Exhibits created about various topics in WKU's history.

Cherry Statue Time Capsule
Cherry Statue Time Capsule

In the fall of 1933 a group of faculty members "who were especially interested in launching a campaign leading to the carving and erection of a statue of President Cherry" began meeting.A steering committee of sixteen was soon elected consisting of: Chairman J.R. Whitmer, Secretary Mattie McLean, Finley Grise, E.H. Canon, Roy Seward, W.J. Craig, M.C. Ford, L.T. Smith, W.M. Pearce, Kelly Thompson, Margie Helm, West Richards, Sterrett Cuthbertson, Florence Schneider, W.L. Matthews, Arndt Stickles.The group met from 1933 through 1938 devising a plan, raising money, hiring architect Lorado Taft and distributing excess funds. Class sponsors were chosen for each of the thirty-one WKU classes to solicit donations from their classmates.Lorado Taft died October 30, 1936 before the statue was cast in bronze. Henry Cherry died August 1, 1937 before the statue was completed. The committee worked with Taft's associates at Bronze Incorporated to have the statue finished. In October the committee assembled documents, photographs and artifacts to be placed in a time capsule in the base of the statue. It was decided to purchase a second box to house duplicates of these items and place it in the Kentucky Museum. This was done during a chapel service November 10 when the base was set and sealed. The statue arrived a few days later and was unveiled November 16, 1937 on what would have been Henry Cherry's 73rd birthday.The time capsule items you see here are the duplicates that have been stored in the Kentucky Museum. See the Cherry State Committee collection inventory for more information regarding the creation of the statue.

Henry Hardin Cherry
WKU Founders Day

WKU Board of Regents Resolution May 9, 1930:THAT THIS BODY ORDER that for all time to come the day of November 16th of each year be set aside as a day of celebration in honor of the FOUNDER of the school and the FATHER of TEACHERS COLLEGES in Kentucky; that it be known as Cherry Day and that upon this day the Board of Regents and faculty have charge of the school and with fitting ceremonies take cognizance of the benefit that H.H. Cherry has been to the State and to the institution. The date of November 16th is set aside because of the fact that this is H.H. Cherry's birthday, having been born on November 16th 1864. A committee consisting of M.O. Hughes and M.B. Harlin was appointed by the Chairman to draft suitable resolutions in connection with choosing November 16th of each year as Cherry Day.This year we take a moment to honor Henry Cherry on his 150th birthday as well as other founders of WKU.The Kentucky Education Association, Governor J.C.W. Beckham, H.H. Cherry, several state legislators, the board of regents, faculty, staff, students, and other citizens also played their roles in establishing Western Kentucky State Normal School and setting its course.Along the way, many more individuals have continued to build on that foundation and to add to it. All of our most recognizable traditions and institutions can be traced back to the hard work, passion, vision, and dedication of our Founders.Selected Sources & Additional Material

  • Chelf, Carl.  Henry Cherry Educator - Politician
  • Cherry, Henry
    • Education: The Basis of Democracy
    • The Flag and the School
    • Presidential Papers
    • Speeches Vol. 5, Part 1
    • Speeches Vol. 5, Part 2
    • Speeches Vol. 5, Part 3
  • Cherry Statue Time Capsule online exhibit
  • Harrison, Lowell, Western Kentucky University, 1987 access limited to WKU personnel, students and alumni
  • Historic Architecture at Western Kentucky University
  • Talisman, 1980 part 1, part 2
  • Teachers College Heights, Vol. 16, No. 6
  • TopScholar - WKU Archives
  • Turner, Todd.  Architect Had Designs on Western Buildings, College Heights Herald, Oct. 28, 1986
  • WKU Archives Vertical Files
    • Henry Cherry, 1906-2002
    • Henry Cherry, 1932-1986
  • WKU Board of Regents
  • WKU Timeline
All sources and images are available in WKU Archives.

Training School / College High
Training School / College High

These items and photographs are currently on display in the main hallway of College High Hall. They are arranged in date order and represent education, athletics and other extracurricular activities and memories. See also the College High Hall for additional information.

WKU Orchestra
Playing Our Song: Music at WKU

From the founding of WKU in 1906, President Henry Cherry incorporated music in the curriculum. In 1910 Franz Strahm was hired as the director of Western's School of Music. A position he held until his death June 26, 1941.Franz Joseph Strahm was born May 14, 1867 in Freiburg, Germany. He studied piano under Franz Liszt before coming to the United States in 1891 to play in a Nashville orchestra and teach at the Nashville Conservatory of Music.During World War I Strahm published music under the pseudonym Franz J. Sadezky due to anti-German sentiment. Among his numerous compositions were the Kentucky State Normal March (1911) and the B.G.B.U. March (1919).Under Strahm's direction the college hosted an annual music festival for many years, bringing in orchestras, operatic singers and renowned musicians to perform in Van Meter Hall. He was also the first director of what became the Big Red Marching BandStrahm was the first of many instructors to write and perform music. In more recent years, the faculty both in and out of the School of Music have become recording artists in their own right. These include Michael Kallstrom, John Cipolla, Jack Montgomery and Sylvia Kersenbaum. Several faculty members collaborated to create A Centennial of Spirit CD a commemoration of WKU's centennial celebration in music.Additionally, faculty and student musicians work jointly with the city of Bowling Green to form the Bowling Green-Western Symphony Orchestra.Students as well have found the musical spotlight, the WKU Steelband, Government Cheese and Nappy Roots are some of the most well known. This particular section of the online exhibit stays closer to home highlighting traditional band / orchestra music and faculty talents.~Suellyn Lathrop

Get on the Bus
Get on the Bus

The center piece and showcase for the 2008 Political Engagement Project is our psychedelic, political expression bus. Under the direction of the Art Department, the outside of the bus was painted by Master Plan students, class of 2012, and by middle and high school students from the community organization Kaleidoscope. Inside the bus, the Kentucky Library & Museum staff installed an exhibit on forty years of political activism at the local, state and national level with a special emphasis on the political engagement of WKU faculty and students.PEP sponsored a series of activities that will provide students the information, skills and motivation to participate in the political process, to participate in this election year. The big event is DEBATE WATCH, a voter education program of the Commission on Presidential Debates in which schools across the country participate by watching televised presidential debates together and discussing it afterward. Our Debate Watch will center on a series of activities leading up to the Debate festival on October 7 and post election activities.We invite you to GET ON THE BUS!! Welcome to our online version of the exhibit.Project SponsorsAramark
City of Bowling Green – Public Works
Davis & Son's Autobody Shop
Department of Art
Department of Communication
Department of Political Science
John David Ryan (Broadway UMC)
Political Engagement Project
Potter College of Arts & Letters
Provosts Incentives for Excellence
University Libraries
WKU Class of 2012
WKU Facilities
WKU Special Events
WKU Student Government Association
WKU Transportation
Warren County Schools Transportation Department

WKU Vietnam Moratorium Rally
Get on the Bus: Timeline

1955 - Nov. 23 - Kelly Thompson makes motion to admit black students in summer of 1956 at Council on Public Higher Education meeting. Motion carries unanimously.1956 - June 7 - WKU officially desegregates with the opening of summer session - see also A Century of Integration1960 - Margaret Mundey graduates from WKU; black enrollment at 96.1963 - Vincent Shelby first African-American to play WKU football1965 - Susan Crabtree hired to work as secretary in Extension & Field Services, first black non-custodial hire.1966 - Mable Anderson and James Beck, black faculty members; Steve Ealey wins Ogden Oratorical Contest1967 - Golf team denied use of Bowling Green Country Club for suspicion of black team member; Kappa Q service organization formed by black students.1968 - Jan. 31 - Vietnam protests escalateApril 4 - Martin Luther King Jr. shot and killed Memphis, TennesseeApril 11 - College Heights Herald - Students Pay Honor
Negro students continued their songful marches through the campus in another demonstration last night. A group of students also is wearing black arm bands as a symbol of mourning. A march described as a demonstration in tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attracted some 75 students Tuesday night on campus. The group of students sang several songs and joined in a prayer in the Western Stadium after marching along Normal Boulevard to 17th Street, down 17th to Russellville Road and back to campus. President Kelly Thompson announced Tuesday morning that anyone desiring to watch the television coverage of Mr. King’s funeral would be dismissed from late morning and early afternoon classes.Letter to editor – Honors Dr. KingCivil Rights ActApril 29 - College Heights Herald - Two Negro Speakers to Present Views on Race Relations Crisis.June 6 - Senator Robert Kennedy shot and killed in Los AngelesRichard Nixon v. Hubert Humphrey presidential election - Kentucky votes for NixonBlack sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha organized1969 - 3.9% of WKU students are blackKappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi fraternities formedJune 28 - Stonewall Rebellion - birth of gay rights movementSept. 26 - College Heights Herald - Meets Student Leaders, Downing Promises Open Communication
50 students occupied the Regents Room of the administration building Tuesday afternoon. However, the students, represented such diverse groups as student government, Greek organizations, publications and even the basketball team, were there by the invitation of President Dero Downing to lay the groundwork for better communication between students and the administration.Sept. 30 - College Heights Herald - Doves Take Wing for Oct. 15 Peace Move Gains in Impetus
Democratic national chairman Sen. Fred Harris of Oklahoma and 23 other congressmen have joined the growing movement to tell President Nixon on Oct. 15 that it’s time to bring the boys home from Vietnam. . . . The call, sponsored by the new “Vietnam Moratorium Committee,” is for a one-day boycott of classes at all US colleges and universities on Oct. 15 to call attention to and move toward ending the Vietnam War.Letter to editor – It’s Time to Face Up to Vietnam RealitiesOct. 7 - College Heights Herald - Congress Endorses Vietnam Moratorium
In other developments a letter was sent to faculty members asking them to call off classes on the 15th or to discuss American war policy on that day if they felt that they could not dismiss classes. The letter was signed “Western Vietnam Moratorium Committee.” Photo of students getting signatures on a petition included.Letter to editor – Viet Resolution Was a Bold StepOct. 10 - College Heights Herald - Peace Rally Set Oct. 15, Moratorium Builds at State Schools
The local version of the Vietnam moratorium received a shot in the arm this week when the university administration gave its permission for the use of the old football stadium for a peace rally Oct. 15.Oct. 14 - College Heights Herald - Rally in Old Stadium to Top Vietnam Moratorium Activities
Antiwar activities will be highlighted tomorrow by a day-long rally at the old football stadium where students, many of them boycotting classes, will sing and listen to poetry and speeches about Vietnam. Tomorrow night a prayer service open to everyone will be conducted by Father William Allard of the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel at the Newman Center at 7:30.The Executioner’s Face is Always Well Hidden – article re: the draft, with cartoon.Letter to the editor – Vietnam Vet SpeaksWKU Student Call
Editor’s note: The following is a full text of the student call distributed to Western students by the Western Vietnam Moratorium Committee.Ending the war in Vietnam is the most important task facing the American nation. Over the last few years, millions of Americans have campaigned, protested and demonstrated against the war. Few defend the war, yet it continues. Death and destruction are unabated; bombs and fire continue to devastate South Vietnam. Millions of dollars are spent on war while the urgent domestic problems of this country remain unattended. Moreover, the war has had a corrupting influence on every aspect of American life, and much of the national discontent can be traced to its influence.It is necessary for all those who desire peace to become active and help bring pressure to bear on the present administration. We, the members of the Western Moratorium Committee, call for a periodic moratorium on “business as usual” in order that students, faculty members and concerned citizens can devote time and energy to the important work of taking the issue of peace in Vietnam to the larger community.October 15 has been designated as the national day of moratorium at American universities. Students across the country will dramatize their demand for peace by boycotting classes and other routine functions. Backing this peaceful show of strength are a growing number of senators, congressmen, clergymen, faculty members, administrators, businessmen and concerned American from all segments of our society.At Western broad support is evident. Petitions have already been signed by more than 2,000 concerned students and faculty members. Letters have been mailed to the faculty to request cooperation, in a precedent-shattering move the Associated Students Congress has voted 18 to one to support the Moratorium.This is our first real chance to make our opinion count in a unified national effort. We urge all students to cease “business as usual” on Wednesday Oct. 15 and attend a rally from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The university administration has given us permission to use the old football stadium for this purpose. Student and faculty singers and speakers have been scheduled as part of the day’s program.Oct. 15 - Letter to editor - Viet Stand is Mature, Leaning together, Oct. 15 Purposes Peaceful ConquestUniversities Brace for Student MovesOct. 21 - College Heights Herald - Peace Advocates Ask Nixon to 'Give Peace a Chance'
Hundreds of students, faculty members and other persons gathered in the old stadium Wednesday to deliver a message to President Nixon that was unmistakable: “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” Over and over, they chorused it. Eleven speakers, including a Bowling Green minister, repeated it as the nationwide Vietnam moratorium reached Western’s campus.November anti-war rally, only about 100 people attend.Dec. 1 - Draft Lottery begins1970 - May 4 - Kent State Shooting, see Julia Neal Manuscript Collection 4, Box 1, Folder 5May 8 - College Heights Herald - WKU Students Join Nationwide Protest
The placidity of spring had tranquilized the campus as it does every year at this time, broken only by popping of tabs being popped from beer cans. It’s over now. . . . The calm was broken Wednesday and unrest is continuing today on campus as demonstrators and counter-demonstrators try to align their supporters. Photos of sit-ins.Letter to editor - In Kent State disaster, Will Placing the Blame Lessen the Tragedy? and other documents related to the Kent State ShootingsCartoon of Strike Western t-shirts being printedMany Western Students Voice Opposition to Demonstrations
While a few students paraded around campus yesterday chanting “Peace Now,” most of the campus populous was carrying on “business as usual.”Lowell Harrison in Western Kentucky University:
The Kent State incident in the spring of 1970 touched off protests on many campuses, including Western’s. The Volunteers, an ad hoc committee of student activists, called for a general strike on Friday, May 8, but most classes met, although often with diminished attendance. “Strike Western” T-shirts quickly appeared. Protests demonstrations were countered by an antiprotest rally. Bruce Cook, a science major, said he spoke for the “silent majority” when he called the proposed strike “radical and ridiculous.” President Downing met with a group of students on the steps of the administration building; a graduate student who was active in the peace movement was touched by “his sincerity and love of Western.” Downing also met with the Volunteers and asked for a list of their demands. In a meeting with the Academic Council, he praised the sense of responsibility displayed by student leaders in keeping the demonstrations peaceful. . . . A “sleep-in” Friday night on the lawn next to the administration building attracted about a hundred participants, including some small children and one dog.May 12 - College Heights Herald - Prexy Replies to 'Volunteers' Protests, which began last week on campus, yesterday appeared to be waning. But leaders said they expect the tempo of activity to increase again. Photo of Downing and Braxton Crenshaw. Letter to editors – Will the Dissent Serve a Purpose? Volunteers’ Submit Requests; Downing AnswersMay 15 - College Heights HeraldGroup Plans to Test Restraining Order
Nearly 200 students interested in breaking Tuesday’s restraining order issued to curb activities that ____ disrupt campus, lined the psychedelically-painted walls of the Nickle Bag for a 4:30 meeting yesterday afternoon. Photos of Charles Keown of Carl Braden, Louisville civil rights advocate and Dan Taylor III attorney.Congress Unanimously Endorses Downing’s Reply to Protesters. Restraining Order Slaps Threat on All StudentsPolitical cartoon of protestersLowell Harrison in Western Kentucky University:
The climax of the unrest centered on the issue of speakers coming to the campus. Western had no formal policy until the early autumn of 1970, and the unrest attracted the attention of a number of off-campus civil rights activists, some of whom apparently received invitations from protesting students. One of the visitors was Carl Braden, editor of the Southern Patriot and a Louisville civil rights leader. Western made the old stadium available for protest speakers and meetings, but Braden and a crowd of demonstrators refused to move from the lawn beside the administration building. When it appeared that an element was determined to be disruptive, the university obtained on Tuesday, May 12, 1970, a temporary restraining order from Judge Robert Coleman of the Warren Circuit Court. Braden reportedly left while the sheriff was on his way to the campus, but the order was served on five students, Braxton Crenshaw, Daniel O. Sellers, Bill L. Nelson, Gerald Lee Donaldson and Fred Joseph Santorelli. Copies of the order were then sent to all students, faculty, and staff of the university. A student “Crisis Committee” was established, and a flier appealed to the faculty for funds to support the struggle. Documents related to protests.May 19 - College Heights Herald – Cartoon – soldier outside Academic Council office.Letters in support of Dero Downing's action in relation to student protests.Equal Pay Act (Women’s Movement)WKU – Black Student Union formed1970 Talisman
Perhaps this year more than any other Westerners became involved. Important questions calling for soul-searching decisions were asked for the first time. And if the answers were not completely answered, at least they were raised . . . and we began to think. Relationships were formed, some to last for a while, some to last forever . . . but all never to be forgotten.March 14 - Delta Sigma Theta sorority establishedJuly 1 - 26th Amendment - 18 years old as voting ageWKU - speakers Dick Gregory, Rosie Grier and Julian BondWKU continues to integrate athletics - Harry Jones baseball and Veronica Cross cheerleader.1971 TalismanHoward Bailey, Black Student leader profile
Carolyn Brown first Miss Black Western
Afro-American Studies program established
Alpha Phi Alpha & Phi Beta Sigma organized
Linda Jones - a junior first woman elected president of Associated Student Government
Reginald Glass - a sophomore first black elected Vice President of ASG1972 - Feb. 21-28 - Richard Nixon makes trip to ChinaNixon vs. George McGovern presidential election - Kentucky votes for NixonCongress passed Equal Rights Amendment'WKU - mock elections, gubernatorial candidates visit campus, speaker - Dr. Benjamin MaysSept. 10 - Lowell Harrison in Western Kentucky University
On the morning of September 10, 1972, some 250 blacks staged a peaceful sit-in in the lobby of the administration building to demand that a second black be added to the cheerleading squad. The regents had added three cheerleaders, one of them black, to the six-woman squad the previous week.Nov. 14 - Coretta Scott King lectured at Western on the topic "Men's Freedoms and Responsibilities"Tops Beat Cats - Integration1973 - Jan. 22 - Roe v. Wade - editorial cartoon in the College Heights Herald, "Supreme Court Overrules God?"Jan. 23 - College Heights Herald - Students Receive Nixon's Peace Message with Mixed Emotions
Little emotion -- only a shout or two and scattered honking of car horns -- was evidenced at Western following President Richard Nixon's Tuesday night announcement of plans to sign a Vietnam cease-fire tomorrow.Some were glad:"I thought his speech was very touching, something always to be remembered." -- Rebecca Brown, a junior from Providence."It's good that it's come to an end. The biggest part of it (the war) is over, though I guess there will have to be a gradual phase-down time." -- Mike Swift, a graduate student from Louisville. . . .Some were skeptical:"I don't know whether to believe it or not. If it is true, then it's the best thing in about 15 years." -- Casey Kullman, a freshman from Meade County."I don't believe it's for real. I'll just believe it when I see it. Since I was there, I feel like I understand it a lot better, and I think a lot of troops were killed for nothing." -- Sammy Doles, a freshman from Eddyville. . . .And some were bitter:"The end of the war should have come considerably earlier. Political influence kept American soldiers in Vietnam longer to help satisfy the needs fo the war-making industry." -- Joe Barnes, a senior from Paducah. . . ."I'm happy that the war is over, but I feel like it could have been done a lot sooner. Tuesday night, when Nixon spoke to the nation, he sounded like he was defending himself in his actions, and that expected our country to praise him. But he hasn't told us anything that's been going on over there since he's been in office, and I just don't trust him." -- Terry Slack, a senior from Franklin.Jan. 25 - Betty Friedan lectures at WKU - College Heights Herald excerpts:
Ms. Friedan said the human revolution of which women's lib is a part is indivisible. With blacks, students and oppressed colonial peoples rising up to declare "freedom now," Ms. Friedan explained, it is only natural for women to say "me too."According to Ms. Friedan, the women's liberation movement began officially in 1966 with the establishment of the National Organization of Women (NOW). Ms. Friedan served as the group's first president."The women's movement happened at this time because it had to," she contended. The evolution of society made it impossible for women to continue to exist in the imprisoning chains of the "feminine mystique" -- the defining of women in sexual rather than human terms -- women as mothers and wives rather than people.Watergate investigation beginsOct. 24 - Alice Gatewood becomes first WKU Black Homecoming Queen1974 - March - Gregory McKinney first WKU black student regentAug. 9 - Nixon first president to resign - Gerald R. Ford becomes PresidentBarry Goldwater visits WKU1975 - Apr. 30 - Saigon falls, last Americans leave VietnamVoting Rights Act extended, part of Civil Rights Act1976 - Jimmy Carter vs. Gerald Ford presidential election - Carter carries KentuckyWKU 7.3% of students were black, nearly equal to percent of blacks in Kentucky1978 - March 9 - NAACP opens WKU branch1979 - Sep. 17 - College Heights Herald - Filling the Gap: Professors Writing Black History
While Daniel Boone was blazing a trail through the Cumberland Gap, his black contemporaries were surely doing something. But the average American history book doesn't say what.1979That's why Dr. Marion Lucas, a Western history professor and Dr. Henry Chesney, a Kentucky State history professor, are rebuilding Kentucky's black history. . . .Iran Hostage Crisis - Iranian students at WKU protest Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's visit to United StatesOct. 15 - John Y. Brown v. Louie B. Nunn for Kentucky governor - College Heights Herald - Brown Has Student Support, both men visit WKU1980 - Jimmy Carter v Ronald Reagan presidential election – Kentucky voted for ReaganUS boycotts Moscow summer Olympics1981 - AIDS becomes epidemicAug. 25 - Julius Price, first black WKU regentSep. 24 - College Heights Herald - Birth Control May Be an Abortion Solution, editorial1982 - Vietnam Memorial dedicated in D.C.Jan. 26 - College Heights Herald - Civil Rights Plan Adopted
The Board of Regents executive committee gave its approval -- with reservations -- to Kentucky's higher education desegregation plan in a special meeting Thursday. . . . [reservations regarding funding issues in the plan]"But the purpose of the plan addresses itself to eliminating the vestiges of a dual system of higher education . . ."We're obligated (to sign the plan) insofar as that it's designed to achieve the elimination of the vestiges of segregation," [University Attorney Bill] Bivin said. . . .Among the provisions of the plan affecting Western -- most of it is concerned with upgrading Kentucky State -- one calls for increased employment of black faculty and staff. . . .Western's other main role in the plan will be in retaining the percentage of black students enrolled at Western. Western's black enrollment -- at 8.1 percent -- is in keeping with the plan and will not have to be increased."But we have a clear obligation to retain that percentage," [WKU President Donald] Zacharias said.Feb. 2 - College Heights Herald - Kentucky Intercollegiate Student Legislature organized by Melody Murphy1983 - August Hughlyne Wilson appointed WKU Regent1984 - Ronald Reagan v. Walter Mondale presidential election1985 - Bowling Green city council elections look for student support - Voters of Tomorrow's Educated Society (VOTES) start voter registration campaign1986 - Jan. 20 - First Martin Luther King Jr. Day - College Heights Herald
Martin Luther King Jr. Forum - "Racial Injustice in America Today," will be the topic discussed at Western's first forum honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The program sponsored by Western and the University Center Board will feature issues such as poverty, world hunger, racial injustices and violence and war.Nov. 14 - College Heights Herald - Get Involved With Political Activism, editorial
Activisim - it's a word being revived on Western's campus. And it's about time. It's alos time more students became informed and took part in politics.Three groups, United Campuses to Prevent Nuclear War, College Republicans and the newly revived Young Democrats, are working to make students politically aware.Through the efforts of these groups, Western has had several important political events in the past year. From the visit by Vice President George Bush to films and symposiums on nuclear war, the campus has been exposed to a variety of beliefs.But there should be more.A political fervor spread across campus last year when national figures such as President Reagan, Bush, Jerry Falwell and Joan Mondale visited the are.Some have attributed that enthusiasm to a trendy interest in the presidential election. But special attention to issues and the political structure shouldn't be a fad.Bowling Green and Western students were given the opportunity to get involved in something worthwhile. That opportunity is still being offered through these organizations and others.It's time students stop making other people do all the work.Minority Student Support Services department created1987 - Iran Contra affair hearingsSep. 30 - Minority Support memorandum issued by WKU President Kern Alexander1988 - George Bush v. Michael Dukakis presidential electionSep. 20 - Michael Dukakis, Massachusetts governor and Democratic candidate for president, outlined for the first time his national health insurance plan in Van Meter Auditorium.Oct. 21 - President Ronald Reagan spoke to 12,000 persons in Diddle Arena to support the Bush for President campaign.Tony Shobe named first black Spirit Master1989 - Feb. 23 - WKU President Thomas Meredith issues memorandum creating the Minority Vita BankAug. 22 - Jessica Mack is first black pledge to all white WKU sororityAug. 31 - UCAM becomes USA - College Heights Herald
One was concerned about "women's issues," another said he would "like to have a family someday," and others were simply curious as to what United Student Activists was all about.More than 50 students and two faculty members formed a broad circle for the first meeting of United Student Activists, formerly known as United Campuses to Prevent Nuclear War, in the university center Monday night."We're unlimiting ourselves and our horizons," coordinator Ron Barnes said.As UCAM's focus on nuclear concerns limited the club, United Student Activists extend into other environmental issues such as the ozone and recycling, said Barnes, a sophomore from Washington, DC.The new group is not completely off the ground yet. To become an official campus organization, they must submit a proposal for a name change to Associated Student Government next week.Emile Gourieux spoke on the negative effects of the meat and dairy industries on the environment. In October, the Paducah freshman plans to attend the Governor's Conference on the Environment in Paducah."If you're sitting back there thinking about steak or hamburger, don't dissociate" from the group said Dr. Michael Seidler, an associate professor of philosophy and religion and faculty adviser to the group.He added that not everyone had to agree with others' opinions, but stressed that the meeting was a good forum for being heard.To organize the group's message, students signed up for committees, including a newsletter, information booths and Give Peace a Dance.As Barnes closed the first meeting, he asked anyone who was not planning to attend again to recycle."Our energy problem is our energy addiction," Barnes said. He suggested using low-watt light bulbs, using paper bags over plastic and riding a bike or walking rather than driving.He also encouraged students to join the National Wildlife Federation and/or Greenpeace, a "hands-on" environmental group.There's no limit to making the world a better place, Seidler said.At the group's next meeting on Sept. 11, a letter-writing workshop on air pollution will be held. Letters will be sent to President George Bush and members of Kentucky's House of Representatives.U.S. forces invade Panama, overthrow Manuel Noriega1990 - Operation Desert Shield U.S. forces reach Persian Gulf to defend area against Iraq - Iraq invades Kuwait1991 - Collapse of Soviet UnionJan. 17 - Operation Desert Shield becomes Desert StormCollege Heights Herald - political cartoon "Peace, Victory"Editorial - Now is the Time for Everyone to Take a Stand
The march and rally sponsored Tuesday by United Student Activists was a refreshing display of democracy in action.About 300 people took a stand on war in the Persian Gulf. Some carried signs bearing anti-war slogans. Others made impassioned speeches. Still others let their body language do the talking, clasping hands in prayer or giving the peace sign.On a campus that has been criticized for its student apathy, the turnout was impressive, but it was a display that is seen far too infrequently."By and large, we are far too passive," said Michael Seidler, associate professor of philosophy and the activists' adviser.When college students in other countries are protesting against oppressive governments, most American students are at the library with their heads stuck in a Victorian literature book, he said.But it's not just students, Seidler stressed. Everyone in "this part of the country is pretty dead."If a democracy is to function as it should, everyone must actively take a stand on issues they believe in. Citizens can encourage open discussion, parcticipate in demonstrationsor practice non-coopperation.People need to do this all the time, not just during "heavy times" or at the point "when it's almost futile," Seidler said.There are plenty of issues on campus that deserve attention -- from the need for better equipped classrooms and more minority faculty to the need to stop overspending in athletics and Food Services."Students have a big role to play" on the regional and world scene today, Seidler said.Don't let the first act pass you by.1992 - Carol Moseley-Braun first African-American woman elected to SenateGeorge Bush v. Bill Clinton presidential election1993 - First attack on NYC World Trade Center1994 - Republicans sweep Congress1995 - Oklahoma City BombingOct. 16 - "Million Man March" African-American march in D.C.Paul Patton v. Larry Forgy for governorNov. 2 - Western Young Democrats hold rally for Paul Patton, while Dan Quayle was keynote speaker at a Republican rallyNov. 14 - College Heights Herald - Shantytown: Homelessness on Campus, Students spend night at DUC South Lawn to show awareness of the cause by Brian Mains.
Tree limbs bent and leaves blew as homes crumpled under large gusts of wind Thursday night.People held their meager gatherings as they watched the cold carry off about a hundred embers from a fire.Homes were constructed of cardboard boxes and a fire was made from pieces of scrap wood in a barrel.Welcome to Shantytown.The program, which Residence Life has sponsored for the past four years, was created to help students understand the problems of the homeless, Thoroughbred Area Coordinator Rex Kendel said."Our purpose here is to raise the awareness that it is a growing problem in the state," Kendel said. "A lot of people thinkthat homelessness is just in large cities . . . but there is a growing number in the rural areas as well."About 100 students went down to Downing University Center South Lawn to show their awareness of the cause.Participants signed in at 7 p.m., put together their homes and then lined up for warm cups of chicken noodle soup and hot chocolate, served by Residence Life staff. . . .As the wind picked up and a chill set in the air, many students found themselves packing up to head back to the dorms. . . . The number of students dwindled down to about 30 by midnight.Some students who did stay found fault with the construction of their cardboard homes. Strong winds blew many over.Owentown freshman Guy David was one of the lucky students whose box held up."I'm out here to see what it's like to be homeless and have more respect for them," David said.Some boxes left standing housed up to nine people, while others, like McNeeley, slept in small boxes in which they barely fit. . . ."This is the best turnout we've had," Kendel said. "The weather dictates how many come out here and stay . . . but the homeless can't dictate the weather."1996 - Bill Clinton v. Robert Dole presidential election1997 - Clinton bars federal funding for human cloning research1999 - Clinton impeachmentColumbine shooting2000 - George W. Bush v. Al Gore presidential electionHoward Bailey elected staff regentBlack enrollment is 7.2%2001 - April - Diversity Rocks event created by student Michael Brookman to increase awareness about diversity on campus. Becomes an annual event.9/11 attacksOperation “Enduring Freedom”- AfghanistanGary Ransdell established Diversity Award2002 - The Outlet created - Western's resource center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) individualsDept. of Homeland Security CreatedBlack Student Alliance establishedUS withdrawal from Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty2003 - Dec. 1 - World AIDS DayOperation "Iraqi Freedom"Massachusetts Supreme Court allows gay marriage2004 - Fall - dorms adopt themes: Health & Fitness, Mosaic, Leadership Development, Women of Western and Academic EnhancementGeorge W. Bush v. John Kerry presidential election2005 - Live 8 concerts - bring awareness to global povertyOct. 24 - Rosa Parks died2006 - April 26 - Day of Silence - WKU Gay Pride WeekSept. 28 - College Heights Herald - New Course on HIV Prevention Offered
Cases of HIV infection in Bowling Green rose from 916 in 2000 to 1,000 in 2001, according to the Red Cross.Students in Western's public health department are trying to combat those growing numbers through education.About 20 students are participating in an HIV education and training course to become certified in providing continuing education about HIV and AIDS prevention to the public.Steve Nagy, associate professor of public health, worked with Deneen Cooper, director of the Bowling Green Red Cross, to start the new class. Western is the only university in this area of the state to provide such classes."We are really thrilled that we have been able to work with the public health section at Western to help educate the people about HIV and AIDS awareness," Cooper said.2007 - WKU students become more active, forming new groups:Americans for Informed Democracy
Students Against Monotony
Invisible Children
Social JusticeVirginia Tech shootingsAl Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize2008 - March 27 - SGA election debates - formation of Red Towel PartyApril 29 - WKU wins ONE Campus Challenge - College Heights Herald, letter to the editor
Mayor proud of ONE successI would like to officially commend Western Kentucky University Students on being recognized as the winner of the ONE Campus Challenge. This national honor recognizes the extensive April 8, 2008 campaign volunteers put on to raise awareness about and seek to eradicate global poverty and AIDS.It is interesting to note that WKU edged out such erstwhile competitors as Princeton University and University of Nevada Las Vegas to receive the award.The City of Bowling Green was proud to enact a Resolution in support of this campaign and it was my pleasure to join with WKU President Gary Ransdell to address the crowd that braved the cold that evening to make their voices heard.Our community is blessed with an abundance of many things and it is important for us to step out of our comfort zone to make a difference in our community and in the world.Thank you, Western Kentucky University, for bringing the eyes of the nation to focus on our community in such a positive way. We are extremely proud of your work.Elaine N. Walker
Bowling Green mayorJohn McCain v. Barack Obama presidential electionNov. 4 - Barack Obama elected first black president.Timeline created by Kaylee Carnahan and Suellyn Lathrop

Western 100 Exhibit
Western 100 Exhibit

WKU celebrated it's centennial in 2006 and celebrated in many ways. This website documents the Western 100 exhibit and commemorative mural. In addition Western Kentucky University: The First 100 Years 1906-2006 was published.The Western 100 exhibit opened January 22, 2006 and closed August 12, 2011.From first setting foot upon a university campus, the student experience becomes wide and varied. The world opens up to them and finding classes, meeting professors, and making friends are only a part of campus life. This exhibit celebrated the 100-year anniversary of Western Kentucky University by presenting the many activities students encounter as they live their college life.This exciting exhibit brought 100 years of student experiences to life at WKU through hundreds of historic photographs.Dr. Cherry, Western's first president, greeted visitors at the colonnade as a student is dropped off at school in the 1930s.The Rules of Student Behavior game was based on actual codes from the 1950s, and two dorm rooms from 1910 and the 1960s illustrated changes in student life.Coach Diddle offered words of encouragement near a display of Hilltopper uniforms and trophies and a pictorial time line captured salient moments in the university's first 100 years."Celebrate The Spirit Mural" at the Helm Library was commissioned by the WKU Centennial Committee, Dean David Lee, Chairman.The mural was made possible by support from the Dean of Libraries, Michael Binder. Special thanks goes to Alice Gatewood Waddell and Jayne Pelaski for their effort in the mural’s design and completion. Middle and High School students, local artists, Western Kentucky University students and staff all volunteered in painting the mural. The project was under the direction of Lynne Ferguson, Kentucky Library and Museum Artist In Residence.