Saturday, June 09, 2018

Mississippi State University

Located roughly 25 miles west of the Mississippi University for Women (featured in the previous posting below) is Mississippi State University in Starkville (sometimes also known as "Stark Vegas"). Just as she did for MUW, guest contributor Rebecca Oldham shares with us some photos of the Mississippi State campus.

Rebecca describes the Drill Field as the "most iconic place" on the Mississippi State campus. It is shown in the following photo, with Lee Hall (English department) in the background.

Rebecca also photographed an old picture of the Drill Field, hanging at Harvey's, a popular eatery.

A major edifice on any college campus, especially in the South, is the football stadium...

...with the Bulldog statue nearby at Mississippi State.

Finally, we have the water tower.

I have not been to Mississippi State personally, but based on these photos and what I've read about the university, it seems to have a lot of similarity to a school I did visit in 2008, Texas A&M. Mississippi State (which was once known as Mississippi A&M) and Texas A&M both have maroon and white as school colors and, with A&M's conference shift in 2012, both are in the SEC. Both schools have military traditions and, of course, major programs in agriculture.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Mississippi University for Women

One of our Texas Tech graduate students, Rebecca Oldham, recently visited Mississippi for a family graduation and was able to photograph two campuses. The present entry will feature Mississippi University for Women (sometimes referred to as "The W") and a future entry will cover Mississippi State University. The two institutions are located near each other in the northern part of the state, near its eastern border, with The W in Columbus and MSU in Starkville.

If you click on the image to enlarge it, you'll notice the last line of the university sign reads, "A Tradition of Excellence for Women and Men." According to the Wikipedia page on Mississippi University for Women, the school in 1884 "became the first public women's college in the United States." The school's single-sex policy for a state institution was found unconstitutional in the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court case of Mississippi University for Women vs. Hogan, in which a man was granted admission to the nursing school. The case helped pave the way for a decision 14 years later in U.S. vs. Virginia, in which the state-sponsored Virginia Military Institute was opened to women.* As regards Mississippi University for Women, men now comprise nearly 20% of the student body.

*I have edited this part to correct a previous error.

Monday, January 15, 2018

University of Oklahoma

Texas Tech graduate student Valerie Handley visited her undergraduate alma mater, the University of Oklahoma (OU) in Norman, during the Fall semester and kindly agreed to share some pictures she took.

OU is, of course, well-known for football, with the recent south endzone renovation to Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium shown in this first shot.

However, as we'll see in this photo essay, the campus is also known for its distinctive architectural style. Here we have Bizzell Memorial Library...

Bizzell's architecture, like that of other buildings at OU, reminded me of the Collegiate Gothic style, exemplified by the University of Chicago and UCLA's Kerckhoff Hall. Gothic architecture includes such features as towers, pointed arches, gargoyles, and other assorted frills. However, OU's architecture has a name of its own, Cherokee Gothic, which none other than Frank Lloyd Wright coined during a visit to the campus.

A similar style is seen at Carpenter Hall, a facility for music, dance, and theatre, shown in the next two photos straight-on and from further back on the lawn...

Jacobson Hall (home of the Visitor Center) may not be as Gothic as some of the other buildings at OU, but it features something unique of its own: A replica of the famous Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture (look for the blue letters toward the left-hand side of the photo).

Next is the Price College of Business. OU recently opened up the new Rainbolt Graduate School of Business off-campus in Oklahoma City, so presumably only undergraduate programs remain at Price.

In 1990, marking the centennial of the school's 1890 founding, OU buried a time-capsule on the South Oval, with Bizzell Library in the background.

Readers interested in learning more about OU are encouraged to check out the book The American College Town, which I reviewed here. The author, Blake Gumprecht, attended graduate school at OU and he writes a lot about it.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

With its iconic large "N," displayed on flags and buildings throughout campus...

 ...and "Go Big Red" displays (shown on the elevators of a campus-area hotel and on the student-union building), there is no mistaking the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I visited UNL in October on academic business and was able to take a bunch of pictures.

Cornhusker football, played in Memorial Stadium, is a huge deal on campus, with the school having captured five national championships.

UNL also has an extensive visual and performing arts complex, including the Lied Center...

...the Howell Theatre...

...the Ross Media Arts Center...

...and an unusual sculpture-type display known as "Torn Notebook."

Another interesting area is by the Nebraska Union, shown outside and inside...

Just north of the Nebraska Union are the Meier Commons and Plaza...

...and the Kauffman Academic Residential Center.

Whereas all of the above buildings are situated on the main "City" campus, there's a separate East Campus about two miles away, which hosts agricultural and home economics (also known at different universities as human ecology or human sciences) programs. The East Campus includes Chase Hall (hosting Biological Systems Engineering)...

... the Entomology Building (for insect studies; formerly the "Plant Industry" Building)...

... and a nice large lawn.

The East Campus also features a Tractor Test Lab, whose tractor parades never cease to fascinate observers in the area.

Adjacent to the City Campus is downtown Lincoln, which serves as the "college town." No trip here would be complete without a visit to Husker Headquarters, featuring all the UNL sports garb and paraphernalia you could want.

Other downtown attractions include a new movie-theatre complex...

... and numerous eateries, both national-chain and those local to Lincoln.

I like to end these entries with a piece of campus trivia, if I'm aware of any. In the case of UNL, it was the host institution for the 2005 NBC "reality" show "Tommy Lee Goes to College," featuring the Motley Crue drummer. If one is willing to overlook that Lee never actually enrolled at Nebraska and that the scenarios were scripted to a considerable extent, it was a pretty good show!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Syracuse University

Frequent contributor Dana Weiser attended an academic conference this past summer at Syracuse University in central upstate New York and has, once again, kindly shared photographs she took during her travels. With the school's sports teams known as "the Orange," it's not surprising what color most of the buildings are. First, however, we have a non-orange building, the Hall of Languages, close-up on top and from a broader perspective below.

The Hall of Languages is beautifully illuminated at night.

Next, photographed from two directions, is Lyman Hall. In recent years, it has hosted a financial-technology center and the university ambulance service.

A likely source of confusion to newcomers is the fact that there's also a Lyman C. Smith Hall (below in the background), the historic home to applied science and engineering at Syracuse. Today, Smith Hall hosts various components of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Next is a more panoramic shot, encompassing the Crouse College of Fine Arts and its pyramid-topped tower.

Syracuse also, of course, features some buildings with more modern designs, although I prefer the classic ones. To the left below is Bird Library. No, it's not devoted exclusively to ornithology, but rather named after E.S. Bird. Next door is the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center.

Finally, we have the Life Sciences Complex, which opened in 2008.

For anyone wishing to learn more about this campus, there's a book by Jeffrey Gorney entitled Syracuse University: An Architectural Guide.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fordham University (Lincoln Center)

Our fourth entry from John Jost's East Coast Collection, one for which the NYU professor did not have to leave Manhattan, is Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus. (The oldest and largest Fordham campus is known as the Rose Hill campus, in the Bronx, shown in this aerial video.)

Specifically, John's photos are of the Leon Lowenstein Center, one of five buildings occupying a large block at Lincoln Center.

If you enlarge or zoom-in on the photos, in the lower-right corner of the right-hand picture, you'll see etched the names of the units hosted in the building: the Graduate Schools of Business, Education, and Social Service. The School of Law appears in the etched list, but it moved into a new building at Lincoln Center in 2014.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

University of Wisconsin-Madison (2017)

After visiting the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (previous blog entry, below), I took a two-hour bus ride south to the iconic University of Wisconsin-Madison, the flagship campus of the UW System, Shown above is one of the major campus landmarks, Bascom Hill. I photographed UW-Madison previously in 2004 and 2007, but those photo collections are much more limited than what I was able to take on my 2017 trip, both in terms of the number and quality of the pictures. I invite you to scroll down for my most vibrant shots yet of the UW-Madison campus and the town of Madison itself.

Among the buildings on either side of Bascom Hill is the UW Law School, which dates back to 1868. A 1996 renovation added the glassy exteriors, seen on the left-hand side of the following photo.

From high up on Bascom Hill, one gets an amazing view down State St., the main campus-area shopping and dining district, all the way to the State Capitol.

Next are a couple of shots of the State St. pedestrian mall (no cars), featuring Al Fresco dining on the sidewalks of many restaurants (interesting, Al Fresco has come to have a different meaning in Italy, the country from which the term originates).

Heading back toward the campus, we see the Wisconsin School of Business, also with an interesting design.

Of course, no visit to UW-Madison would be complete without a trip to the Wisconsin Memorial Union, a major renovation of which is largely complete.

Attractions inside the Union include Der Rathskeller, the history of which (and the translation of the German phrase at the entrance) are described here.

Another favorite of visitors to the Union is the Daily Scoop ice-cream stand, whose product comes from the Dairy Science program in Babcock Hall. If you haven't been to campus for a few years (as I hadn't), you'll find that the Daily Scoop has moved to a slightly different location on the first floor. Whereas it used to be near the entrance to the Union's east wing, it is now further back, closer to the lakefront terrace. The Scoop has a new offering, known as the "Freshman 15," consisting of 15 scoops of ice cream and assorted toppings, for you and your friends to have a light snack.

The highlight of the Memorial Union for many people, however, is the lakeside terrace in back (during warm weather, at least). Sitting in the traditional yellow, orange, and green chairs, one can watch the sailboats, enjoy food and drink, and listen to a live musical performance.

Another topic I wanted to broach is the type of housing that has been going up in downtown Madison between the university and capitol in recent years. The apartments and condos shown in the following photos are not from L.A., Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, DC, or Miami Beach. They are from downtown Madison.

A fellow grad-student at Michigan in the 1980s suggested to me that, as college tuition continued to rise, students would become increasingly upscale and the surrounding environment would develop in ways designed to cater to this clientele. Talking to people in Madison, it also seems that booming economic development in fields such as healthcare and technology may be driving the demand for high-end housing. Perhaps political-lobbying jobs are doing so, as well.

Madison still does have "old-fashioned" off-campus housing, such as the following homes near the union and lake, which are either shared by groups of students or divided into apartments. The trend seems unmistakable, however.

One last feature I saw on my recent visit, which I don't recall seeing previously, were these free-standing pillars. Presumably, they are meant to serve as symbolic gates, welcoming people to the university. To me, they almost look like exclamation points, to punctuate one's visit.