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.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Last week, I spoke at a sports analytics conference at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The town of Stevens Point (or simply "Point" as some locals call it) is part of the region served by Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA), along with other towns such as Wausau and Marshfield.

UWSP opened in 1894 and, according to my taxi driver, is probably best known academically for the study of natural resources. Here is the front of the College of Natural Resources, which along with the nearby buildings, features abundant trees and flowers.

This lovely picnic area...

...and some of the on-campus residence halls reinforce the "green" motif. Note also the solar panels for energy conservation, atop the building on the right.

Shown next is the Lee S. Dreyfus University Center (the student union). Dreyfus served stints both as Chancellor of UW-Stevens Point and as Governor of Wisconsin.

Coming soon to the roster of campus buildings is the new Chemistry-Biology building.

The last of the on-campus facilities I photographed is Berg Gym, home of women's basketball and other sports. UW-Stevens Point plays at the NCAA Division III level. The men's basketball program (which uses a different building) has a couple of claims to fame. One is coach Dick Bennett, who coached not only at Stevens Point, but also achieved great success at UW-Green Bay and UW-Madison. The other is Terry Porter, who played for the Pointers in the early 1980s and became one of the few college players below NCAA D-I to make the NBA. Porter also coached in the NBA and now coaches at Portland University.

Many universities are seeing a growth in the number of off-campus apartments for students, and Stevens Point appears to be no exception.