Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Sesquicentennial exhibit digs into DU history

Many stations in "Tradition and Legacy" include cases full of artifacts — from vintage athletics and cheerleading uniforms to Commencement scepters and DU beanies.

Many stations in “Tradition and Legacy” include cases full of artifacts — from vintage athletics and cheerleading uniforms to Commencement scepters and DU beanies.

To prepare for a sesquicentennial exhibit at the Anderson Academic Commons, University of Denver archivists dug deep into their collections to find photographs, uniforms and other artifacts that help tell the DU story.

“Tradition and Legacy” — an interactive exhibit that opened Jan. 13 — features 13 stations spread throughout all three floors of the building and divided into themes such as campus life, athletics and performing arts. In addition to large banners that tell the University of Denver story in words and pictures, many stations also include cases full of artifacts — from vintage athletics and cheerleading uniforms to Commencement scepters and DU beanies.

“[The artifacts] tell the kind of story you can really only tell if you have something that was worn by a particular person or owned by them — it tells you something about a time in history that you can’t necessarily get from a re-creation,” says archivist Kate Crowe. “It grounds what you’re saying in reality because it’s a real physical thing that existed at that time.”

One of Crowe’s favorite finds relates to Woodstock West, the University’s famous 1970 protest against the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings. Among the news clippings and telegrams related to Woodstock West is a handwritten journal in which history professor Donald Hughes chronicled the protest minute by minute.

“He was live-tweeting years before live-tweeting existed,” Crowe says.

Other artifacts on display include the very first issue of the Denver Quarterly, a copy of the original Colorado Seminary charter, architectural models of campus buildings and side-by-side aerial photos of campus in the 1950s and today.

The exhibit also includes videos on the presidential debate and the changing campus landscape, as well as footage from Homecoming in 1955.

 

One Comment

  1. Indianee'ska Hicks says:

    I am a prospective student seeking to complete my undergraduate degree at the University of Denver because tradition and legacy seem to be a strong focus of this higher education institution.

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