Thursday, November 29, 2007

Penn State University

Texas Tech graduate student Jackie Wiersma, a frequent contributor to this site, took a side trip to Penn State University in the central part of the state while a bunch of us from our department were at an academic conference in Pittsburgh (my shots of Pitt and Carnegie Mellon are shown in the entry below).

Every campus ought to have a stately administrative building, and Penn State has Old Main.

There's plenty of modernity on campus, too, as exemplified by the new student union.

The following shot of a campus walkway reveals some early turning of the trees to fall colors, a sight that Jackie described as "gorgeous."

Jackie also photographed Penn State's Human Development and Family Studies building (the same discipline we're in at Texas Tech). Bo Cleveland, who was on our faculty at Texas Tech from 2003-2007 and moved to Penn State this fall, has his office in this building.

Lastly, we have Beaver Stadium, home of legendary coach Joe Paterno's Nittany Lion football squad.

According to the above-linked Wikipedia page on Penn State's football home:

Beaver Stadium has a capacity of 107,282, making it the second largest stadium in the United States (smaller than Michigan Stadium by 219 seats)...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University

This past weekend, I attended the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), which this year was held in Pittsburgh.

As with any metropolis, there are several colleges and universities in the Steel City, the two most nationally prominent of which are the University of Pittsburgh ("Pitt") and Carnegie Mellon University. Pitt and CMU are adjacent, just a stroll up or down Forbes Avenue from each other.

Taking advantage of the two schools' proximity to each other, I took the bus from where I was downtown to the Oakland section of Pittsburgh (here and here), which is home to the two universities plus other cultural attractions.

I have friends and colleagues at the two schools, so I was able to visit with them, as well as go sightseeing and take pictures.

Let's start with the most prominent landmark of this -- or virtually any other -- academic neighborhood, the Cathedral of Learning, on the Pitt campus. The Cathedral includes a number of interesting features, including the Nationality Rooms. According to the linked Wikipedia entry:

Standing at 535 feet (>163 m), the 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the western hemisphere and the second tallest educational building in the world.

Close by is the Center for American Music and Stephen Foster Memorial, which given my interest in songwriting, I had to go see!

I also took a picture of a Pitt entrance sign. Given the grayness of the weather and my distance from the sign, the shot didn't come out too clearly. My attempts at cropping and playing around with the brightness may have helped a little, but not completely.

Another neat feature of the Pitt campus is that it was the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates' old baseball stadium, Forbes Field (in use from 1909-1970).

The actual home plate from Forbes Field is preserved under glass in its original location -- which happens now to be indoors, inside Wesley Posvar Hall. Also represented on the campus is a segment of the outfield fence, again in its original location. I was getting ready to take a picture of home plate, when someone standing nearby asked if I wanted her to photograph me standing by the plate. I said, "Sure," but made it clear I wanted her to get the plate in the picture, not so much me. As seen below, I had to crouch down pretty low in my pretend batter stance. After thanking my photographer, I then walked out to the outfield marker.

All in all, among the schools depicted on this website, I would say Pitt was most similar to Boston University, in terms of the urban feel and blending of campus and commercial property.

Carnegie Mellon, a smaller private institution, had a much different feel. There is a lot of green space and a more insular atmosphere, by my perception at least. The following two pictures are of CMU. In the second one, you can see Pitt's Cathedral of Learning in the background.

Right in between the two campuses is Craig Street, a hub of restaurants and other college-town amenities. I had lunch there with my friend from CMU, at a vegetarian-friendly place called Eat Unique.

The Pitt-CMU-Oakland area would probably have to be considered one of the livelier academic complexes you'd find in the United States.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

University of New Hampshire

Completing the "Jackie Wiersma trilogy" (see previous two entries below), today we have the University of New Hampshire, in Durham, NH, where she attended a conference over the summer. Shown below are the campus Bell Tower, along with two other buildings.

Looking at these UNH pictures, I don't think I've ever seen as deep a red-brick color anywhere else. This university publication talks about the campus architecture.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Arizona State University

Entry No. 2 in the "Jackie Wiersma trilogy" (described in the prior entry below) is Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona (part of metro Phoenix).

In the collage below, we have Sun Devil Stadium (football) across the top, the Palm Walk on the right, and the Cowden Family Resource Building, which hosts ASU's Family and Human Development department, lower left.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

University of Northern Iowa

Today, we'll start what might be called the "Jackie Wiersma trilogy." Jackie is a doctoral student in our Human Development and Family Studies department at Texas Tech University. She has been kind enough to provide me with photos from the University of Northern Iowa, where she did her undergraduate work; Arizona State University, where she received a Master's degree; and the University of New Hampshire, where she attended a conference this past summer.

Going in chronological order, we first have the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), which is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. As Jackie has conveyed to me, the two shots below are of "the famous campanile in the center of campus and then the UNI Dome and Rec Center." Jackie's a big sports fan!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

University of Wisconsin-Madison (2007)

I was fortunate to be able to teach a four-week summer course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this year, an activity from which I've just returned. Naturally, I took a bunch of pictures of the lovely campus and surrounding town of Madison, the state capital. The pictures shown below thus augment some I took on a 2004 visit to Madison.

The Memorial Union at UW-Madison appears to serve on summer evenings not just as a hub for the university community, but perhaps for the town as a whole. The following shot is of the front of the Union at dusk.

Food and beer are sold on the back terrace of the Union, adjoining Lake Mendota, and on Wednesday-Saturday nights, free musical entertainment is offered. This next shot shows one such night on the terrace...

The course I taught was in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the same as my affilitation at Texas Tech. At Wisconsin, the HDFS main office, several faculty offices, some lab space, and a conference room have long been located in the house shown below, which is next to the larger and more academically traditional School of Human Ecology building. From what someone told me, home economics students used to live in the house and host tea receptions for the Chancellor (see this unit from the SoHE's history).

Plans call for renovating and expanding the Human Ecology building, so that the HDFS house will have to be torn down. If there's any interest in preserving some of the materials of the house, the SoHE might follow what the University of Minnesota did in re-creating the brick arch facade of its old, demolished football stadium inside its modern Alumni Center building. I mentioned this idea to a few people; who knows if anything will become of it?

Perhaps my most interesting discovery on this trip came when I wandered into the gift shop within the Camp Randall football stadium complex. There's no shortage of shops in town for buying red and white Badger paraphernalia, so I wouldn't necessarily go into every such store that I saw. In this case, however, it was on a quiet Sunday that I walked by Camp Randall and saw a sign saying the gift shop was open, so I went in. At first, it seemed like any other gift shop. As I walked further back in the store, though, I came upon the spectacular design of a large window looking directly onto the football field (below). What's also spectacular is that children from area hospitals get to watch games from the patio between the store and the field.

At the other end of State Street from the campus is, of course, the State Capitol building. The final two photos below depict, respectively, the Capitol dome (similar in appearance to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC) as seen in the distance from State Street and the Capitol grounds during a major art fair held while I was in town (there seemed to be activities and festivals going on virtually every weekend I was there).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

University of Minnesota (2006)

Upon learning that I operated a website devoted to photographically documenting America's college campuses, my Texas Tech faculty colleague Kazuko Behrens sent me a couple of shots she took in 2006 at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Campus entrances and other displays identifying the school are often very attractive, and this one at Minnesota is no exception.

The other picture is of the Institute of Child Development, which relates to Kazuko's research.

The University's presence in the Twin Cities is enormous. Just for the Minneapolis component (near downtown), there are East Bank and West Bank campuses on either side of the Mississippi River (here's a map of the division of the campus). Also, some academic units are in St. Paul.

My one trip to the Twin Cities was in 2001, for the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) conference. This was before I developed my hobby of photographing campuses, so I'm grateful to Kazuko for providing these.

My main impression was that, even though Minneapolis is a big city, the area around the campus (East Bank) had a nice college-town feel to it. One of the surrounding communities has the cute name of Dinkytown.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Southwestern Oklahoma State University

One of our Texas Tech graduate students, Brittney Schrick, recently went back to visit at her undergraduate alma mater, Southwestern Oklahoma State University (or SWOSU for short) in Weatherford, and she took some pictures for this site.

Most of the universities I've featured are in major metropolitan areas, so for a change of pace, here's a school a bit more off the beaten path.

As seen in the photos below, SWOSU is typical in featuring a mix of old and new buildings. Also like many campuses, SWOSU seems to be putting added emphasis on student amenities, witness the Student Wellness Center. I hope you enjoy the photos. I'll check with Brittney to see if she would like to add some captions.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Boston-Area Schools VI: Tufts University (Tina Brooks, Guest Photographer)

I didn't know it until I got back from my trip, but we actually can offer photographs of a sixth Boston-area college, Tufts University, which is located in Medford (north of Cambridge). One of our Texas Tech graduate students, Tina Brooks, attended the same academic conference as I did in Boston. As I later learned, Tina had gone to Tufts during her undergraduate years, and went back to visit on this recent trip. The photos below are hers, along with her descriptions of them.

Shown above is a side entrance to the campus.

This is the library.

This is Goddard Chapel.

This is Carmichael Hall, a dorm and dining hall.

And, lastly, this is Richardson House, an all-female dormitory, where I lived in my freshman year.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Boston-Area Schools V: Harvard

I closed out my tour of Boston-area colleges by taking a ride through Cambridge on a public bus route from MIT (see previous entry) to Harvard. Founded in 1636, Harvard is, according to a university history, the "oldest institution of higher learning in the United States."

From where a visitor would likely arrive on public transportation, one can enter the university through Harvard Yard. Perhaps most prominent among the buildings in Harvard Yard is the famous Widener Library, shown below.

As I walked through the Yard, quaint, picturesque buildings were apparent in all directions, as seen in the shots below.

Heading back out of Harvard Yard, one encounters Harvard Square, the touristy, commercial area by the campus. I took two photos in Harvard Square; they sort of fit together horizontally, like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, so I put them together to display (as you can probably tell, the "CAMBRIDGE SAVINGS" part of the sign at the top is from one picture, and the "BANK" is from the other; you might want to click on the montage to enlarge it).

Among other things, Harvard Square is the home of:

*The Harvard T (subway) station (on the red line, which is easy to remember, as Harvard's sports teams are known as the Crimson).

*Harvard's bookstore, the Coop (pronounced to rhyme with "hoop," not as "co-op"), the sign for which can be seen on the far right-hand side of the oval photo montage (above). The surrounding area, for several blocks, contains what has to be one of the highest concentrations of bookstores in the United States.

*A visitors' center, a newsstand, and miscellaneous other shops.

*An abundant presence of both foot and vehicle traffic.

If you ever visit Boston, an excursion to Harvard is a must!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Boston-Area Schools IV: MIT

On the final full day of my trip to Boston (March 31), I headed out with my camera and took the red line of the T out to Cambridge, home of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, by the Kendall station) and Harvard University.

MIT's most iconic building appears to be the Great Dome (shown below). If you do computer searches on MIT and the Great Dome, you'll likely find a lot on "Hacks" (i.e., pranks) done in conjunction with the Dome, including putting objects on top of it.

Shown next is MIT's Wiesner Building, an I.M. Pei designed edifice that houses, among other units, the school's Media Lab.

Finally, in walking around MIT, one of the neatest things, in my mind, is the panoramic view of Boston you can get from the Cambridge side of the Charles River. In the shot below, you can see Boston's two skyscrapers, the John Hancock Tower (another Pei design) on the left, and the Prudential Tower on the right.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Boston-Area Schools III: Berklee College of Music

The Berklee College of Music, which has absolutely no connection to the University of California, Berkeley, is located immediately west of the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, which is where the academic conference I attended was held.

I would guess that most Bostonians and visitors to town don't give a second thought to Berklee when they pass by its buildings. In my case, however, I took two courses in jazz appreciation at UCLA in the early 1980s as an undergraduate, so I was familiar with Berklee as the alma mater of numerous musicians.

According to this Wikipedia entry on Berklee:

At the time of its founding [1945], almost all music schools focused primarily on classical music. The original mission of Berklee was to provide formal training in jazz, rock, and other contemporary music not available at other music schools.

This emphasis on jazz and rock (including the "fusion" of the two) is illustrated by the following large display on one of the Berklee buildings.

Within jazz, my favorite instrument is the electric guitar. As seen on this list of Berklee alumni, practitioners of this instrument who went to school there include John Abercrombie, Al DiMeola, John Scofied, and Mike Stern. Another jazz guitarist, Pat Metheny, taught at Berklee as a 19-year-old, and later came back to give the commencement address.

Berklee's alumni stretch beyond the aforementioned musical genres, however, to include country. In fact, Dixie Chicks lead vocalist Natalie Maines, from my home base of Lubbock, Texas, received some of her training at Berklee.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Boston-Area Schools II: Boston College

If one were to get on a Green Line B train in the middle of Boston University (see prior entry below) and take it all the way west, one would end up at Boston College, in Chestnut Hill. On the hockey rink -- and probably elsewhere -- BU and BC are major rivals. Further, in contrast to BU's urban/commercial location, BC offers a more traditionally verdant and idyllic campus.

Entering BC from the T (train) stop puts one on the lower level of the multi-tiered campus, which among other things includes this student commons.

A fairly substantial hike up some stairs then took me to a busier part of campus. The next three photos were taken in O'Neill Plaza (on which BC features a live webcam). The first photo features an expansive view of the plaza (or at least attempts to). Seen in the distance is St. Mary's Hall.

Where the shadow is on the right-hand side of the above picture is the O'Neill Library, named after the former U.S. House Speaker. The library appears below.

Depicted last is Gasson Hall, perhaps the most famous building on the BC campus and located across from the library.

Getting to BC and getting around the campus make for a pretty formidable trek, but I would say it's worth it for aficionados of college campuses.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Boston-Area Schools I: Boston University

Boston is the state capital of Massachusetts, as seen below with the State House building in Boston Common. With its high concentration of colleges and universities, Boston also is arguably the U.S. capital of higher education, at least for private institutions.

I was recently in Boston for an academic conference and, during some free time, I rode around on the area's subway/streetcar system, known as the "T," visiting a number of institutions of higher learning. Riding "neath the streets of Boston," I got to Boston University (BU) and the Berklee School of Music within the city, Boston College (BC) in Chestnut Hill, and MIT and Harvard in Cambridge.

Today, I start off a five-part installment on Boston-area higher education with a brief photo essay on Boston University. BU is the quintessential urban university, nestled in near the major interesection of Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street, near the Massachusetts Turnpike. Along with BU, the area features Fenway Park, home of the city's beloved Red Sox, the famous Citgo sign that can sometimes be seen beyond Fenway on baseball telecasts, and Kenmore Square, home to one of the city's busiest T stops. Several bars and clubs make this a raucous night spot, or so I'm told.

Perhaps because the main stretch of campus down Comm Ave. looks a lot more commercial than collegiate, BU provides a ready supply of red school banners, reminding passersby that they are in fact on a college campus.

This next photo vividly shows, I believe, the urban mix in which BU is located. Surrounding BU's School of Management (left) are Comm Ave. and the streetcar tracks in the middle of the street, the aforementioned Citgo sign, and, to the right and a little further in the distance, the thin square Prudential Tower, one of Boston's trademark highrises.

A segment of BU's student housing supply comes from former apartment buildings immediately south of the academic buildings. According to the Wikipedia:

The area is almost entirely brick, walk-up buildings and brownstone townhouses, although over the last 20 years almost every residential building in Kenmore has been purchased by Boston University and turned into dorms, especially in the Audubon Circle area between Beacon Street and Commonwealth Avenue.

Other than perhaps some schools in New York City and elsewhere in the East, I'm hard-pressed to come up with as strong an example of educational urbanicity as BU.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

University of Arizona

I hadn't been to any new college campuses in recent months, hence the lack of postings. However, this past weekend I was at the University of Arizona in Tucson, attending an academic conference, so I have some photos to share. It was my first visit back to the U of A since my sister Lynn's graduation in 1987, and boy do things appear to have changed in 20 years!

The U of A campus is coherently organized, with large grass fields forming a line up through the middle of the campus (as shown above, with the historic Old Main in the middle of campus). In planning my visit, I simply made mental notes of whether a particular building was to the right or left of the grass strip.

The Student Union, a modern, multi-building complex with a spectacular bookstore, is just off the grass strip, near Old Main.

Across the grass from the Student Union is another impressive modern structure, the new Chemistry building.

The area adjacent to the main campus entrance, known as Main Gate Square, has a lot of typical college-town amenities, such as restaurants and stores selling school clothing. The above photo looks down University Ave., as one moves away from the campus entrance at University and Park Ave.

There's another nice bookstore just off campus (shown in foreground to the right, with the campus off to the left), selling all the U of A Wildcat paraphernalia you could want, as well as textbooks. The off-campus store is located in yet another modern facility, the Marshall Building.

Unless you love scorching temperatures, I would suggest you visit the U of A in winter (and even then it was fairly warm, reaching 80 degrees during my visit).