist, removes dust from books in Falvey Memorial Library's Special Collections.

Beaudry Rae Allen ’13 MA, Preservation and Digital Archivist, removes dust from books in Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections. Photo courtesy of Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.


Tuesday, Sept. 21, is 1842 Day, Villanova’s day of giving! This is a special day honoring Villanova’s founding in 1842 and celebrating all the things that make Villanova great. Your gifts to Falvey Memorial Library these past five years have enhanced the library’s collection—impacting Villanovans for years to come. Beaudry Rae Allen ’13 MA (pictured above), Preservation and Digital Archivist, purchased preservation supplies with support from 2018 donations. Allen was able to “rehouse thousands of at-risk, rare materials—including 10,000 photo negatives, 35 scrapbooks, photographic albums, and University logos—and inventory more than 1,100 CDs and DVDs.” The funds also allowed the Library to purchase a specialized vacuum to safely clean books in Special Collections. Preserving these rare materials ensures scholars can access resources for future projects.

Support Falvey Memorial Library by giving any amount to our campaign! To donate, please use this link or scan the QR code below. Thank you to all of our past and future donors! Be sure to download the Reading Room as your zoom background!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Foto Friday: “B” for Blue and “W” for White

""It’s College Colors Day, so, of course, we’re reppin’ our blue and white!

 

Keep the celebration going and check out “Wildcats Past & Present: Moments from the History of Sports at Villanova.” The online exhibit features assorted and unique items representing the various sports played at Villanova College, and later Villanova University. Villanovans have always shown their school spirit–explore sport programs, basketballs, baseball, photographs, newspaper clippings as well as championship memorabilia from University Archives’ collection along with books and scrapbooks from Special Collections.

The exhibit, based on a legacy exhibit curated by Teri Ann Pirone, was curated by Susan Ottignon, former Collections Librarian, with assistance from Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian, and Michael Foight, Director of Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement. Graphics provided by Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication and Marketing.

 

 


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 

 


 


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Jim Croce ’65 Image Discovered In Digital Library

 

Jim Croce sings to a female student

Jim Croce ’65 sings to a female student

Legendary singer Jim Croce ’65 left his stamp on Villanova and on the music world before his untimely death at age 30. While an undergrad, Croce was a leader of the oldest singing group on campus, The Villanova Singers, who can be heard on campus even now. After graduating, he penned and sang #1 hits, such as “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time in a Bottle.” He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990. His music legacy continues, with his songs featured in films and television, including Django Unchained, Logan, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Stranger Things.

On the 55th anniversary of Croce’s debut album Facets, Falvey is sharing a recently discovered image from his senior yearbook, contained in the University’s Digital Library. Here, Croce, seen lounging in a campus tree and wearing loafers and a sweater, strums his guitar as a co-ed listens on.


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Last Modified: August 27, 2021