USI Building Names: Why Do They Call It That?

*Post written by Mona Meyer, Archives and Special Collections Metadata Librarian.

As you arrive on campus and start to go to classes, you’ll soon learn that some buildings have specific names.  The same thing is true about most of the academic colleges.  Where did these names come from?  Who are these people?  Let’s take a brief look.

Dr. David L. Rice walking in front of the construction of the Science Center, 1969. Source: University Archives and Special Collection (UP 00484)

Dr. David L. Rice walking in front of the construction of the Science Center, 1969. Source: University Archives & Special Collection (UP 00484).

Since this is a library blog, we’ll start with the David L. Rice Library.  Dr. Rice was appointed dean of this campus, then called Indiana State University Evansville (ISUE) in 1967, two years after its founding.  In 1971 he became its president, serving in that capacity until 1994.  “During his tenure, enrollment grew to over 7,400 on a master-planned campus with 1,400 acres. Dr. Rice oversaw the expansion of curricula from limited two-year degree programs to a comprehensive range of baccalaureate and master’s degree programs, as well as many cooperative programs with other universities.”  In addition to building the university, Dr. Rice also saw its establishment as a separate state university, USI, in 1985.

Robert H. Pott, the namesake of Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education, holding a cigar in his right hand, n.d. Source: USI.edu

Robert H. Pott, the namesake of Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education, n.d. Source: USI.edu/

Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education:  Robert H. Pott (1890-1964) was born in Sheboygan, WI, and moved here with his wife in the 1920s to become plant superintendent for Vulcan Plow Works. Pott was largely self-educated, but he always maintained a love for learning and for all things scientific and technical.  “In 1963, the Potts established the Robert H. and Elaine H. Pott Foundation to benefit educational institutions with engineering programs in Indiana and Wisconsin. He died in 1964 and she died in 1974.  In 1998, during Campaign USI, Pott Foundation committee members in cooperation with Fifth Third Bank contributed $2 million toward the development of the College of Science and Engineering. At that time, the gift was the largest in USI Foundation history. In recognition of this generous gift, the college bears the Pott name. Income from the endowment provides funds for student scholarships, the purchase of scientific equipment, and professional development and educational support of students and faculty in the Pott College of Science and Engineering. The Pott Foundation also supports the Tri-State Science and Engineering Fair, hosted by the Pott College since 2007.”

"The Vulcan Plow Co.'s plant, Evansville, Ind." at 101 1st St., formerly 101-27 Lower 1st St. The City Foundry was formed by William Heilman and his brother in-law, Christian Katz, in 1847, with the name changed to Vulcan Plow Works after the death of Heilman in 1890. This building was razed in 1957 with only a small portion in the rear remaining. The statue of Vulcan seen atop the front corner is now housed at the Evansville Museum.", n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections (RH 033-034)

Postcard of the Vulcan Plow Company’s plant was located at 101 1st Street. This building was razed in 1957 with only a small portion in the rear remaining, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections (RH 033-034).

This postcard depicts the company that brought the Potts to Evansville—Vulcan Plow.  Although the factory is long gone, that statue of Vulcan atop the corner can be found at the Evansville Museum.

Photograph of Connie and Ronald Romain, the namesake of the Romain College of Business, at USI, n.d. Source: USI.edu

Photograph of Connie and Ronald Romain, the namesake of the Romain College of Business, n.d. Source: USI.edu/

Romain College of Business: Ron and Connie Romain have long been friends of the university.  They both are USI graduates, and his degree in marketing helped him become the owner, president, and chief executive officer of United Companies which is comprised of Professional Transportation, Inc., the Romain Automotive Group, and United Leasing, Inc.  Naming the college for them “recognizes the Romains for their lifetime of dedication to and involvement with the Evansville community, the University, as well as a generous $5 million leadership gift to Campaign USI: Elevating Excellence. Ron serves as chair of the campaign, and the couple was deeply involved with USI’s first capital campaign in 1995. Ron also has been a member of the USI Board of Trustees since 2008 and is a life director of the USI Foundation.”

Oil on canvas portrait of former governor, Robert D. Orr, drawn by Lucian Lupinski, n.d. Source: in.gov/governorhistory/

Portrait of former governor, Robert D. Orr, drawn by Lucian Lupinski, n.d. Source: in.gov/governorhistory/

 

 

Robert D. Orr Center: The Orr Center (OC) is a classroom and office building housing many of the student services departments. It was named for former Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr (1917-2004), who was governor of the state 1981-1988, during which time USI gained its independence.  Although not born here, Orr grew up in Evansville—the site of the family business, the Orr Iron Company.

 

 

 

Housing:

Joseph O'Daniel

Joseph O’Daniel (left) is the namesake of the O’Daniel apartments with his wife, Marie (right), n.d. Source: Faces of Philanthropy, Vol. 1 (2008).

O’Daniel Apartments: Joseph E. O’Daniel  (1912-2001) was the founder of D. Patrick automotive business and a long-time friend and supporter of USI.  He was instrumental in acquiring land for the university. “In 1967, Southern Indiana Higher Education, Inc., (SIHE) raised nearly $1 million to acquire 1,400 acres for the Mid-America University Center. Groundbreaking was held June 22, 1968. Since September 1969, the University has occupied 330 acres, mostly donated by SIHE. On April 16, 1985, legislation was signed which made USI a separate state university. All legal matters were effective July 1, 1985. On June 30, 2008, SIHE transferred ownership of over 900 acres of land and remaining assets to the USI Foundation.”   SIHE also provided funding for the first housing on campus.  O’Daniel was a past president of the USI Board of Trustees.

 

Frank F. McDonald, Sr. (right) was an early supporter of USI and former Evansville mayor, n.d. Source: Faces of Philanthropy (p. i, Vol. 1, 2008).

Frank F. McDonald, Sr. (right) was an early supporter of USI and former Evansville mayor, n.d. Source: Faces of Philanthropy (p. i, Vol. 1, 2008).

McDonald Apartments   Frank F. McDonald (1912-1997) was the mayor of Evansville 1960-1972.  “In the fall of 1968, Dr. David L. Rice, president emeritus of the University of Southern Indiana, and Byron C. Wright, vice president emeritus for Business Affairs and Treasurer, met with Mayor Frank F. McDonald Sr. in his office in downtown Evansville. Mayor McDonald was an avid supporter of the young campus and had a profound conviction that the University would be a tremendous benefit for the City of Evansville and the State of Indiana. He often referred to it as “an industry without a smokestack.”  The mayor’s support was key to the University’s success and Dr. Rice and Mr. Wright visited regularly with him to discuss issues affecting higher education on the Evansville campus. At the end of this particular meeting, Mayor McDonald said, “You will need private gifts to help make that place a success. Folks around here will not want to send their hard-earned money out of town, so I suggest you establish a foundation to benefit our University.” He then opened his wallet and pulled out two $100 bills. “Here is $100 from me and $100 from my wife to begin that foundation.””

O’Bannon Residence Hall: Frank O’Bannon (1930-2003) was governor of Indiana 1997-2003.

Portrait of Frank O'Bannon, former governor of Indiana, created by Michael Allan Chelich, n.d. Source: in.gov/governorhistory

Portrait of Frank O’Bannon, former governor of Indiana, created by Michael Allan Chelich, n.d. Source: in.gov/governorhistory/

Newman Residence Hall   Fred C. Newman (1905-1998) was a former president of Old National Bank and one of the first to endow a Presidential Scholarship for the university.

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Ruston Residence Hall   Henry W. Ruston (1921-2005) was a fervent supporter of the university.  He was a life member of the board of trustees, and at the time of his death in 2005, he was the largest single benefactor in the history of the university.

Henry Ruston, longtime supporter of USI and namesake of Ruston Hall, n.d. Source: Faces of Philanthropy (p. 63, Vol. 1, 2008).

Henry Ruston, longtime supporter of USI and namesake of Ruston Hall, n.d. Source: Faces of Philanthropy (p. 63, Vol. 1, 2008).

Hopefully, knowing a bit more about USI will help you appreciate and enjoy your college experience even more.  Good luck with this semester, and don’t forget the library for help with all your research needs.

Resources Consulted:

Browning Obituary Index

Indiana Governor History

USI website: Former USI Presidents.

USI website: Housing and Residence Life…About Us.

USI website: Pott College…Pott College Name.

USI website: Romain College…College of Business Gives Name to Romain Legacy.

USI website: USI Foundation….Faces of Philanthropy: Generous Friends of Vision, v.1:2008.

USI website: USI Foundation….USI Foundation History.

Posted in history, Indiana history, USI | Leave a comment

#OnThisDay: NASA Turns Sixty!

Astronauts are briefed on the first Gemini Spacecraft by Guenter Wendt, Design Engineer for McDonnell Aircraft Corp., in the Whiteroom at Launch Complex 19, Cape Kennedy, Fla." From left; Gus Grissom, Guenter Wendt, L. Gordon Cooper, Neil Armstrong.

Astronauts are briefed on the first Gemini Spacecraft by Guenter Wendt, Design Engineer for McDonnell Aircraft Corp., in the Whiteroom at Launch Complex 19, Cape Kennedy, Fla.” Left to Right: Gus Grissom, Guenter Wendt, L. Gordon Cooper, Neil Armstrong, 1964. Source: Lee William Jones collection (MSS 244-0033).

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

On this day in 1958, NASA was born! This organization has a special place in United States history. As an elementary student, I remember on “Grandparents’ Day”, there were a set of questions asked and a couple of questions dealt with the first moon landing, Apollo 13, Challenger explosion, and so on. The creation of NASA was monumental and it still captures our imagination today.

Picture it: October 1957. The world is stunned as the launching of the world’s first satellite, Sputnik, into orbit by the Soviet Union (History.com Staff, 2009). This was in the midst of the Cold War between the world’s two superpowers and the United States views this as a loss. By this time, the United States realized they needed to catch up. In November 1957, Senator Lyndon Johnson created studies on space in the Senate Armed Services Committee: through the committee, they were “… establishing a space agency” (Dick, 2008). Finally, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act on July 28, 1958 (Dick, 2008).

Gemini 10 Astronauts (L-R) John W. Young, command pilot, and Michael Collins, pilot, are in the Gemini 10 spacecraft during the Simultaneous Launch Demonstration at the White Room Level at Complex 19, Cape Kennedy, Fla., in preparation for [NASA's] Gemini 10 mission. The primary mission objective is successful rendezvous and docking of the Gemini 10 spacecraft with the Agena 10 target vehicle.

Gemini 10 Astronauts (L-R) John W. Young, command pilot, and Michael Collins, pilot, are in the Gemini 10 spacecraft during the Simultaneous Launch Demonstration in Cape Kennedy, Fla., 1966. Source: Lee William Jones collection (MSS 244-0146).

Under NASA, they had four mission areas: aeronautics research, science, space technology, and human exploration (Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018). During the 1960’s, space expedition was all of the rage with one goal: put a man on the moon! It finally happened on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module, Eagle (History.com Staff, 2009).

After the moon landing, NASA continued space missions. Later missions were unmanned such as Viking, Mariner, Voyager, and Galileo: they explored various parts of the solar system (Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018). In a shocking turn of events, the United States and the Soviet Union created the first human spaceflight, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, in 1975; moreover, the United States started the International Space Station, in 1984 and 1993, other nations joined in the partnership (Redd, 2017).

Sadly, there were two major disasters: Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. In both cases, none of the astronauts survived. Challenger exploded after seventy-three seconds after liftoff: the cause of the explosion was due to a structural malfunction (Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2017). Seventeen years later, upon reentry to Earth, a structural malfunction led to the Columbia shuttle’s demise (Dooling, 2017). Missions continues from NASA such as Curiosity (2011), Opportunity (2003), Hubble Space Telescope (1990), OSISIS-REx (2016), just to name a few (NASA, 2018).

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Here at the University Archives and Special Collections, we are honored to have photographers from the Lee William Jones, a former NASA photographer. His photographs are available on our online digital gallery.

References

Dick, S. J. (2008, March 28). The birth of NASA. Retrieved from https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/whyweexplore/Why_We_29.html

Dooling, D. (2017, December 17). Columbia disaster. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/event/Columbia-disaster

Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica (2017, October 23). Challenger disaster. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/event/Challenger-disaster

Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica (2018, February 7). National aeronautics and space administration. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/NASA

History.com Staff (2009). NASA established. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nasa-established

NASA (2018). Missions. Retrieved from https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/overview/?page=0&per_page=40&order=launch_date+desc%2Ctitle+asc&search=&category=33

Redd, N. T. (2017, November 7). NASA: 60 years of space exploration. Retrieved from https://www.space.com/38700-nasa-history.html

Posted in #OnThisDay, Space | Leave a comment

Guess Who Came to Evansville? Political Edition!

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

In the University Archives and Special Collections, there are several collections relating to local and national politics. Evansville has had their fair share of political candidates come to visit or campaign. Can you guess who these famous American politicians?

Let’s begin!

*Answer key and photograph information is located on the bottom of this post.

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Inside of online digital gallery at the University Archives and Special Collections, there are numerous collections relating to politics, such as Harry Thompson, Charles LaFollette, Winfield Denton, Roger Zion, Ralph Gray, and many more collections. UASC has created a research guide on politics.

Answers:

Politician #1: Robert F. Kennedy

  • Visited Evansville, Ind. on April 22, 1968.
  • Source: Sonny Brown collection (MSS 228-1417).

Politician #2: Ralph Nader

  •  Visited ISUE in 1980.
  • Source: University Photographs collection (UP 03159).

Politician #3: George Wallace

  • Visited Evansville, Ind. on April 22, 1968.
  • Source: Sonny Brown collection (MSS 228-0993).

Politician #4: George H. W. Bush

  • Visited ISUE in 1988.
  • Source: University Photographs collection (UP 12085).

Politician #5: John F. Kennedy

  • Visited Evansville, Ind. on October 5, 1960.
  • Source: Sonny Brown collection (MSS 228-1373).

Politician #6: William Taft

  • Visited New Harmony, Ind. on June 8, 1914.
  • Source: Don Blair collection (MSS 247-4477).

Politician #7: Lyndon B. Johnson

  • Visited Evansville, Ind. on October 26, 1964.
  • Source: Sonny Brown collection (MSS 228-1442).

Politician #8: Richard Nixon

  • Visited Evansville, Ind. on May 3, 1968.
  • Source: Sonny Brown collection (MSS 228-1310).
Posted in American history, history, Indiana history, Politics | Leave a comment

Cults around the World: Heaven’s Gate

Front page of Newsweek Magazine: 'Follow Me', Inside the Heaven's Gate Mass Suicide, April 14, 1997. Source: CS 287-3, Heaven's Gate collection.

Front page of Newsweek Magazine, 1997. Source: CS 287, Heaven’s Gate.

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

In the blog series finale of “Cults around the World”, cults develop because of an ideology or by a charismatic leader(s). Just like the previous cults, Heaven’s Gate, is no different, from beginning to end.

Heaven’s Gate began in 1972, when founders, Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles, met in a psychiatric institution because they believed to be “… the two ‘endtime’ witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11” (Melton, 2013). In the mid-1970’s, Heaven’s Gate formed as a small group and more members joining in Southern California, Oregon, and Colorado. After Nettles’ death in 1985, the group grew secluded from the public; however, due to the advancement of the World Wide Web, Applewhite used this to spread his message (Hafford, 2017).

Front page of People Weekly: Personal stories from Heaven's Gate; Before the Cult; How 39 ordinary people left families behind for a journey to death, 1997. Source: CS 287-3, Heaven's Gate.

Front page of People Weekly, 1997. Source: CS 287-3, Heaven’s Gate.

Hafford (2014) states one of the core beliefs in Heaven’s Gate was “Applewhite told his acolytes that was the second coming of Jesus Christ, that God was an alien, and that they were living in the end time”. The group continued to move around to Texas and back to California. By 1995, Heaven’s Gate began to believe after the discovery of the Hale-Bopp comet, believing aliens were coming back to Earth. Finally in 1996, when they permanently located to San Diego (History.com Staff, 2010; Melton, 2013).

In March 1997, the unthinkable happened: thirty-nine members were found died! What happened? Due to Hale-Bopp comet passing by the Earth, Applewhite and his thirty-eight members committed suicide, in a similar fashion to People’s Temple. History.com Staff (2010) mentions, “… as Hale-Bopp reached its closest distance to Earth, Applewhite and 38 of his followers drank a lethal mixture of phenobarbital and vodka and then lay down to die, hoping to leave their bodily containers, enter the alien spacecraft, and pass through Heaven’s Gate into a higher existence”.

At the University Archives and Special Collections, the Heaven’s Gate collection is located inside of our communal studies collections. Inside of the communal studies collection, there are over 18,000 images and documents combined from the Communal Finding Aids collection and Communal Studies gallery.

References

Hafford, M. (2017, March 24). Heaven’s Gate 20 years later: 10 things you didn’t know. Retrieved from https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/heavens-gate-20-years-later-10-things-you-didnt-know-w473560

History.com Staff. (2010). Heaven’s gate cult members found dead. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/heavens-gate-cult-members-found-dead

Melton, J. G. (2013, October 7). Heaven’s gate. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Heavens-Gate-religious-group

Posted in American history, Communal Studies, Cult, Murder | Leave a comment

Cults of the World: Synanon

*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

The Synanon Story. Volume 4, Issue 1. January, 1976. A bewildered Vietnamese orphan is comforted by Synanon doctor Mario Milch upon the child's arrival at Travis A.F.B.in California after a flight across the Pacific. Over 100 Synanon residents plus the Foundation's staff of six physicians made the trip to Travis last spring to accompany the children to the Army Presidio in San Francisco and to provide them with medical attention.

The Synanon Story brochure, 1976. Source: CS 563, Synanon collection.

In part four of “Cults of the World”, some communal groups begin with good intentions. Charles Dederich wanted to help others with substance abuse, after he successfully overcome his alcohol addiction with his community, Synanon.

Synanon began in 1958 by Charles Dederich, as “… a residential recovery community for ‘dope-friends’” in California (Miller, p. 42). The name, Synanon, is a combination of “seminar” and “symposium”; moreover, Dederich used Alcohol Anonymous’ (AA) model without using religion; however, the structure of Synanon focused on being “… a tough, disciplined, drug-free environment with a dash of tender loving care” (Gelder, 1997).

In the mid-1960’s, Synanon grew tremendously. Addicts and non-addicts were welcomed to join the community and joined by the thousands; however, Synanon changed in the 1970’s (Gelder, 1997). In 1974, Synanon “… reorganized itself as a church” and membership numbers began to drop (Miller, 2001). This trend continued through up to the 1980’s and 1990’s.

The Synanon Prayer: Please let me first and always examine myself. Let Me be honest and truthful. Let me seek and assume responsibility. Let me understand rather than be understood. Let me trust and have faith in myself and my fellow man. Let me love rather than be loved. Let me give rather than receive.

The Synanon Prayer, n.d. Source: CS 563, Synanon collection.

By the late 1970’s and 1980’s, there was serious charges against Synanon and Dederich, leading to the community’s demise. Dederich, a recovering alcoholic, fell back into alcohol in 1978 and allegations came out against him and the community (Miller, p. 42). In 1980, Dederich faced charges of conspiracy of murder with two of his security force.  They were accused of trying to kill a lawyer who was suing them because they placed a rattlesnake in the lawyer’s mailbox. Gelder (1997) stated there were reports of violence such as “… forced vasectomies[,] mandatory abortions[, and] divorces”. Soon after the allegations, Dederich was stripped of his power in 1987 and Synanon disbanded in 1991, after losing their tax-exempt status; however, Dederich passed away in 1997 (Miller, p.43; Gelder, 1997).

In the University Archives and Special Collections, there are over six hundred and fifty collections relating to communal studies from the Center for Communal Studies. The finding aid inventory for Synanon is available for viewing on the online digital gallery. To view this collection, please email archives.rice@usi.edu for more information.

References

Gelder, L. V. (1997, March 4). Charles Dederich, 83, Synanon founder, dies. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/04/us/charles-dederich-83-synanon-founder-dies.html

Miller, A. X. (2001). Community values. Nation, 273(21), 40-44. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=8&sid=f0de9b1e-737c-486b-b246-9e5e73e1314b%40sessionmgr4009&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=5806478&db=aph

Posted in American history, Communal Studies, Cult, Murder | Leave a comment