Archived for the ages: Great moments in university history

Jodi Genshaft

Wedged between acid-free folders and filing cabinets, aged photographs preserve Northwestern’s history.

Though webcasting technology and digital records would provide more comprehensive archives, University Archivist Patrick Quinn said NU will continue to create paper documents because people are nervous about the durability of records in electronic form.

Still, Quinn picked the five events in NU history that he wishes could have been captured on film.

_Ѣ May 31, 1850: NU is founded by nine men above a Chicago hardware store.

_Ѣ Fall 1869: University Hall is built. E.O. Haven becomes university president but insists that NU become a coeducational institution before his term begins.

_Ѣ Oct. 8, 1871: The great Chicago fire destroys most of the city. Residents relocate to Evanston, transforming it from a small college town into a large suburb. The fire destroys the Evanston College for Ladies’ endowment, forcing the school to merge with NU.

_Ѣ 1890: Henry Wade Rogers becomes president. Rogers transforms NU into a modern-day institution. Before Rogers’ tenure, Quinn said the university was a loose confederation of schools.

“It was like a medieval kingdom with dukes acting as deans,” Quinn said.

_Ѣ 1920: Walter Dill Scott becomes the first non-Methodist president. He builds the Chicago Campus and sets the bar for future administrators.