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The First Seventy Years: A History of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse,
1909-1979 / George R. Gilkey

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The First Seventy Years:

A History of the University
of Wisconsin-La Crosse,

The First Seventy Years:

A History of the University
of Wisconsin-La Crosse,

George R. Gilkey

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Foundation, Inc.
La Crosse, Wisconsin

International Standard Book Number 0-9605832-1-1

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 81-50419

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Foundation, Inc.
1725 State Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601

© 1981 by The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Foundation, Inc.

Printed in the United States of America

In Memoriam

Aida Allness

Betty Baird

Billie J. Batchelor

Orville Brault

James L. Beers

Francis Carter

Dorothy Heider

Emery Leamer

William Parks

Walter J. Wittich


Introduction     1

I. Establishment of the Normal School     7

II. The Early Administrations, 1909-1938     23

III. The Later Administrations, 1939-1979     47

IV. The Faculty in Session     75

V. The Campus School     109

VI. The War Generations     125

VII. Students and the University:
Student Affairs and Student Government     149

VIII. Student Life and Letters     175

IX. The University and the Larger Community     205

X. The Last Decade     235

Epilogue     257

Appendix A   Faculty Emeriti     I

Appendix B   Current Faculty with Quarter Century
or more of Service     II

Appendix C   Members of the Faculty by Department, 1909-1978     III

Appendix D   State Officers of TAUWF from La Crosse     XIV

Appendix E   Faculty Senate Chairpersons, 1966-1980     XIV

Appendix F   Administrative Officers     XV

Appendix G   Administrative Organization Chart     XVIII

Appendix H   UW-La Crosse Shares of Enrollment     XIX

Bibliography     XXI



Among several persons whom I thank for helping bring this volume to
completion, Walker D. Wyman, Distinguished Centennial Professor of History,
University of Wisconsin-River Falls, deserves first mention. Dr. Wyman
encouraged me to undertake the writing of this volume and, from time to time,
made useful comments and suggestions. Of particular aid were the special
collections librarian, Edwin Hill, and his staff, Marcella Averkamp, Anni
Hauth, Virginia Kreyer, and Joseph Robertson. They not only provided an area
for me to work, but they also facilitated access to needed materials and
photographs. Margaret Annett, Evelyn Haef, and Donna Rumppe compiled the
faculty listing and assisted otherwise.
Three former graduate students graciously permitted me to use the results of
their research. They are Carol Bassuener on student affairs, Clifford Heise on
student government, and Mary E. Seielstad on the Campus School. As
undergraduates, Robert P. Neuman and Diane McDonald did papers for me on
the Normal in World War I and the early programs in the lectures and concerts
series, respectively. Dean Glenn M. Smith, emeritus Professor Milford Cowley,
and Vice Chancellor Carl Wimberly supplied materials from their files.
Historian Howard R. Fredricks' tapes of President Mitchell and President
Gates were invaluable.
For indispensable assistance in the final preparation of the manuscript for
publication, my thanks go to Don Suter and Paul Currier, Audio-Visual
Services' photographers, Eileen Polizzotto, coordinator of University Services,
and Margaret Larson. Without Ms. Larson's expert editing and arranging the
book would not have been printed. My wife, Helen, read the manuscript and
made invaluable suggestions. Vice Chancellor Wimberly and Assistant
Chancellor David R. Witmer have offered continuous support and
I am especially grateful to Mrs. Jan Larkin who typed the manuscript, some
parts of it several times. She did it all with her customary good humor,
accuracy, and dispatch, frequently noting errors and repetitions which she
called to my attention. There are others who helped with a word or a file folder.
My thanks to all of them.


The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is one of thirteen four-year
institutions which, together with University of Wisconsin Extension and the
University of Wisconsin Center System, form the University of Wisconsin
System. The Wisconsin legislature created this system in 1971 by merging the
Wisconsin State University System with the units making up the former
University of Wisconsin. Prior to merger each of the systems had its own board
of regents. With merger, those two became one board.
Originally the eighth of nine state normal schools established in Wisconsin

William  E. Wolfe (1913-17) was a
member of the board of regents that
approved the physical education emphasis 
for the La Crosse campus.

Charles Van Auken (1917-23) saw
enrollments decline and funding dwindle 
during his term as regent.



during the half-century between 1866 and 1916, the La Crosse Normal School
opened its doors in the fall of 1909. With the other normals it became a state
teachers college in 1927, a state college in 1951, and a state university in 1964.
La Crosse has had eight "local" regents since 1905 - Thomas Morris,
William E. Wolfe, Charles S. Van Auken, Otto Schlabach, A. W. Zeratsky,
Thomas A. Skemp, Roy Davidson, and Eugene Murphy. With merger the
concept of the local regent underwent modification. The regents' roles
presently are to govern and to watch over the operations of the whole system
regardless of their provenance. La Crosse realtor William Gerrard has served
under this concept.
The first regent, Thomas Morris (1905-1913), engineered the legislation
which authorized establishment of the institution in the city of La Crosse,
selected its first president, and aided in gathering its first faculty. William E.
Wolfe (1913-1917) sat on the board which approved the physical education
emphasis for which the university is noted and authorized the building of
Wittich Hall, a special facility for teacher training in physical education.
Charles Van Auken (1917-1923) saw the normal through World War I and the
post-war years when enrollments dwindled and funding declined. Twice
regent, A. W. Zeratsky witnessed good times and bad. During his terms
(1923-1928 and 1933-1940) the normal became a teachers' college, Ernest
Ashton Smith, George Snodgrass, and Rexford Mitchell became presidents in
succession, the Campus School for practice teaching opened, and the
institution survived the depression years. Between Zeratsky's terms, attorney
Otto Schlabach (1928-1933) argued against reduction of faculty salaries during
those difficult years and effectively supported plans to build a badly-needed
heating plant which began operation in 1938.

Otto Schlabach (1928-33) argued against 
faculty salary reductions during
his depression-years term.

During the terms of A.W. Zeratsky
(1923-28 and 1933-40), the normal
became a teachers college and the
campus school for practice teaching



In the terms of Thomas A. Skemp (1940-1943) and Roy Davidson (1943-1950),
the campus population declined drastically during the war years but rose
quickly with the advent of peace. Veterans swelled the ranks, as elsewhere in
the country, and taxed the available educational facilities and living quarters to
the limit. Through the twenty-one years Eugene W. Murphy (1950-1971) sat on
the board of regents in behalf of La Crosse, enrollment grew steadily, the
campus expanded, and the carefully-planned construction program which
produced a cluster of educational facilities and residence halls came to fruition.
Five governors, both Democratic and Republican, appointed Murphy to the
state universities' board and to the merged system board. The university
library bears his name, appropriate honor to his many years of productive effort
in behalf of the institution. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has been
well-served by its regents over the years.
The history of the La Crosse campus is part of the unfolding story of teacher
training as it took place in normal schools in the United States. In the first
chapter of the History of the Wisconsin State Universities, the editor, Dr.
Walker D. Wyman, explored the factors which led to the emergence of a normal
school system in Wisconsin. These teacher training institutions were
essentially grass-roots public entities which rose out of the need to improve
education at all grade levels. Before they emerged, however, the Wisconsin
legislature sought to support the training of a seriously-needed supply of
elementary and secondary teachers by subsidizing private liberal arts colleges
such as Lawrence and Beloit. The legislature obtained funds for this support
from the sale of swamp lands donated to the state by the federal government.
The act of 1857 which authorized use of the funds also created a Board of
Regents of Normal Schools which was empowered to receive and disburse the
monies thus obtained.

During his war-time term, Thomas A.
Skemp (1940-43) saw the campus population 
decline drastically.

Roy Davidson (1943-50) served as regent 
at a time when returning veterans
taxed educational facilities and living
quarters to the limit.



As the funds decreased so did the interest the private institutions had in
teacher training. In 1864 seven schools produced a total of only thirty-six
teachers. Four years later the University of Wisconsin (Madison) phased out its
normal department. Little of the curricula offered by these colleges and the
university at Madison dealt with the problems of teaching. Instead courses of
study were almost wholly academic in character. By the end of the American
Civil War, Wisconsin had not yet found the appropriate medium for training
But in the post-war era, local and state leaders, inspired in part by the
examples of educational systems in the eastern United States and prodded by
the urgent need for skilled teachers, began to take the necessary steps to build
normal schools. Contributors to Dr. Wyman's History of the Wisconsin State
Universities noted that those leaders frequently were emigrants from the east,
e.g., Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania.
Politics and economics were important factors in the site selection for each
normal school, for such a placement in a community was indeed a feather in the
public servant's fedora. The school's presence was without doubt a fiscal boon,
for it brought faculty, students, and maintenance staffs all with state money to
spend. The state bought land and built buildings, providing financial gain for
fortunate individuals who held plots in the city and for the skilled and unskilled
employed in construction.
Thus, the half-century process which created the normal school system
began in 1866. Under general authorization of the legislature and sometimes in
response to direct legislative decisions, the Board of Regents of Normal Schools
brought into being schools at Platteville (1866), Whitewater (1868), Oshkosh
(1871), River Falls (1874), Milwaukee (1885), Stevens Point (1894), Superior

William Gerrard (1971- ) was appointed 
to the merged University of Wisconsin 
System Board of Regents.

The university library was named for
Regent Eugene W. Murphy (1950-71).
who watched a construction program
be developed and implemented to meet
the steadily growing enrollment.



(1896), La Crosse (1909), and Eau Claire (1916). After seventy years in the
normal system, the institution at Milwaukee joined the University of Wisconsin
(Madison) in 1955. Four years later, Stout Institute, which had been
established as a private manual training school in 1893, joined the then
Wisconsin State College System as a four-year state-supported college.

The institutions which made up the normal school system often faced
hostility from the private colleges and from the university at Madison when
they sought to expand their curricular offerings into degree programs. This
opposition was particularly virulent during the presidency of Charles R. Van
Hise (1903-1918) at Madison. Three times -- in 1907, 1909, and 1913 -- Van Hise
led the assault against legislation to make the normal schools degree-granting
institutions. He was assisted at various times by the presidents of the colleges
at Milton, Ripon, Lawrence, and Beloit. Each time he succeeded in having the
enabling legislation defeated.*
But time and Wisconsin's educational needs overcame that opposition as the
normals inevitably grew  from  their original status to the position of
universities. The attitude of President Van Hise and others toward such growth
belied their outspoken support for the Wisconsin Idea which described the
boundaries of the university as being the boundaries of the state. Professors
Curti and Carstensen cogently observed in 1949:

For all the published statements about carrying education
to the people, the attitude of University officials toward
the normal schools ignored the fact, clear to anyone who
looked, that educational opportunity was often a matter of
geography. Whether or not young people went to college
and university often depended on their nearness to an
institution. It was at least an open question whether the
"highest educational interests" of the state were served
by opposing the development of the teachers colleges into
the regional colleges which appear to be evolving at the
present or whether these interests might have been better
served if, instead of fighting the advance of the normal
schools, University officials had encouraged their growth,
generously and wisely, and helped them toward educational 
respectability and usefulness. **
Commenting on the " 'breath-taking development' " which the nine normal
schools underwent, Professor Walker Wyman appropriately observed in
writing about the state university system in 1968:

Strange it is...that the system has emerged, like Topsy,
without much planning, with little freedom to experiment
or the funds to move in new directions, and without gifted

*Merle Curti and Vernon Carstensen, The University of Wisconsin, A History, 1848-1925
(Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1949), II, 260-266.
** Ibid., p. 266



direction from its governing board, its Madison secretariat, 
or its administrators. Though strong teachers of
long tenure have provided the lodestones of loyalty to the
institutions, faculties have never shaped many policies
beyond a department or a campus. Despite the conformity
imposed by a single board that establishes policy for the
nine institutions, each university has a flavor of its own
determined by the region it serves, its leadership, and the
traditions that have developed in the past century.*

*Walker D. Wyman, ed., History of the Wisconsin State Universities (River Falls, Wisconsin: River
Falls State University Press, 1968), p. 2. See also Chapter I, passim.


The La Crosse campus is nested between the bluffs and the mighty Mississippi River.

Main Hall

Wittich Hall

Murphy Library

Cowley Hall

Mitchell Hall

Fine Arts Building

Campus buildings are connected by a system of tree-lined walkways.


Establishment of the Normal School

In 1909, the year the state normal school opened in La Crosse, the city could
look back on a half-century of steady growth in population and wealth. Nestled
beneath the imposing bluffs of the Mississippi River at the confluences of the
Black and La Crosse rivers with the Mississippi, La Crosse was a gateway for
westward expansion. Founded in 1842 as a center for trading with Indians and
chartered as a city in 1856, it enjoyed a burgeoning economy and rapid
population growth after the American Civil War. The apparently inexhaustible
pineries of the Black River country gave birth to numerous sawmills and
lumbering fortunes. Steamboats, many of them built in La Crosse, plied the
Mississippi north to St. Paul and south to St. Louis; an early peak year of
steamboating was 1858 when 1,312 side- and stern-wheelers touched on the
local levees carrying both freight and passengers. Fed by immigration from
Europe and the eastern United States, the population rose from 3,000 in 1856 to
over 30,000 in 1909, making La Crosse the fifth largest city in Wisconsin. 1 
Thus the westward movement of the population, the farming and commerce
that movement engendered, and the Black River pineries created a thriving and
bustling community. Lumbermen dominated the city and county governments
and the Board of Trade during the 1880's and 1890's. They built thirty-three
sawmills over a period of a half-century; but as the frontier moved further
westward and then disappeared, the mills vanished with it. By 1906 the last of
these was torn down. Some lumbermen left to move further west and south;
others remained to invest in varied enterprises. Momentary gloom settled over
La Crosse with the passing of an age characterized by log-jams on the Black and
uproarious Saturday nights at the local taverns enjoyed by thirsty woodsmen.

La Crosse -- a Mississippi River city of sawmills and steamboats.


Establishment of the Normal School

In that sad year of 1906 a local paper pleaded on the front page for the citizenry
to buy local products and to support local industry:
If La Crosse has a great future, it is as a manufacturing
center. The sawmills and the Wisconsin pine forests made
La Crosse. But the pine forests are gone, and the sawmills
are gone, and most of the lumbermen are gone. Those who
remain have wealth accumulated in a lifetime of industry
and they would prefer to invest it in La Crosse....La
Crosse cannot be anything except a manufacturing center,
and it cannot become a manufacturing center unless its
people invite investment in factories by supporting their
factories. 2
In time, other entrepreneurs succeeded the lumbermen, some with new
enterprises, others with old established businesses. Among new commercial
and industrial groups which emerged to dominate the life of the community
were the La Crosse Rubber Mills (1897), the La Crosse Flour Company
(incorporated in 1893), the Listman Flour Mills, rebuilt in 1889, and W. W.
Cargill Company whose owner and president was involved in various endeavors
including railroads, gas and electricity, grain elevators, and the telephone
company. By the first decade of the twentieth century, La Crosse had six banks,
several utility companies, and a pearl button factory. 3 Among older producers
in the community the most significant were the brewers. La Crosse citizenry
appeared to be good supporters of the industry, for on a Sunday afternoon in
the winter of 1906, Methodist minister J. W. Irish counted 1,087 men in saloons
and only 665 in church despite an ordinance requiring the former to be closed
on Sundays. 4
Encouraged by the Board of Trade, organized in 1868, and the
Manufacturers and Jobbers Union, which first appeared in 1886, La Crosse
returned to a semblance of the earlier prosperous decades. While the
Manufacturers and Jobbers concerned themselves with national railroad and
bankruptcy legislation, the Board of Trade centered its efforts on the economic
life of the city and county of La Crosse. 5 Its membership was the business and
professional elite of the city, for the most part Progressives in politics. From its
ranks came several mayors who, with the aid of the aldermanic council, sought
to create a favorable climate for continued economic expansion. Smaller
enterprisers who held the posts of aldermen expended much effort and taxes in
building and improving streets, bridges and other facilities. 6
Higher Education in La Crosse
As a part of the La Crosse renaissance, the establishment of a state normal
school became of surpassing interest for political and economic leaders. True,
the community had not been without interest and accomplishment in varied
educational institutions from its beginnings. Save for the usual complement of
public elementary schools and a high school, however, education was privately
directed. In 1866, for example, a short-lived La Crosse Academy and Normal
School was established. Between 1864 and 1869 the La Crosse Medical College
operated as a cover for dissecting cadavers; it granted three diplomas. In turn


Establishment of the Normal School

this medical school was intended to be part of Gale University, established in
nearby Galesville in 1854 and directed by various church groups. Somehow the
nexus never occurred. 7
During the prosperous age of capitalism in the latter three decades of the
century, business schools found a congenial atmosphere in La Crosse. In 1872,
owners of the La Crosse Business School objected to an effort to establish a
state normal institution and instead supported private higher education. 8 In
1891, F. J. Toland bought the assets of this business school and established the
Wisconsin Business University, which became a flourishing concern. During its
existence, this university published an annual, had basketball teams, dramatic
clubs, student councils, glee clubs, and Greek letter organizations. In less than
a half-century, the "W.B.U. graduated over 10,000 students. 9 Its rival at the
turn of the century was the Keefe Business College which advertised itself as
"a practical progressive school with up-to-date courses of study, skilled
teachers and unexcelled opportunities for advancement." 10 The La Crosse
School of Music offered lessons in piano and voice. 11
But there was no normal school, and it seemed to the proud citizens of La
Crosse that there was one almost everywhere else. The city and county schools
obtained teachers from the seven normal schools then in existence. 12 Even
with all those the supply was short. Thus by 1905, the city fathers found allies
among members of the Board of Trade and other business associations. They
also found friendly help from laymen in the La Crosse community and from
political leaders in nearby counties and in Madison.

Campaigns for a Normal School
Two earlier efforts to obtain a normal school preceded the successful drive of
1905. The first occurred in 1871 when Mayor Alexander McMillan stepped
down from his seat as presiding officer in order to speak in support of a normal
school for La Crosse. The resolution which followed provided for an election to
approve issuance of bonds for the purpose of obtaining a school site. At a
special meeting the next month the city council announced approval of the bond
issue. A resolution authorized the mayor and clerk to issue bonds to the value of

Alexander McMillan was mayor of La Crosse at
the time of the first (unsuccessful) bid for a
normal school for La Crosse in 1871. The Board
of Regents selected River Falls.


Establishment of the Normal School

$25,000 bearing ten percent interest. 13 Early the following year, the council
referred to the Committee on Schools a proposal of B. D. Atwell and his partner
J. L. Cashel to invest a portion of the bond issue in their private institution, the
La Crosse Business School. The proposition read:

Inasmuch as the City of La Crosse offered to give the State
a Donation of $25,000 Dollars to secure the location of the
Normal School. Therefore if you will give us two-thirds of
this amount to buy us a lot and put us up a Building we will
agree to bring 250 Students a year to the City and also give
Three Life Scholarships per-year for Ten Years to each of
the wards of the City. 14

Nothing came of this first attempt to obtain a normal for La Crosse.
Meantime, in July of 1871, the normal school regents toured northwestern
Wisconsin seeking another site, and, at the beginning of 1872, selected River
Falls for the fourth school. It opened two years later. Then in the 1880's special
legislation provided for the fifth normal to be built in Milwaukee. That school
enrolled its first students in 1885.
Eight years after Milwaukee opened, the legislature provided for
construction of two additional normals. This time Superior and Stevens Point
were in a three-way contest with La Crosse. 15 Quiescent on the matter of a
normal school during the 1880's, the La Crosse community made a strenuous
endeavor in 1893 to get a school. In May of that year, the mayor, Dr. Frank
Powell, appointed a special normal school committee--the mayor as chairman
and two aldermen. The latter were attorney George Gordon and brewery-owner
George Zeisler. Both were members of the Board of Trade. Everyone involved
anticipated that the city council committee would cooperate with the board in
the normal school drive. The council further resolved that the mayor invite the
board of regents to visit the city to pick a site for the school. 16
La Crosse increased its efforts in the early summer of 1893 through
establishment of a joint normal school committee. This committee, composed of

Mayor Franklin Powell led the second (unsuccessful) 
campaign for a normal school in 1893.
This time Stevens Point and Superior were


Establishment of the Normal School

members of the city council, the Board of Trade, the Manufacturers and
Jobbers Union, the La Crosse Board of Education, and the La Crosse County
Board of Supervisors asked the city council to appropriate $30,000 toward the
purchase of a site and the erection of a building. On its way to the finance
committee the request passed a test vote unanimously. The sum thus approved
was added to $30,000 already provided by the county board. On
recommendation of the finance committee, the resolution of appropriation
passed the council without a dissenting vote. The negotiations which followed
in the next months are not recorded in print. Whatever lobbying and political
influence the La Crosse normal school committee used was not sufficient, and
the rival cities, Stevens Point and Superior, opened their normals in 1894 and
1896 respectively. 17
The joint committee reported bitterly to the mayor and city council that "but
for the treachery of pledged friends," La Crosse would have carried the day in
the legislature. The assembly first voted for La Crosse but the senate, by the
switch of one vote, ultimately turned the tide for Superior. Committee members
obtained some solace from a $500 appropriation for expenses incurred in their
travels to Madison. Thirteen years later the memory of this event still rankled a
local editor who implied that Senator Robert Bashford, because he had
switched his vote to La Crosse's disadvantage, ought not to be supported in a
forthcoming judicial election. 18
What manner of men were these who pressed publicly and privately for a
normal school at La Crosse? The mayor, Frank Powell, had a medical education
on top of numerous western adventures and travels. For some years he had
practiced medicine in La Crosse and was the city's most famous citizen. Among
the aldermen, James B. Murray, originally from New York, had an academy
education. He was in the grocery business in La Crosse. During a long public
career he was a member of the city council for sixteen years and of the Board of
Education for fourteen years. William Torrance, foundry owner and seven-term
alderman, was later mayor when the successful bid for the normal school was
made in 1905. Others were William Neumeister, a farmer, Nicholas S. Rice, a
glazier, Frank Brown, a blacksmith and carriage-maker, Emil Kowalke,
millwright then grocer, and George Euler, who ran the delivery department for
the Gund Brewery. 19
A number of these were unusual men who had achieved public eminence in
the community. They had the encouragement of others, especially of the Board
of Trade, and of the foremost educator at the time in La Crosse, Albert Hardy.
Veteran of Sherman's "March to the Sea" and other classic engagements of
the Civil War, Hardy devoted most of the remainder of his life to education. For
seventeen years (1881-1897) Hardy was Superintendent of Schools and
principal of La Crosse Central High School. Under his direction the curriculum
was sharply revised and four elementary schools and Logan High School were
built. At the turn of the century, Hardy served as vice president and institute
director at Platteville State Normal School. It was he who sought to relieve the
shortage of teachers in the La Crosse community by establishing a special class
on the theory of teaching for high school seniors. It was he, too, who came
forward both in 1893 and later in 1905 to testify in behalf of the need for a
normal school in La Crosse to provide teachers for the expanding school
population in Western Wisconsin. 20


Establishment of the Normal School

Establishment of a Normal School
In February of 1905 a La Crosse Common Council resolution authorized
appointment of a normal school committee with Mayor Torrance as chairman.
Except for Torrance, the names and faces were new, but the determination was
that of 1895. At a banquet the month before, the Board of Trade "decided to
use its utmost influence to secure a normal school" and to act through a school
committee. Once again the Manufacturers and Jobbers Union and the
Progressive Association were active in the cause. Thus four school committees
emerged to plead the case for La Crosse. The three state political leaders from
the area, Assemblymen John S. Durland and Thomas Johnson and State
Senator Thomas Morris, assured their support of legislation for La Crosse. The
latter had his hat "purloined" while addressing the Board of Trade on the
subject but came away with a better one. A bill introduced by Morris passed the
legislature and was signed into law in April of 1905. The bill directed the Board
of Regents of Normal Schools to locate a school in La Crosse; an appropriation
of $10,000 accompanied the authorization. The city council, following the
pattern of other municipalities, contributed an additional $15,000 to purchase a
building site. 21
Thus the appropriation was made, but not without opposition. Opponents
threatened an injunction to stop it, and newspaper items admonished citizens
to "watch your alderman." Watched or not the city council unanimously
approved an appropriation to purchase a sandy tract encompassing two blocks
less one lot from an area in the southeastern part of the city called the Metzger
and Funk addition. A previous offer of a site on "upper King Street"
apparently was not seriously considered. 22
The drive for the school was patently economic in nature, but there were
other overtones. A local editor suggested to readers on the matter of raising
money for the project: "Here is a place we must see the dollar behind the
penny." Attorney John E. McConnell spoke of the lack of adequate teachers for
the 80,000 children in areas tributary to La Crosse. Albert Hardy, now principal
of Washington Elementary School in La Crosse, proclaimed the value of the
proposed school to the whole system of education in Wisconsin. Mayor
Torrance praised La Crosse as the "second city in the state" and emphasized
the urgent need for a school. Surgeon Edward E. Evans, health commissioner
and member of the La Crosse Board of Education, spoke in behalf of the
normal, as did attorney Frank Winter. Winter appears to have had more than a
passing interest in the establishment of a normal. He had for five years held the
offices of principal of the high school and superintendent at Black River Falls
(1881-1884) and at Sparta (1884-1886) before settling down to law practice in La
Crosse. Support also came from Jackson and Trempealeau County
assemblymen together with aid from Superior's representatives who had won
the contest a decade earlier. 23
As the bill for the school passed through the legislative channels, the
protagonists followed its step-by-step progress. In a fit of journalistic pique, a
special correspondent for the La Crosse Tribune despaired of success. Under
bold headlines reading "No New Normal School To Be Provided This Year," he
expressed fear that among the many hurdles in the way of this added
expenditure were Milwaukee and Platteville normals in need of repairs and the


Establishment of the Normal School

university at Madison which always wanted more money. He added:
It is probably true that the normal schools are more
valuable to the state educational system than the
university. The university authorities will deny this, but
many know, nevertheless, that the normal schools are the
foundation stones of the splendid common school system
where thousands of the girls and boys of the state
complete their schooling, while the university trains a few
to dissect the lungs of a cat, read the oration of
Demosthenes in the original Greek, trace the English
language back to the Norman Conquest, teach professional 
football players to masquerade as amateurs, and
now and then turn out some really useful citizen. 24

But this time proponents of the school had laid the groundwork carefully, and
the victory won was duly noted in an exuberant press. 25
In a sense, getting a normal school for La Crosse was a victory for political
progressives. Among the leaders of the effort were John McConnell, J. S.
Durland, Frank Winter, Otto Bosshard, and, especially, Thomas Morris, all
earnest supporters of that political philosophy.
After the successful campaign for the school, Morris was lauded in the press
as the only representative in the legislature who really worked for La Crosse.
Upon entering the state senate in 1904, he had rejected membership on
preferred committees in order to serve on the education and finance
committees. Discouraged by previous unsuccessful campaigns to obtain a
normal school, many La Crosse citizens did not make an active effort in this
attempt. Therefore, Morris, practically alone, led the new campaign that
resulted in the eighth state normal school being established at La Crosse. 26
Editorial comment on the dedication of the normal school praised his efforts
in behalf of his home community:

Senator Morris did masterful work in securing the Normal
for La Crosse, and the advantages he contributed to the
community in that activity, although looming as the
biggest thing of two decades, will not be fully appreciated
until we come to view it in the light of history clothed in
the things it will create, in the garment of educational
growth, elevation of moral standards, enrichment of the
state's teaching forces, increase in local wealth and
business activity. 27
Construction of the normal school on a portion of the sandy tract purchased
earlier began in the spring of 1908. 28 Mostly finished by the fall of 1909, "Old
Main" housed all indoor educational activities for the first eleven years of the
school's history. Three stories high and about 200 feet square, the red brick
building stood nearly alone on the sand flats. Praised as the "finest building in
the city," a "model of modern construction," and a "magnificent structure," it
was incomplete but usable when the first students entered on September 7,
1909. The cost, modest by contemporary standards, was $260,000. Old Main


Establishment of the Normal School

Recitation room--a typical classroom

Physics lab


Establishment of the Normal School

contained all classrooms, gymnasia, the "training" school, both faculty and
administrative offices, kitchen, lunchroom, heating plant, and library. The first
faculty and student body set out to beautify the grounds by landscaping and
planting. From the day of the first surveying in April, 1908, to the date of
opening there had been but one instance of serious trouble. This occurred when
the contractor dismissed several workers for loafing and replacing them with
Italian immigrants. Distinguishing between "whites" on the one hand and
"Dagoes" and "guineas" on the other, the dismissed workers at a meeting in a
local tavern threatened to kill their replacements. One workman succinctly
stated their case: "If them D--- Dagoes ain't out of there tonight, there is going
to be some trouble." The arrest of the "white" leader and the stationing of two
policemen at the site of the building put an end to a potentially ugly situation. 29
As the erection of the building proceeded during the winter months of
1908-1909, Morris, appointed first regent for the school, searched for and found
a president (principal). His choice was Fasset Allen Cotton, the State
Superintendent of Schools in Indiana. The announcement came from
Indianapolis in early January of 1909, but the board of regents withheld
confirmation of the formal appointment until nearly a month later. 30 Cotton
and Morris then set about getting a faculty together. During the summer
months student applications to the new normal raised expectations of a first
enrollment to about 300 students. In July, Cotton made the first public plea for
room and board for the expected influx. The La Crosse Tribune advised its
readers that if the public acted properly and well in this regard, the word would
go out that La Crosse would be a good place to attend school. 31

Old Main


Establishment of the Normal School

Main Hall auditorium

The library


Establishment of the Normal School

By late August the "training" school grades were largely filled, and the
press dutifully reported on opening day that there were 150 students in the
normal school. The expectation was that there would be 250 normalites "after
the afternoon trains are in." A few days later the secretary of the board of
regents, William Kittle, visited the new school. The building, he observed, was
the finest normal in the Mississippi Valley. The campus, he thought, would
"work out beautifully." The library was a "gem" and the faculty
"well-selected." Of the faculty, thirteen in the normal school and four in the
training school were present for the elaborate dedication ceremony of
November 10, 1909.
At the dedication Senator Morris told the assembled dignitaries, faculty, and
Will you permit me once more to call your attention to the
fact that this is a great day for La Crosse, and for the state.
I believe that even the most hopeful among us dimly sees
the possibilities, the potentialities of this institution.
When we consider how many will be benefited by it, and
in turn, how many will be influenced by them, and that the
work will go on and on indefinitely from generation to
generation, we begin to appreciate how well and how
broadly the state has builded. 33

In his address, University of Wisconsin President Charles R. Van Hise spoke of
the need for better rural education and the role which normal schools could play
in training rural teachers and in higher education generally. He foresaw
additional functions for the school such as providing two years of liberal arts
work equal to that at the university. In his view this would "strengthen the
knowledge side of instruction in the normal schools," although he expressed
the opinion that such concern with liberal arts might interfere with the primary
purpose of the school--professional teacher training. 34 John J. Esch, eminent
La Crosse attorney and congressman, closed the ceremony with words of
optimistic anticipation:

The school has been founded for a great future. It is to
teach the young and untrained how to buffet the currents
of the world. This school may develop a master mind or a
genius transcending the ordinary school of attainments
...then all the efforts from the laying of the foundation
stones to the maintenance of it forever will be more than
repaid. 35


Establishment of the Normal School


1. For the first half-century of the city's history see A. H. Sanford and H. J. Hirshheimer, A History 
of La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1841-1900 (La Crosse, Wis.: La Crosse County Historical Society,
1951). Two useful studies of La Crosse since 1900 are: Donald J. Berthrong, "La Crosse, A
Case Study in Social History," (master's thesis, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1948); and
Stanley N. Miller, "A History of La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1900-1950," (Ph. D. Diss., George
Peabody College for Teachers, 1959).
2. La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 5, 1906. Among lumbermen who stayed and were highly successful in
other enterprises were C. L. Coleman, Frank P. Hixon, Jon Paul, and Henry A. Salzer.
3. See, for example, Berthrong, pp. 16-25, and La Crosse Tribune, New Era Ed., Nov. 28, 1916.
4. La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 8, 1906. There were 158 "saloons" in or very near the city and 36
churches. See Directory of the City of La Crosse 1905-1906 (La Crosse, Wis.: L. P. Philippi
Company, 1905), pp. 47-57 and 527-53. For the list of five breweries in 1876 see Pryor's La
Crosse City Directory (La Crosse, Wis.: Pryor & Co., Publishers, 1876), I, 146.
5. Berthrong, pp. 49-68. See also Annual Reports of the Board of Trade of La Crosse, Wisconsin
(1891-1901), passim. The Board of Trade became the Chamber of Commerce in 1916. See E. S.
Hebberd, "La Crosse Boards of Trade and Commerce," in La Crosse County Historical
Sketches, ser. 6, ed. Albert H. Sanford (La Crosse, Wis.: La Crosse County Historical Society,
1942), pp. 5-17.
6. See, for example, AnnualReports of the Board of Trade (1898), p. 35, and (1900), pp. 32-39. On
government support of economic activities see for example, City of La Crosse, Council
Proceedings, (1890-1900) passim.
7. Sanford, p. 64; William S. Miller, "The La Crosse Medical School," in eds. Sigurd E. Sivertson
and Mary H. Hebberd, Phases of La Crosse County Medicine: 1855-1920 (La Crosse, Wis.:
La Crosse County Medical Society, 1966), pp. 5-15; and Arthur F. Giere, A Brief History of
Galesville University, 1854-1940 (Galesville, Wis.: 1940).
8. Council Proceedings, Feb. 9, 1872, p. 538.
9. Wisconsin Business University, The Big Leaguer of 1938 (annual), passim. The school published 
a variety of catalogs and bulletins some of which are housed in the Area Research
Center, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. (Hereafter cited as ARC, UW-L.) Courses of study
ranged from seven to twelve months in duration. See also Richard Rogers,"A Brief History of
the Wisconsin Business University, La Crosse, Wisconsin," (master's thesis, Wisconsin State
University, La Crosse, 1967).
10. La Crosse Tribune, Aug. 30, 1912.
11. Wright's Directory of La Crosse for 1911 (Milwaukee, Wis.: Wright Directory Co., 1910)
12. As late as 1913-1914, 64 of the 97 teachers in La Crosse County schools who were trained at the
state normal schools came from schools other than La Crosse. See A. N. Farmer, Conditions
and Needs of Wisconsin's Normal Schools (Madison, Wis.: 1914), pp. 56-70.
13. Council Proceedings, May 12, 1871, p. 470. Mayor McMillan made a fortune in lumbering,
utilities and livestock after coming to western Wisconsin from Canada. In addition to the
mayoralty position, over the years he served several terms on the city council and the La Crosse
County Board of Supervisors, and one term in the state legislature (1872) as a Republican. In
his varied career, he also was president of the La Crosse Temperance League and the First
National Bank. See Biographical History of La Crosse, Trempealeau, and Buffalo Counties,
Wisconsin (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892), pp. 161-163. Alderman
S. L. Nevins, who offered the resolution, was also a lumberman. Senator Thomas Morris, who
ultimately obtained the legislative authorization for the normal at La Crosse also migrated
from Canada. See also Council Proceedings, Jun. 16, 1871, pp. 486-487.
14. Council Proceedings, Feb. 9, 1872, p. 538. For a brief summary of the La Crosse Business
College and the life of Mr. Atwell, see History of La Crosse County, Wisconsin (Chicago:
Western Historical Company, 1881), pp. 521-522. A few years later Atwell sold his interest in
the college. Eventually J. L. Wallace, principal of a local elementary school, became the proprietor. 
He in turn sold it to F. J. Toland in 1891.
15. For brief summary statements on the establishment of the various schools see Normal Schools


Establishment of the Normal School

of Wisconsin, Catalog, 1911-1912 (Madison, Wis., 1912), pp. 29-31. An apparent convincing
argument for Superior in 1893 was a payment from the city to the state treasury of $65,000.
16. Council Proceedings, May 2, 1893, pp. 546-547, and May 4, 1893, p. 553.
17. Council Proceedings, May 18, 1893, p. 606, and May 24, 1893, pp. 614-615; and Normal
Schools of Wisconsin, Catalog, 1911-1912, pp. 30-31.
18. Council Proceedings, May 11, 1895, pp. 66-69, and "Bashford Killed Our First Normal," La
Crosse Tribune, Apr. 4, 1908.
19. Biographical History of La Crosse, Trempealeau, and Buffalo Counties, Wisconsin, pp.
160-161, 177-178, 257, 280, 427, and 587-589. For details on Powell's medical career see Mary
H. Hebberd, "Notes on Dr. David Franklin Powell, Known as 'White Beaver,' " Wisconsin
Magazine of History, Summer, 1952, pp. 306-309 and Mary H. Hebberd, "Notes on the Medical 
Practice of Dr. David Franklin Powell," Wisconsin Magazine of History, Spring, 1953,
pp. 188-191. For study of Powell's political career see Clarence L. Schlicht, "The Political
Career of White Beaver Powell, Mayor of La Crosse, Wisconsin" (Wisconsin State University,
La Crosse, 1966).
20. For details on Hardy's career, see L. H. Pammel, Some Reminiscences of La Crosse and
Vicinity (Ames, Iowa: Liesenfeld Press, 1928), pp. 28-30; and Willard W. Hanson, "Historical
Development of Public Education in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Up To And Including the Year,
1925," (master's thesis, State University of Iowa, 1951), pp. 72-76.
21. Council Proceedings, Feb. 10, 1905, p. 448; La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 4, 1905, Jan. 9, 1905, Jan.
11, 1905, Feb. 9, 1905, Feb. 11, 1905, and Feb. 17, 1905; and Journal of Proceedings of the
Forty-Seventh Session of the Wisconsin Legislature, (Madison, 1905), I, 127.
22. La Crosse Tribune andLeader-Press, Apr. 7, 1940; CouncilProceedings, Jun. 19, 1906, p. 222;
and La Crosse Tribune, Apr. 19, 1905.
23. For the statements of McConnell, Hardy, and Torrance, see La Crosse Tribune, Feb. 22, 1905,
Feb. 24, 1905, and Mar. 1, 1905, respectively. In the 1905 session, Assembly supporters were
W. D. Braddock (Jackson County), H. L. Ekern (Trempealeau County), W. A. Cleary (Juneau
County), John S. Durland and Thomas Johnson (La Crosse). Senators in support, besides
Thomas Morris, were John M. Whitehead (Rock County), and George B. Hudnall (Douglas
County). Whitehead'and Braddock were graduates of Yale College. McConnell, Hudnall, and
Ekern were law graduates of the University of Wisconsin. Cleary, Durland, and Johnson all
had previously held important public offices. For biographical information on Dr. Evans see the
La Crosse Tribune and Leader-Press, Jun. 1, 1932, and on Frank Winter, the La Crosse
Tribune, Mar. 16, 1941.
24. La Crosse Tribune, Feb. 8, 1905.
25. La Crosse Tribune, Mar. 22, 1905, Mar. 23, 1905, Mar. 24, 1905, and Mar. 28, 1905.
26. For biographical sketches of Morris see Wisconsin State Journal, Sept. 7, 1928; La Crosse
Tribune, Apr. 10, 1938; Benjamin F. Bryant, ed., Memoirs of La Crosse County (Madison,
Wis.: Western Historical Association, 1907), p. 361; and John C. Gregory, ed., West Central
Wisconsin: A History (Indianapolis: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1933), IV, 411-415. The
La Crosse Tribune carried around 200 items on Morris' public and private life between 1905
and 1914.
27. La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 11, 1909.
28. Ibid., Apr. 10, 1940
29. Ibid., Jun. 10, 1908.
30. Board of Regents of Normal Schools, Proceedings, Feb. 3, 1909, pp. 21-22.
31. "Open Your Doors For Normal Pupils," La Crosse Tribune, Jul. 7, 1909. Material for the item
was supplied by Cotton.
32. La Crosse Daily Chronicle, Aug. 21, 1909; La Crosse Tribune, Sept. 7, 1909, and Sept. 16, 1909;
and, for the dedication program, see Newspaper Clippings of Early History, Normal School,
Misc. Items (1909-1929), ARC, UW-L, p.3.
33. La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 11, 1909.
34. Ibid.
35. Ibid.


Thomas Morris

Thomas Morris (1861-1928) was born in Canada where he spent his early
years on his father's farm, in his father's store, and attending the schools of St.
Armand parish, Quebec. After graduating from Bedford Academy, he studied
medicine. Not finding this to his liking, he clerked in a large department store
for several years. Later he went to Syracuse, New York, and engaged in the coal
business. After three years he sold that business and moved to La Crosse where
he learned the barber's trade. In that same year, 1886, he began studying law
in the offices of Crane and Martindale. Two years later he sold his business and
entered the law school at the University of Wisconsin (Madison). Upon
graduating in 1889, Morris began to practice law in La Crosse.
As a lawyer, Morris represented such disparate groups as the Twentieth
Century Club, which sought women's rights, and the Universal Chiropractic
Association, whose cases he pleaded throughout the United States.
He excelled as a trial lawyer and enjoyed the esteem of the local bar
association which spoke of him as a politician of the "highest type" and a man
of principle. One of his law partners described him as the "liberal" member of
the firm who, when discussing a particular case, always insisted that the
important question at stake was not "What is the law?" but rather "What is


Morris also served La Crosse County as district attorney (1900-1904), the
legislature as state senator (1904-1910), and the state administration as
lieutenant governor (1910-1914). He was mentioned as a gubernatorial
candidate in 1910 but chose not to run so as to prevent discord in the
Republican Party.
In politics Morris was an ardent progressive and a devoted follower of Robert
La Follette. As such, he fought against what he considered to be selfish
interests (the railroads, the rich, and the "stalwarts" of the Republican Party).
He also fought to save the state regulatory commissions and to initiate control
of election expenditures and procedures.
While serving in the state legislature, Morris carefully planned and, almost
single-handedly, led a new campaign for a normal school in La Crosse. This
time (1905) the resolution passed and an appropriation was made. Morris
became the local agent and was largely responsible for the organization of the
normal school and the selection of its first faculty.
Morris also served as regent of the normal school he fathered (1905-1913)
and as president of the Board of Regents of Normal Schools (1908-1909).



The Early Administrations

1909 - 1938
La Crosse has had seven executives in its seventy-year history: Presidents
Fassett Allen Cotton, Ernest Ashton Smith, George M. Snodgrass, Rexford S.
Mitchell, SamuelG. Gates, Kenneth E. Lindner (whose title became chancellor
with merger), and Chancellor Noel J. Richards.

Fassett Allen Cotton
Fassett Cotton was born in Indiana in 1862 into a farm family of rather
modest circumstances. At the time of his selection as president of the new state
normal school at La Crosse, he held the post of State Superintendent of Schools
in his home state. He had obtained his education and subsequent high position
through hard work and study. For his formal education, Cotton attended the
state normal school at Terre Haute, and Butler and Chicago Universities.
Interspersed with his formal higher education were positions as County
Superintendent (1889-1895), Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction
(1895-1902), and finally State Superintendent (1903-1909), all of Indiana. In
honor of his work for the improvement of rural schools, Franklin College,
Indiana, awarded him the Doctor of Laws degree in 1905.
The board of regents offered Cotton the presidency in February of 1909, and
he formally accepted the position on March 10, 1909. Arriving in La Crosse
during the summer of that year, he remained there until his resignation on
August 31, 1924.
After leaving La Crosse, Cotton continued his lifelong association with
education. He was president of Northern Arizona State Teachers College
(1924-1926), lecturer on education in the west coast area (1927-1931), and
teacher and publicist for Central Normal College, Danville, Indiana, from 1936
until his death in 1942. The slight shadow cast on his career during the last

Fassett A. Cotton, first president of the La
Crosse Normal School (1909-24), believed that
education should provide for both mental and
physical development.


The Early Administrations

years of his presidency at La Crosse was dispelled by the brightness of his
performance in a long life dedicated to better teachers and better schools. 1
Writing and speaking often on education, Cotton leaves the impression of an
intense, vigorous, and dedicated person. In his official reports and letters as
State Superintendent of Schools of Indiana, he iterated his viewpoints again
and again: In a democracy, education should be for all the people, and it should
be devoted to the whole person. The traditional approach to schooling was to
train part of the people partly; and that was not education for democracy. Every
person should be developed both physically and mentally. For his part, the
teacher must view learning as a total experience. Through the teacher, the
school should teach worthwhile habits of observation, accuracy, concentration.
The school should seek to discover and develop the talents and interests of the
students. The school should teach practical study to prepare its graduates for
the world in which they will live. Because only a few could be professional
persons, most people would earn their livelihood at manual labor. But
regardless of the kinds of careers individuals entered after graduation, they
should be trained to understand the meaning of life. 2
To the superintendent at Newton Stewart, Indiana, he wrote:

One of the most important works of a democracy is to
emphasize the dignity of manual toil: that of farming, of
black smithing, carpentering, or whatnot. The man who
labors with his muscle is just as important as the man who
labors with his brain... Anyone who does conscientiously
any work that the world needs to have a
honorable man. 3

Years later, speaking on "The Country School" to the Wisconsin teachers
assembled at Milwaukee, Cotton repeated his belief in practical education and
the preparation of teachers who could understand the relationship between
education and the community background of their students. To this end he
wrote what sounds rather unusual today:

There must be country reading, country arithmetic, and
country geography. Each subject must be cast in terms of
the child's life. The course of study and its subject must be
adjusted to the life of the community. 4

Still later he told a rural school conference that the century in which they lived
demanded closer ties between the work of the school and the community. 5
At the same time, Cotton advocated the continuation of the study of man's
cultural heritage in history, literature, language, philosophy, and science. On
this subject he wrote, "There is no less demand for culture and scholarship in
the broadest meaning of the terms, but there is more demand for education that
will meet the practical needs of life...." 6 For this practical education schools
needed to provide manual arts and industrial training, agricultural education,
and physical education. Cotton's concept of physical education became the
philosophy of the department established during his administration as the
school's special field in teacher training. He viewed it not as athletic


The Early Administrations

competition but as individual development. In the superintendent's report of
1906 he wrote:

a distinction should be drawn between physical education
and athletics. Athletics have assumed a place in the school
world that is simply out of all proportion to their merits....
Every high school should be equipped with a good
gymnasium, and the boys and girls should have constant
systematic training in physical education. This training
should be supplemented with play. Games that will bring
into play the entire student body should be encouraged.
Inter-class games can be healthful and helpful sports and
can be kept subordinate to the real purpose of school life. 7

On the last day of his life, concerned with the poor physical condition of
American draftees for World War II, Cotton wrote in an unpublished article, he
had entitled "Physical Education and Preparedness":

A thorough and comprehensive course in physical
education should be provided in every school in this
nation, public, parochial, and private. It should be
compulsory for all boys and girls attending the elementary
and secondary schools. 8

Three other areas of learning also ought to be a part of every person's
education, according to Cotton: direct and indirect instruction in morals, music
education, and art education. By morals, he explained he meant instruction in
sex education, social manners and amenities, the virtues of silence and order in
the classroom, and sanitary practices. Music, he thought, would teach children
"to appreciate beauty" and art would help them develop the "habits of
accurate observation." 9
This general and practical education which Cotton envisioned required
skillful, highly-trained, well-paid teachers instructing in improved elementary
and high school buildings. So he was moved to write, "The greatest factor in
any school is the teacher. Indeed, the entire success of the school as an
institution depends on this factor." 10 The teacher, therefore, must be a
scholar, know how to teach, and be a worthy, moral person because students
will imitate him. The teacher, Cotton wrote, is a "missionary" who must be
willing to go beyond what he is paid for. He must learn about the community in
which he lives, he must know the parents, the workers, the grocer, the farmers
who make the environment. He must see the relationship among the school on
the one hand and the home, the church, and the government on the other. 11
Thus the school itself becomes a center not only of formal learning but of
community life. Cotton regarded the township high schools as being
exceedingly important. Of them he said:


The Early Administrations

These schools are often the centers of really great
learning, having, as they do, some of our strongest men
and women as teachers. Bright young graduates of our
normal schools, colleges and universities, ambitious to
rise in the professions, come to these schools and attract to
them the best young blood in the township.... The course
of study is made to appeal to the interests of the many,
and everything is done to make the time spent in school
worthwhile. For the vast majority this is the finishing
school, and it is made to mean as much as possible. And so
it becomes a great educational center, and marks an epoch
in the lives of many who are to take up their life work in its
shadow. It is not a preparatory school for college, though
many of its graduates go to college. Its aim is to do the
best thing it can for these who presumably will go no
further....In doing the best thing for the majority who do
not enter college, we have found that we are doing the
best thing for the minority who do go on to college and we
have come to believe that such a course prepares for
college best. 12

Cotton in Indiana
As superintendent of schools in Indiana Cotton left two significant
impressions. First, he virtually remade the school system of the state by
proposing pioneer legislation in several areas of education. And secondly, he
entered into a voluminous correspondence with teachers, principals, and local
superintendents aimed at the solution of every imaginable problem that could
In the first of these efforts he was responsible for school legislation in at least
five major areas. It was through his proposals that a whole series of legislative
enactments altered the educational system of Indiana. Cotton drafted the first
state aid law to help poorer areas lengthen their school periods to an
eight-month minimum. He obtained passage of legislation separating the
elementary and high schools. The first school consolidation law, the first
legislation requiring minimum training both academic and professional, and
the first legislation for salaries based on educational qualifications were all the
result of his work. He established the first high school bands and orchestras
and, wherever possible, encouraged the introduction of music into the lower
grades. In addition, he promoted the establishment of industrial and
agricultural vocational education. Farm groups for girls organized under
vocational education were forerunners of the 4-H clubs. Cotton's influence on
the total school system of Indiana is virtually inestimable. 13
Interspersed with the public speeches and the philosophical utterances were
a thousand matters of every day occurrence. Texts had to be purchased at the
lowest possible price. 14 The question of licensing teachers often appeared.
Cotton's answers to such questions reveal a humanitarian attitude at times and
at others a stern view toward the violators of elementary ethics. On the
revocation of a teacher's license he wrote in one instance:


The Early Administrations

Instead of revoking the young man's license you should
first call him to the office and tell him you propose to do so
unless he surrenders it voluntarily. In order to revoke a
license the matter must be made public which is a great
humiliation to the person most interested. 15

In another situation which involved a teacher of slovenly appearance, poor
preparation, and an easy-going attitude toward his pupils he supported,
without reservation, the decision not to renew his license. 16 Referring to the
separate but equal decision of the U.S. Supreme Court he advised a black
teacher from Chicago to apply for a position to city superintendents at
Indianapolis, Evansville, Rockport, Jeffersonville, and Madison where there
were "colored" schools. 17 To a black parent he communicated:

When you wrote to me the other day I thought you meant
that the trustee provided only for mixed schools. I did not
know that your trustee had made special arrangements for
colored schools. Inasmuch as the trustee provides colored
schools it will be necessary for you to send your children to
the nearest colored school.... 18

He denounced the use in high school contests of athletes not enrolled
full-time in school, solved mathematical problems for an anxious principal, and
reprimanded the superintendent at Williamsport for the conditions of the
outhouses at his school. He went forth to dedicate new school buildings. He
wrote generously for job applicants requesting his support. Of one he said, "I
have never known a finer man," of another, "One of the best-prepared men in
Indiana," and of a third, "Indiana has never had an educator who has met with
greater success in school work than Supt. Cooley." 19
He did not hesitate to ask for support in turn when he decided to run for a
third term -- apparently a departure from previous practice. To a local
superintendent he wrote:

I am going to be a candidate for the third nomination and I
want you when opportunity offers, to help create a
sentiment among the superintendents, high school
principals, etc. in favor of this action.20

To another: "I wish you would tell me in confidence which book men are
working against me." 21 Of one friend he asked for a letter to the governor in
support of his candidacy and to other acquaintances he suggested that since the
term of the state superintendent was so short he could expect reelection twice
in order to do a proper job. 22 When a possible competitor appeared to plan to
run for the office he wrote a friend: "If you could pull some strings to keep him
from doing so it would make my work easier." 23 Not surprisingly the journal of
which he was part owner gave him editorial support for the third term. 24 By
mid-summer of 1905 he still had reservations about success in seeking the
additional term, but was confident enough to write a supporter:


The Early Administrations

My political fences are now in good condition.... If the
educators in the state would just speak out to the
politicians....there would be no trouble, but too many
educators (confidential) are afraid to say anything for fear
it may hurt their own standing in their community. 25

The voters of Indiana repaid Cotton's careful planning by electing him to a third
term as superintendent.
The strenuous efforts in behalf of his beloved institutions and teachers led
Cotton to plead constantly for improved schools, better teachers, and higher
pay. 26 He reminded a round-table of state and county superintendents that
Americans annually spent $29 per capita on tobacco and alcohol but only $3.50
for education in all forms. And he concluded this address with a fervent
declaration of educational war:

No more splendid army ever marched to victory than the
mighty army of schoolteachers who have their faces set
against ignorance and idleness in the land. Once aroused
and every man to his duty, such a public sentiment will be
created in the interest of better salaries for teachers that
"we the people" will take hold of townships, and
municipalities, and states and the nation and will sweep
away the things that make for ignorance and idleness, and
will enthrone the forces that make for enlightenment and
personal righteousness. 27

Cotton in La Crosse
Fassett Cotton left Indiana and arrived in La Crosse in the summer of 1909
covered with praise for past deeds and faced with a new challenge in a strange
community. He was not, however, a stranger to normal schools; he had been on
the Indiana state board of normal schools for many years. An enormous
reservoir of goodwill in the new community awaited him; and his selection as
president seemed to meet with everyone's approval. With a rather cavalier

President Cotton's philosophy of total development 
of the individual has remained with the
school and is illustrated in the official seal.


The Early Administrations

disregard for preciseness and with poorly suppressed excitement the local
press paid the new president this dubious compliment:

He is big enough to fill the building, and to throw about it
an atmosphere of his own personality, dominating it with a
broad influence which may be expected to exert itself upon
one of the greatest, if not the greatest normal in the
United States. 28

He went ahead quickly to select a faculty, get out literature for prospective
students, and formulate curriculum and instructions in a catalog. By the fall, he
had fourteen faculty for the normal departments to instruct the first students.
An additional four, all with schooling at Columbia University, arrived to begin
the "training" school. 29 He pleaded with the local people for rooms for
incoming students, reminded the community what the school could mean to it,
and issued a call to young persons to seek a career in teaching which would not
make them rich but would provide "more than the average of comfort, leisure,
and honor." He spoke of the need for jobs for prospective students: "Young
men willing to attend horses, care for furnaces, represent laundries and do
other duties that are within reach." Girls would be looking for housework and
waiting on tables. 30 Cotton successfully launched the new normal with the
goodwill of the community behind him. A local paper editorialized only a week
after the opening of school:

It is doubtful if any normal school ever started out with
brighter prospects than has the La Crosse Normal. It holds
the record for first attendance, it has a fine field, it has [a]
splendid building and equipment and grounds that will
become delightful, it is situated in a thriving, live
community whose people have great pride in the school
and its work. 31

The new president spoke often on education. He insisted that politics should
be kept out of educational matters. He told the Wisconsin Education
Association it should work for better teachers and demand higher salaries. He
moralized on good and evil to students gathered in assembly and reminded the
county superintendents that they had one of the most important jobs in the
whole school pattern. Together with members of his staff, he pleaded for
higher salaries for the faculty on the familiar grounds that present salaries were
lower than in other states and good faculty people were leaving because of
this. 32 He organized, directed, and played cornet in the first band at the school
after being provided with $250 to purchase instruments. 33
Early in his administration, President Cotton became involved in the
perennial issue of the transfer of credits from the normal schools to the
university at Madison. Overshadowing that issue was the effort of the normals
to receive statutory authorization to establish four-year degree granting
programs. Although the Madison faculty and administration were uncertain
exactly how to regard their country cousins, their president, Charles Van Hise,


The Early Administrations

knew his mind on the subject. He opposed the normals becoming
degree-awarding institutions, and three times (1907, 1909, and 1913) with the
help of the presidents of Lawrence and Ripon Colleges he blocked the
necessary enabling legislation.
In 1911, however, the legislature provided by law that two years of work at
the normals could count toward a four-year degree at the university at
Madison. This law specified, however, that the normal schools could not extend
their course offerings without specific legislative permission. The normals
promptly advertised the transfer opportunities in their catalogs only to find it
was not all that easy. Academic departments at Madison were often reluctant,
to the point of refusal, to accept certain courses within the two-year package.
In 1912 and again in 1916 Cotton corresponded with Van Hise complaining
about university departments refusing to transfer courses from La Crosse.
Specifically, the 1916 exchange centered around a summer course in organic
chemistry which the department at Madison would not accept. Cotton
threatened legal action, a threat he did not carry out.* The transfer issue lived
on through the next generations, largely becoming a thing of the past with the
merger of the two systems of Wisconsin higher education.
During Cotton's administration the regents obtained funds to expand the
campus and the physical plant. Following designation of La Crosse as the
special school for training teachers of physical education, the board purchased
land in preparation for the erection of a building to house the new program.
Authorized in 1914 and begun in 1916, the building stood uncompleted until
1920. An additional allotment provided for the development of an athletic field
on nearby county fairgrounds property. 34
Legislative opposition to the expenditure of $45,000 for the physical
education building almost prevented its erection. Assemblymen W. C. Bradley
of Hudson, Carl Pieper of Dunn County, and Henry Freehoff of La Crosse
sought to stop the appropriation. Former Wyoming cowboy and sometime
cavalry scout, Pieper, was quoted as denouncing the proposal as "nonsense"
and adding "that there never was a greater curse inflicted on the people of

Construction on Wittich Hall, the new
physical education building, was halted
during World War I. Note the victory
garden in the foreground.

*Merle E. Curti and Vernon Carstensen, The University of Wisconsin, A History, 1848-1925, II,
260-265. The original copies of Cotton's letters are missing, and the copies which the authors used
have been mislaid.


The Early Adrinistrations

Wisconsin than the teaching of physical training." Ultimately, the proposal
was saved through the work of Regent William E. Wolfe, Assemblymen E. J.
Kneen and Carl Kurtenacher, and Senator Otto Bosshard, while the local press
satirized Pieper as "David from Dunn" out to destroy that Goliath, "physical
culture."* A much-desired women's dormitory, however, was not forthcoming.
Instead, a special committee of the board of regents recommended that it be
built at Stevens Point rather than at La Crosse. 35
Cotton faced little criticism during the early years of his administration.
Regent president Theodore Kronshage did complain that Cotton had
established unauthorized courses in rural education and was "apparently
attempting to run a school at La Crosse as he sees fit." 36 Kronshage also
expressed concern about the use of the Bible in school exercises contrary to
Supreme Court rulings. 37 The student newspaper, however, had nothing but
praise after three years of Cotton's leadership:

At the head of the school is a man whose presence needs
no word of explanation. His record of accomplishment
brings laurels to his present position and in his ideals the
future prominence of this school is writ large and clear. 38

The following year a speech on sex hygiene by Carl Sputh to the Parent-Teacher's 
Association meeting caused a minor uproar. Sputh's "medical
school" language caused several ladies to walk out and moved one listener to

that unnecessarily daring treatment of a subject which
centuries of civilization have cloaked in modesty and
mystery will put the cause of the teaching of sex hygiene
back five years in La Crosse. 39

Carl Sputh, first director of the School of
Physical Education, caused a minor uproar when
he gave a speech on sex hygiene to the PTA.

*La Crosse Tribune, Mar. 11, 1915. See also, Ibid., Mar. 10, 1915, and Mar. 19, 1915. A portion of
the statement on Pieper read: "Ho, then, keeper of the hall of fame. Room for Mr. Piper (sic) of
Dunn, assemblyman in the State legislature. Enroll him on the shining list for posterity's envious
eye, for he has found an ancient error, older than history, and clubbed it right manfully. To him
belongs the credit for the revolutionary discovery that physical culture is a curse."


The Early Administrations

One unhappy "mother" cited Good Housekeeping as an authority in the field:

Little by little, with the flavor of the flowers and the music
of the bees, mother can lead the sensitive mind by a pretty
pathway into the realm of knowledge. 40

Amidst the controversy the La Crosse Tribune came to the defense of
President Cotton, suggesting among other things that most parents were too
ignorant themselves to teach sex hygiene. The editor reminded readers that
President Cotton had made "this school a model for others" and that no one
should "permit resentment at one young man's error to prolong a public frame
of mind positively detrimental to the value of the institution." 41 The writer
further called on people to believe in Cotton and not to expect him to denounce
one of his own teachers publicly 42 The controversy continued the next month 43
but rather humorously was brought to a close by a brief editorial entitled
"The Modesty of Uncle Sam" which pointed out that lectures on sex hygiene
could not be sent through the mails. The editor suggested:

That if we place sex biology and hygiene in the curriculum
of the public schools we may one day find our pupils
refused transportation on trains pulling United States mail
cars. 44

The war years 1917-1918 saw a diminution of the number of faculty and
students and the appearance on the campus of a Student Army Training Corps
unit. Five faculty members served overseas in the armed forces, another
worked for the YMCA in France, and a seventh did educational work for the
federal government. Those remaining at school proudly listed the names of 311
former teachers and students who went to war. Of the 132 who graduated in
1919 only eight were men. 45 The members of the Student Army Training
Corps, bivouacked in the local YMCA and schooled and drilled at the campus,
were intended to be officer material. The war ended before they were needed.
They gained notoriety by washing down the halls in the main building with the
fire hose and by a rather lackadaisical attitude toward their academic activities.
In brief statements collected by one of their displeased instructors, historian
Albert H. Sanford, once wrote of the "dull and academic work" some of which
he dropped in favor of "Physical Training," and another denounced "slinging
hash, pearl diving, and juggling maps." 46 The remaining faculty worked with
the patriotic fervor of those years making various contributions to the cause of
victory and duly reporting their activities to the president for inclusion in the
school catalog. 47 Those still at home also brought honor to the institution. The
president won election to high office among the state normal school heads,
English professor Bessie Bell Hutchison became an executive of the Western
Wisconsin Education Association, and Carl Sputh led the Wisconsin Physical
Education Association. 48 At war's end the president served on the committee
to erect a soldiers and sailors monument in La Crosse. 49
Otherwise uneventful years after the war were interrupted by a "Spartacan"
revolt in 1919. On occasion of a normal basketball title victory, students


The Early Administrations

marched out of classes and headed downtown for a victory celebration. Halted
by the president returning from lunch, the rebellious students returned three
hundred strong to the normal building after being promised a dance that
evening. Several of the leaders were brought before a stern faculty committee
which held a "hearing" on the matter. This time the press sympathized with
the students.

When the local normalites became the state champs in
football a year ago last fall, school was voluntarily
dismissed as a matter of course, and the entire student
body paraded the business district, banners flying and
bands playing. Although the school spirit has not been
overly strong on account of disrupting effects of the
S.A.T.C., the boys and girls of '17 had not forgotten the
good old days. 50

With his usual vigor Cotton addressed the public on the question of teachers'
salaries, equalization of taxes, and on the need for state and federal aid to
education. He asserted that the nation should support the education of its
children in order to fulfill the "promise of democracy." He also spoke of the
value of the normal to the community, and at the fall semester opening in 1923
he estimated that the school's students spent one-half million dollars. On
another occasion Cotton blamed the regents' action of discontinuing the college
course for the drop in enrollments. 51
In these last years of his career at La Crosse, Cotton found it difficult to make
financial ends meet in an era of penny-pinching budgets. To keep his good
faculty, he sought to raise salaries; to raise salaries he had to cut elsewhere. He
thus incurred the distrust of some faculty, the displeasure of several
businessmen demanding payment of overdue bills for supplies, and
subsequently the concern of the board of regents. Among the rather
straight-laced faculty which he had assembled from Indiana, Illinois, and
Wisconsin, such a situation was not only indicative of bad administration but to
some was essentially immoral. Asked to resign, Cotton was given an
opportunity for a hearing before the regents which he decided not to accept. 52
President Cotton left indelible marks on the La Crosse school by the
introduction of physical education as a special field of teacher training and by
faculty appointments of lasting influence. For many years before his
appointment as president of the La Crosse school, he had advocated physical
education for school children. Although the impetus for establishing this
speciality in the normal school system came from elsewhere, Cotton welcomed
that special field to La Crosse. Apparently, he viewed it as a separate entity, for
he designated it a "School of Physical Education," and gave the title of
"Director" to its first head, Carl B. Sputh, the only staff member to hold that
title at the time. The School of Physical Education also had its own curriculum
bulletin. 53 Thus began an area of specialization which remains La Crosse's
major effort in teacher training. Faculty appointments made by the first
president included twenty-one who remained until retirement. Their
educational careers were inextricably interwoven into the fabric of the school's


The Early Administrations

history. Their average term of service was thirty-three years and they
represented sixty percent of the instructional faculty during the last year of his
administration. They provided a continuity of staff which carried the school
through the next administration without interruption of its services to the

Ernest A. Smith

Upon President Cotton's resignation in the summer of 1924, an executive
committee consisting of historian Albert H. Sanford and geographer Clayton A.
Whitney was given the presidential powers and duties. This committee
assumed the usual functions of the presidential office until July, 1925, when
Ernest A. Smith, appointed in the spring of that year, became La Crosse's
second president. Sanford and Whitney left their temporary joint presidency
praised by La Crosse regent A. W. Zeratsky and their colleague Walter
Wittich. Zeratsky wrote:

Drafted into service when the school needed them, these
men have shown a keen insight and sympathetic
understanding of the problems confronting the school. It is
not an easy task carrying a double load of teaching and
administrative work. However, they gave graciously of
their time and efforts and under their able leadership
much progress was made. Standards generally were
raised; the rural and training departments reorganized

Ernest A. Smith served a short term (1925-26)
as La Crosse Normal's second president.

*The twenty-one: Lincoln K. Adkins (mathematics), Rena M. Angell (art), Adolph H. Bernhard
(chemistry), Oren E. Frazee and Anna Wentz (biology), David O. Coate, Bessie Bell Hutchison,
and O. O. White (English), James A. Fairchild (physics), Albert H. Sanford, Myrtle Trowbridge,
and William M. Laux (history), J. F. Rolfe, Everett L. Walters and William H. Sanders (education),
Martha Skaar and Florence S. Wing (library), Clayton A. Whitney (geography), Hans C. Reuter,
Emma L. Wilder, and Walter J. Wittich (physical education), and Sarah Bangsberg (Dean of


The Early Administrations

and placed on a basis of efficiency; deficits in school
accounts were wiped out and all school activities and
organizations were placed on a sound financial basis. 54

Wittich, also reflecting the concern and displeasure of some faculty concerning
events of the latter years of Cotton's administration, said:

These two men, the executive committee, have done a
good piece of work. They have captained a derelict safely
back to port. 55

At the time of his appointment President Smith was superintendent of schools
in Evanston, Illinois. He had a formidable background in formal education and
in educational service. A native of Ohio, he held bachelor's (1888) and master's
(1891) degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University and a doctorate from Johns
Hopkins (1900). He studied further at Oxford (1906) and the University of
London (1907). He taught history at Allegheny College (1898-1910 and
1913-1916) and at Princeton (1910-1913) where he became acquainted with
Woodrow Wilson. He held the office of superintendent of schools in Salt Lake
City (1916-1920) and in Evanston (1920-1924). A prolific writer, he published,
among other works, The History of the Confederate Treasury (1901), The
Diplomatic Contest for the Ohio Valley (1909), and Allegheny, A Century of
Education (1915). 56
An acquaintance of fifty years wrote of Dr. Smith's years at Allegheny that
he was thought of as "a wonderful teacher, a wise friend, and a most popular
and beloved professor on the campus," and that "he had a special genius for
working with young people." 57 Professor Leon W. Miller spoke of him as a
kindly, democratic person. Other faculty people regarded him as rather
eccentric and arbitrary. It was the opinion of a life-long friend that the new La
Crosse president was ill when he took the post, and that his unusual behavior
on certain occasions was the result of that illness. 58
Dr. Smith came to La Crosse highly recommended on the basis of his
scholastic activities and previous positions. Besides distinguished careers as a
history professor at Allegheny and Princeton, he gave courses in education and
directed teacher training at Northwestern University. In 1912 at Princeton he
was voted an honorary member of the graduating class and named the most
popular assistant professor. 59 As superintendent of schools in Salt Lake City,
he carefully reported the conditions of the public schools to the board of
education annually. He also persuaded the board to erect new buildings, repair
old ones, and raise teachers' salaries. He coped well with the problems arising
from the severe winter weather of 1917 and influenza epidemic of 1919. He
asked for more care in assigning students to schools for "sub normals"
because of the unnecessary stigma placed on such students.
During the war years, the school system over which he presided participated
vigorously in the national effort. School youngsters wrote essays on buying
bonds, supported the liberty loan drives, and organized thrift campaigns for
war saving stamps. The junior high school became an established institution
under Smith's superintendency. As his predecessor, Fassett Cotton, had done
in Indiana, Smith supported the separation of junior and senior high schools in


The Early Administrations

Salt Lake City. In his last year at Salt Lake he reported proudly that almost
ninety-seven percent of the school population in the city was enrolled, a new
high. His closing words were characteristically gracious thanks to those who
had worked for him through the years. 60 As superintendent of schools in
Evanston, Illinois, he put special emphasis on improvement of elementary
education, health and physical education, instruction of music and art. 61
Little of President Smith's short tenure at La Crosse comes to light. At
announcement of his appointment as president, the faculty sent its cordial
greetings and pledged its "loyal support to your administration." It received in
reply a telegram which referred to the "highly reputed staff of educators" at
the school. 62 The commencement date was changed so Dr. Smith might
address his new charges and the community. A surprise visitor at the
commencement was the Rev. William H. Crawford, head of the Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. President of Allegheny when
Smith had taught there, Crawford spoke of the new president as a "scholar,"
and "inspiring leader," and "a friend of the younger people." 63
In his address, President Smith spoke of the important role of the public
school in American society. He told his listeners democracy required education
to train youth and the public must provide the funds for it. Increasingly, he said
further, modern education freed from prejudice and blindness, a freedom
important in the teaching of young people. He spoke, too, of the "new
learning" as the system by which the teacher leads the child rather than forces
him to learn. And he concluded that Wisconsinites long ago had decided "only
the best shall serve the state." 64

In session with his faculty, Smith dealt with the usual problems of publicity,
high school visitations, and class attendance reports. 65 He spoke to the faculty
on administrative policy taking as his theme his salutation to students: "To
those about to live--live more broadly and more richly, greetings." 66 He urged
assembled students to be proud of their school and to respect it as they did their
fathers and mothers. He raised the question of disorder in the halls and
libraries to the faculty and then decided to address the students themselves on
the matter. With his support the faculty adopted a general statement on
"honorary and professional fraternities" which in turn permitted establish-
ment of Phi Epsilon Kappa for physical education. Within little over a year,
Smith accepted an offer to become president of Toledo University. Two months
later he died. Only two weeks before his death he had thanked faculty members
at La Crosse for their cooperation, fidelity, and sincerity. 67 His death, wrote a
local editor, ended the opportunity which he had been offered to promote
democratic education in a municipal university:

The opportunity to pioneer in this branch of education, the
prospect of making a great contribution to educational
advancement, the certainty--with success--of creating an
important personal reputation, were all inherent in Dr.
Smith's new post. And all this fruition of his life's work in
education has been denied him. 68


The Early Administrations

George M. Snodgrass

The regents again appointed Professors Sanford and Whitney to serve as an
executive committee until the board found a new president. This second
interregnum  ended with the selection of George M. Snodgrass "on the
unanimous recommendation of the Special Committee of the Board." 69 A
product of Hamline, Northwestern, and Wisconsin universities, he was at the
time of his election director of teacher training at Superior State Normal. He
had taught grade school at Wausau and high school at River Falls where he was
principal from 1901 to 1904. During the next twelve years he worked as
supervising principal at Alma, Barron, Neillsville, and Oconto, and as principal
of the Barron County Normal at Rice Lake. In 1916 he became director of
teacher training at Superior Normal. In this position he participated in
numerous educational associations. In the viewpoint of a local newspaper he
was "peculiarly qualified to assume leadership in a state normal school." 70 On
the eve of this appointment, the local regent encouraged Snodgrass "to put our
best foot forward." Apparently he did just that, for the regent commented a
few weeks later:

Frankly, I did not believe it possible for a man to make so
many fine impressions and so much headway with school
people and citizens generally as you have made in the
short time you have been here. I can see only successful
and happy days ahead of you here. So far as I am
personally concerned, in the short time you have been in
charge of the school, a great load has been lifted off my
shoulders.... 71

Professors Albert Sanford (left) and Clayton Whitney (right) served as an executive
committee while the board of regents searched for presidents to replace Cotton and


The Early Administrations

Years later, Otto Schlabach wrote on the termination of his regency:

With the exception of two or three incidents at board
meetings, all in relation to other schools, these five years
have been very pleasant. The thing that is outstanding in
my mind and that I have appreciated the most, has been
the contact and association with you throughout these five
years.... No school in the system enjoys the confidence
and goodwill of the brand that this school does and that altogether due to the modest and honest manner in
which you have presented the facts and needs of this
school. 72

Snodgrass enjoyed high esteem among his contemporaries. At the time of his
appointment to the normal at Superior, a friend wrote Superior President V. E.
McCaskill: "I am not surprised to learn that you have found George M.
Snodgrass a prince ....He is practically without Original Sin (a thing that both
you and I have to contend with)." 73 On the occasion of his death in 1939, his
fellow-presidents described him as "quiet, modest, unobtrusive," a "cultured,
friendly gentleman," a "human, lovable man," a "kindly gentleman," and "a
conscientious public servant...kindly, honest, sympathetic." 74
In his first speech to students in assembly President Snodgrass embodied the
main theme of his philosophy of education. "I am a firm believer in hard work
and sound scholarship in the school," he said, "It is no place for loafers. A
degree, if worth anything, must have high standards behind it." 75 He also told
the students he believed in them and he liked working with young people. He
also noted his pleasure in heading an institution which trained teachers in
physical education. In his view that area had been neglected too long in the
schools of Wisconsin. But he also called on the devotees of physical education
to recognize that the lasting values in life were scholarly in nature. In turn, the
scholar should acknowledge the importance of physical well-being.
President Snodgrass was equally at home talking about Shakespeare or the

George M. Snodgrass, a proponent of liberal
arts, was president (1927-39) when the normal
school achieved teachers college status and began
granting four-year degrees.


The Early Administrations

problems of supervision in education. He spoke seriously to young
Presbyterians on "The Fine Art of Living" and humorously to the League of
Women Voters on "Civilized Loafing." He was highly articulate on the
importance of democracy in education and enthusiastically endorsed the idea of
schooling for the masses. 76 Education, he told the D.A.R., "should be the
chief concern of democratic government." 77 He was convinced that traditional
education which emphasized rote learning should be replaced by the
progressive educational idea to liberate the capacity to learn. "Teaching a child
to think and allowing him to think is the only way to educate him" he told a
local civic group. 78
During Snodgrass's twelve-year administration, La Crosse, together with the
other normal schools in Wisconsin, achieved teachers college status and began
granting four-year degrees. In the course of this change-over, the president
sought to get the faculty to increase the liberal arts components in teacher
training, especially in physical education. His efforts in that regard were
frustrated, but he continued to believe in his proposals and to speak in their
La Crosse also weathered the depression including a threat to close it
together with River Falls, Eau Claire, and Stevens Point. In the face of this
possibility, Snodgrass told a worried local public, "to close any of their
[colleges] doors now would be to prevent students from the homes of farmers,
laborers and tradesmen from attaining intellectual improvement." 79 A year
later he proudly asserted that the La Crosse college had operated very
economically during the difficult period just past and at the same time had
initiated higher standards of scholarship and enriched the course offerings. He
persisted in the quest for new buildings and saw the erection of a women's
gymnasium for physical education, a heating plant, and the beginnings of a
campus school--the latter two after tortuous and complex dealings with the
Public Works Administration of the federal government. 80
Perhaps for the status of the school in the academic world and the local
community, Snodgrass' successful pursuit of accreditation by the North Central
Association was his most important contribution. In seeking and obtaining such
recognition, Snodgrass took a different viewpoint of its importance than most
presidents of teachers colleges in the country who expressed preference for
accreditation by Teachers College Association. It was his view that the school
and its students would benefit from such recognition. As a result of his efforts
La Crosse was accredited in the spring of 1928 as a teacher-training institution
only. The North Central Association did not yet regard the four-year degrees at
La Crosse as equivalent to "standard" college and university courses and
therefore required special certification by the president of cases that might be
so considered. 81 Accreditation did not come easily; and it was only a first step
in an uphill struggle still going on to achieve adequate recognition both inside
and outside the community in which the school exists. During the presidency of
Mr. Snodgrass, the North Central Association renewed approval in 1930, 1933,
1934, and 1936. 82 In addition the American Association of Teachers Colleges
extended accreditation to La Crosse which it renewed repeatedly over the
years. 83 Following such recognition by the North Central Association, the
president proudly announced enriched offerings in science, art, and physical


The Early Administrations

education and that the La Crosse faculty, through summer study, was steadily
being improved. He also wrote that the number of special students
(pre-professionals and liberal arts generally) had increased because:

Young people in the vicinity of La Crosse are realizing that
academic courses at the local institution are offered by
men and women of high scholarship and teaching ability,
and have become aware of the fact that credits earned
here can be transferred without loss to colleges and
universities throughout the country. 84

Meantime the president dealt with the various matters requiring his
attention and efforts. After a rough-housing involving freshmen he announced:

We do not believe in hazing, and before anything
happens, as it has at other schools, we draw the line where
hazing in any way could result in injury or exhaustion. 85

He told a group of young people they ought to recapture the restraint practiced
by their fathers and return to "some of the simpler virtues of life." 86 When
proponents of a proposal to establish a single board of regents for higher
education in Wisconsin presented their proposition, Snodgrass opposed it
because he did not believe "any one board would understand the problems of
so many institutions." 87
  Near the end of his career Snodgrass faced the charge of radicalism from an
irate relative, Janesville attorney Paul N. Grubb. Grubb accused him of
fostering propaganda at La Crosse in favor of the New Deal, La Follette, and
FDR, all to the detriment of the college and society in general. Grubb wrote to
governor-elect Julius Heil that while he did not want to cause Snodgrass any

it might be well to call him onto the executive carpet and
explain to him that after all the state teachers college at La
Crosse is not an institute for the teaching of politics, but
rather supposedly an institution in which a moderate
degree of higher learning is imparted into persons who are
going to teach, and that if in the course of their work at
this college they learn about some of the subjects which
they are going to teach that would, after all, be fulfilling
the function of the institution. 88

Grubb also complained of forty years of "La Follette" propaganda fomented
by university professors "who make every effort to shake their [student] faith
in every honest, decent kind of economics and religion." He further accused
the high schools, and specifically the one at Janesville, of no longer teaching

such things as reading, writing, arithmetic, geography,
history, latin [sic], etc. They do have courses which carry
those labels but the teachers are frankly political
propagandists for the New Deal and the La Follettes. 89


The Early Administrations

Snodgrass sharply denied the charges of radicalism and dereliction in the
schools and characteristically commented to a friend that

our present problems are more deep-seated than any
party, that democracy itself is on trial on this earth, and
that only by intelligence, broad sympathetic understanding 
and courage can the ideals of our fathers be
perpetuated. This is the only program that I can support
under whatever label it may operate. 90

Heil did not call him on the carpet, perhaps because death intervened, perhaps
because better judgment prevailed.
President Snodgrass as his predecessor, President Cotton, left a continuing
influence through appointments to the faculty. Among his appointees were
nine whose careers individually exceeded twenty-five years of service and
together averaged thirty-five years. They devoted their professional lives and
very often much of their private lives to the university.*

*The nine: Alvida Ahlstrom (French language and literature); Thomas Annett (music); Milford A.
Cowley (chemistry); Catherine Crail (library); Alice Drake (elementary education); Lora Greene
(Registrar); Edgar C. Knowlton (English); Theodore Rovang (biology); and Marie Park Toland
(speech). All were granted emeritus status upon retirement.


The Early Administrations


1. For biographical information on Cotton see: Mary W. Wayman, "The Work and Influence of
Fasset Allen Cotton in Education," (master's thesis, Ball State Teachers College, Muncie,
Ind., 1945), pp. 9-11; Legislative and State Manual of Indiana for 1903 (Indianapolis: 1902),
p. 137; Commemorative Biographical Record of Prominent and Representative Men of Indianapolis 
and Vicinity (Chicago: 1908), pp. 445-447; E. E. Moore, Moore's Hoosier Cyclopedia
(Connersville, Ind., 1905), p. 139; La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 6, 1909, and Feb. 3, 1909; and Jacob
Piatt Dunn, Greater Indianapolis, The History, The Industries, The Institutions, and the People
of a City of Homes (Chicago:1910) II, 1026-1028. His career in Indiana was broadly praised at
the time of his death. See Indiana Biography, XXV, (Indianapolis: 1942), pp. 62-63.
2. Wayman, pp. 13-21. The synopsis comes from Cotton's report of 1904.
3. Cotton to B. T. McFarland, Superintendent of Public Instruction (Indiana) Letters, 45:523-33,
Indiana Historical Society Library, Indianapolis, Ind. Hereafter this source is cited as SSPI.
Cotton wrote voluminously; there are twelve volumes of letters alone for the years
4. La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 5, 1909.
5. Ibid., Nov. 10, 1911. Cotton approved of Booker T. Washington's methodology at Tuskegee
Institute after a visit to that school. Especially he praised Washington's teaching of the "Joy of
Work." See Indianapolis News, Mar. 1, 1905.
6. Wayman, p. 23.
7. Ibid., p. 27. Compare the following statement on physical education which appeared in the
school catalog for over twenty years after 1914 with some minor changes in wording.
Athletes who could play football, baseball, and basketball were early to
be had, and some have had fine athletic teams in all the high schools of
standing in the state, but little else. The few were trained in a special
kind of work, but the many were merely permitted to look on at the

This statement does not underestimate the value of athletics, but it is
intended to emphasize the fact that athletics and physical education are
not synonymous terms. Athletics is but one branch of physical
education--a branch that has its value no less than its limitations.
See Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., School of Physical Education, May,
1914, p. 11, and AnnualBulletin, State Teachers College, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1934, p. 91.
8. Wayman, p. 27. Two publications illustrate Cotton's interest in industrial and agricultural
education. One, with Martin L. Fisher, was entitled Agriculture for Common Schools (New
York, 1911) and another, with Eldreth G. Allen, Manual Training for Common Schools (New
York, 1910).
9. Wayman, p. 31.
10. Ibid., pp. 31-32.
11. Fassett A. Cotton, "The School and the Community, " The Educator-Journal, IV (Feb., 1904),
257-260. The first La Crosse catalog embodies Cotton's educational philosophy in the curriculum 
and in the explanations of the purposes and functions of the school. The tendency toward
practical training has persisted through the history of the school although it is less apparent
today than it was fifty years ago. The La Crosse Normal, it appears, was truly Cotton's
creation. See Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wisconsin, June, 1910, esp.
pp. 11-48.
12. Fassett A. Cotton, "The Township High School System of Indiana," The School Review, XII
(Apr., 1904), 274.
13. Wayman, pp. 49-98. For a summary of Cotton's role, see pp. 97-98.
14. Cotton to Scribners, D. C. Heath, Scott, Foresman, and the American Book Company, May 2,
1904, SSPI, 54:7-10. Among books considered were such substantial titles as: American
Leaders and Heroes, The City of Seven Hills, Stories of Pioneer Life, Great Americans for
Little Americans, Old Stories of the East, and Story of the Chosen People.
15. Cotton to J. W. Dunn, May 2, 1904, SSPI, 54:16.


The Early Administrations

16. Cotton to Mr. Wilson, Jun. 24, 1904, SSPI, 54:459.
17. See, for example, Cotton to Maggie Stanton, May 11, 1904, SSPI, 54:104, and Cotton to
C. M. McDaniel, Dec. 8, 1904, SSPI, 51:231.
18. Cotton to Robert Newbolt, May 28, 1904, SSPI, 51:130.
19. Cotton to J. T. Giles, Dec. 1, 1904, SSPI, 51:137; Cotton to J. H. Holliday, Dec. 15, 1904, SSPI,
51:287; Cotton to S. C. Hanson, Jan. 9, 1905, SSPI, 51:481; Cotton to E. E. Rice, Dec. 12, 1904,
SSPI, 51:251; Cotton to Supt. Whiting, Jul. 2, 1904, SSPI, 51:491; Cotton to J. M. Culver,
June 11, 1904, SSPI, 51:364; Cotton to Orville Brewer, Aug. 4, 1905, SSPI, 51:463; and Cotton
to C. M. McDaniel, May 10, 1904, SSPI, 54:95.
20. Cotton to H. S. Kaufman, Aug. 7, 1905, SSPI 57:491.
21. Cotton to H. B. Brown, Aug. 18, 1905, SSPI, 57:570.
22. Cotton to W. O. Protsman, Jul. 8, 1905, SSPI, 51:248, and Cotton to Henry C. Starr,
Jul. 8, 1905, SSPI, 51:250.
23. Cotton to George B. Lockwood, Aug. 11, 1905, SSPI, 57:531.
24. The Educator-Journal, VI (Apr., 1906) : 376-377.
25. Cotton to D. O. Coate, Jul. 8, 1905, SSPI, 57:246. Coate followed Cotton to La Crosse where he
remained as a member of the English Department until his retirement.
26. See, for example, F. A. Cotton, "The Teacher's County Institute," The Educator-Journal, IV
(Jul., 1904): 488-490; Cotton, "The County Institute, The Educator-Journal, VIII (Oct., 1907):
133-134; and Cotton to L. L. Robinson, Nov. 18, 1904, SSPI, 51:85-86.
27. National Education Association, Fiftieth Anniversary Volume, 1857-1906 (Winona, Minn.:
1907), p. 139.
28. La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 11, 1909. For more words of praise see alsoLa Crosse Tribune, Jan. 6,
1909, and Feb. 3, 1909; Indianapolis Star, Feb. 4, 1909; and Dunn, Greater Indianapolis,
pp. 1027-1028.
29. The first faculty were: James O. Engleman, vice president; Albert H. Sanford, history and
civics; Adolph Bernhard, physics and chemistry; David O. Coate, English; Lewis Atherton,
biology and agriculture; William A. Austin, mathematics; Levinus P. Denoyer, geography and
geology; Ernest D. Long, Latin and German; Mrs. Homer E. Cotton, music; Elizabeth W.
Robertson, drawing; Bessie B. Hutchison, English; Ada F. Thayer, physical training; Margaret
Spence, domestic science; William H. Sanders, principal, Training School Department; Lilian
Bettinger, Training School grades seven and eight; La Verne Garratt, Training School grades
five and six; Lottie L. Deneen, Training School grades one and two; Clara D. Hitchcock,
Training School kindergarten; Florence Wing, librarian. Cotton listed himself as president
although his legal title was principal. He taught a course called School Economics and was in
charge of the two-year Country School Course.
30. La Crosse Tribune, Jul. 7, 1909, Jul. 16, 1909, Jul. 22, 1909, Aug. 3, 1909, and Aug. 20, 1909.
31. Ibid., Sept. 15, 1909.
32. Ibid., Oct. 25, 1909, Nov. 5, 1909, Jan. 29, 1910, Nov. 5, 1910, Mar. 5, 1919, Oct. 3, 1923, and
Oct. 19, 1923.
33. Board of Regents of Normal Schools (Wisconsin), Report, Sept. 10, 1914, p. 68.
34. Ibid., Feb. 7-9, 1912, p. 66; Sept. 10-11, 1914, pp. 67-68; and Apr. 10-11, 1917, p. 14.
35. Ibid., Feb. 7, 1914, p. 59.
36. Kronshage to Thomas Morris, April 28, 1912, Kronshage Papers, Box 1, Wisconsin State
Historical Society, (hereafter cited WSHS), Madison, Wisconsin.
37. Kronshage to Morris, Apr. 22, 1912, Kronshage Papers, Box 1.
38. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 15, 1912.
39. La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 26, 1913.
40. Ibid., Dec. 10, 1913.
41. Ibid., Dec. 1, 1913.
42. Ibid.
43. Ibid., Dec. 10, 1913, Dec. 11, 1913, and Dec. 13, 1913.
44. Ibid., Dec. 15, 1913.
45. The faculty were: Lincoln K. Adkins, Marshall A. Goff, G. H. Heineman, Joel R. Moore,
Russell V. Morgan, Clyde R. Moore, and O. O. White. See the Racquet (annual) for 1917 and
1919 and The Bulletin of the State Normal School at La Crosse, June, 1918, p. 48.
46. Walter H. Baum and Jay Are, "My Experience in the S.A.T.C.," Sanford Papers, University
Archives, ARC, UW-L. Slinging hash and pearl diving is army jargon for cooking and washing


The Early Administrations

47. Bulletin of the State Normal School at La Crosse, June, 1918, pp. 48-49 and faculty reports in
the Sanford Papers, passim.
48. Racquet(newspaper), Mar., 1916.
49. Minutes of the Meeting of Special Committee of the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce, Jan.
11, 1919, p. 83.
50. La Crosse Tribune, Mar. 14, 1919.
51. Ibid., Apr. 7, 1919, Sept. 6, 1923, Sept. 30, 1923, and Oct. 3, 1923.
52. See Board of Regents of Normal Schools (Wisconsin), Report, May-July 1924, pp. 32-34, on
Cotton's resignation. Cotton's "storekeeper" had incurred debts which were unpaid when he
left. The money was owed to Spence McCord Drug Company (La Crosse); Chapman Service
Company for a stamp machine (West Allis); A. N. Palmer Penmanship Company (Chicago);
and Thomas Charles Kindergarten Supplies (Chicago). The grand total was $172.03.
53. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wisconsin, June, 1915, pp. 6 and 45. This
bulletin was issued until 1923 as a special catalog, although the "school" had become first a
"department" and then a "division." Beginning in 1923, the courses in physical education
were incorporated into the regular school catalog.
54. La Crosse Tribune, Apr. 14, 1925.
55. Ibid., Jun. 19, 1925.
56. Racquet (newspaper), Oct. 1, 1925. For biographical information see also the La Crosse
Tribune, Dec. 15, 1926.
57. Ida F. Preston to the writer, Mar. 18, 1965.
58. Dr. Guy Snavely to the writer. Two instances recounted by faculty who knew President Smith
will suffice to illustrate. At the first faculty meeting he presided over, Smith reprimanded
Professor Albert H. Sanford for asking a question which annoyed him. At another time, after
having run over a child with his automobile, he berated the mother soundly for allowing the
youngster to cross the street.
59. La Crosse Tribune, Apr. 14, 1925. Among those who wrote letters of recommendation for Smith
were John Grier Hibben, president of Princeton University, James A. James, historian and
dean of the Graduate School, Northwestern University, and William H. Kirkpatrick, famed
educator of Columbia University.
60. See Superintendent's Report (Salt Lake City, Utah), Jun. 30, 1917, Jun. 30, 1918, Jun. 30,
1919, and Jun. 30, 1920, passim. Mr. Arthur E. Arneson, assistant to the superintendent of
schools, Salt Lake City, supplied copies of these reports to the writer.
61. La Crosse Tribune, Apr. 14, 1925.
62. Minutes of the Faculty Meeting, Apr. 15, 1925, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
63. La Crosse Tribune, Apr. 29, 1925, and Jun. 19, 1925.
64. Ibid., Jun. 19, 1925.
65. Minutes of the Faculty Meeting, Jul. 28, 1925, and Sept. 6, 1925.
66. La Crosse Normal School, Student Handbook, 1925-1926, p. 5.
67. La Crosse Tribune, Sept. 30, 1925; Minutes of the Faculty Meeting, Feb. 17, 1926, Nov. 24,
1926, and Dec. 15, 1926, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
68. La Crosse Tribune, Dec. 29, 1926.
69. Board of Regents of Normal Schools (Wisconsin), Report, Jan. 28, 1927, p. 39.
70. La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 28, 1927.
71. A. W. Zeratsky to George M. Snodgrass, Jan. 17, 1927, University Archives, ARC, UW-L. See
also Zeratsky to Snodgrass, Feb. 25, 1927.
72. Schlabach to Snodgrass, Jun. 6, 1933, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
73. Finley to McCaskill, Jun. 5, 1917, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
74. La Crosse Tribune, Jun. 13, 1939. These were statements of Presidents Hill (Superior), Nelson
(Stout), Baker (Milwaukee), Polk (Oshkosh), and Schofield (Eau Claire), respectively.
75. La Crosse Tribune, Feb. 3, 1927, and an untitled assembly address in the Snodgrass Papers,
University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
76. See, for example, speeches entitled, "The Plight of Young America," "The Organization of
Supervision in the Superior Normal School," and "Educational Opportunities in Wisconsin,"
Snodgrass Papers, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
77. La Crosse Tribune, Dec. 13, 1927.
78. Untitled radio broadcast on the subject of traditional and modern education, Mar. 1, 1934,
Snodgrass Papers, University Archives, ARC,UW-L. See also, "What is Freedom?" and
"Control vs. Freedom," Snodgrass Papers and La Crosse Tribune, Dec. 4, 1935.


The Early Administrations

79. La Crosse Tribune, Jun. 26, 1933.
80. Board of Regents of Normal Schools (Wisconsin), Report, Dec., 1937 - Apr., 1939, pp. 7-8 and
Ibid., Financial Report and Proceedings, Nov., 1936 - Oct., 1937, pp. 14-17, 21 and 22.
81. George F. Zork to Snodgrass, Apr. 2, 1928, Snodgrass Papers, University Archives, ARC,
UW-L. The lack of doctorates on the faculty caused difficulty in obtaining accreditation. Only
two faculty members had them in 1928 and one was an M.D. Ten years later there were twelve;
presently (1979-80) there are 220 or 68% of the faculty.
82. See President's Accreditation File, Box 3, University Archives, ARC, UW-L. The related
correspondence is considerable in quantity.
83. Charles S. Hunt to Snodgrass, Dec. 1, 1932, Box 1, University Archives, ARC, UW-L and the
President's Accreditation Files, Boxes 1 and 2, University Archives, ARC, UW-L. In 1948 the
AATC was succeeded by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
(AACTE), which has visited the La Crosse campus many times.
84. La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 1, 1930. Snodgrass also established the La Crosse State Teachers
College Foundation "to provide financial aid and assistance to worthy students .... "See
History Subject File, Box 1, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
85. La Crosse Tribune, Oct. 20, 1932.
86. Ibid., Feb. 7, 1933. Restraint would involve among other things the abandonment of
87. Ibid.
88. Paul N. Grubb to Julius P. Heil, Dec. 7, 1938. See also, Snodgrass to Grubb, Dec. 2, 1938, and
Grubb to Snodgrass, Dec. 7, 1938, ARC, UW-L.
89. Grubb to Heil, Dec. 7, 1938, ARC, UW-L.
90. Snodgrass to V. E. Klontz, Dec. 12, 1938, ARC, UW-L. Klontz was superintendent of
schools at Janesville.



The Later Administrations

1939 - 1979

President Snodgrass' passing came at the time when war clouds darkened
the lands of Europe and Asia. Although few people, including faculty,
students, and townspeople foresaw it, the events happening thousands of miles
away were to have an impact on La Crosse State Teachers College. Indeed,
most Americans, basking in the warmth of neutrality declarations by President
Roosevelt and feeling safe within the confines of two of the world's great
oceans, were unprepared for the massive role they were to play in the ensuing
conflict. While a special committee of the board of regents sought a new
president, Clayton Whitney, this time alone, acted as interim executive. And
in the summer of 1939, upon the unanimous recommendation of the committee,
the regents appointed Rexford Samuel Mitchell to the post. 1

Rexford Samuel Mitchell
A native of Manawa, Wisconsin, Mitchell was the eldest of seven children.
During his high school years he worked for his father and an uncle in their
general store. With a brother, he organized a small enterprise to raise, show,
and sell prize chickens. He also worked as a printer's devil for the Manawa
Advocate. At Manawa High School, Mitchell took "a variety of subjects"
including four years of Latin, German, Greek history, and bookkeeping. He
started debate and oratory and produced the first annual. In addition, he played
left guard on a thirteen-boy football team. During the long winter evenings he
read history, two newspapers, the Milwaukee Sentinel and the Chicago
Tribune, and two magazines, the American Boy and Youth's Companion. 2
Upon graduation from high school, Mitchell entered Lawrence College as a
scholarship student on the eve of World War I. Originally he had planned to
become a lawyer. But at Lawrence his interests changed and, increasingly, he
devoted his efforts to history and speech. In these years, Lawrence College,
once an academy to train Methodist ministers, emphasized debate and forensics. 
Mitchell came to excel in both and, in later years, to teach both. Debate,
he believed, was an excellent experience, for it required careful research and
compilation of information. Especially he thought such learning was good
because the debater needed to know "what he was talking about before he
started talking." 3
At Lawrence, Mitchell took all the courses possible in economics, political
science, and speech. He also "very reluctantly took science, art appreciation,
and physical history of some sort." 4 One summer during his collegiate career,
Mitchell tried to earn money selling books to farmers on how to farm. He
traveled several midwestern states during his sales career. It was that
experience, he recalled, that convinced him he "was not cut out to be a
salesman." He and his companion in the venture were broke by mid-summer. 5 
When America joined World War I, Mitchell joined the YMCA and for three
months was recreation director of a camp in Kansas. But he came to feel he was


The Later Administrations

avoiding military service, so he enlisted in the army as a "buck private in the
rear ranks"' He went to France with the American Expeditionary Forces where
he spent sixteen months in the headquarters town of U.S. General John J.
Pershing. As he put it, he "fought the war with a typewriter" in the Adjutant
General's office.
At the end of the war Mitchell went back to Lawrence where he graduated in
1920 with Phi Beta Kappa honors. During his last year there he thought of
becoming a minister. After obtaining a local license and preaching twice each
Sunday at Pere for $5.00 a sermon, he decided he did not want that. 6 Before he
finished the year at Lawrence, he accepted a position at the River Falls State
Normal School. There he taught history and the social sciences and was dean of
men from 1920-1928. In 1928, Mitchell went back to his alma mater from River
Falls. At Lawrence he taught history and speech and held various
administrative posts including director of admissions, associate dean, assistant
to the president, and alumni director. 7 He remained there until his
appointment as president at La Crosse in 1939.
Dr. Mitchell recalled that one of his tasks at River Falls was to recruit
students from the small high schools in the area. There was no budget so the
faculty took up a collection to pay his expenses. This together with trips all over
the state to judge debates and forensics, brought back memories of "mud, mud
all over" on the innumerable country roads he traversed. Despite it all, he
enjoyed teaching and judging debate more than instructing in the social
sciences. During the summers at his first instructional position at River Falls,
he completed his formal education at the University of Chicago (M.A. in
history) and at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (Ph.D. in speech). Of his
graduate professors at Chicago he best remembered historian William E.
Dodd. Of those at Madison, he recalled historians John D. Hicks and William
B. Hesseltine and speech professor Andrew T. Weaver. Dodd and Hicks were
two of America's leading historians of the 1920's and 1930's. Hesseltine was
younger but already becoming famous for his lectures on the American Civil
War. Weaver taught speech at Madison from 1923 until retirement three
decades later.

During a time of rapid and sometimes
painful growth, President Rexford S. Mitchell
(1939-65) exuded an atmosphere of relaxation,
warmth, and friendliness on the campus.


The Later Administrations

Upon his arrival as the new president of La Crosse State Teachers College, a
position which he did not actively seek, an enthusiastic report for the student
newspaper described him as a person with a

closely-clipped head of grayish hair, two rows of beautiful
teeth, a pair of blue eyes that make you ticklish inside and
a smile made only for the President of the La Crosse State
Teachers College. 8

Dr. Mitchell administered the college during the years of quickening pace
and painful growth. What had been a small school with an enrollment of 806
and a faculty of 55 expanded beyond the most thoughtful expectations of 1939.
During the war years, enrollments had fallen as students and faculty departed
for service. But as soon as the sounds of battle had ceased, many returned to
resume their studies and their teaching. 9 The post-war years were a time of
expansion and difficulties inherent in growing steadily larger. Ten years after
his accession, the president told the local public that their college badly needed
housing for young people and a new library. 10 The latter opened seven years
later. In the fall of 1965, a few months before Mitchell's retirement, despite the
erection of several residence halls, 2300 students were still housed off campus.
In the quarter century during which he presided at La Crosse, Dr. Mitchell
wrestled with the problems common to expanding institutions. The acquisition
of land, determination of building priorities, and dormitory expansion occupied
long hours on the part of the president, the vice president and the deans. The
campus expanded into the nearby fairgrounds area after prolonged and
sometimes unhappy negotiations with the city government. These negotiations
included a veto by Mayor Milo Knutson of the sale of part of the fairgrounds to
the state. The common council over-rode the veto. 11
The pressures engendered by steadily increasing enrollments called for new
facilities. Thus to the three existing buildings--Main Hall, Wittich Hall, and the
Campus School--were added the Florence Wing Library (1957), Cowley Hall
housing the sciences (1965), and a new physical education facility named
Mitchell Hall (1965). Eugene W. Murphy library opened in 1969; the "old"
library became the Wing Communications Center. For several years Wing
housed the Mass Communications, Audio-Visual, Computer Science, and
History departments, and the radio station and student newspaper. Also
erected by the state between 1951 and 1964 were seven dormitories, four for
women and three for men. The nearby Grandview dormitory (formerly used as
nurses' housing) was purchased in 1952. In 1966 Grandview became an office
building to house the English, Speech, Sociology, and Political Science
departments. The latter two later moved to Cowley Hall. 12
Following the trend of the times throughout the state and after long hours of
planning and negotiating finances, in 1959 La Crosse erected a student center,
named Cartwright Center in honor of the institution's long-time dean of
women. The center has provided space for student recreation, club activities,
the book store, and food services. An addition to the center in 1964 provided 
additional meeting rooms, extended student facilities, added space for
Faculty Senate and Administrative Council meetings, and expanded the food
services. 13


The Later Administrations

Meantime as presidents must do, Dr. Mitchell addressed the P.T.A.'s in the
area and spoke at innumerable commencements. 14 He also dealt with such
diverse matters as certification of La Crosse graduates to teach in Montana,
and with the concern of the dean of women at the University of Wisconsin at
Madison, that women were being excluded from enrolling at La Crosse while
men did not have that problem. He politely answered displeased legislators
whose constituents complained of being unable to enroll in the physical
education curriculum because of over-crowding. One state senator suggested
that in the future his support of the institution might be withheld if the case was
not settled favorably. 15 Although history was his reading hobby, Mitchell
continued to keep close touch with aspects of his doctoral field, speech, by
participating in the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association and judging
debate and speech contests. 16 In one instance, Mitchell was warmly thanked
by the father of a daughter he had judged in a speech contest:

Christie is an unusually fortunate girl. She has been
blessed with many fine attributes .... In general things
have come rather easily for her.

Therefore, especially in view of the above, I am most
grateful for the quiet wisdom in your words to her. She has
actually gained more by losing (i.e., getting a B) than if
she had won. 17
Among the perennial problems President Mitchell faced was the transfer of
credits from county teachers colleges both in Wisconsin and Minnesota to La
Crosse and from La Crosse to the University of Wisconsin at Madison. 18
Committed strongly to the idea that the school should serve the larger
community beyond the campus, he also gave much time to determining where
extension classes should be held and whether enrollments would justify
them. 19 And there were the necessary arrangements to be made for visits to
area high schools and county normals to talk to prospective students. 20
He urged the regents to consider carefully the establishment of majors in
physical education at Milwaukee and Oshkosh. He wrote the chairman of the
regents' education committee:

We believe the decision should be made on the basis of
what is best for the state as a whole and do not wish to
appear in a "dog-in-the-manger" role. We are, however,
convinced that the proposed extension of the offering of
physical education majors is not advisable and would
appreciate an opportunity to present our views. We have
had a good many years of experience with such a program
and feel that we may be helpful. 21

Although this time the effort was successful, in the years that followed under
pressure of expanding enrollments, La Crosse lost its exclusive hold on physical
education majors. Regent Eugene Murphy strongly supported the president's
request for additional student space, especially a fieldhouse for physical
education, and complained that La Crosse continued to lose building priorities.


The Later Administrations

The president in his turn pleaded for campus housing because La Crosse had
the largest number of students in the state college system whose homes were
more than twenty miles away--one of the rules of thumb used to determine
housing priorities. 22
Always concerned about the training and ability of the teaching faculty,
Mitchell expressed dissatisfaction with the failure of any of his nominees to
receive Ford Foundation fellowships from the Fund for the Advancement of
Education. Pointing out that the only recipients in Wisconsin were from
Lawrence College and the University of Wisconsin, he added:

I am wondering why the grants have been confined rather
consistently to these two institutions. Surely it cannot be
because the teaching in those institutions needs improving
more than others ....
I realize, of course, that your group has a perfect right to
grant the awards to whomever they please. I cannot keep
from wondering, however, why certain institutions are
given all the benefits. 23

As the nature of the institution changed and its role in education broadened,
President Mitchell found his time increasingly preoccupied with new degree
offerings (B.A. and B.S.), finances for high school music contests, and
curricular additions in the Letters and Science program intended to strengthen
the total educational offerings by including majors in sociology, economics,
political science, philosophy, mathematics, and biology.24 During Mitchell's
tenure, also, the faculty and administration undertook extensive curriculum
revision and institutional reorganization. In 1962 the faculty adopted the Basic
Studies program described elsewhere. The program, established to undergird
the undergraduate programs of all prospective graduates, consists mainly of
liberal arts courses and originally was incorporated in the faculty constitution.
Immediately following curriculum revision and self-studies by the faculty and
administration came renewed accreditation of both the undergraduate and
graduate programs by the North Central Association. Partly in preparation for
the North Central visitation and in response to needs created by the growth of
the institution, the administration designed a more clearly-defined organization. 
Included in this arrangement were academic departments. President
Mitchell turned to departmental organization reluctantly. He viewed the
college as a unit, not as a collection of separate departments and divisions. As
enrollments expanded, he increasingly delegated facets of policy-making and
direction to the faculty. Between 1950 and 1966, an elected faculty steering
committee appointed other faculty committees; the president continued to
appoint the various boards of control. In the early years of the institution,
President Cotton was an ex officio member of all committees. By contrast,
President Mitchell sat only on the Administrative Committee which handled
disciplinary matters. Under his administration curriculum development and
implementation became almost wholly a faculty function with restraints
primarily exercised through limitations on facilities and staff which the
administration was able to obtain. 25


The Later Administrations

President Mitchell kept largely to himself the various complaints he received
from local citizens about faculty and student activities of which they
disapproved. One controversy which burst into the open was the so-called
"Filippov Affair." The history and political science departments invited the
first secretary of the Soviet Embassy in the United States, Youri Filipov, to
speak to an assembly on campus and at the noon luncheon of the La Crosse
Rotary Club. The announcement of his coming, which appeared on the front
page of the La Crosse Tribune of December 7, 1958, brought an outburst of
opposition from various groups in the form of numerous telephone calls and
letters to the editor. The president called together the faculty steering
committee and members of his administration to seek advice on what action
should be taken. Although there was not unanimous agreement at the meeting,
the majority decided to cancel the visit which would have been on December 8.
This caused a considerable reaction on the other side. Several persons called to
object to the cancellation and the executive boards of the La Crosse Area
Council of Churches and the La Crosse Area Ministerial Association publicly
protested: "We feel much of this was caused by fear and prejudice, and that
the whole matter of academic freedom is at stake." 26 These and other groups
asked Mitchell to disclose who had put on the pressure to cancel the visit; he
declined to do so. The student newspaper, headlined IRON CURTAIN AT LA
CROSSE, objected to the cancellation as well. It was joined by the La Crosse
Tribune which editorialized:
It has forever been the American way to hear all sides of a
question --to hear all concepts of a way of life, as bitterly as
we oppose the Soviet concept, while steadfastly holding to
our own as preferred and to be defended at all costs. 27

Following this episode, the faculty steering committee publicly asserted its
right to invite speakers to the campus and announced that it was inviting
Filipov again to come to La Crosse. The Racquet headlined an editorial "The
Fabulous Mr. Filippov" and continued in a satirical vein:

At the time this issue goes to press (May 28) it is too
early to tell if the fabulous Mr. Filippov finally made it to
our fair campus...If he comes, fine. We hope you go to see
this ogre. (But watch out; he may bite). If he can't come,
well that's too bad. Some of us wanted to see if he really
had two heads and breathed fire.

In any case, last December's ruckus taught us an
important lesson. It showed us that some Americans have
little concept of what real Americanism is. Real
Americanism, as many who are more erudite than we have
pointed out, is believing in the first amendment at all
times, not just when it seems desirable or fashionable. But
of course you know all that .... 28

Besides the presidential position Dr. Mitchell held several posts in
educational organizations and led an exceptionally active community life. In


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appreciation of his leadership in both of these areas, the La Crosse Chamber of
Commerce chose him for its chief award in 1964--the Chamber's President's
Award. In accepting the honor he made the observation that "it is the
obligation of all citizens to take an active part in community affairs." That he
followed his own dictates was indicated by the numerous community activities
in which he was involved. 29
An atmosphere of relaxation, warmth, and friendliness permeated the
campus of the Mitchell era. He had no special parking place when he drove to
work, and he frequently helped sort the faculty mail in the main office. When
the Florence Wing Library opened and the books had to be moved from Main
Hall, Dr. Mitchell joined in the coterie of students and faculty which moved the
volumes to their new place. He told an interviewer: "We don't have
second-class citizens here. People like to talk about democracy. Let's practice
it." 30
When Mitchell had to be absent from the campus for regents' meetings,
other official business, speech-making and vacations, his administrative
alter-ego, Academic Vice President Maurice O. Graff, made the necessary
decisions. His traveling companion on a myriad of jaunts to Madison was Glenn
M. Smith, whose enthusiasm for physical education and intercollegiate sports
was shared by Mitchell. His golf matches at Maple Grove Country Club with his
long-time friend and confidant, Professor William (Bill) Laux, were legendary.
Love for the game and its camaraderie, along with former relationships which
Mitchell and several other La Crosse faculty had with River Falls, led him to
initiate a series of matches between the "golfers" on each faculty. Speaking at
the recognition dinner given him by students shortly before his retirement,
Mitchell recalled:
For the last fifteen years a group of faculty members
representing River Falls have met a La Crosse group in a
golf tournament which strangely always resulted in a tie.
Some unusual awards, however, have been made. Several
years ago when the tournament was held at River Falls,
the hosts presented me with a full size papier-mache cow.
The following year when River Falls came here the cow
made a speech telling how much better she liked it at La
Crosse than at River Falls. (Viggo Rasmusen had wired
the cow for sound.) 31

Highlights of his administration in athletics, he told his student audience,
were the Cigar Bowl football victory of 1951 and the championship basketball
team of 1964. Of the buildings erected in his term, the Florence Wing Library
gave him the "greatest thrill," particularly because its approval came
unexpectedly. In curriculum development the authorization to offer four years
of liberal arts was to him the high point. And he concluded:

I have been a very fortunate person. It has been my
privilege for 46 years to try to help young people realize
their full potential as persons and as citizens. It has been
my privilege also to engage in this undertaking with many


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The 1950 football squad, coached by E. William Vickroy and
10-0-0 record including the Cigar Bowl in Tampa, Florida.

the 1964 basketball team had the best won-lost record in the institution's history.


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congenial and dedicated colleagues. My greatest satisfactions 
have come from the many former students and
alumni who report we have contributed to their growth
and understanding. I hope your four years at La Crosse
will be as enjoyable and satisfying as my twenty-seven
have been. 32
Long-time service at La Crosse was characteristic of Mitchell's appointees to
the faculty and classified personnel of the institution. In the spring of 1974,
ninety-seven of his former faculty and forty-eight of the classified personnel
appointed during his administration had served ten years or more. Of those,
thirty-one faculty and fourteen classified personnel had served twenty or more
years. Two appointees of his predecessor, chemistry Professor Milford Cowley
(1933) and Administrative Budget and Management Analyst Elizabeth Pollack
(1936), were still with the university. Two close associates of Dr. Mitchell wrote
candidly and with deep feelings about him. Betty Pollack, first his secretary
and later his business manager, said:

He inherited a "no smoking in the building" rule and
retained it. A smoker himself, he believed the non-smoker
had the right to breathe unpolluted air ....

He believed students would learn and profit from their
own mistakes without unsolicited advice from him. To
those who sought it, his door was always open.
He was always conscious of the taxpaper's dollar and
chose to spend it on instructional and library needs rather
than administrative surroundings. In twenty-seven years
we bought one chair for his office and replaced the

The resolution designating him President Emeritus
described him well: "a rare 'common man' blessed with
modesty, friendliness, and understanding." 33

Lorna Dux Vafeas, who served as Dr. Mitchell's secretary for twenty-one
years, wrote of him:

Dr. Mitchell was a very humane person, sincere, firm
when necessary, understanding, always ready to find a
way to help those who needed assistance. He really made
a point of learning to know the faculty, the staff, and the
At about the time of his retirement, he played Santa
Claus for the office girls' Christmas party. He amazed us
with the knowledge he had of most of those attending
which was evidenced by his quips when he distributed the
gifts. 34

On the occasion of the presentation of Mitchell's portrait in the Hall of
Presidents of Cartwright Center, Regent Eugene W. Murphy, a friend and


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co-worker of many years, spoke generous words of praise for La Crosse's fourth
president. He lauded Dr. Mitchell's loyalty to La Crosse and "his wisdom, his
patience, and his understanding in dealing with problems and people." And he
As I see the university, I see everywhere the influence of
Dr. Mitchell, not merely in the land which has been
acquired, in the buildings which have been built, but in
the people who have been assembled here; in the manner
in which they have gone about their work; in the quality of
the work they have done. These are the real evidences of
educational leadership.

President Mitchell had made numerous plans to travel after retirement. He
managed two jaunts before a variety of physical afflictions struck his big frame.
In the last months of his life, he moved only with the greatest of difficulty. After
seven years of retirement, he passed away on July 4, 1973.

Samuel Gerald Gates
Several months before receiving President Mitchell's letter of resignation,
the board of regents appointed a screening committee to select his successor.
The committee chairman was Eugene W. Murphy from La Crosse. Many of La
Crosse's faculty took a lively interest in the upcoming appointment. The faculty
steering committee appointed an ad hoc committee to participate in the
selection process. A poll of faculty showed the majority voting favored
appointing someone from the campus and that the favorite was Vice President
Maurice 0. Graff who had been at La Crosse for twenty years. 35 Graff had
taught economics and political science and over the years had served on many
committees, and as student personnel director, admissions director, summer
session director, dean, and academic affairs vice president. He also had worked
for the National War Labor Board (1943-1946) and as a federal mediator for
many years. As he wrote the regents in his application he had "served as the
'right hand man' for the President at La Crosse for more than two decades." 36

A faculty poll showed the majority favored Vice
President Maurice Graff as Mitchell's successor.


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The La Crosse committee solicited suggestions from the faculty and offered
its services to the regents' committee. As early as June, 1965, the secretary of
the faculty, Registrar Robert LeRoy, wrote to the regents' secretary, Eugene R.
McPhee, advising him of the creation of the ad hoc group "to represent the
faculty" in the search for a new president. In the months that followed further
correspondence between the committee chairman, Secretary McPhee, and
Regent Murphy followed. The faculty committee met once with McPhee and
Murphy in the summer of 1965 to make its recommendation. But despite
vigorous faculty efforts, the regents at no time permitted the committee to
participate in interviews of candidates. Further, despite a statement that the
regents' committee would keep the La Crosse faculty informed of
developments, no such information was forthcoming. 37
The faculty committee chairman, Emerson Wulling, asked again two weeks
prior to the date scheduled for selection of the new president that his committee
be involved. Wulling suggested that "final deliberations" appropriately
enough should be held on the La Crosse campus and requested that the faculty
committee be allowed to participate in the final screenings. He was told by
return correspondence that:
It was the unanimous decision of the (regents') committee
that the president of the Association of Wisconsin State
University Faculties, Wynett Barnett, was sufficient
faculty representation to attend meetings of the screening
committee. 38
The board of regents' selection to be La Crosse's fifth president was Samuel
Gerald Gates, who, at the time of his appointment, was Dean of the Graduate
School of Colorado State College, Greeley. Immediately upon the announce-
ment of his appointment, the vice presidents and deans sent congratulations
and offered their "full support" to him. Vice President Graff addressed the
faculty and classified staff:
A prolonged period of uncertainty concerning our
leadership is ended with the selection of Dr. Sam Gates ....

Samuel G. Gates, president from 1965 to 1970,
took pride in his efforts to improve campus-community 


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Dr. Gates is a highly respected and nationally known
leader in educational circles.
The university "team" which Dr. Gates is to lead
includes more than 350 of us who serve on the faculty and
classified staff. It is our responsibility to continue to
provide the loyalty, support, and harmonious effort which
have characterized our campus family for many years
under President Mitchell and his predecessors.39
Dr. Gates grew up in Denver, Colorado, during the depression of the 1930's.
He spoke of having lived in a "ghetto." His father, a steamfitter, was
unemployed most of those years; his mother provided the family income by
selling shoes in a Denver dry goods store, a job she held for forty years. Gates
recalls his family life in those days as being a happy one although until the age
of ten he was known as "Peg-Leg" or "Limpy" because one leg was four
inches shorter than the other. He spent nine months in the hospital having it
stretched and another nine months in a cast to cure this disability. In later years
he carefully concealed a slight limp so he would not be washed out of the Army
Air Force cadets. The depressed economic conditions in which he lived did not
deter him from believing a person could "go as far as his dreams and his
energy would allow him." 40
Encouraged by his parents to work hard, Gates took a night job in a garage
during his high school years. After graduation, he went to work as a laborer in
the "back-shop" of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad for thirty-six cents an
hour. When he graduated, his high school teachers and principal advised him
to go to college at Greeley. The principal, who was also president of the Greeley
Board of Regents, helped him to obtain a tuition scholarship. For room and
board he first took care of the clay and fired the kilns for the Art Department.
Later he became head bus-boy in a girls' dormitory. This, he observed, gave
him a good base to run for campus offices, such as the student council. He also
belonged to several honoraries including Phi Alpha Theta and Kappa Delta Pi. 41
In college, Gates took majors in the biological and social sciences. He
accepted a high school teaching position after his junior year. Following
America's entry into World War II, he enlisted as a flying cadet after passing
both the army and navy examinations. His preference was the navy. But
because the Army Air Force would take married men, he chose that branch of
service. After training, he was retained as flight instructor on B-17 and B-29
bombers. Upon discharge, he returned to finish college. Dr. Gates'
professional career included teaching "Unified Studies" in Greeley's
laboratory school, serving as director of the elementary and secondary schools
of the college, and administering the Graduate College as dean from 1955-1966.
During much of this time he also taught classes. Meantime he also became an
examiner for accreditation of secondary and higher education for the North
Central Association. It was in this capacity that he first visited La Crosse in
1965. In his opinion, good teaching was of the utmost importance in schools at
all levels. A good teacher, he stated,

is someone who takes personal interest in the individual
and who pats him or her on the back when progress is


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being made, who is helpful in setting realistic levels of
aspiration and then helping the individual to achieve
them. Once this is done, (the teacher) recognizes it in
some visible way by approbation or by encouragement. 42

He strongly favored student evaluation of teaching to encourage improvement
of instruction and to aid administrators in making decisions regarding
promotion, tenure, and salary for faculty.
Gates opposed the use of collective bargaining by faculties because he
believed it would lead to polarization of the parties involved, to the loss of
certain faculty prerogatives, and to changes in the classic concept of academic
freedom. He also feared that faculty members might use students to achieve
their demands, and therefore the "product would become involved in the
process." 43 Although he favored appointment rather than election of
department chairpersons, he admitted that the elective process worked well at
La Crosse. It was also his opinion that husbands and wives should not be on the
same faculty, and especially not in the same department. The legality of this
matter was established by an Attorney General's ruling stating refusal to hire
and retain husband-wife combinations would be discriminatory if they were
otherwise qualified. Again, he noted his experience in this regard at La Crosse
had been good. In a time when many institutions of higher learning were
phasing out R.O.T.C., Gates expressed strong support of such a program in
both private and public institutions because he believed there should be
university-trained officers in the armed forces. 44
Dr. Gates' arrival on the La Crosse campus coincided with the establishment
of the Faculty Senate. He took pride in the creation of the senate which had his
endorsement and approval. While the senate had no legal authority, it did have
moral, persuasive, and recommending power. Early in his administration the
senate refused to support his nominees for honorary degrees, but that, and
subsequent actions which often came on split votes, did not alter his opinion
that its members were, in his words,

people of good will, people of strong conviction, people
who are not hesitant to take positions and to defend them,
who are articulate, and who aggressively pursue those
positions. 45

In Gates' opinion, the senate would continue to be a strong force for faculty
participation in university governance so long as it tried to do what was best for
the university. But if it succumbed to political activism and made
preconceived decisions, its power and influence would wane. 46
Within a week after Dr. Gates assumed his presidential duties, he became
the center of a controversy involving the Humanist Club and the Students for a
Democratic Society (SDS). He refused to permit an SDS speaker to address the
Humanists in the Wing Communications Center auditorium because there was
no faculty advisor present. Concurrently, he advised the group to meet in
Cartwright Center instead. His action was criticized by some of the faculty and
students, and by the student newspaper, but was praised by other faculty,
students, and townspeople. This was the beginning of a hassle over SDS which


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continued for several months. The local SDS had followed all the procedural
rules for campus organizations, and its application for a charter was approved
by the Organizations Board. But it was Gates' considered opinion that the
organization was dedicated to violent actions against American legal and
political institutions and was disruptive of orderly process. It was his opinion,
further, that approval of the organization meant approval of its goals, a point of
view sharply contested by numerous people on and off the campus. The Faculty
Senate also dissented. After several months of discussion and thought, the
president issued a charter veto statement to the faculty on December 5, 1966.
At the conclusion of his statement he said, "My administrative veto is subject
to faculty, and ultimately regent review." 47


The faculty and administration of the University
of Wisconsin-La Crosse believe that it is the task of
the University to make people safe for ideas, not to
make ideas safe for people. Beyond formal class
lectures and discussion the University should
provide opportunity for the presentation of diverse
views in order to stimulate thought and discussion in
the university community. It is also the responsi-
bility of the University to strive, over a period of
time, to attain a diversified presentation of ideas by
persons who are engaged in the continuing dialogue.
Thus the University seeks to increase student
exposure to the ever-expanding world of ideas. In a
democratic society we can do no less. No one shall be
compelled to attend or listen. All must be free to
hear. The appearance of any particular speaker on
campus implies neither approval nor disapproval by
the administration or the faculty of what that speaker
may say.

--Minutes of the Faculty Meeting of May 24, 1966--

In reaction to the SDS controversy, the faculty issued this statement on freedom of
thought and expression, May 24, 1966.


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The veto brought mixed reactions from the campus population and from the
community. A quickly-organized student Free Organization Movement
obtained over 700 signatures on a petition asking reversal of the decision. The
Campus Controls Council objected to the veto. The editor of the Racquet
charged that the action was discriminatory against a left-wing group.
Opposition also came from the United Council of Wisconsin State University
Student Governments. The Faculty Senate dawdled over the matter for some
months before finally supporting the denial of recognition by a 14 to 7 vote on
April 13, 1967. The Attorney General gave a rather ambiguous opinion on the
affair. The board of regents moved to support Gates' veto at their meetings of
March 10, 1967, and April 14, 1967. These were followed by a third board
action which in effect barred recognition of SDS on any campus under its
jurisdiction. 48
President Gates had considerable support on campus and in the community.
Many faculty members sided with him as had the majority of the senate. Some
letters to the editor of the La Crosse Tribune concurred with him, as did the
editor, while others opposed him. The Greater La Crosse Chamber of
Commerce, the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, and the campus
Young Republicans came to his support. One local news commentator, Edward
T. Bardwell, broadcasted his support over WKTY radio, denouncing SDS as a
part of the "largest criminal conspiracy in the history of mankind, world
communism." Bardwell complained, however, that the faculty who had
supported recognition had not been removed. 49
The American Civil Liberties Union took the case to court in Madison but
failed, in the view of the court, to establish that SDS was being banned from the
campus, nor were any "substantial rights" or "individual rights or freedom"
being denied. The court concluded:
The Board's [regents] action in the instant case leaves the
substantial rights and privileges of the petitioners
unimpaired, and this court has no authority to act in such a
situation, and the petition will accordingly be dismissed. 50

Four years later President Gates told his interviewer, historian Howard
Fredricks, that he was of the same opinion still on SDS and his action was the
"best judgment he made." 51
At the same time, Gates told the campus newspaper he believed students
should have the opportunity to see and to hear communist speakers--the better
to defend American institutions against them. And he made no moves to
prevent such controversial figures as Minnesota's Mulford Q. Sibley and W. E.
B. Dubois Club's Michael Eisenescher from addressing student assemblies. 52
He expressed much displeasure at a poem which appeared in the Racquet. It
was written by two students as a take-off on the very popular song, The Green
Berets. The authors called it the Ballad of the Brown Helmet. The Publications
Board defended the authors' right to publish the poem, although some
members thought it in bad taste.53
A second controversy erupted in part over the publication in the Racquet of
an article entitled "The Student is Nigger," previously published by


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Gerald Farber on the faculty of California State College, Los Angeles. The
article contained a number of words regarded as obscene by President Gates
and several other readers. The author presented the view that students are
victims of faculty treatment and obfuscation, and do not have the desire or
fortitude to stand up to the faculty. According to Gates, this article was an
"opener" to further use of unacceptable language, so he determined to act
promptly after consultation with administrators and the Mass Communications
Department. He decided to place the student newspaper under the supervision
of the department. Again there was an outburst of pros and cons on the matter,
but it was not of long duration. In Gates' opinion the paper improved markedly
following his action. 54
Meanwhile enrollments soared and faculty grew rapidly. The opening of the
Eugene Murphy Library provided badly-needed space for books, documents,
microfilmed newspapers, periodicals, and library science instruction. The Area
Research Center, containing the university's special collections of area
documents and pictures, rare books, archives, and a growing oral history
series, became an integral part of the new library. Faculty committees began
preliminary planning for the Fine Arts Building which opened in January of
1974 and the Classroom Building (North Hall), which opened in the fall of the
same year. The Fine Arts Building houses theater, speech, art, and music. It
also features an art gallery and several studios. The Classroom Building, the
first structure for general classrooms erected since Main Hall, contains the
departments of history, sociology, social work, political science, English,
philosophy, computer science, and the School of Business Administration. A
sorely-needed field-house addition to Mitchell Hall was among the proposals
submitted to the regents as early as the summer of 1968. 55 The addition which
opened for use in 1972 contains an indoor track, Olympic-sized swimming pool,
dance studios, offices, courts for tennis and handball, and a human
performance laboratory. Wittich Hall was remodeled to provide better facilities
particularly for women's physical education.
As his predecessor had done, Dr. Gates led an active community life. At
various times in his stay in La Crosse he was president of the La Crosse Citizens
Planning Corporation, a member of the advisory board of St. Francis Hospital
in La Crosse, and a member of the advisory committee of the U.S. Army
Command and General Staff College. 56
A letter in May, 1970, announcing the retirement in 1972 of long-time
director of the State University System, Eugene R. McPhee, changed the
direction of Gates' professional career. The regents proposed to establish the
position of associate director with the idea that the person selected to that post
would succeed McPhee within a year. Dr. Gates applied, he said, because "it is
the American dream to try to get ahead, and because it is a tremendous
challenge." 57 He was the successful candidate from a group of five applicants.
When McPhee became ill in the winter of 1970, the board asked Gates to
assume the Madison position a month earlier than originally intended. Dr.
Gates had hardly settled in his new position when he decided to return to his
native Colorado. The intention of the new Wisconsin governor, Patrick J.
Lucey, to merge the Wisconsin State Universities and the University of
Wisconsin prompted Gates to reconsider his situation. He accepted a post as
Executive Director of the Colorado System of State Colleges. 58


The Later Administrations

When Gates left La Crosse, he left a host of friends among townspeople,
faculty, and students. At the same time he left the impression among others,
rightly or wrongly, of having helped create a stifling atmosphere on the campus
and having listened too much to his townspeople friends. As he had done other
times, he described to a Racquet interviewer what he regarded as the
responsibilities of his position as president:

The broad outlines of the requirements of the job are
determined by the Constitution of the United States and
the statutes, both federal and state, and then by the
policies of the Board of Regents and the ordinances of the
city of La Crosse .... I am charged with the responsibility of
making the final determination on any and all questions
which the university is asked to respond to. 59

Gates took pride in what he believed were better communications between the
campus and the community. He held the university in high esteem, and
strongly opposed those who, in his opinion, intended to use their educational
opportunities to destroy the institution.

I feel that those individuals who seek a college education
have certain responsibilities .... and one is to attend the
institution in good faith and to make every effort to gain an
education from the experience. And those who seek to use
the institution for political ends without any reference to
the other goals of the institution, traditional goals of the
institution, and who seek to destroy it by coercion or by
violence, I think, should be denied the opportunity.... 60

Kenneth E. Lindner

Following Gates' decision to leave La Crosse, the regents again appointed a
screening committee to seek out his successor. Regent Murphy once again

Kenneth E. Lindner, the school's sixth president
and first chancellor, described the La Crosse campus
as "a good place in which to live and learn."


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served as committee chairman. On the local level, the Faculty Senate appointed
an ad hoc Committee on Presidential Selection. This committee participated
actively in reviewing credentials, interviewing candidates, and making
recommendations to the regents. Dr. Gates also assumed an active role in the
process and gave unstinting cooperation to the faculty committee. 61 From the
numerous applicants, the regents appointed Kenneth E. Lindner as La Crosse's
sixth president. After the passage of legislation to merge the two systems of
higher education in Wisconsin, Lindner became La Crosse's first chancellor.
At the time of his selection, Dr. Lindner was a familiar figure to many of the
faculty and staff. Of the more than twenty years he had devoted to education,
he had spent eleven of them at La Crosse's state university. Immediately prior
to his return, he was head of academic program planning in the state
universities' system office. As a candidate, Dr. Lindner observed to the
selection committee that a university presidency "is not just a job, but is a total
commitment." Formally educated at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
(B.S.) and the University of Iowa (M.A. and Ph.D.), he took most of his work in
the physical sciences, particularly chemistry. He also did graduate work at
Louisiana State University and Case Institute of Technology. Meantime, he
served as an elementary school principal, a junior and senior high school
teacher, and a university professor. He joined thousands of his generation in
the United States Army during World War II. 62
Interviewed by student reporters before assuming office, the new president
spoke of the good relationships established between the community and the
university during his predecessor's regime, a tendency he hoped to continue.
He told his questioners that in his view the goals of higher education were

to prepare the kind of people who can think effectively in a
democratic society. 63

Achievement of those goals will provide individuals with
vital decision-making abilities and with the personal
satisfaction of achieving a better life. 64

Asked his opinion on co-ed dorms, Dr. Lindner told his interviewer that that
issue needed to be worked out with the students concerned. Agreeing with the
tenor of the times he also told students early in his administration that "the
university is unwise to act as parents" and that he favored liberalized visiting
hours and co-educational dorms if students wanted them. A few months later
he announced that two residence halls--Drake and Laux--would become
co-educational for upper classmen. Accompanying changes included the
abolishment of "hours" for women residents and reversal of the policy which
had clustered men on one side of the campus and women on the other. He
spoke in support of a more flexible curriculum and questioned the requirement
for minors. 65 On issues enveloped in controversy such as the nature of student
newspapers, student riots, and R.O.T.C. programs, Dr. Lindner voiced his
opposition to newspaper reporting and violence which might harm the
university. He strongly supported R.O.T.C. as a desirable way to provide a
university education to its enrollees who would become a corps of citizen
officers. And he spoke in favor of the concept of merging the two university


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systems but added that continued campus autonomy in the new system was a
critical issue. 66
At his inauguration, the new president spoke forcefully on the three basic
aims of the university--teaching, research, and public service. Then he
emphasized the importance of teaching excellence, the need for evaluation of
instruction, and the necessity for the careful selection of new faculty. And he
I will do all in my power to help to continue the
development of WSU- La Crosse into a center of academic
excellence, into an institution with an outstanding
reputation for undergraduate teaching, an institution
ready to respond to the educational demands placed upon
it by its students, the La Crosse community, and the State
of Wisconsin. 67
Following the first merger legislation, the Central Administration of the new
University of Wisconsin System mandated changes in titles approved by the
regents. President Lindner's title became chancellor, the vice-president for
academic affairs became the vice-chancellor, and the vice-president for
business affairs became assistant chancellor. Various other vice-presidential
officers reverted to deans.
Within two years after taking office, Lindner faced the difficulties created by
declining enrollments including a smaller operating budget and a reduced
number of faculty positions. From the peak of 7,248 students (and 454 faculty)
in 1969-1970, enrollment fell to 6,604 (and 432 faculty) in 1972-1973. The
projection of 6,417 (401 faculty) required notification to non-tenured faculty
members of their non-retention. 68
During the summer of 1973 the chancellor proposed the release of four
tenured members of the English Department because of declining enrollments.
The Faculty Senate and the Association of Wisconsin State University Faculties
strenuously objected. Lindner was able to rescind the lay-offs and in
subsequent years returned two who had been moved to other positions to the
department. To this writing La Crosse has escaped making the hard and
traumatic decisions which many other institutions have had to make in laying
off tenured faculty. Enrollments in excess of projections for each year since the
fall of 1973 helped to resolve the issue also.
Meantime, the chancellor established the practice of inviting faculty to
attend informational gatherings usually following regents' meetings. At one of
these in the fall of 1973 he and Senate Chairman Robert Burns advised the
faculty that the central administration of the UW-System had proposed
concentration of graduate programs other than at Madison and Milwaukee on
the Eau Claire and Oshkosh campuses. He called attention to enrollment
declines in graduate work, but also remarked that the proposal should have
been preceded by faculty involvement. Eventually, as noted elsewhere, several
graduate programs were eliminated in the next years. At other meetings the
faculty heard of plans to develop programs in business administration and
allied health. Establishment of a separate School of Business Administration, a
cooperative program (with Eau Claire) leading to the master's degree in


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business administration, an approved bachelor's program in physical therapy
and a master's program in health education implemented those intentions.
Paralleling the program innovation was an administrative reorganization which
included abolishment of the office of the dean of the Graduate School and
establishment of a dean's office in business administration.
In the fall of 1974, enrollments rose over the previous year by ten percent to a
figure around 7,700. As the instructional departments prepared to take larger
numbers with fewer faculty, the chancellor announced further organizational
changes following discussions and planning during the previous years. A new
School of Health and Human Services "to pull together the university's
health-related programs" emerged from this planning. Included in the school's
curricula are those in social work, medical technology, and physical therapy
together with pre-professional fields in nursing, dentistry, medicine, and
occupational therapy. The new school remained part of the College of Arts,
Letters and Sciences. 69
Meanwhile with the aid of a local architectural firm the Lindner
administration worked on plans for university development within several
parameters -- the space available, the stabilizing of enrollment at around 8,000,
and the need for added facilities. 70 The completion of the Fine Arts Building
and North Hall rounded out a cluster of excellent instructional facilities. As part
of the master plan for campus development, a mall constructed during 1975
links the interior campus and makes possible the rapid and convenient
movement of personnel.
A proposal to build an ice arena financed by student fees failed to receive
sufficient support. Editors of the Racquet advised voting against the arena "at
this time" because of what they regarded as uncertainties in the minds of the
chancellor and other administrative officials on the costs involved. The Student
Coordinating Committee (SCC) also went on record opposing the arena as
planned. In the referendum which the SCC supervised, students failed to
support the proposal. 71 Since then the student organization has appropriated
$600,000 for an ice arena. A community fund drive, organized to raise the
balance, fell $375,000 short of its goal. At this time, plans for an ice arena on
campus are dormant.
Quite a different issue was the matter of enrollment limitations which the
central administration of the UW-System essentially levied on La Crosse. For
the fall of 1975, the level was set at a 7,600 headcount. By the end of freshman
pre-registration in July, the campus had reached the authorized number. Faced
with the continuing issue of enrollment limits the Faculty Senate assigned to
the standing Committee on Mission and Planning the task of making
recommendations to the administration on implementation of enrollment
ceiling policies. Dr. Lindner explained the situation to the public by way of
cable television in a new program called the Chancellor's Corner. 72 In the last
years of Lindner's administration, Central Administration eased restrictive
policies and enrollments at La Crosse went from 7,734 in the fall of 1975 to
8,431 by the fall of 1978.
At the mid-seventies, long range planning for the campus included
discussions with the city regarding a sports complex and outdoor teaching
facilities for physical education which might be developed in the Memorial


The Later Administrations

Field area or on university-owned marsh property or both. A part of the scheme
would provide use of the new complex by the university, by La Crosse
residents, and by high school and university students. Planners put a ten to
fifteen year time period on the proposal. To the deep disappointment of the
chancellor, the La Crosse Common Council turned aside the first formal
overtures made by a joint university-city planning group. 73
The last four years of Lindner's administration featured the emergence of
several issues which generated heat of varying temperatures between the
chancellor on the one hand and, depending on the issue, students, city
government, the local press, the faculty, and the Wisconsin Department of
Natural Resources (DNR) on the other. Of all these, the first had to do with
establishing dormitory visiting hours and granting arrest powers to security
personnel. There was no exceptional student pressure for extending visiting
privileges in the dormitories to twenty-four hours, but after several weeks of
exchange of views, Dr. Lindner authorized round-the-clock visits at two
residence halls, one women's (Baird Hall) and one men's (Trowbridge Hall).
Throughout the discussions he insisted that students who did not want any part
of such an arrangement should not be subjected to it. 74
Unpopular though the action was with the Student Senate and with the
editors of the Racquet, the chancellor also decided to grant arrest powers to
security personnel. While this decision did upgrade security officers to patrol
status, it did not authorize them to carry weapons or handcuffs or to search. It
was Lindner's view that security needed the authority to protect the campus
and that having university patrolmen attending to individual problems that
arose was preferable to calling in city police each time an incident demanding
such procedure occurred. 75
Among incidents of relations with the city, a proposal to make a thoroughfare
of Sixteenth Street generated considerable controversy. The street has
university buildings on each side, including residence halls and Whitney
Center, for part of the two-block long distance between Badger and State
streets. Hundreds of students cross Sixteenth Street every day, morning to
evening. City officials seeking means to alleviate north-south traffic jams
considered the possibility of removing all parking, in itself a perennial sore
point in town-gown relations, from the street and perhaps widening it.
Lindner's strong and vocal opposition to the proposal kept it in abeyance to the
end of his term. 76
Three matters involving the faculty found the chancellor defending it on the
one, receiving little if any support for the second, and encountering
considerable opposition on the third. The first affair derived from allegations
made by reporters of the La Crosse Tribune asserting abuse of the state
telephone system by faculty members. More precisely the charge was that
faculty members used the system for personal calls for which they did not pay.
Prompting the inquiry into campus telephone usage was a previous
investigation by the La Crosse Tribune and the Racine Journal Times into the
practice of some legislators and their staffs making personal calls at state
expense. For six weeks in October and November of 1977, Tribune reporters
examined records going back to January of 1976. They came up with a total of
$2500 of questionable calls, several made by graduate assistants and others no


The Later Administrations

longer associated with the university and some classified personnel. The
inquiry generated considerable newsprint which included naming individuals
and noting amounts which they had charged to credit cards and to office
numbers for calls which the investigators found ambiguous.
The chancellor expressed the opinion that carrying out an audit a year or
more back would likely be counter-productive and that the university could take
care of correcting the few abuses that had occurred. He also refused to open
records of payments on what turned out to be about $2100 rather than $2820 of
"illegal" calls until ordered to "show cause why the records should be
suppressed" by circuit court Judge Peter Pappas. At the same time Lindner
directed administrative officers to employ a system of monthly checking on
phone usage by all university personnel. The board of regents and the
system's central administration adopted the view that the individual campuses
should enforce the appropriate regulations by carefully monitoring utilization of
the state telephone system.
Judged by some persons both on and off campus as assessing too much guilt
for too little sin, the Tribune investigation, wordy and repetitive as it was,
nonetheless did bring about more careful observance of the rules governing
telephone usage and did effect at least for the time being a sharp drop in credit
card calls. 77
Of the two other issues involving the faculty, the first, setting a tenure
density policy, was almost wholly the work of the chancellor. The idea behind
such a policy was to protect tenured positions when and if an enrollment decline
came about. To implement this policy, Dr. Lindner increased the positions
allotted to academic staff appointments in the classroom. Persons holding such
appointments did not hold faculty rank and therefore were not eligible for
promotion or tenure. They of course would be the first to be released when
positions were cut back. For the most part they were appointed annually with
no expectation of renewal. Several faculty believed that Lindner was
over-cautious and allotted too many positions to academic staff appointments
thus creating a large number of "second class citizens." The Association of
University of Wisconsin Faculties (TAUWF) took that position officially, and
the La Crosse Faculty Senate refused to endorse the chancellor's policy
statement on tenure density.
The second issue bred the most ill-will of any during the Lindner
administration. That issue was controversy over the determination and use of
merit pay increments in setting faculty salaries annually. The disagreement
over merit became so acute that over 250 faculty members petitioned the
Senate to hold a referendum the subject of which was "a judgement of no
confidence in the administration of Kenneth E. Lindner" on the question of
merit ratings. The Faculty Senate defeated the referendum proposal by a tie
vote of 12-12.*
In his last year at La Crosse, Chancellor Lindner saw his strenuous efforts to
expand outdoor facilities into the nearby marsh area foiled. The twenty-nine
acres of marsh property, a gift of La Crosse realtor James Hoeschler and his
wife, lies to the north of the campus. Under administrative directive, campus

*See Chapter IV, pp. 86-92, for discussion of the merit issue.


The Later Administrations

architect Lawrence Rice drew plans for the development of athletic and physical
education facilities in the area. Such a development called for filling in the site,
a move opposed by environmentalists and some state and federal agencies
concerned with wetland preservation. Chancellor Lindner pressed for
utilization of the area particularly because of the need for outdoor physical
education class space. The shortage of open space on the La Crosse campus
(smallest in the system) contrasted sharply with the large dimensions of the
university programs in physical education, intramural activities, and both
men's and women's intercollegiate athletics. The Lindner administration
argued for development of the marsh property to forestall at least the
immediate need to acquire residential properties virtually contiguous to the
Long-range, the campus master plan which the regents accepted included
purchase of selected bordering properties to the north of the city-owned
football stadium called Memorial Field and adjacent city lands used currently
for various athletic activities. The long-range plan also included expansion into
the marsh. At the very least, the university needed permission from the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers. State statutes require that any development such as
in the marsh must be preceded by an Environmental Impact Statement. In
accordance with statutes the university released its preliminary impact report
in January of 1978 following months of discussion and preparation. Within a
short time, the DNR raised questions about the report and the plans in general.
The issue simmered through the spring and summer, and then in the fall of
1978, the DNR announced plans to buy 500 acres of the marshlands including
the twenty-nine acre tract belonging to the university. Expressing
disappointment at the decision, the Chancellor stated he still would try to get
permission from the Corps of Engineers to begin the project. The Corps' reply
was to the effect that no such permission would be forthcoming without
approval from the DNR.
Two events that followed put an end to the matter for the time being. First, in
November of 1978 DNR Secretary Anthony Earl announced that his agency
would not approve the proposed marsh project and the Corps of Engineers
echoed this negation. The following month, in the wake of these denials, the
board of regents directed the university to withdraw its application to fill the
twenty-nine acres. Chancellor Lindner complied at once. 78
Few would deny that the Lindner era was an active one and had its share of
solid accomplishments. Among these was full accreditation for all programs by
the North Central Association in 1975. The major purpose of the self-study and
team visit was to examine four master's offerings--biology, health education,
school psychology, and student personnel services. All received approval, and
the university was placed on a ten-year cycle of visits--the best to be obtained.
Other highlights were two substantial gifts of land, the marsh property and a
ridge farm from businessman Robert Luxford, completion and occupation of the
Fine Arts Building and North Hall, and creation of the campus mall. Lindner
also saw execution of plans and approval of funds to remodel the interior of
Main Hall. At this writing the original structure is undergoing a massive
interior face-lifting at a cost of $3,200,000.
As the plans went forward to do over the old normal building, Kenneth


The Later Administrations

Lindner changed jobs. Following about a month after the gubernatorial
elections of 1978 came the announcement from the new governor, Lee S.
Dreyfus, that he had appointed Lindner to the post of Secretary of the
Department of Administration (DOA), the most important administrative post
next to the governor in the state. Dreyfus, a former professor at Madison and
chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Lindner were
long-time personal friends. Lindner obtained regent approval of his resignation
as chancellor and a leave of absence as professor of chemistry at La Crosse. The
regents at the same time appointed Vice Chancellor Carl Wimberly as acting
chancellor and authorized system President Edwin Young to initiate the
necessary search and screen process to select a new chancellor.

Noel J. Richards

On request, the Faculty Senate submitted fourteen nominees from the
faculty to President Young, and from the list he selected six to serve on the
search and screen committee. They were joined by representatives from the
academic staff group, student government, and the administration.* At the
conclusion of the search and screen process, the committee nominated four
persons to the regents. From this list the board chose Noel J. Richards, at the
time vice-chancellor and director of academic affairs for the West Virginia
system of higher education.

Dr. W. Carl Wismberly joined the
faculty at La Crosse in 1953 as an
instructor in political science. Beginning 
in the fall of 1960 he held the
positions of Director of the Divistion  of
Letters and Sciences (1960-1965) and
Dean of the School, later College, of
Arts, Letters and Sciences, before his
appointment as Vice Chancellor in 1973
by Chancellor Kenneth E. Lindner.
Upon Lindner's resignation in January
of 1979, Wimberly served as Acting
Chancellor until Dr. Noel E. Richards
assumed the executive office in the fall
of that year.

*Those selected were Ruth Nixon (foreign languages), chairperson; James Anderson (sociology);
Richard Kistner (chemistry); Charles Schelin (mathematics); Douglas Sweetland (economics);
Dean Howard Rose (administration); Eileen Polizzotto (academic staff); and Mike Rudolph and
Lisa Hilbert (student government). They were joined by Dallas Peterson, Associate Vice President,
Academic Affairs, from Central Administration.


The Later Administrations

Chancellor Richards holds a doctorate in English history from the University
of Wisconsin-Madison. For ten years he was on the faculty at the University of
Wisconsin-Whitewater as both teacher and administrator. He took office on
September 1, 1979, in time to welcome a record enrollment of 8,896 to the
campus. On assuming the post he said in part:

The time I spent in New England and West Virginia
reinforced my belief in the excellence and national
reputation of the University of Wisconsin System. It is
generally acknowledged that La Crosse is one of the
premier institutions within this system. I have already
been impressed with the quality of the La Crosse faculty,
students, and administrators I have met since accepting
the chancellorship. I am also very pleased with the scope
and quality of the present and planned academic programs
on campus. 79

Noel J. Richards became the seventh
head of the school in the fall of 1979.


The Later Administrations


1. Board of Regents of Normal Schools (Wisconsin), Report of Proceedings, Aug. 12, 1939, p.12.
2. Howard Fredricks, assistant professor of history, UW-La Crosse, taped four interviews with
Dr. Mitchell on May 29, Jun. 4, Jul. 2, and Aug. 6, 1969. The foregoing summary is from the
tapes of May 29 and Jun. 4. Hereafter this source is cited as Mitchell Taped Interview, with the
appropriate date.
3. Mitchell Taped Interview, May 29, 1969.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. Mitchell Taped Interviews, May 29 and Jul. 2, 1969.
8. Racquet (newspaper), Sept. 6, 1939. The writer was a coed.
9. By the fall of 1946, 387 of the 966 students enrolled at La Crosse were veterans. During the war
years enrollment fell from 760 in 1940 to 371 in 1945.
10. La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 28, 1949.
11. La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 2, Feb. 4, Apr. 3, Apr. 18, Apr. 20, Apr. 21, Apr. 23, May 23, and May
24, 1956.
12. The four girls' dormitories are Wilder Hall (1951) which now contains the Military Science
Department and the offices of Housing, Testing and Counseling, Financial Aids, and Career
Services; Trowbridge Hall (1960); Baird Hall (1963); Wentz Hall (1964). The men's dormitories
are Reuter Hall (1957); White Hall (1962); and Laux Hall (1964). Laux Hall is now
13. See Wisconsin State University-La Crosse, "A Capsule History of 59 Years" (1968) and the
special article in the Milwaukee Journal, Dec. 15, 1960. President Mitchell's general policy was
to name buildings after living persons. Dean of Women Edith J. Cartwright spent 28 years of
her professional life at La Crosse, retiring in 1969.
14. See, for example, Viroqua Censor, Feb. 12, 1953; La Crosse Tribune, May 17, 1954, and May
23, 1956; and Delavan Enterprise, Nov. 21, 1956. Mitchell stated that he spoke to 8 or 10
commencements a year when he was at River Falls. Mitchell Taped Interview, May 29, 1969.
15. Rexford S. Mitchell to George Hayes, Dec. 23, 1946; Mitchell to Louise Troxell, Jun. 8, 1946;
Warren Knowles to Mitchell, Jun. 10, 1947; Mitchell to Knowles, Jun. 12, 1947; Mitchell to
R. M. Schlabach, Jun. 18, 1947; Schlabach to Mitchell, Jun. 20, 1947; and Mitchell to Knowles,
Jul. 16, and Jul. 17, 1947. Most of President Mitchell's correspondence is in the Administrative
Subject Files, 1923-1963, University Archives, Boxes 1-5, ARC, UW-L.
16. See, for example, Mitchell to Robert H. Schacht, Mar. 16, 1949; Mitchell to Schacht, Aug. 24,
1949; Roderick McPhee to Mitchell, May 13, 1954; Mitchell to Grace Walsh, Oct. 29, 1947;
Mary Landgraf to Mitchell, Oct. 29, 1954; Mitchell to Landgraf, Nov. 1, 1954, ARC, UW-L.
17. William Bauer to Mitchell, Apr. 15, 1958, ARC, UW-L.
18. See F. O. Holt to Mitchell, Jun. 27, 1946; Mitchell to Grace M. Cassels, Sept. 29, 1939, and
Feb. 16, 1940; Eugene R. McPhee "to each President" in the Wisconsin State Colleges
System, Aug. 11, 1955; Milford A. Cowley to Nels Minne, Jul. 10, 1953; Minne to Mitchell,
Jul. 7, 1953; Cowley to McPhee, Aug. 24, 1955, ARC, UW-L. McPhee was the long-time
director of the State University System. Cowley was chairman of the Advanced Standing
Committee at La Crosse. Minne served as president of Winona State Teachers College.
19. Mitchell to Doris L. Sander, Sept. 16, 1944; Mitchell to Otto Lund, Sept. 5, 1940; Grace M.
Cassels to Mitchell, Dec. 14, 1939; Mitchell to Cassels, Dec. 18, 1939; Cassels to Mitchell, Dec.
20, 1939; Mitchell to Ollie M. Swanson, Oct. 6, 1945; Mitchell to Volmer H. Sorensen, Oct. 14,
1942; Sorenson to Mitchell, Oct. 15, 1942, ARC, UW-L. Requests for extension courses
usually came from county superintendents.
20. See Mitchell to Otto W. Lund, Apr. 12 and 21, 1943; Mitchell to C. W. McNown, Apr. 10, 12,
and 30, 1943; Mitchell to Raymond O. Larson, Nov. 5, 1957; Mitchell to Harold W. Ankerson,
Nov. 2, 1955; and Mitchell to C. E. Nordhagen, Nov. 3, 1954, ARC, UW-L.
21. Mitchell to Barney B. Barstow, May 18, 1955, ARC, UW-L.
22. Eugene W. Murphy to W. D. McIntyre, Jun. 12, 1954; McPhee to Mitchell, Apr. 10, 1950, Jun.
13, 1950, and Nov. 10, 1954; Mitchell to McPhee, Nov. 15, 1954; McPhee to Mitchell, Jan. 28,
1955; and Mitchell to McPhee, Jan. 31, 1955, ARC, UW-L.


The Later Administrations

23. Mitchell to John K. Weiss, May 8, 1953. See also, Weiss to Mitchell, Jul. 6, 1951; Mitchell to
W. McNeil Lowry, Apr. 21, 1956; Lowry to Mitchell, Jun. 25, 1956; and Weiss to Mitchell, Nov.
26, 1954, ARC, UW-L.
24. Mitchell to McPhee, Jan. 31, 1951; Mitchell to E. H. Woehrmann, Oct. 30, 1951; Mitchell to
McPhee, Jul. 9, 1955, and Jul. 10, 1956, ARC, UW-L. Woehrmann was secretary of the La
Crosse Chamber of Commerce which repeatedly gave financial support to the annual music
25. For correspondence on institutional self-studies and accreditation by the North Central Association 
during Mitchell's administration see President's Accreditation File, Boxes 4 and 5,
University Archives, ARC, UW-L. See also Wisconsin State College, La Crosse, Institutional
Self-Study, 1963, and Robert F. Sullivan to Mitchell, Sept. 26, 1963.
26. La Crosse Tribune, Dec. 9, 1958.
27. Ibid., Dec. 13. 1958.
28. Racquet (newspaper), Jun. 4, 1959. The paper consistently misspelled Filipov's name. It is
correctly spelled as it appears here.
29. Among the educational and community activities were: president, La Crosse Education
Association (1949); president, Western Wisconsin Education Association (1950); chairman,
Council of State College Presidents (1959-1960); president, Wisconsin Association of
Presidents and Deans of Institutions of Higher Learning (1962-1963); president, La Crosse
Rotary Club; head of the Family Service Association; campaign chairman (1950) and president
(1960), Community Chest; and member, Committee on Urban Renewal.
30. St. Paul Pioneer Press, Apr. 25, 1965.
31. President's file (Nov. 9, 1965) typewritten, p. 1.
32. Ibid., p. 3.
33. President's file, (Mar. 5, 1974).
34. President's file, (Mar. 19, 1974).
35. The writer obtained the materials including correspondence from the files of Vice Chancellor
Carl Wimberly. Members of the ad hoc committee were: Emerson G. Wulling (English), chairman; 
Harold Classen (geography); Ernest Gershon (physical education); Keith Swanson (mathematics); 
Robert Voight (history); Carl Wimberly (dean, College of Letters and Science); and
Bernard J. Young (dean, College of Education).
36. Ibid.
37. Wulling to McPhee, Jun. 16, 1965; Wulling to Murphy, Aug. 3, 1965; Wulling to McPhee,
Aug. 3, 1965; McPhee to Wulling, Aug. 11, 1965; Wulling to Murphy, Nov. 2, 1965; and
Murphy to Wulling, Nov. 3, 1965, ARC, UW-L.
38. McPhee to Wulling, Dec. 7, 1965, and Wulling to McPhee, Nov. 30, 1965, ARC, UW-L. Professor 
Barnett was in the History Department at WSU-Whitewater.
39. President Mitchell's file, (Dec. 14, 1965) mimeograph.
40. Professor Fredricks also conducted taped interviews with Dr. Gates prior to his departure from
La Crosse. Dr. Gates kindly consented to allow the writer to use the tapes. The foregoing summary 
came from the interview of Dec. 12, 1970. The tapes are hereafter cited as Gates Taped
Interview with the appropriate date.
41. Gates Taped Interview, Dec. 15, 1970.
42. Ibid.
43. Ibid.
44. Ibid.
45. Ibid., Dec. 16, 1970. See also Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting, (hereafter called Senate
Minutes), Sept. 22, 1966, ARC, UW-L.
46. Gates Taped Interview, Dec. 16, 1970.
47. The foregoing summary is drawn from James E. Finn, "An Account of the Controversy Surrounding he Denial of University Recognition to the Chapter of the Students for a Democratic
Society at Wisconsin State University-La Crosse" (Jul. 29, 1970). Finn's study is an excellent
one. It was his opinion that Gates "agonized" over the decision knowing that many persons for
whom he had high respect would view the action as a violation of the right of free speech and
48. Finn, pp. 35-40. Other sources on this controversy include the Racquet (newspaper), the La
Crosse Tribune, and the Faculty Senate Minutes.
49. Finn, pp. 52-55.
50. Ibid., p. 69. See also pp. 61-68.


The Later Administrations

51. Gates Taped Interview, Dec. 16, 1970.
52. Racquet (newspaper), Feb. 24, 1966, and Mar. 10, 1966.
53. The poem appeared in the Mar. 24, 1966, issue of the Racquet (newspaper).
54. See the file, "Racquet Controversy" Dec., 1969, ARC, UW-L, and Gates Taped Interview,
Dec. 16, 1970.
55. Board of Regents of State Universities (Wisconsin), "Recommendations for 1969-1971 Major
Academic and Science Type Building Projects" (Aug. 23, 1968).
56. La Crosse Tribune, Jun. 11, 1970.
57. Ibid., Jun. 11, 1970, and Jul. 18, 1970.
58. Ibid., Aug. 19, 1971.
59. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 12, 1970.
60. Ibid.
61. Members of the ad hoc committee were Stanley R. Rolnick (history), chairman; Richard Fletcher 
(biology); William Van Atta (men's physical education); Kichard Rasmussen (director,
Campus School); and Carl Wimberly (dean, College of Letters and Science). Also participating
in interviews of candidates were Marshall E. Wick (Eau Claire, President of the Association of
Wisconsin State University Faculties) and students Cheryl Ann Hopson (La Crosse) and Stuart
Kraft (Superior) of the United Council of WSU Student Governments. Of the La Crosse faculty
members only Rolnick and Wimberly attended the interviews.
62. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 19, 1970, and La Crosse Tribune, Apr. 6, 1971.
63. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 19, 1970.
64. Ibid.
65. Ibid., Dec. 10, 1970.
66. Ibid., Mar. 25, 1971, and Apr. 22, 1971.
67. Ibid., Apr. 29, 1971.
68. Ibid., Jan. 18, 1973, and Apr. 26, 1973.
69. Ibid., Sept. 13, 1974.
70. Ibid., Oct. 10, 1974.
71. Ibid., Nov. 21, 1974; Dec. 12, 1974; Feb. 13, 1975; Feb. 27, 1975; Mar. 13, 1975; and Mar. 20,
1975. Chancellor Lindner had previously indicated that the proposal called for a 60% vote of
approval. Of the nearly 1700 students who cast ballots, 52% indicated their support.
72. Ibid., Summer Edition, 1975, and Mission and Planning Committee files, Faculty Senate office,
UW-L, passim.
73. Racquet (newspaper), Oct. 19, 1975; Nov. 13, 1975; Dec. 11, 1975; and Feb. 26, 1976.
74. Ibid., Sept. 2, 1976.
75. Ibid., Feb. 9, 1978.
76. Ibid., Oct. 13, 1977.
77. See, for example, La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 20, 1977; Nov. 21, 1977; Nov. 22, 1977; Nov. 29,
1977; Dec. 4, 1977; Dec. 6, 1977; Dec. 18, 1977; Dec. 29, 1977; May 5, 1978; May 8, 1978; and
May 18, 1978.
78. Racquet (newspaper), Jan. 19, 1978; Feb. 9, 1978; Nov. 16, 1978; and Dec. 14, 1978.
79. Ibid., Aug. 30, 1979.



The Faculty In Session

From its first meeting on September 13, 1909, the faculty concerned itself
with general policy, curriculum, and student life. It is apparent from the
minutes of faculty meetings that the first faculty assumed the right of an active
role in the governance of the normal school despite the statement in a later
student handbook that "the President of the School is the supreme authority
and all action of faculty and students is subject to his approval." 1 Organized
into numerous standing and ad hoc committees appointed by the president, the
faculty wrote curriculum, made rules on eligibility for activities, recommended
the expulsion of "incorrigible or undesirable pupils," censured its own
members, and kept a careful eye on student life and morals. 2 Demanding of
itself, the early faculty was stern in its expectations for students both
professionally and privately. Minutes of a fall, 1909, meeting read: "The pupils
who left for vacation before the regular time and who return after the time
appointed (without good excuse or permission), are to be held to account for it
rigidly in some way." Doubtful of a young man's interest in studying, one
faculty member suggested he have a "heart to heart" talk with the president.
Another faculty member recommended expulsion of one prospective physical
education teacher because he lacked "gray matter" and of three others
because they were more concerned with girls and money than with learning. 3
During Cotton's presidency, the faculty spent considerable time approving
student requests to take "extra subjects." In a first year session it decided the
school colors would be maroon and gray, then later changed them to maroon
and white. Somehow, the original colors ultimately triumphed. Having decided
to entertain the students during the depths of winter, the faculty
moved to have a winter party with tea and wafers for
refreshments, the first part of the entertainment to consist
of a program, mainly by the classes, to be given in the
Assembly.... 4,

In the course of the school's first year also, the faculty established the custom
of assessing its membership one-half of one percent of one month's salary for a
"Faculty Fund" later known as the "Courtesy Fund." The sums thus raised
paid for flowers for appropriate occasions, teas after faculty meetings, and
other social events. Early on, colleagues selected Albert H. Sanford as historian
of the institution and assigned him the task of gathering the pertinent
materials. Apparently dissatisfied with the Lecture Course Committee, the
faculty "instructed" President Cotton to increase the size of the committee and
to make Mr. Sanford the chairman. 5
On other occasions, the first faculties heard "inspiriting [sic] reports of the
State Association at Milwaukee," accepted a committee recommendation to
use the "Blue Book" for final examinations, and decided that announcements
on bulletin boards "were too numerous and undignified." They also listened to
discussions about "what professional work should go into courses in our
school," and argued the matter of "using 'plus' and 'minus' in marking


The Faculty In Session




The Faculty In Session

students' grades." Following the tabling of the last item, the minutes state
"other promiscuous remarks were made on various topics of school interest"
before adjournment. 6
Within a year of the school's opening the librarian lectured her colleagues on
the "misuse of the library by members of the faculty." She announced:

Some of you still continue to take magazines and books
from the library, and to leave no charging slip or other
record which will enable the librarian to know where they
are. Charging slips are always to be found on the
librarian's desk and it takes only a few minutes to fill out
one....It seems only expect the faculty
to cooperate with the librarian in enforcing rules.... 7

The four major areas of action occupying the faculties over the years included
concern for student performance, faculty organization and participation in
school governance, faculty personnel matters, and curriculum. Sometimes
these were virtually inseparable, still they are identifiable separately, each in
its way making up a part of the story.

Concern for Student Performance

In the early years the faculty passed judgment on individual students. As the
decades passed and student personnel services developed, the faculty turned to
other preoccupations leaving the handling of student affairs largely to
administrative officers. From the outset, the faculty assumed the traditional
role of approving all "graduates" from the normal school. This approval came
only after a review of each candidate accompanied sometimes by pungent
comments. Within a few weeks of the school's opening, President Cotton
"spoke impressively" to the faculty "of our attitude toward the coming pupils,
that of sympathetic relations to the pupils in class, in registering, and
throughout the year. Some have had the heart crushed out of them." The
president further told them "we must not forget that we are a normal school to
prepare persons to teach," and students were to be "taught not lectured to" 8
Often at year's end the faculty also reviewed the status of other students and
passed rather arbitrary judgments on them. What was called the "Minutes of
that famous faculty mtg. held last of the school year 1913-14" exemplifies this
penchant. After noting approval of candidates, these minutes read:

Then followed the reports of the persons appointed by the
President to investigate the standings, department, etc.,
of certain pupils and make recommendations to the
faculty. Much time had been spent on this investigation
going over the pupils' entire school record, school
attitude, and department, .. .and likewise much time was
consumed for two days by the faculty carefully going over
these individuals. 9


The Faculty In Session

Recommendations coming out of the "investigation" included:

Observe this man carefully next fall to discover his
attitude toward school. But give him another chance.

Take fewer hours of work.

Good stiff jolt from the President.

I recommend that she be allowed to enter next fall with the
understanding that she is to brace up her work, spending
more time on her studies and less time with young men.

Not desirable to have in school....He cannot be trusted,
and has an evil influence over this fellow classmates.

He failed in every subject this semester. Thinks more of
the fair sex than his work at school and his father's money
....Should leave school.

This student has some ability, but is weak....It is
recommended that she be advised that her work is

Not to continue in Teachers' Course, if he returns. Be
called off his high perch. His self-importance over-towering 
his impudence unbearable, in some of his classes at

Seems to be doing fair work. Is doing as well as she can,
and I recommend that her name be dropped from this list.

A faithful hard-working student, but very slow. Needs to
be encouraged and told to make a still harder effort next

Three years later, the reports on students were much more succinct:
Weak, irresponsible. Failed in teaching?
Can we graduate him? Lisps and is dirty.
Flunked in history.
Failure in English. Works hard. Norwegian, doesn't know
the English language. 10

The perennial problem of noise in the halls caused President Cotton to
"detail" certain faculty members to help him watch for the offenders. At the
opening of the 1912 school year Cotton urged the faculty to attend chapel,
faculty meetings, and student social affairs regularly. In the fall of 1911, the


The Faculty In Session

Committee on Discipline reported to its colleagues on four young men who had
stuffed the ballot box in the elections held by the Oratorical Association. The
committee recommended that new elections be held and that in the future
single ballots of uniform size be used for elections. The report characterized the
ring-leader as

wholly and reprehensibly insolent in his whole attitude
towards, and conversation with, the Committee; he was
critical and derogatory in every remark he made
concerning the faculty; . . .he became so offensive and
insulting in his remarks that the chairman of your
committee unceremoniously dismissed him from the room
before the interview had been concluded. 11

On other occasions, the faculty decided to allow the boys attending the
Interscholastic Field Day "to go without coats if they do not wear suspenders
showing, and wear collars, and be careful with their linen," heard a colleague
protest the selection of a cheerleader "for fear it turn his head and his school
work suffer, or he go to pieces all around," and ordered removal from the
student newspaper "the ad for National Pool Room, now running in the
Racquet" as objectionable. 12 Some two years later another faculty gathering,
apparently in a similar mood, disapproved of "advertising saloons, brewery
[sic], and pool rooms in any and all of the Normal School programs or
publications of any kind."13 A special faculty committee investigated "the
matter of disciplining certain boys for a disturbance rising out of the failure to
rise .. .at the singing of the national hymn." The committee agreed with the
custom of rising to sing the national anthem, held that the young people who
did not do so "must expect censure of an indignant public as a result of such
action," but deplored the violence of other students who took it upon
themselves to chastise the offenders. 14
At times, the faculty limited the number of clubs and organizations a student
might join. In more benevolent moods its members encouraged student
participation in Homecoming activities, established requirements for awarding
the "L," and authorized students to organize history, physical education (Phi
Epsilon Kappa), French, rural and elementary, and science clubs. 15 The
faculty also permitted colleagues at their option to excuse students with a grade
of "C" or better from final exams.
The full faculty tended to deal less with student problems in the Smith and
Snodgrass administrations. But there were still occasions. Noise in the halls
and library elicited the decision that President Smith "should talk to the
students in regard to their conduct in the library on the following day at
assembly period." There was much discussion also regarding "existing
conditions of etiquette of students at social entertainments and in the
corridors." As a result the faculty unanimously adopted a recommendation by
Dean Sarah Bangsberg who expressed "disapproval of some of the features of
social dancing at the Normal School parties and suggested instruction at each
dance on 'How to Dance' ." 16 And the minutes of March 30, 1938, read:


The Faculty In Session









The Faculty In Session

President Snodgrass told the faculty that some of our
students had been reported as to conduct especially with
regard to drinking. The faculty was asked to set the
standard of conduct, the welfare committee was requested
to consider the matter as well as the deans. It was urged
that from a practical standpoint students should be urged
to develop high standards of conduct.

In the last two decades the faculty has confined its actions regarding students
largely to the traditional roles of approving graduation lists and requirements.
On occasion it concerned itself with students who had no lunch hour because of
their schedules, who were often late because of the five-minute break between
classes, and supported the Interfraternity Council's actions on certain
fraternity activities at rush time:

The faculty expresses it support of the action of the
inter-fraternity council in directing the abolition of
paddling and commends the fraternities which had
abolished the practice previously.
The faculty also herewith goes on record in opposition to
this practice of paddling in any situation.

The faculty, in addition, requests that the interfraternity
council look carefully into the matter of costuming during
pledge week, with a view to advising restraint and good
taste. 17

School Governance

In the last generation, faculty interest in day to day student affairs has
diminished but has not entirely disappeared. Faculty concern with institutional
governance in turn has increased. Throughout the institution's history faculty
members have differed widely in their opinions about their roles in governance.
Some supported strong faculty participation; others preferred to let "the
administration" make most decisions and direct almost every function except
classroom activities. Recent legislation merging the two university systems set
forth definite roles for the various faculties in university governance. The law

The faculty of each institution, subject to the responsibilities 
and powers of the board (regents), the president (of
the system), and the chancellor of such institution, shall
be vested with responsibility for the immediate governance 
of such institution and shall actively participate in
institutional policy development. As such, the faculty shall
have the primary responsibility for academic and
educational activities and faculty personnel matters. The
faculty of each institution shall have the right to determine
their own faculty organizational structure and to select
representatives to participate in institutional governance. 18


The Faculty In Session

In the early years, the statement that the president was "the supreme
authority and all action of faculty and students (was) subject to his approval,"
would seem to put severe limitations on the role of faculty in the governance of
the normal. The faculty may have discussed participation in governance, but
the conversations do not appear in the records. Still, from the opening days,
committee organization provided for an exceptionally active faculty in the
day-to-day decision-making and operations of the school. Toward the end of
President Snodgrass' regime, he "suggested that the faculty could make itself
felt as part of the governing body of the school through its activities on....
various committees." 19 Under Snodgrass, also, the instructional departments
were regarded as committees, with one member acting as chairman. He
reminded the faculty that the regents did not authorize department heads. But,
following the example of his predecessors, he continued to use that designation
until 1937. 20 As the student and faculty populations grew, President Snodgrass
asked further faculty help in making recommendations aimed at resolving
classroom and office space problems. Additional space was needed to
accommodate instruction in foreign languages, add a speech department, and
employ full-time teachers in geography and physics. The committee which
made those recommendations also deplored the crowded conditions of the
science laboratories and instructional space and suggested the "release of one
of the ladies' rest rooms for a class room." 21
President Mitchell continued the faculty committee system, and early in his
administration accepted decisions to hold classes on the Friday following
Thanksgiving, to continue use of the "present numbering system" in the
catalog for 1940-1941, and to retain the current classification of students from
freshmen to seniors. 22 In the Mitchell era curriculum committees determining
and presiding over offerings in the five instructional divisions (Elementary
Education, Physical Education, Secondary Education, Letters and Sciences,
and Graduate) took over the role of the full faculty in curriculum making. In
addition a joint committee coordinated the work of those committees. Beyond
these were a Teacher Education Council, an Administrative Council, and a
Faculty Administrative Council all increasing faculty contributions to college
governance. From 1946 until the establishment of the Faculty Senate in 1966, a
steering committee of five elected at large from the faculty appointed other
faculty committees and provided the agenda for faculty meetings. 23
'The steering committee often proved to be a vigorous group. In addition to
appointing other committees and drawing up agendas for faculty meetings, it
suggested ideas for long-range planning and represented the faculty on the
Administrative Council. Much of its success depended on such long-time
faculty members as Emerson Wulling, Milford Cowley, Beatrice Baird, Emma
Lou Wilder, Margaret Chew, and Ernest Gershon. 24 In the mid-1960's the
steering committee succumbed to the tendency of the times which called for
faculty senates. Senates at La Crosse and several other state universities
resulted from an effort further to increase faculty participation in the
governance of those institutions. Establishment of the Faculty Senate at La
Crosse was pre-eminently the work of philosophy professor William E. Felch.
President Gates, new to the university at the time, approved the faculty action
and, before leaving his position at La Crosse, spoke highly of the senate. Felch


The Faculty In Session

was chairman of the ad hoc committee on faculty reorganization which devised
the Articles of Faculty Organization and the By-Laws. Although there have
been frequent revisions in the by-laws, the essential organization of the senate
remained the same through its first eight years of existence. To get
representation from both the faculty at large and the major instructional units
the original constitution provided:

The Faculty Senate shall consist of twenty-four members,
three elected from each of the undergraduate schools and
fifteen elected at large. Of the fifteen elected at large, nine
shall have the rank of professor or associate professor, and
six shall have the rank of assistant professor or instructor.
Hereafter, these two groups shall be designated as the
'upper ranks' and the 'lower ranks'. 25

Article IV bespoke the intention of the faculty to play a positive role in its
participation in university governance:

Within the institution, the faculty directly, or indirectly
through the senate, shall have full and final responsibility
for determination of curriculum, other requirements for
graduation, and the system of grading. It shall also have
direct concern with the formulation and implementation of
university policy relating to physical facilities, support of
research, educational budget, institutional organization,
all aspects of student life, and personnel matters relating
to academic freedom, teaching loads, salaries, appointments, 
reappointments, tenure, promotions, leaves and
dismissals. 26

Membership on the senate can be drawn from all faculty and administrative
personnel. The first senate reflected a traditional deference to administrative
officers; on it were Vice President Maurice O. Graff, Deans Carl Wimberly,
Glenn Smith, Bernard Young, Campus School Director Richard Rasmussen,
and Library Director Roy Van Note. Subsequent senates tended to consist
almost entirely of teaching faculty and student services personnel. 27 Although
the Articles of Faculty Organization confirm the president (chancellor) as
president of the faculty, the reorganization committee did not carry that
arrangement over to the senate. Instead, the university's chief administrator
(or his representative) sits with the senate as a non-voting member. Ably
assisted by establishing the senate by the organization* and by-laws †
committees, Professor Felch set the procedural and attitudinal basis for the

*Members of the organization committee were Dean Carl Wimberly and Professors Stanley
Rolnick, Frederick Davies, and Ann Thomas.
†Members of the by-laws committee were Professors Roy Van Note, Richard Rasmussen,
James Lafky, Beatrice Baird, Rolnick, and Wimberly.


The Faculty In Session










The Faculty In Session

functioning of the senate. He consistently referred to the members as senators,
adopted the practice of sending out agendas before meetings, and instituted
the chairman's report. The senate concerned itself with procedures and
precedents of various sorts.28 It received reports on long-range institutional
planning, heard the president present his plan for university reorganization,
and discussed the question of a faculty absence form instituted by President
Gates and objected to by the History Department. 29
A new administrative organization effective June 1, 1974, brought about
action to change the representation in the senate. The plan, recommended by
the senate and approved by the faculty on January 16, 1975, in part reflected
the establishment of a School of Business Administration, a School of Health
and Human Services within the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, and the
placement of the School (formerly College) of Health, Recreation, and Physical
Education in the College of Education:

The faculty senate shall consist of twenty-four members,
six elected from the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences,
three from the College of Education, one from the School
of Business Administration, two from the non-departmental 
units, and the rest at large.

The "non-departmental unit" consists of the faculty personnel in student
affairs, the library, university outreach, admissions, registrar's office, physical
plant, computer services, health, placement, and administration generally.
In its thirteen years of operation the senate has made several landmark
decisions, has had some tense moments of debate and determinations, and has
often disagreed with administrations. The decision to place student members
on several faculty committees signalled an important step toward better
student-faculty relations. Debate on revisions in the Basic Studies program
which involved much of two meetings led to senate rejection of changes
recommended by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee without resolution
of the gritty issue of what such changes might mean to the institution. 30
The senate disagreed with President Gates' contention that recognition of a
student organization meant agreement with the objectives and aims of the
organization--in this instance, the Students for a Democratic Society. Senators

that a satisfactory University policy for student organizations 
is the position that recognition of a student
organization does not necessarily entail specific approval
and encouragement of the ideas of that organization. 31

Having said that, the senate voted down a motion to recommend a charter for
SDS. By a narrow margin, it also refused to support Gates' proposal to award
honorary degrees. 32 The senate debated establishment of an army R.O.T.C.
unit and a Military Science Department on the campus. Its members were not
unanimous in acceptance of either. A previous faculty apparently had less


The Faculty In Session

difficulty with the matter for, in 1951, it approved the application for an
R.O.T.C. unit which was not organized. 33

Faculty Personnel Matters
For several months in the mid-seventies, the senate wrestled with the
construction of a body of personnel rules required by central administration and
the regents. The need for rules grew out of the increasingly complex
relationships between administrations and faculties both seeking to establish
regularized procedures for appointments, retention, awarding of tenure, and
salary determinations. The day was passing when administrators could make
arbitrary judgments on these matters, although some continued to do so. But
with rules there also came the opportunity to appeal decisions both by peers
and by administrative officers. Proper procedures in personnel decision-making 
became of the utmost importance, so much so that often it appeared
that the substance of an issue got lost in the procedural maze.
At La Crosse, a committee with William Felch in the chair labored long and
arduously to develop rules relating to the matters of faculty appointments,
retention, promotion, tenure, lay-offs, complaints, grievances, and outside
activities. Of all the issues raised, defining seniority caused the most debate
for, should the anticipated enrollment declines occur in the coming years,
seniority would be a significant factor in the release of tenured faculty. From
October of 1975 through February of 1976, the senate debated, held a
referendum, and voted on various motions before adopting a definite
statement. It read: "seniority shall be determined by rank, and within rank by
total years of service in the university, except as qualified by other rules in this
section on seniority." The senate finally adopted the complete body of
personnel rules in March 10, 1977. The regents approved them at their meeting
of April 15, 1977. To the end of 1979 no invocation of the seniority doctrine
occurred for no faculty faced lay-off at La Crosse.
In another arena, affairs did not run so smoothly at mid-decade. For many
faculty and for the senate, the academic year 1976-1977 was the winter of their
discontent. At issue was the mode of determining merit increments as part of
faculty salary packages. Within that issue was a second one--the use of student
evaluation of instruction as an element in setting faculty merit ratings. The
controversy was ten years in the making and intensified with the merger
creating the University of Wisconsin System. The regents, following the bent of
the legislature, insisted that peer evaluation of faculty be considered for merit
salary increments "at least once every three years." In the process of making
these peer judgments, the faculty was to use "information from student
evaluation of their instruction." The document directing this process also
provided that "student evaluation of the instruction of each faculty member
being considered for promotion or tenure shall be undertaken." 34
Historically, the administrations at La Crosse (e.g., the president with advice
from vice presidents, deans, directors, and, during the Gates' era, department
chairpersons), set individual faculty salaries from year to year. The institutions
of the old normal school system were virtually on a salary schedule until the
mid-1950's. Typically, a unit of increase would be $100.00. And, until 1956,
there were no faculty ranks. Then the regents, recognizing the changing roles


The Faculty In Session

and status of the Wisconsin state colleges, authorized awarding of four ranks:
instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. The board
also set up a preparation code for each of the ranks which became more
stringently applied as the years passed. During the first go-around, however,
the president was allowed considerable leeway. For example, the earned
doctorate was not required to rank persons associate or full professors.
President Mitchell obtained appointments of twenty-one to associate and nine
to full professor among faculty who did not hold doctorates. 35
In the forties and fifties, student participation in faculty personnel matters
was virtually nil. The dean of the college did provide evaluation forms for each
new instructor which were used for the teacher's own enlightenment.
Occasionally department elder statesmen might visit a class or two of
newcomers. Generally, however, decisions having to do with classroom
performances were made on information based on casual conversations
between students and administrative officers, on comments by alumni, on the
committee work of individuals, and on reactions resulting from direct contact
between faculty members and administrators. The faculty as a body had no
formal participation in the processes of appointment, ranking, awarding of
tenure, and setting salaries. One year, to the consternation of the regents and
the displeasure of the faculty, President Mitchell returned about $250,000
allotted for salaries at La Crosse to the board office. Apparently he was
persuaded that the faculty was not deserving of additional raises.
The first steps toward rating faculty for salary purposes in a formal way came
during President Gates' administration, when he asked chairpersons to rank
members of their departments on a scale of four, three, two, one. The ratings
corresponded to salary increments of above average, average, below average,
and no increase. This process placed a largely unwanted burden on unhappy
chairpersons who were elected to their posts. The faculty and administration
muddled along with this system with modifications and with an arrangement
featuring peer evaluation on a twenty-point scale until the coming of merger
and the arrival of President Lindner.
The merged board of regents, sensitive to complaints coming from students,
legislators, and the general public about poor classroom performances, faculty
more interested in research than instruction, and others who did little or
nothing beyond the minimum required of them, set out to find means to review
individual performances with a view to rewarding them appropriately.
Governor Patrick J. Lucey (1970-1977), who steered the merger statute through
the legislative process, often spoke of the desirability of good teaching in the
university system. The legislature, following his lead and impressed by a state
agency (the system) which voluntarily evaluated its members, began voting
specific percentages to be used for merit increments within faculty salary
The regents (and those responsible to them) were not alone in their quest to
identify meritorious faculty. Throughout the land, demands by students for the
monitoring of faculty performances and for participation in the review process
necessary to make proper determination of teaching excellence rumbled
through the halls of ivy. Further, students increasingly demanded a voice in the
appointment, retention, promotion, and awarding of tenure to faculty. At La


The Faculty In Session

Crosse, student government and the campus newspaper took up these issues;
they presented their views mildly but with a firm politeness.
Chancellor Lindner was a staunch advocate of student participation in
various faculty personnel decisions including merit increases. He also favored
rewarding those who ranked high in the judgment of their peers and students
with substantial raises. That view in itself created what some faculty regarded
as serious disparities among persons whose ratings were not far apart. The
five-point system in use (0-4) provided that no more than twenty percent in
each school or college could have the top rank of four and no more than seventy
percent could be above two. Those rated lower would have little in the way of
increments. Such a system came to raise up considerable opposition because
there always had to be someone rated at the bottom, sometimes, in their view,
regardless of their actual performance.
In the fall of 1971, the Faculty Senate, motivated partly by the desire to
accommodate the new chancellor and partly out of the belief that student
evaluations would be useful determinants in faculty personnel decisions, took
action to formalize a valuation system for the university. Preceding a series of
motions at the senate meeting of November 11, 1971, which set up that system,
was a report on a departmental survey regarding merit evaluation. The survey
showed an overwhelming majority of the faculty (223-37) to be in favor of using
student evaluations for determining part of the merit ratings. Of that majority,
in turn, most favored the student factor at twenty-five percent or more (170-46).
The faculty Committee on Promotion, Tenure, and Salary (PTS), which had
wrestled through the fall of 1971 with the issue of how best to obtain
evaluations, how to use them, and what to do about faculty who were not in the
classroom, also submitted a report. Their proposals included a student
evaluation instrument (SEI) of nineteen questions. Only the last of those
counted for application to merit ratings. Question nineteen read: "On the basis
of the factors considered above and compared to all college instructors you have
had, how would you rate this instructor as a teacher?" The ratings were on a
scale of 0-5.
There followed a series of motions by which the senate endorsed in principle
the use of student evaluations for improvement of instruction, merit pay, and
promotion, retention, and tenure. The evaluation form (SEI) went into general
use throughout the university, although some departments chose to reduce or
alter the first eighteen questions. 36 Whatever the form used, it had to contain
the question comparing teachers. During the next four years a merit system
which, in addition to student judgments, included self and peer evaluations
based on teaching, research, and service to the university and community
remained in use. All but a handful of the faculty took part, some of them rather
reluctantly. A small number refused to allow students to evaluate them and
therefore received no merit salary increments.
Apparently there was foot-dragging on the evaluation issue at some of the
universities. But the regents' position was clear. For at the meeting of their
Business and Finance Committee in early 1974, committee members affirmed
previously stated guidelines for faculty merit pay and added: "Student
evaluations shall be considered along with the assessments of academic officers
and colleagues." 37 Central administration followed with requests for reports


The Faculty In Session

from all the universities on their progress in the use of evaluations. A
compilation of these reports indicated lagging in some quarters and produced a
variety of approaches. Some system units had done very little. Instead, La
Crosse's portion in the document issued by central administration and entitled
"Student Evaluation of Instruction, 1973-1974, a University of Wisconsin
System Profile" (1974), showed how far this university had gone toward
implementing the regents' rules. (See Box, p. 90)
The first clear statement of opposition to the merit system at La Crosse came
about sixteen months after circulation of the central administration's document
on student evaluation. In the spring of 1976, one month after Vice Chancellor
Wimberly reaffirmed what was essentially regent policy (that faculty who did
not participate in student evaluations were not eligible for merit increases), an
unofficial/committee of faculty members gathered and issued a statement
disputing the process of categorizing faculty on a 0-4 basis for merit rankings.
Their statement noted a passage in the North Central Association's
accreditation report of 1975 which referred to the low morale among the La
Crosse faculty because of the merit system in force and which suggested that
the system should be modified. The student newspaper quoted Chancellor
Lindner as saying that he did not believe morale was low at La Crosse compared
to other institutions. 38
In late April and early May of 1976, several faculty circulated a petition which
eventually carried 266 signatures asking the chancellor to work with the faculty
to establish a different merit system. (See Box, p. 91) The chancellor received
it and then turned it over to the senate. 39 As the merit controversy smouldered
through the summer and fall it veered somewhat in direction momentarily.
Early in the fall the Faculty Senate voted to make every effort to abolish the use
of student evaluation information in faculty personnel decisions. The Student
Senate replied by stating its full support of "the use of student evaluations of
instruction at its current level or increased level in determining tenure,
promotion, merit pay, and self-improvement of instruction." 40 And Chancellor
Lindner wrote, on October 20, 1976, to Senate Chairman George R. Gilkey
expressing his disappointment at the senate action to recommend abolishment
of the use of student evaluation.
Both the Student Senate and the chancellor also opposed a proposal by
Arnold Temte (mathematics) that SEI's be used only for improvement of
instruction, but if they were to be used otherwise they should be signed. The
student group and the chancellor opposed that suggestion also. At the same
time, Lindner stated his willingness to go along with changes in the format of
the SEI's, but that he would "not compromise on the importance of the
evaluations when making personnel decisions." 41
The Christmas break temporarily slowed down exchanges on the merit issue,
but in mid-February of 1977, historian William E. Pemberton presented a
petition signed by a large number of faculty to Senate Chairman Gilkey. The
petition called on the senate to hold a referendum on the following statement:

On the matter of merit ratings, the faculty of UW-L
declares a judgment of no confidence in the administration
of Kenneth E. Lindner.


The Faculty In Session

Student Evaluation of Instruction, 1973-1974, UW-L*

University-wide student evaluation of faculty performance has been in
effect for the last three years under the direction of the Office of the Vice
Chancellor. Evaluation instruments were prepared with student help and
are administered in each class by a colleague of the faculty member being

The "Student Evaluation of Teaching" is a nineteen item form which
asks in addition to demographic data, for ratings of instructor behaviors
on a five-point scale. Substitutions may be made for the first eighteen
items as a department chooses; but the nineteenth, an overall rating of the
instructor, must appear on all instruments. Instructions to the student
note that evaluations will also be solicited from such other sources as
chairpersons or supervisors, faculty colleagues, and other "contact"
personnel; and that teaching evaluation will play a part in determining
questions of promotions, retentions, tenure, and salary adjustments.

Chairpersons submit the scores to deans together with peer evaluations
for administrative decisions concerning promotion, tenure and salary. For
the past two years, student evaluation counted as 25% of total merit
evaluation for the faculty. Student evaluation is primarily used to help
improve instruction.

Each faculty member is evaluated once a year during the calendar year
preceding the spring in which merit determinations are to be made.
Faculty members have the option of deciding whether to solicit student
evaluations in one or both semesters of the calendar year and which 
semester's results to forward to their departments.

*Student Evaluation of Instruction, 1973-1974, a University of Wisconsin
System Profile


he Faculty in Session

Statement of faculty members on merit evaluation,
carrying 266 signatures.

We, the undersigned faculty members, are opposed to the present
merit evaluation system.
  We believe that it is inconsistent with a proper conception of a
university and with accepted principles of academic freedom: it
encourages caution, conformity, uniformity, and concern with appear-
ances and popularity, rather than innovation, independence, diversity,
and respect for professional judgment and individual conscience.
  We believe that the criteria it is based on are of doubtful validity; that
the evidence it uses is not critically examined (and in the case of the
anonymous student evaluations cannot be); that its requirement that a
certain percentage of faculty members get low ratings regardless of
whether their peers believe they deserve it, is arbitrary and unjust; and
that all these shortcomings are made more serious by ambiguity
concerning the effort low ratings may have on decisions about retention,
promotion, and lay-off.
  Finally, we believe that the system has led to a lowering of academic
standards (at least there are many suspicions and some evidence that it
has), and not merely in grading; that it has encouraged the development
of detrimental attitudes in students, such as lessened respect for
professors and a tendency to forget that learning depends chiefly on their
work, not others'; and that it has caused anxiety about job security, anger
that faculty members' worth and the worth of their disciplines must be
continually justified (in part by the opinions of those who are not always
intellectually or morally qualified to make such judgments), and suspicion
and disharmony within and between departments-in short, that it has
caused the "resentments and sensitivities" which led the North Center
team to conclude that the system is "unacceptable to the faculty" and
"should be modified...."
   We request that the administration work with members of the faculty to
establish a different merit evaluation system which will overcome the
cited difficulties before the next evaluation period.


The Faculty In Session

Asked to release the names on the petition by both the local media and the
chancellor, Gilkey refused to do so because some of the signatories expressly
asked that their names not be made public. Pemberton and others told the
student newspaper that some faculty feared reprisals from the chancellor.
Lindner denied he had any such thing in mind, and he stated he wanted to know
how many persons and what departments were involved so that he might more
properly deal with the whole issue. 42
Once again Arnold Temte came forward with a proposal which would have
drastically altered the system in effect. What became known as the Temte Plan
posited an arrangement whereby eighty percent of the faculty would receive
across-the-board merit automatically on the assumption that they were doing
their jobs properly. Ten percent or so were to be identified as a group not
carrying out their assignments; they would receive little or no merit. The
remaining ten percent who were to be determined as doing outstanding work
were to be awarded high merit. Faculty members wishing to do so could apply
for high merit to a university-wide committee which would make the
appropriate judgments.
At a meeting on March 3, 1977, the Faculty Senate voted to adopt the Temte
Plan in principle as the basis for an evaluation system and directed the
chairperson to appoint an ad hoc committee of five senators to devise a
procedure to implement it. Temte sat with the committee. Student government
leaders disapproved of the Temte proposal and therefore expressed their desire
not to have representation on the committee. Early in the week of March 7,
1977, the chancellor and vice chancellor called in Senate Chairman Gilkey
and suggested to him that the time had come to turn over evaluation to the
various academic departments and equivalent functioning units. In the
administration's view again expressed at this meeting, the Temte scheme
would be unacceptable to the regents.
In response to the chancellor's suggestion, Gilkey drafted a document
entitled "Proposed Merit System Based on Departmental or Functional
Equivalents' Determinations Only," which he submitted to the senate at its
meeting of March 10, 1977. Once again the chancellor stated at this meeting
that he would not accept the Temte Plan. Following further discussions and
amendments to the Gilkey draft proposal, the senate approved it at its first
meeting in April of 1977. This policy statement placed responsibility on the
various departments and their functional equivalents (such as the library and
student affairs) to evolve their own systems of peer and student evaluations for
merit purposes. The policy also required that all units were to report annually
to the appropriate administrative officers what kind of procedures they used.
Included, too, were provisions for inequity adjustments. 43
Student leaders expressed their dislike for the new merit policy because they
felt it lessened their role too much. The chancellor on the other hand expressed
the view that the system would serve the senate well. 44 Whatever the virtues
or failings of the policy, the controversy over merit diminished. It subsided still
further when Acting Chancellor Wimberly agreed with the PTS committee's
recommendation to use the minimum percentage authorized by the regents for
merit and the maximum allowed for cost-of-living in the salary package for


The Faculty In Session

Faculty concern over salaries, fringe benefits, and working conditions did not
surface in the early years of the school's history. For the times the pay was
good and the teachers assumed they were to teach some twenty to twenty-five
hours weekly plus other assignments as many had done previously in high
school. In 1912, for example, President Cotton received a monthly salary of
$350. Highest paid among the teaching faculty were David O. Coate (English)
and Albert H. Sanford (history) at $200. James O. Engleman received $220 per
month as both teacher and part-time administrator. Women faculty were at a
distinct disadvantage. Their highest salaries were $120 a month and most of
them were at $100. Increases for the upcoming year for nineteen faculty
members totalled $1950. 45
Early faculties had no salary committees and there is no mention of pay in the
minutes until 1915 when summer session salaries came under consideration. 46
Also in 1915 the Association of Wisconsin State Normal Faculties (AWSNF)
emerged. Its early strength was in Milwaukee. As the years went by the
association became the spokesman for faculty salary and other demands. All
faculty members, including the president, were members, and over the years
presidents often represented La Crosse at the annual association meetings. 47
Salaries rose slowly during the World War I years and, for the first time,
became the subject of serious faculty discussion. In the winter of 1918, the La
Crosse faculty discussed the methods of salary payments and met with the local
regent, Charles Van Auken, to discuss legislative action regarding increases for
the coming year. In the fall of the same year the faculty subjected the salary
schedule established by the regents to critical examination. From this
discussion emerged an appointed committee of five to study the whole matter
of salaries and to make recommendations. The committee's report expressed
dissatisfaction with the current salary schedule, regarding it as detrimental to
efforts to obtain and hold "first-class teachers." The committee further called
for higher salaries in general, larger annual increases, and more precise
classification of faculty. Committee members argued a much improved
schedule would

make it possible to secure and retain teachers of such high
quality as would promote the interests of the state...,
enable the Presidents, in the selection of teachers, to
compete successfully with other states that have attractive
schedules..., [and] make it possible for [the teacher] to
devote his entire energy to his teaching profession, since
he would be relieved of anxiety in regard to his salary. 48

A half-century later, the state officers of the Association of Wisconsin State
University Faculties (AWSUF) made essentially the same arguments for higher
salaries before the regents, the Joint Finance Committee of the Wisconsin
legislature, and the governor.
In the months following the committee report of 1918, faculty members
agreed to write letters to senators and assemblymen urging better normal
school budgets. A fact-finding committee worked with President Cotton to


The Faculty In Session
provide the necessary information to the letter-writers. Salaries were discussed
frequently in meetings. By June of 1920, Cotton reported on average salaries in
the normal school system. La Crosse ranked first at $2600 for the academic
year, followed closely by Superior at $2583, Platteville at $2544, and Oshkosh at
$2522.49 Two years later the president's salary had climbed to $5000 and five of
the teaching faculty were at $4000. The average for the faculty was over $3200.
Again women trailed far behind the top for men. 50 Salaries remained the same
for the year 1924-25. Only a few changed for the following two biennia. The
president's salary went to $6000 but those who had been at $4000, for example,
in 1922 were still at that figure in 1930. 51
When the depression deepened, the faculty lost salary ranging from one
week's pay for those making less than $1500 a year to one month's pay for those
making over $4000 annually. Further cuts were made--they were called
waivers--for 1933-34. Thus such long-term members as Lincoln Adkins,
William Sanders, and Albert H. Sanford went from $4000 to $3300 annually. It
was not until 1937 that most salaries returned to the level at which they had
been in 1922. 52 In the post-World War II era, salaries inched ,up slowly.
Through the association, the faculties have kept up steady political and moral
pressures on the regents, the legislature, and the governor. The biennium of
1970-72 featured a large salary and fringe benefit package. The next years were
not so successful. But the merged board of regents set minimum academic
year salaries for different ranks for the biennium, 1973-1975 as:

Professor                                      $17,000
Associate Professor                            $14,000
Assistant Professor                            $11,000
Instructor                                     $ 9,000 53

In addition the state picks up most retirement costs and health insurance
premiums. The Faculty Senate has a standing Promotion, Tenure, and Salary
Committee which concerns itself directly with faculty interests in those areas.

Most jealously guarded of all faculty prerogatives is curriculum making. The
La Crosse faculty has not been an exception to the general rule. No faculty is
completely free to make curriculum because administrative direction and
budgets are always significant factors. For universities with teacher training
programs, the State Department of Public Instruction sets down requirements
which influence the curriculum and confine the powers of faculties, sometimes
to the point of determining precise courses. Examples in Wisconsin are the
state requirements that all secondary teachers must have courses in
cooperatives and in conservation. Still, working out the details of what will
make majors and minors, designating basic course work, determining
supervision of student teaching, and developing broad educational patterns are
the tasks of the faculty.
Curriculum patterns appear in the school catalog or bulletin. La Crosse's first
came out in 1910. The normal operated on the quarter system and offered four


The Faculty In Session

basic course patterns including six variations within them. The word "course"
applied both to a single class, as in English, and a collection of "courses"
making up a teaching area. The catalog thus described the basic patterns

Two-Year Course for High School Graduates
Elementary and Four-Year Courses
One-Year Professional Course
Two-Year Courses for Teachers of County Schools.

Within the first were German or Latin and English courses of study. Within the
second were four-year German, Latin, and English courses as well as the two
and one-half year elementary course. A feature of the early curriculum was the
inclusion of "professional" units in the regular subject offerings. Thus the
prospective teacher took arithmetic and professional arithmetic, history and
professional history, geography and professional geography. The methodology
of teaching, then, was part of the formal offering. The catalog description of
professional history read:

Required for ten weeks in the Elementary and Four-year
courses. The work corresponds to the second quarter of
the course in Junior American History and is, consequently, 
about equally divided between the academic and
professional aspects. 54

For the prospective teachers in little red schoolhouses, the faculty provided
special work. Thus Country School Geography differed from the basic course,
Physical Geography:

First, more time is given to the study of land forms;
second, the human interests are emphasized to a greater
degree; third, students are shown how to apply the
principles set forth and how to utilize the material to be
found in the rural communities in their teaching of the
subject of geography in the country schools. 55

To accomplish its instructional mission the first normal faculty functioned in
several "departments," most of them of only one person. Those designated
were education, history and civics, physics and chemistry, biology and
agriculture, geography and geology, Latin and German, music, physical
education, domestic science, and training school. 56 Within four years of the
school's founding, several significant curricular changes occurred. First, under
authorization of the regents in 1911, the normal established a "college course"
designed to provide two years of traditional liberal arts work to prepare
students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities, especially to the
University of Wisconsin at Madison. Previously, representatives of the


The Faculty In Session

university and the normal schools had met to try to resolve the transfer
question. A joint resolution adopted by those representatives in March, 1909,

Resolved: That graduates from the present German and
Latin courses of the State Normal Schools be granted sixty
unit hours University credit toward the Bachelor of Arts
degree; provided, that such students must absolve all
University requirements for such degree; and provided,
further, that in the selection of courses in the Normal
School, courses of University grade be selected, preferably 
from science and mathematics; and provided further,
that students taking elementary foreign languages in the
Normal School must comply with the same language
requirements as students entering the University with no
foreign language.
Resolved: That graduates from the present English
course at the State Normal School be granted sixty unit
hours of credit toward the Bachelor of Philosophy degree,
sixty unit hours of additional credit to be required for
graduation. 57

How all this was implemented at La Crosse was not clear until the catalog of
1915 spelled out a Letters and Science course in broad outline. This course
consisted of five areas--English, foreign languages (including German, French,
Latin, and Spanish), mathematics, social science (including history), and
science. 58 Over the years the transfer of credits to Madison has involved much
paper work and explanation. In more recent times it is scarcely a problem
except in cases where students change programs to a significant degree.
In the early twenties the regents directed that the normals should devote all
their efforts to teacher training. Thus the college course people had no home in
the curriculum and were called "college punks" by their fellow-students.
Listed as "graduates" in the commencement programs between 1911 and
1924, they were dropped from those listings until 1952 when four graduated in
the newly-formed Letters and Science Division. Meantime, the regents
established the requirement of high school graduation or its equivalent for
admission to the normals, set the "year's work" for the student at thirty-six
semester hours, and ordered that no normal school curriculum could be less
than three years in length. They also declared the pressure for teachers had
lessened to the point where administrators should stop encouraging
enrollments and concentrate on selecting better students. 59
A second basic change in curriculum occurred when the faculty

Methods in Reading, Language, Spelling and Writing be
omitted and that the time be used as follows: two hours to
Arithmetic and two hours to Grammar ...


The Faculty In Session

A further recommendation was to the effect that in
American History, Grammar, Arithmetic, Reading and
Geography the entire twenty weeks be devoted to the
academic side of the subjects and that the methods in
these subjects be given over to the method's department. 

The catalog for 1913 reflected the suggested changes. Professional history and
similar courses were dropped, and courses such as Methods and Practice,
Methods and Observation, and Observation and Practice replaced them. 61
Other courses which formed the core of professional offerings included
Psychology, Pedagogy, School Administration and Supervision, Childhood and
Adolescence, and Psychology and School Management for Students in the
Country Course.
During 1914 the faculty discussed several curriculum changes. Unable to
agree on proposals for the "grammar and high school groups" it turned the
task over to President Cotton. 62 The faculty also met to

hear a report of a recent meeting of superintendents held
in Madison in which the work of the Normal Schools of
Wisconsin was severely criticized. The attempt was made
to formulate in rebuttal some of the service which the
Normal Schools have rendered to the state. 63

The critic was invited to address the faculty. Whether he accepted or not the
record does not show. Whether that incident was responsible or not, President
Cotton for the first time appointed standing curriculum committees which
replaced a single committee on the catalog and on courses of study. There were
seven committees--six dealing with familiar areas such as the college course,
country school course, grades and high school. The seventh was for the recently
introduced specialty in physical education. 64 Although the new program did
not grow much until after World War I, it did attract students from the very
beginning. 65
By 1916, the curriculum of the La Crosse State Normal School began to
delineate majors and minors in five traditional areas: English, history, science,
mathematics, and foreign language. Majors varied from twenty to forty credits,
minors from ten to twenty. In the same year the college courses were redefined
to include letters and science, commerce, journalism, pre-law, pre-medicine,
agriculture and home economics. An arrangement for taking courses in
engineering also was worked out with the university at Madison. 66 Curriculum
between 1923 and 1927 reflected the orders from the regents to concentrate on
teacher education. The college courses disappeared from the catalog although
many students attended a year or two to take the work that had made up those
courses before. "It is the single purpose of the Normal School to train
teachers," reads the catalog of 1927. And it further provided that "students
who are not preparing to teach may be admitted as special students to such
classes as can accommodate them." 67


The Faculty In Session

La Crosse became a state teachers college together with the other Wisconsin
normals and, after 1927, the curriculum reflected this change in four-year
programs. The college continued to offer one, two, and three-year programs as
well. But the four-year degree programs for physical education and other senior
high school fields grew steadily. Majors in physical education also had to
present an "academic" minor in which they were certified to teach. Beyond
that the director and faculty of that school strongly resisted further study
outside the major field. In her study of Walter J. Wittich, who was virtually
synonymous with physical education at La Crosse from 1917 to 1953, A. B.
Culver noted that

perhaps the greatest contention within the department
revolved around athletic policy in which Wittich insisted
on subordinating collegiate competition to the purposes of
the physical education program. Beyond the department,
Wittich had to contend with not infrequent attempts to
dilute the intensity of training he felt was necessary for the
proper preparation of teachers. 68

The "diluting" referred to attempts by the faculty and administration to
require more "academic" work of physical education students partly on the
grounds that they were inadequately prepared and not properly interested in
their minors. A sharp persistent criticism was directed toward "coaches
teaching history" and other subjects. Both Wittich's opponents and defenders
admitted his effectiveness, devotion to his chosen field, competence, and drive
toward perfection and the well-rounded life. The building of both exceptional
theoretical and practical programs, the development of facilities, and the
gathering of a highly-trained faculty all were a part of Wittich's heritage. A
Turnvereiner by training, he went far beyond that in his personal life as
painter, writer, musician, and sportsman. With him through most of his years
were Hans C. Reuter, Leon Miller, and Emma Lou Wilder, outstanding
teachers in the area of physical education. They survived him and left their

Walter J. Wittich was virtually synonymous with
physical education at La Crosse from 1917-1953.


The Faculty In Session

mark as did he on a program recognized for its high quality throughout the
United States. 69 To this day, to many graduates, townspeople, and educators
throughout the land, La Crosse is a "Phy Ed" school. To reinforce that idea one
has only to look at the catalog. Of the eighty-five pages devoted to curriculum
and courses in the catalog from 1938-1939, twenty-five pages described the
physical education program including precise regulations on the "uniforms" to
be worn by students. 70
Meantime, the faculty made several significant curricular decisions. Student
loads were reduced to eighteen credits. At the same time Wittich insisted:

The work for the physical education students should be the
same as for any other student in that class and that they
should be held to the same standards as students in other
departments. 71

The faculty approved the new "four-year Phy. Ed. course" recommended by a
curriculum committee, sanctioned the "Primary, Intermediate, and Grammar
Grade courses," proposed, and assented to the "Four-year High School
Course" described by Everett Walters. 72 Acting on requests from city teachers
the faculty authorized extension courses in sociology, philosophy of education,
music methods, and drawing, opening up an arena of instruction which has
varied in value and effectiveness over the years. 73 A decade later President
Snodgrass advised the faculty that the regents had authorized the granting of
the bachelor of science degree. The college continued to award bachelor of
education degrees together with diplomas and certificates to rural, primary and
grade school teachers. By 1941, the teaching faculty numbered sixty-three.
Five emeriti from the original faculty--Adolph Bernhard, David O. Coate,
Bessie Bell Hutchison, William H. Sanders, and Albert H. Sanford--served as
reminders of the long tenure of many persons. 74
Early in his years at La Crosse, President Mitchell reorganized the
instructional structure of the college into five divisions--Rural Education,
Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Physical Education, and Special
Students.75 By the 1950's three curriculum committees, which determined the
courses for rural and elementary, secondary, and physical education, had
emerged. As enrollments increased and curriculum became more sophisticated, 
the three committees were subordinated to a curriculum coordinating
committee. Ultimately, with the establishment of the Faculty Senate, a single
undergraduate curriculum committee emerged. The senate receives reports of
its actions and must approve any changes in basic studies.
The university at La Crosse has taken four major curriculum steps in
the last two decades. These include the broadening of liberal arts offerings
which necessitated formation of a Division of Letters and Science to replace the
one for the special students, the establishment of a basic studies program
required of all potential graduates, the development of a graduate program,
and the setting-up of a School of Business Administration, the curriculum of
which includes a program leading to the master's degree in that area (M.B.A.).
In addition, La Crosse has added R.O.T.C., allied health programs, river
studies, minority studies, and outreach to its broadened curriculum.


The Faculty In Session

The first two, Letters and Science and Basic Studies, are closely-tied for the
basic studies are traditional liberal arts courses in arts and humanities, history
and social sciences, mathematics and the sciences. Besides the two essentially
traditional courses of study leading to the bachelor of arts and the bachelor of
science degrees, the Division of Letters and Science offered several
pre-professional curricula such as accounting, engineering, medicine, nursing,
pharmacy, law, and journalism. In 1950 there were fifteen such areas available
for the student.
Adoption of a liberal arts program at La Crosse had some oppositon from
teacher education faculty who sincerely believed that the task of the college was
to train teachers for the elementary and secondary schools of Wisconsin. As
early as 1908, the regents had asked for and received learned opinions about
what normal schools should undertake as their tasks. Some respondents to their
inquiries would have limited the normals solely to training rural and
elementary teachers. Others saw them as fulfilling the need for better high
school teachers. A Chicago school superintendent argued for a minimum of
four years of college education for secondary teachers. California Normal
School President, C. C. Van Liew, stated that "it is too easy in this country to
become a secondary teacher." He recommended four years of "university
culture work followed by two years of professional training." And education
professor Edwin G. Dexter wrote:

It is the opinion of the writer that our high school system
can never fully perform its function nor its teachers attain
the status of professional respectability which should be
theirs until they have invested at least four years' time in
the academic side of college work, with at least one year's
graduate work devoted largely to a theoretical and
practical study of school problems. 76

These words, written in 1908, appear to have anticipated the master of arts in
teaching degree now in vogue in many places.

Basic Studies
The basic studies program, still in existence although amended somewhat,
resulted from committee and faculty actions taken in the early 1960's. A special
basic studies committee appointed by the steering committee and presided
over by Dean Maurice O. Graff first met in May of 1960. The group
immediately set to work to invite proposals from the various departments on
what should be a basic program for all curricula and all students intending to
graduate from La Crosse. Impetus toward such a program developed in part as
the result of criticism by a North Central Association (NCA) accreditation team
regarding the general education of La Crosse students. Prior to the NCA
visitation and the subsequent response in 1960, the faculty had heard a panel
discussion on the "question of General Education." The panel of five were not
in much agreement. The growing numbers of faculty trained and teaching in
traditional liberal arts areas were pushing for more such work in the teacher
training curricula. The professional education faculty staunchly resisted for the


The Faculty In Session

most part. Out of the discussion came the creation of a general education
committee commissioned to bring a recommendation to the faculty. The
committee effort was largely an exercise in futility. The proposal made was for
teaching curricula only on the theory that the whole program of Letters and
Science was general education. It was largely a rearrangement of what was
being done already. Ultimately nothing came out of the year of effort. 77
In February of 1960 President Mitchell and the steering committee presented
proposals for discussion by the faculty on adoption of a "basic program of
liberal studies." The president and the committee offered two reasons for such
a program. First was the probable need to "establish a qualifying process for
beginning students before permitting them to go on to advanced work."
Second, there was criticism for lack of a basic program from both the American
Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) in 1952 and by NCA
representatives in 1959. Matters to be considered in connection with
establishment of a basic program included the creation of a general college,
admission of students to existing divisions only after they completed basic
work, and a shift of curricular responsibilities. Finally the proposal suggested
appointment of an ad hoc committee which was to present policy
recommendations of a basic program to the faculty.
Reactions of the division directors were broadly supportive. Speaking for
secondary education, Dr. James H. M. Erickson "strongly supported the
plan." Letters and Science director, Dr. Carl Wimberly, "was very much in
favor of the plan." Miss Alice Drake foresaw "no real difficulty" for
elementary education. Dr. Glenn Smith "felt there were no insurmountable
difficulties for students in the Division of Physical Education." The faculty then
proceeded to "approve the principle of General Education before admissions to
the divisions" and the establishment of the proposed ad hoc committee. 78
The steering committee chose five colleagues of "long-standing service to
the college and in the instance of the chairman a person whose position
requires him to have an over-view of curricular problems." Selected were Dean
Maurice O. Graff as chairman, and Professors Edgar Knowlton (English),
Theodore Rovang (biology), Marie Park Toland (speech), and William Laux
(history). 79 This committee made its recommendations to the faculty a month
after its appointment. The first would require all students intending to
graduate from La Crosse to take the program. The second called for not less
than thirty nor more than thirty-four credits for the program in the first year. A
third provision called for divisional curriculum committees to include no less
than twelve nor more than fifteen additional basic studies credits for their
students. Other suggestions would allow tentative admission of students with
basic studies' deficiencies to the regular divisions with permission from the
various directors and the dean of the college. The proposal also included an
annually-appointed basic studies committee and the requirement that the
program of studies could not be changed except by action of the faculty. 80
The committee which developed the program found several of the
recommendations too restrictive. It also did not accept the idea of the
annually-appointed basic studies committee. And, with the establishment of
the Faculty Senate, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee assumed
responsiblility for approving or disapproving proposed changes in the program


The Faculty In Session

and sending along to the senate those which it approved. In deciding on a basic
curriculum the committee rejected the terms Common First Year, Liberal
Studies, and General Education, the last of which it found impossible to define.
Under Dean Graff's patient leadership, the basic studies committee heard all
departments present proposals, agreed upon a final product, and took it to the
faculty with the proviso that the program be adopted or rejected without
In presenting the committee's program "Dean Graff informed the faculty
that the North Central Association was awaiting a report of the action taken by
the faculty concerning the basic studies report." 81 President Mitchell called a
special meeting two days later for faculty action. Some faculty members saw in
Graff's statement an implicit threat by the NCA to withhold accreditation again
if they rejected the basic studies program. Several resented this implication,
and there were a few acrimonious exchanges of opinion about it. A somewhat
precipitous vote was inconclusive, and President Mitchell called for a third
meeting within a week. At that session, the faculty approved the basic studies
program. It became effective in the fall of 1961. 82
The program as adopted required a minimum of thirty-nine semester hours
drawn from seven course groupings. Students taking a foreign language as a
choice had a forty-four hour requirement. The program called for two
semesters each of English composition, history, social science or additional
history, laboratory science, and physical education. It also mandated one
semester of speech, three semesters of a group called literature and arts, and
one semester from a grouping including foreign languages, mathematics, and
geography. Individual courses were mainly those being taught in the various
departments at the time of the program's adoption. But there were several
designed especially for basic studies from the beginning. Among these were
Basic Concepts of Mathematics, Dance Appreciation, Creative Art Apprecia-
tion, and Elements of Geography. 83
For the first few years there were no significant changes in the basic studies.
By 1970, however, the faculty added courses from other disciplines--
philosophy, mass communication, psychology, and computer science. Several
departments already represented expanded their offerings, with classes in
Theatre Appreciation, Literature of Black America, and Descriptive
Astronomy, for example. After almost two decades there was little impetus
either from students or faculty to alter or abolish the basic studies program.

Graduate Studies
Meanwhile the university took careful steps toward offering graduate
studies. The first formal reference to graduate work at La Crosse appeared in a
regents' resolution of March 5, 1946. It read:

Resolved that beginning with the 1946 summer session the
State Teachers College at La Crosse be and is hereby
authorized to offer work on the graduate level leading to
the degree of Master of Education in the Division of
Physical Education. 84


The Faculty In Session

Shortly after, Walter Wittich announced plans to initiate such a program
because a survey of graduates indicated sufficient interest in it. In the ensuing
years, no implementation of a program occurred. Meantime, the regents
enacted broader provisions for new work in the Teachers College and specified
the proper procedures to be followed. Then in the spring of 1954, Dr. Ernest
Gershon reported on a proposed program to the faculty. In a subsequent
memorandum, he explained he had made a study of graduate programs over a
period of three years particularly at Indiana University. And he recommended
appointment of a graduate council to work out the details of the new degree
offering. 85
The first proposal consisted almost entirely of professional courses in health,
education, physical education and recreation. It did provide for "suggested"
courses intended to broaden the student's education. Such courses included
electives from the physical sciences, social thought, world geography, and
literature. A complication developed with the North Central Association which
took a dim view of the establishment of a graduate program without more
teaching faculty at the doctoral level. At the time there was only one, Dr. Don
Wille, in health education. During the summer of 1954, Wittich died. His
successor as divisional director, Glenn M. Smith, came with the doctorate. Two
other staff members, Ernest Gerson and Beatrice Baird, obtained degrees in
the meantime. A new council appointed by the Faculty Steering Committee
began work once more on a graduate prospectus, one which the faculty
ultimately accepted. 86
Early in the discussions on the philosophy, purposes, and objectives of the
proposed program, Emma Lou Wilder wrote to the curriculum planners that
'we seem to be thinking that we may break away slightly from traditional
courses offered for graduate study." 87 The program ultimately recommended
to the faculty represented a sharp break from the traditional in some instances.

Glenn M. Smith became chairman of the
newly-formed graduate council in 1958.


The Faculty In Session

For during the next months, the council moved from the first proposals which
heavily emphasized study in the major area to a proposition which included
courses in liberal education and in educational foundations. The program thus
established required thirty credits from courses offered within three groupings:
liberal and cultural studies, studies for the master teacher, and professional
preparation. Of the twenty-one separate courses listed in the first graduate
studies catalog, four were required: Great Ideas, Guidance in Human
Development, Administration of the School, and College Physical Education
Program and Seminar. Thus, the instructional staff for the graduate program
came not only from physical education but also from letters and science and
education. College Dean Graff directed the program from his office initially.
In 1958, Dr. Glenn Smith assumed direction of the program as chairman of a
newly-formed graduate council, and, in 1964, Dr. James H. M. Erickson
became Dean of the Graduate School, formed through reorganization of the
then state college. In the early years, the faculty offered graduate work during
summer sessions only. Not until 1966 did graduates attend during the regular
school year. Meantime, the state colleges had begun planning a cooperative
graduate program among themselves and with the University of Wisconsin at
Madison. For three years, beginning in 1957, some 200 faculty members and
administrators worked on a broadly common format. The result was adoption of
three groups of studies which closely resembled the original La Crosse
pattern--liberal arts, professional education, and area of specialization. 88
The University of Wisconsin at Madison withdrew from the cooperative
program before the merging of the two systems. As time passed the state
universities went their separate ways. At La Crosse the faculty developed new
offerings leading to the degree of master of science in teaching (M.S.T.). Those
new programs were in elementary education, science-mathematics, history-social sciences, 
and language-literature. Ten years after the initiation of
graduate studies, eighteen persons received master's hoods in fields other than
physical education. Other programs added in the late 1960's were in
audio-visual education, student personnel services, and special education. The
regents also authorized the master of arts in teaching degree from which, by
the mid-seventies, only twenty-six had graduated in six different disciplines.
By 1970, the number of students in the M.S.T. programs declined steadily.
Thus, in 1974, the central administration of the merged system rather
arbitrarily decreed discontinuance of master's programs in sociology, speech,
chemistry, geography, physics, mathematics, political science, and economics.
Review at the campus and regional level resulted in discontinuance of graduate
work in history and English. In 1975 the regents authorized La Crosse to offer a
masters degree in professional development (ME-PD)--a program expected to
meet the immediate educational needs of teachers on the job. At the end of the
seventies there remained strong programs in school psychology, special
education, biology, audio-visual education, health education, and student
personnel services. The graduate program has never had large enrollments,
but the presence of graduate students on campus has contributed positively to
the academic atmosphere.


The Faculty In Session


1. La Crosse Normal School, Student's Hand-Book, 1921-1922.
2. Among the several committees were those on the lecture course, current events,
entertainment, athletics, auditing, social ethics, rhetoricals, catalog, examinations,
advanced standing, commencement, and discipline. By the fall of 1913, there were fourteen 
committees including student welfare, decorations, men's room, recommendations,
seating, scheduling, and registration. See Faculty Minutes, Sept., n.d., 1913, ARC,
3. Ibid., Jun. 10, 1914.
4. Ibid., Feb. 14, 1910. See also Ibid., Sept. 13, 1909; Jan. 31, 1910; Apr. 18, 1910; May 23,
1910; Sept. 12, 1910; Sept. 6, 1911; Sept. 11, 1911; Sept. 18, 1911; Oct. 25, 1910; and Jan.
6, 1915.
5. See Ibid., Mar. 8, 1910; Mar. 21, 1910; Sept. 30, 1914; Jun. 17, 1916; Jan. 3, 1917; Nov.
13, 1924; Jun. 3, 1925; Apr. 10, 1929; and May 16, 1910.
6. Ibid., Nov. 7, 1910; Dec. 19, 1910; Jan. 3, 1911; and Jan. 9, 1911.
7. Ibid., Sept. 26, 1910. The library occupied the north side of the second floor in Main Hall.
8. Ibid., Nov., n.d., 1910.
9. Ibid., Jun. 10, 1914. See also Ibid., Apr. 22, 1913; May 11, 1914; and Jun. 6, 1910.
10. Ibid., Mar. 28, 1917, and Apr. 28, 1917. See also, Ibid., Jun. 6, 1917, and Jun. 8, 1920.
11. Ibid., Nov. 6, 1911. See also, Ibid., Oct. 19, 1910 and Sept. 2, 1912.
12. Ibid., Dec. 2, 1914.
13. Ibid., May 27, 1914; Oct. 15, 1914; Dec. 2, 1914; and Apr. 4, 1916.
14. Ibid., Jun. 7, 1916.
15. See ibid., Oct. 2, 1917; Sept. 6, 1925; Feb. 17, 1926; Nov. 15, 1935; Mar. 24, 1926; Nov.26,
1926; Nov. 23, 1933; Mar. 29, 1926; Mar. 6, 1929; Apr. 4, 1927; and Mar. 7, 1928.
16. Ibid., Dec. 15, 1926. See also ibid., May 9, 1928; Feb. 17, 1925; and Dec. 15, 1926.
17. Ibid., May 18, 1960. See also, ibid., Mar. 25, 1959, and Apr. 29, 1959.
18. Chapter 36.04, Laws of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin State
Journal, Jul. 8, 1974.
19. Faculty Minutes, Mar. 9, 1938.
20. Ibid., Mar. 9, 1938, and Oct. 5, 1938. See also Bulletins of the State Normal School, 1910-
1927, and Bulletins of the State Teachers College, La Crosse, 1928-1937.
21. Faculty Minutes, Nov. 4, 1936.
22. Ibid., Dec. 6, 1939, and Oct. 30, 1940.
23. Mention of the steering committee first appears in the Faculty Minutes, May 16, 1946.
By 1962, besides the curriculum and the steering committees there were the faculty
standing committees for: administrative, alumni, advanced standing, placement, catalog,
commencement, courtesy, handbook, improvement of instruction, institutes and foundations,
institutional studies, library, honors and scholarship, music festival, and rules and regulations.
See Wisconsin State College at La Crosse, Catalog, 1962-1964.
24. See Steering Committee File, 1954-1966, University Archives, ARC, UW-L. The file was
donated by Professor Wulling who served with distinction on several of the committees.
25. Faculty Senate Articles of Organization and By-Laws, rev., (March, 1973), University
Archives, ARC, UW-L.
26. Ibid.
27. See, for example, the membership of the Sixth Senate (1971-1972) of which the only
representative from the top administrative ranks was Associate Dean Clifton DeVoll, a
representative at large.
28. Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting, Jun. 20, 1966; Jun. 27, 1966; Jul. 11, 1966; and
Jul. 25, 1966.
29. Senate Minutes, Oct. 20, 1966; Dec. 1, 1966; Jan. 5, 1967; Feb. 2, 1967; Apr. 13, 1967.
30. Ibid., Dec. 9, 1971; Dec. 16, 1971; and Mar. 16, 1967.
31. Ibid., Apr. 13, 1967.
32. Ibid., Sept. 22, 1966. See also ibid., Mar. 18, 1971, and May 6, 1971.
33. Faculty Minutes, Jan. 19, 1951; and Senate Minutes, May 22, 1969; Feb. 4, 1971; Apr.
22, 1971; and May 6, 1971.


The Faculty In Session

34. Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, Minutes of the Meeting of
October 4, 1974 (Policy Document 74-13), p. 4.
35. See, e.g. Wisconsin State College at La Crosse, Wisconsin, Catalog, 1956-1958, pp.4-8.
36. Senate Minutes, Nov. 11, 1971.
37. Vice President Donald E. Percy to chancellors, vice chancellors, and unit budget officers,
Feb. 14, 1974, ARC, UW-L.
38. Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 25, 1976; Apr. 15, 1976; and Apr. 22, 1976.
39. Ibid., Nov. 4, 1976.
40. Senate Minutes, Oct. 7, 1976. See also Racquet, Nov. 4, 1976.
41. Ibid., Nov. 11, 1976. See also ibid., Dec. 2, 1976, and Dec. 9, 1976.
42. Ibid., Feb. 10, 1977; Feb. 17, 1977; and Mar. 3, 1977. See also Senate DocumentA Petition for
a Referendum, Feb. 10, 1977, and Senate Minutes, Feb. 10, 1977, ARC, UW-L.
43. Senate Minutes, Mar. 10, 1977; Mar. 24, 1977; and Mar. 31, 1977. See also Racquet
(newspaper), Mar. 31, 1977.
44. Senate Minutes, Apr. 7, 1977, and Racquet (newspaper), Apr. 15, 1977.
45. Regents Proceedings, Feb. 7-9 and 17, 1912, pp. 82-83. Twelve years later the teaching
load was reduced to 18 hours. See Faculty Minutes, Oct 28, 1924.
46. Faculty Minutes, Feb. 22, 1915.
47. See, for example, Faculty Minutes, Oct. 20, 1925; Oct. 16, 1935; and Oct. 22, 1941. With
the name changes of the institution the Association's name also changed: Association of
Wisconsin State Teachers College Faculties; Association of Wisconsin State College
Faculties; Association of Wisconsin State University Faculties; and The Association of
University of Wisconsin Faculties (TAUWF), its present designation.
48. Committee report, Faculty Minutes, Nov. 13, 1918. See also Faculty Minutes, Dec. 11,
49. Faculty Minutes, Jun. 2, 1920. See also ibid., Mar. 3, 1920, and May 5, 1920.
50. Regents Proceedings, Jul. 28, 1922, p. 33.
51. See ibid., Jul. 18, 1924, p. 21; ibid., Oct. 22, 1928; and ibid., Aug. 27, 1929.
52. Ibid., May 23, 1932, p. 17; and ibid., Jun. 15, 1933, p. 23.
53. Executive Secretary's Newsletter, TAUWF, August, 1973.
54. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1910, p.24.
55. Ibid., p. 33.
56. Ibid., pp. 3-4 and pp. 22-37.
57. Normal Schools of Wisconsin, Catalog, 1911-1912 (Madison, 1912), p. 65.
58. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1915, pp. 40-41.
59. Ibid., Oct. 26, 1923, pp. 9-10.
60. Faculty Minutes, Mar. 21, 1911.
61. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1913, pp. 26-27 and 32.
62. Faculty Minutes, Apr. 15, 1914. See also ibid., Mar. 18, 1914; Mar. 23, 1914; Mar. 30,
1914; Apr. 1, 1914; Apr. 3, 1914; and Apr. 7, 1914.
63. Faculty Minutes, May 6, 1914.
64. Ibid., Sept. 14, 1914.
65. See Bulletin of the State NormalSchool atLa Crosse, Wis., June, 1915, pp. 6 and 45. See
also Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., School of Physical Education,
1914-1915. The latter bulletin was issued separately until 1923 although the "school"
had become first a "department" and then a "division." Beginning in 1923, the courses
in physical education were incorporated in the regular school catalog. For more detailed
accounts of this field at La Crosse see also: Gordon Bahr, "A Brief History of the Division
of Physical Education at Wisconsin State College, La Crosse, 1913-1953," (1958); Anna
Beth Culver, "Walter J. Wittich: Physical Educator, 1885-1953," (1967); Jean L. Foss,
"A History of Professional Preparation for Women in the Teachers Colleges of Wisconsin, 
Illinois, and Iowa" (1966); Vera Estelle William, "The Contributions of Hans
Christopher Reuter to Physical Education at La Crosse and In the State of Wisconsin"
(1969). There are also several shorter pertinent studies.
66. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1916, passim.
67. State Normal School, La Crosse, Wisconsin, AnnualBulletin, 1927, pp. 10 and 11.
68. Culver, "Walter J. Wittich," pp. 162-163.
69. Ibid., passim.


The Faculty In Session

70. Bulletin of the State Teachers College, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1938-1939, pp. 96-121.
71. Faculty Minutes, Oct. 28, 1924.
72. Ibid., May 19, 1926, and Jun. 9, 1926.
73. Ibid., Sept. 24, 1926; Oct. 7, 1926; Oct. 28, 1926; and Nov. 10, 1926.
74. La Crosse State Teachers College Bulletin, 1941-1942, pp. 3-6.
75. Ibid., p. 15.
76. Regents Proceedings, Jun. 25-26, 1908, p. 82. See also pp. 81 and 83-87. Not all respondents 
77. See Faculty Minutes, Feb. 16, 1955, and Mar. 22, 1956. See also ibid., Dec. 1, 1954. The
committee consisted of Walter Thoresen (sociology), Emma Lou Wilder (physical
education), Alvida Ahlstrom (foreign languages), Viggo Rasmusen (audio-visual), and
George R. Gilkey (history).
78. Faculty Minutes, Feb. 20, 1960, and Feb. 24, 1960.
79. Ibid., Mar. 3, 1960.
80. See Report and Recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee on General Education .. .
Apr. 6, 1960.
81. Faculty Minutes, Jan. 16, 1960.
82. See the basic studies folders in the University Archives, ARC, UW-L and in the office of
the vice chancellor. See also Faculty Minutes, Jan. 18, 1961, and Jan. 20, 1961.
83. See Wisconsin State College at La Crosse, Catalog, 1962-1964, pp. 29-30.
84. Regents Proceedings, Mar. 5, 1946, p. 32.
85. Faculty Minutes, Mar. 22, 1946; Regents Proceedings, Apr. 20-21, 1950, p. 25 and ibid.,
Nov. 21, 1952, p. 60. See also, "Report on Proposed Graduate Program... ."Faculty
File, March 1954 - August 1961, office of the vice chancellor. President Mitchell appointed 
Ernest Gershon, Beatrice Baird, Floyd Gautsch, Richard Hartley, Esten W. Vickroy,
Bernadine Kunkel, Millard Murphy, Ann Thomas, and Walter Wittich to the committee.
86. This council consisted of Glenn Smith, chairman; Beatrice Baird and Ernest Gershon
(physical education); Emerson Wulling (English); Milford Cowley (chemistry); Walter
Thoresen (sociology); and Don Wille (health education).
87. Wilder to B. Baird, G. Smith, E. Wulling, and W. Thoresen, Nov. 18, 1954, Graduate
Council File, office of Dean Glenn Smith.
88. Minutes of the Graduate Council, Apr. 5, 1960.



The Campus School*

with Mary Emmert Seielstad

The faculty and administration of the normal school considered the Model
School an important feature of the new institution. President Cotton proudly
described it as:
one department of the new Normal School which will
appeal strongly to parents....It will include a modern
kindergarten capable of caring for some forty-five
children, and the eight grades will admit fifteen to twenty
pupils each....
The rooms in the normal school building set apart for
the Training School are...large and splendidly
equipped...,absolutely clean, sanitary, and inviting.
The children...will have the benefits of the splendid
Normal School library, laboratories, domestic science
kitchen, gymnasium, etc. Their course of study will...
articulate with that of the city schools.... Such changes as
may be found will be largely in the nature of enrichment of
courses. 1

The kindergarten, located in the northwest corner of the main floor, was a
large and pleasant area with plenty of room for the numerous children's
activities. There was a fireplace at the north end of the room in front of which
teachers read stories to the children as they sat on the floor. A large bay
window area had a cushioned window seat where pupils could sit to look at
reference books. At the south end of the room was an area with a play house, a
sand box, large building blocks, and other educational toys. Window wells in
the center of the building and off the corridors provided light and ventilation for
the upper grades. They also provided a place for pupils to set up scientific
experiments. Those wells have since been converted to classrooms and then to
offices. At a lower level on the north side of the building were two gymnasia
used by both Normal and Model School students. An enclosed circular staircase
in one corner of the larger gymnasium led to a balcony surrounding the room. 2
On August 20, 1909, school authorities announced they could accept only
twenty rather than forty children for the kindergarten. This decision reduced
the number eventually accommodated in the Model School from 160 to 140
pupils. The classes filled rapidly as children from all over the city enrolled. 3
Those between the ages of four and six entered kindergarten with the

*The Model School, sometimes called the Training School and, after 1953, the Campus School,
enrolled pupils from grades kindergarten through ninth. The purpose of the school was to provide
practice and supervised observation for teacher training candidates.


The Campus School

A- kindergarten
B - 1st and 2nd grades
C - 3rd and 4th grades
D - offices
E - junior high
F - 5th and 6th grades
G- gymnasium

The campus school in Main Hall - except for the kindergarten, there were two
grades and one teacher assigned to each room. Light courts in the center of the building
provided light, ventilation, and a place for scientific experiments.

The kindergarten was a large, pleasant room with bay window and fireplace.


The Campus School

recommendation that they remain for two years. To enter first grade, enrollees
had to be six years of age by September. After the first year of operation, the
school's clientele consisted of those who had previously attended, those with
brothers or sisters currently attending, and those with brothers or sisters
enrolled at the normal school. For the opportunity of sending their children to
an excellent new facility, parents paid twenty-five cents a week for
kindergarten and fifteen cents a week for the other grades. 4
The enrollment increased to nearly two hundred students by 1927, including
nine students in a newly formed ninth grade. 5 Because the school served as a
laboratory for the education departments of the college, the enrollment
continued to be limited to about twenty pupils per grade. For instance, in 1959,
there were two hundred and twenty-five students inclusive of kindergarten
through grade nine and an ungraded room. 6 A publication of the Campus
School Parent-Teacher Association, gave the policies governing admission to
the school:

Due to the nature of the school, its purposes, size of
physical plant and staff; it is necessary to limit enrollment
to the number of pupils which can be accommodated in the
program....The purposes for which Campus School is
maintained makes it important that shifting of pupils in
and out of our school be kept at a minimum. 7

The PTA Handbook also stated that children enrolled in the Campus School
were expected to remain through the nine grades and to attend summer school
classes if requested to do so. 8
The first director of the Model School was William H. Sanders, who came to
La Crosse from Indiana University where he had been head of a similar school.
Other faculty members in the early years were Clara D. Hitchcock,
kindergarten; Lottie L. Deneen, grades one, two, and three; La Verne Garratt,
grades four and five; and Lillian Bettinger, grades six and seven. 9 In 1910 the
school added the eighth grade and a new teacher, Alice Gordon. 10 Sanders
continued as director until 1924 when Dora Carver replaced him for a short
time. Miss Carver had taught in the seventh and eighth grades and in the
English Department of the normal school. Then in 1925, Emery W. Leamer
became the director of what by then had become the Training School. He
continued in that position until his death in October of 1952. The school had
four other directors. First of these was Kenneth R. Fish, long-time member of
the elementary education department, who served for a brief time. His
successor was Bernard Young. When Dr. Young became director of the
elementary education division in 1962, John McLain succeeded him in the
position then designated as Campus School director, remaining until 1965. Last
of the directors was Richard E. Rasmussen, a former classroom teacher in the
school. He remained in that position until the closing of the Campus School in
1973. 1
Meantime, as enrollments grew in the 1920's and early 1930's President
Snodgrass and Director Leamer began making plans for a new facility which
would be primarily a training school. They presented preliminary plans to the


The Campus School

regents on three different occasions. Then in 1931, the board of regents
approved the proposal for a new building to be placed on the corner of 16th and
State Streets. The plans called for an expenditure of $200,000 for the
structure. 12 Yet it was not until 1938, when, along with many other federal
relief projects submitted to Washington, the plans for a new building received
approval. The appropriate agency of the federal government agreed to supply
forty-five percent of the necessary funding; the state of Wisconsin provided the
remainder. The total from both sources amounted to $325,000, some $65,000
more than the main structure had cost thirty years before.
In special session on September 25, 1938, the regents accepted the grant
which specified construction had to begin by January 1, 1939. President
Snodgrass did not live to see the fulfillment of his ten-year dream, for he died
shortly after the ground-breaking ceremony. Emery Leamer told the dedication
audience, "we shall always remember what his efforts made possible for us." 13
During the initial planning stages the matter of naming the building came
up. Mr. Learer preferred changing the designation of the school from Training
School to Laboratory School, because the term training school had become
associated with institutions for juvenile delinquents rather than with schools for
training teachers. In a letter to the architects he asked them to think of the
school as the Laboratory School. But they refused, probably because of federal
regulation, to place a name on the building. Several years later in March of
1953, the college administration at the suggestion of the student government
body, the Campus Controls Council, named the structure the Campus School.
Twenty years after, upon recommendation of Chancellor Kenneth Lindner, the
regents authorized naming the building Thomas Morris Hall in honor of La
Crosse's first regent. 14
The Training School was the fourth building on the campus, and it provided
pupils with facilities planned especially for them. College administrators took
much pride in what they regarded as a model building to serve a multiplicity of
purposes. On the ground floor were a gymnasium, a photography dark room,
and an auditorium seating 366 persons. Over the years the university and the

While Emery Leamrner was director of the campus
school (1925-52), a new facility was planned and


The Campus School

community used the auditorium for innumerable dramatic and musical
presentations. The auditorium also served as a large lecture hall during periods
of expanding enrollments and tight building budgets. The other two floors
consisted of classrooms, offices, a library, which held four thousand volumes
when the building opened for classes in January of 1940, and a music room. A
sound system connected to every room in the building made it possible for the
director to talk with any class and instructor and to listen to classroom
activities. The system included radio and phonographic transmission facilities
as well. 15
Moving day, January 25, 1940, was a big event for the Training School
students. They brought their sleds, wagons, bicycles, and an old wheelbarrow
to move equipment from the old quarters in the main building to the new
structure. In the days following, college National Youth Administration (NYA)
workers moved the heavier pieces. A reporter wrote:

They made a gay procession as they carted their books,
papers, sports equipment, and smaller furniture pieces to
the new building....The gaity of the occasion was further
enhanced by the sight of a serious second grader
deligently trudging along under a light but bulky package,
leaving a trail of water drawings and other school work in
his wake....While the occasion will undoubtedly be
unforgettable to the youngsters, it is also a memorable day
in the educational history of the city. For La Crosse the
occasion marks another important step in the city's
educational development. For the college the school
provides a modern and complete laboratory for the
training of teachers. 16

From the beginning, President Cotton envisioned the Model School as
serving specific purposes. The first brochure which he sent out before the
normal opened defined the school's functions:

The work in the model school will consist of two lines: the
observation of the work of critic teachers and the
discussion of the principles involved, and much practice
teaching by the students during their senior year under
the sympathetic supervision of the supervisor of practice
and his assistants.
The model school will represent as nearly as possible
the actual conditions and problems that these student
teachers will come upon out in the state. The children will
be representative, no better and no worse. The model
school is the pedagogical laboratory of the normal school.
It is the department in which theory and practice are
united most happily. 17

Early normal school bulletins elaborated on the purposes of the Model School.
They were


The Campus School

to educate children..., to serve as an example of a model
school, to give an opportunity to demonstrate and to
observe model teaching, to furnish a means for studying,
testing, and applying educational theories, and to afford
student teachers who have given evidence of a knowledge
of subject matter and of educational theory an opportunity
to gain limited experience in teaching under careful
supervision. 18

Later bulletins recounted the opportunity for students in the physical
education department to observe the growth and development of children, their
physical condition at various ages, and the effects of rapid growth and of
fatigue. These observations were also of benefit to the other departments of
education. 19 There was little change in the purpose of the Model School
through the years. The newest methods and procedures were continually in
use. However, as time went on, the school tended increasingly to stress
pre-teacher training, with actual practice teaching being done in the public
schools of La Crosse and nearby communities.
When the normal school became a teachers college, director Emery Leamer
restated the purposes of the "Training School":

The training department in a teachers college is
maintained for one or more of three purposes: (a) To give
prospective teachers opportunity to do apprentice teaching 
under expert supervision; (b) To give prospective
teachers an opportunity to observe good teaching, then to
share with the critic as a participator, the responsibility of
teaching children, to be followed by responsible teaching;
(c) To be used as a laboratory where the latest methods of
teaching are tried out and adapted to the demands of the
typical public school.... As a matter of fact, the child
attending the training department nowadays has a distinct
advantage since the newer standards have put into our
training schools supervisors with more training. 20

A generation later Richard Rasmussen, director of what was then the university
Campus School, reported to the president on its functions. He wrote:

A laboratory school must provide high quality educational
experiences for all its students..., must always be
available to qualified visitors for observation purposes...,
should present a sound, forward-looking program which
exemplifies the best educational theories in practice...,
and should be receptive to new methods of teaching and
other experimentation....The Campus School serves the
college, the profession, and the community.... 21


The Campus School

Although the primary function of the Campus School was as a place for
observation and practice teaching by college students enrolled in education
courses, unfortunately no cumulative records were kept of the number of
students or observers who made use of the school prior to 1960. The annual
report for 1961-1962 did give a listing. In the Elementary Division, seventy-two
college sophomores, sixty-five juniors, and six seniors observed and
participated in Campus School activities as required in their education courses.
Ninety-one juniors from the Secondary Division observed junior high teaching
during two, ten-week periods. The Division of Health, Physical Education and
Recreation had twelve seniors assigned to the Campus School for each of two
semesters, as well as demonstration classes for all junior physical education
majors. There were also seven physical education majors, with minors in
health, who taught in the school in the spring of 1962. Child psychology classes
observed the behavior of the children, both in school and during
extra-curricular activities. Sometimes case histories were compiled. In
addition, a group of underachieving pupils formed a class which served as a
laboratory for the psychology department as part of a longitudinal study of
underachievers. An instructor from the art department also taught a series of
demonstration art lessons to pupils in grades one to six. 22
As the enrollments burgeoned in the university and consequently in the
education courses, the use of the Campus School expanded. In the 1966-1967
school year the number of university students involved in Campus School
experiences totaled 566. During that academic year the teachers gave 359
demonstration lessons. In that same year twenty-six practice teachers
conducted classes in the Campus School. An additional eight joined the
summer session. 23 The 1960's proved ultimately to be the halcyon days for the
school. In the offing were decreasing enrollments, tightening budgets, and

The campus school, now Thomas Morris Hall.


The Campus School

demands from the governor and legislature for increased productivity from
Meantime, the school offered elementary and junior high school education to
a host of children from the La Crosse community. The curriculum of the Model
School in the early years included reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic,
history, geography, hygiene, and grammar, all taught by the classroom
instructor. In addition, students devoted an hour a week to music, manual arts,
physical training, and school gardening, taught by normal school faculty
members of those departments. The general aim in instruction was to present
the subject matter so that the pupils would

grow in power to interpret, to appreciate and to express.
Quality of work is emphasized rather than quantity.
Progress in subjects is determined by the pupil's ability to
move forward intelligently.... It is the aim to direct the
pupils in such a way that they may find joy in doing their
best, may find pleasure in achievement. 24

Students had access to the normal school library, gymnasium, art rooms, and
music room for materials and instruction when the Model School was in Main
Hall. A section of the library with child-sized tables and chairs were set aside
for the children. They had an area for books and received instruction in the use
of card catalogues and reference materials from the librarian. Art classes met
in the Art Department in the main building. Long-time faculty member Rena
Angell taught both the campus school and college students. 25 Physical
education, swimming, and other activities also made up part of the curriculum.
Girls who attended the school up to the mid-thirties recalled the gym costume
consisting of a white middy blouse, black tie, black bloomers, and black
stockings. 26 During the years when the Model School was in Main Hall,
science classes visited the physics and chemistry laboratories for demonstrations 
and exhibits.
The curriculum in the new Campus School continued to emphasize the
development of the fundamental skills of reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic,
and language. The instructional pattern stressed social studies with the
emphasis on geography. A well-planned course in elementary science was also
a part of the curriculum. The school offered both creative and appreciative
experiences in art, music, and literature, and provided instruction in personal
and community hygiene. It also maintained a varied program in physical
activities. 27
The instruction of the new school was unstructured. Students shared in the
planning and evaluation of their work. The object was to create a natural and
informal atmosphere in which children could learn through self-discipline and
the acceptance of responsibility. Their interests were further facilitated by the
extensive use of visual aids, field trips, and other similar activities. The staff
experimented with various new educational devices such as reading machines.
The teaching patterns sought to recognize individual differences and the
attainment of realistic objectives for the student. 28


The Campus School

Throughout the years the staff made adjustments in the curriculum as
teaching methods, student needs, and the school situation changed. A few
years prior to 1961, the faculty offered classes in German, French, and Spanish.
But difficulties in hiring instructors, scheduling classes, and giving credits
brought reductions in the offerings to one language, German, and that only at
the ninth grade level. In 1962-1963 budgeting problems made necessary the
elimination of the shop and homemaking classes, offered at the junior high
level. In that same school year, swimming classes, which had previously
started at the third grade, became available to all grades beginning with
kindergarten. In addition the faculty initiated an individualized reading
program for the second grade.
In May of 1963, the school established an outdoor education program in
which the sixth grade spent a week at camp. The outdoor education curriculum
emphasized conservation, but included instruction in all subject areas.
Beginning with the 1963-1964 school year, the staff offered algebra to
exceptional eighth-grade students, and in 1964-1965 added geometry for those
ninth graders who had successfully completed algebra. These changes were
made so the junior high mathematics program of the Campus School would be
the-same as the math program in the public schools of La Crosse. 29

Rural Education

During the decade between 1948-1958, the Campus School had a rural
education department organized and directed by veteran faculty member, Alice
Drake. Except for the location, the rural school was independent of other facets
of the Campus School. The rural school, set up on the main floor of the
building, replaced the old town of Shelby school, Elm Grove, which had
previously been a demonstration school for the rural department. For their
classes, pupils from Elm Grove traveled by bus to the Campus School. The
busing was the only expense to the school district; the state paid the teacher's
salary and other costs. Organized as were most such schools of the time, the
rural school had one teacher for six grades and an enrollment of 25 to 30
students. 30
Rural school pupils met in three groups for the study of language, social
studies, music and physical education. The primary group consisted of the first,
second, and lower third grades, the middle group of the upper third, fourth and
lower fifth grades, and the advanced group of the upper fifth and sixth grades.
The curriculum provided for individualized instruction in reading, arithmetic,
spelling, and writing. Teachers conducted demonstration lessons almost daily
for college students in teacher training and for visitors from all over Wisconsin.
The rural room continued operations during the summer when pupils attended
from several country districts. Boys and girls from kindergarten through junior
high received instructions on handling all kinds of tools and materials. The
lower grades made use of paper, cardboard, clay, and yarn. The upper grades
had courses in mechanical drawing and instruction in the use and maintenance
of tools and other equipment. The older pupils used wood, leather, and metal
for making a variety of objects such as toys and furniture. The original purpose
of the manual training course at the college level was to train teachers who


The Campus School

wanted to specialize in instructing manual arts. By 1934 the objective was to
train elementary teachers to handle the many handicraft activities of the
classroom without having to resort to the services of a specialist. Consequently,
a great number of the articles made by the children used materials and
equipment available in the classroom. 31 Music appreciation classes, singing
groups, and melody bands also were a regular part of the curriculum through
the years. 32

Health Education

Between the years 1953 and 1957, two other facets of the curriculum at the
Campus School were programs in health education and summer school. Dr.
Young and Don Wille, associate professor of health education, developed the
program in health education. Campus School instructors selected several areas
for study and implementation including identification of the disturbed child.
Other problems studied were nutrition, dental health, sight, hearing, and
environmental impacts on health. Outlines of the methods and procedures for
the teaching of health and sequential studies for all grades were worked out
and put into practice by 1955. Each year both student and supervising teachers
evaluated the program. By 1957 health education was a significant part of the
school's curriculum. Those involved in this had developed well the objectives
and procedures for students and teachers. 33

Summer School

The Campus School also provided summer classes to make observation and
teaching opportunities available to university students in teacher education.
Pupils who attended the regular sessions had priority for enrolling in the
summer session. These classes often drew large numbers of pupils who came
from nearly every public and parochial school in La Crosse and the surrounding
areas. Until 1960, the classes concentrated on one unit of study, usually in

While Bernard Young was director, the campus
school developed programs in health education
and summer school.


The Campus School

science or social studies, correlating these with the basic skills of reading,
writing, spelling, and arithmetic. In 1960, the director changed the summer
arrangements by providing a regular school-year class with its assigned teacher
for demonstration purposes. Students who had attended the class during the
regular year attended the summer session as a requirement. In addition, the
other grades continued to draw students from the public and parochial schools
of La Crosse. These classes had enrollments limited to fifteen in each. 34

Closing of the Campus School

In 1966, the school's administration changed the summer session to an
ungraded program featuring learning centers rather than grades. From one
through five, the levels established were pre-kindergarten, beginning reading,
creative writing and reading, social studies, and science and math. The
intention of the administration was to use this as a basis for a completely
ungraded program eventually. 35 But that was not to be. In the spring of 1959,
Governor Gaylord Nelson raised the issue of closing all campus schools in the
state. In response, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee issued a statement
defending continued use of its school:

It is our firm conviction that good laboratory school
facilities are absolutely essential for an effective
teacher-training program operated in a University context.
Laboratory school facilites in a University are to teacher
education what research and teaching laboratories are to
chemistry and engineering, or what an experimental farm
is to agriculture.... 36

In early summer of the same year, the state colleges put out a joint statement
entitled "Justification for Laboratory Schools." Following these reports, the
Coordinating Committee for Higher Education (CCHE) endorsed the position

Richard Rasmussen was the last director of the
campus school, from 1965 to its closing in 1973.


The Campus School

taken by the university at Madison and the colleges. Just four years earlier, a
proposal for the future development of the college at La Crosse included a new
Campus School to be placed at 16th and Vine Streets. In this arrangement, the
old structure would have become a liberal arts building. 37
Again, in the early 1960's, Campus School administrators discussed the
establishment of laboratory-type centers for mathematics, science, social
studies, and language arts. But while such discussions were going on others
were again proposing the closing of the schools.38 And in early 1963 Governor
John Reynolds observed that the budget battle shaping up in the legislature
would likely bring cuts in the monies for higher education.

I hope the people in our higher education institutions are
aware that they are in the battle of their lives.... 39

Some two years later, Academic Vice President Maurice O. Graff told the
Businessmen's Club the future status of the Campus School was uncertain.
Originally designed as a laboratory and practice teaching facility, it had come to
be used less for that than were the public schools in general. "The trend," he
said, "is away from Campus Schools." 40
The move to close the campus schools throughout the state university system
gathered momentum as the costs of higher education mounted. And in May of
1970, the Coordinating Committee for Higher Education (CCHE) recommended
that all junior high grades be discontinued by June of 1971.41 Because of
objections in the La Crosse community and the university to the impending
closing, the CCHE asked Robert H. Gomoll, educational consultant, to visit the
Campus School and to make a recommendation about it. After the visit Gomoll
wrote in his report to William E. White, deputy director, CCHE:
In my judgment, the campus junior high school is not an
exemplary junior high school because of the lack of
exploratory programs in the areas of home economics and
industrial arts. In addition, the library does not follow the
modern concept of an instructional materials center and is
limited in scope. Further, a professional guidance and
counseling program is not available to the students. 42

Gomoll added his impression of the Campus School faculty:

The La Crosse staff members that we met with were
sincere and dedicated people. It is not difficult to
sympathize with them in their concern and fears that they
might be losing something that is working well and
serving their purposes in exchange for the unknown. 43
Of the staff identified with the school, Marian Granger, after twenty-one
years there, spoke proudly of it being a non-traditional institution. Howard
Fredricks, who had taught twenty years at the Campus School before moving to
the university History Department said:


The Campus School

We tried to get students to assume responsibility. On any
particular subject, such as religion, we would have
independent research. They could work at their own
speed. If they made a...generalization, they would have to
support it with evidence. 44

In answer to charges from some quarters, Dr. Bernard Young denied that the
school was permissive. And he estimated that perhaps one thousand students a
year benefitted "either as observers, practice teachers, or participants in some
area of seeing children learn." 45 For two more years the elementary grades
continued. But the last classes were held on May 17, 1973.
The traditional Christmas pageants, May fetes, musical drills, and
demonstrations in physical training--all part of extra-curricular activities--now
belong to the past. The quadrangle formed by Main Hall, Wing
Communications Center, the Campus School, and Wilder Hall no longer echoes
the shouts of exuberant children playing softball or touch football under the
direction of Orville Brault whose death in the spring of 1969 saddened a host of
friends, young and old. At this writing, the building, now named Thomas
Morris Hall, houses elementary and secondary education offices and several
resource centers. These include the English Education Resource Center, the
Micro Teaching Laboratory, the Center for Economic Education, the Social
Studies Resource Center, and two Reading Centers--one for the college division
and the other for the teacher training division.


The Campus School


1. La Crosse Tribune, Aug. 3, 1909.
2. From statements of Elmer Lysaker, Mrs. Thomas Annett (nee Margaret Linfeld) who attended
the Training School from 1921 to 1926, Mrs. Anthony Tyznik (nee Barbara Emmert) who
attended the school from 1934 to 1944, and Mary Emmert Seielstad who attended from 1926 to
3. La Crosse Tribune, Aug. 20, 1909.
4. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1911, p. 37.
5. La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 20, 1927.
6. Bernard J. Young, "Annual Report to President Mitchell for 1959-1960 School Term-Campus
School" (La Crosse State College, Jul. 14, 1960), p.l.
7. PTA Handbook, 1966-1967 (La Crosse Campus School, 1966), p. 2.
8. Ibid.
9. La Crosse Tribune, Aug. 20, 1909.
10. Ibid., Jul. 29, 1910.
11. Chris Nudd, "History of La Crosse State," La Crosse Tribune Weekender Magazine, Oct. 11,
1969, p. 2.
12. La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 1, 1931.
13. Emery Leamer, "Dedication and Open House of the New School," Leamer Papers, University
Archives, ARC, UW-L.
14. Personal correspondence between Emery W. Leamer and the firm of Brust and Brust,
Architects, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October-November, 1938, Leamer Papers, University
Archives, ARC, UW-L; Racquet (newspaper) Mar. 13, 1953; and Board of Regents Minutes,
Sept. 7, 1973.
15. La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 1, 1941.
16. Ibid., Jan. 26, 1940.
17. Ibid., Mar. 20, 1960.
18. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1911, pp. 35-36.
19. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1920, p. 52.
20. La Crosse Tribune, Jun. 1, 1940.
21. Richard E. Rasmussen, "Annual Report of the Director of the Campus School, 1965-1966"
(Wisconsin State University-La Crosse, 1966), mimeographed, pp. 1-9.
22. Bernard J. Young, "Annual Report to Dean M. O. Graff for 1961-1962 School Term-Campus
School" (La Crosse State College, July, 1962), mimeographed, pp. 3-5.
23. Committee on Campus School Programs, Utilization, etc., "Utilization of Public Campus
Laboratory Schools in Wisconsin" (La Crosse Campus School, 1968), pp. 11-14.
24. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1911, pp. 36-37.
25. Miss Angell taught for 39 years at La Crosse. Her length of service was equalled by Theodore
Rovang (biology) and Lora Greene (registrar). Others with longer service are Martha Skaar
(librarian), William Laux (history), Leon Miller (physical education), and Milford Cowley
(chemistry), all retired at this writing.
26. La Crosse Tribune, Oct. 24, 1943.
27. Mary Emmert Seielstad, "Notes on Principles of Teaching," 1945.
28. Ibid.
29. John McLain,"Annual Report of Campus School Activities," (La Crosse State College, July 1,
1963), pp. 1-3.
30. Interview with Alice Drake by Mary Emmert Seielstad.
31. La Crosse Tribune, Jun. 1, 1934.
32. Ibid., Oct. 24, 1943.
33. See Bernard J. Young and Don Wille, "Some Notes on the Development of a Health Program in
the Campus School" (1953), pp. 1-2; Don Wille, "Student Teaching in Health Education"
(1955), p.1; Bernard J. Young and Don Wille, "More Student Teaching in Health Education"
(1957), p. 2; and Don Wille, "Student Teaching in Health Education" (1956).
34. Bernard J. Young, "Annual Report for the 1961-1962 School Year" (La Crosse State College,
1962), p. 3.


The Campus School

35. Richard E. Rasmussen, "Annual Report of the Director of the Campus School" (La Crosse State
University, 1966), p. 7.
36. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, "Answers to Governor Nelson's Question Concerning
Laboratory Schools and Elementary Education" (1959), p. 1.
37. La Crosse Tribune, Dec. 5, 1954.
38. "Campus School Calendar," February 25 to March 1, 1963.
39. La Crosse Tribune, Feb. 23, 1963.
40. Ibid., Oct. 22, 1965.
41. Coordinating Council for Higher Education, Review of the WSU-La Crosse Campus Laboratory
School, Jan. 28, 1971.
42. Robert H. Gomoll to William E. White, Nov. 11, 1970, ARC, UW-L. Gomoll was with the
State Department of Public Instruction, Divison of Instructional Services.
43. Ibid.
44. La Crosse Tribune, May 13, 1973.
45. Ibid.



The War Generations

World War I
The national enthusiasm engendered by America's entry into World War I in
April of 1917, flourished at the normal. There is no record of opposition to
American involvement such as that evidenced by Wisconsin's congressional
membership, most of which voted against the declaration of war. Faculty and
students alike felt obligated to serve the war effort. Such service ranged from
actual participation in the military to contributions to such groups as the Red
Cross and the YMCA. With their fellow Americans, the people of the normal
responded to the urge of patriotism and duty so characteristic of that era.
President Cotton marshalled the faculty behind the war effort, suffered
through the disruption and demoralization brought to the campus by the
Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.), and addressed the troops from La
Crosse in noble rhetoric:

To our boys who are serving our country here or in France,
Next Wednesday, January sixteenth, we shall dedicate
with appropriate exercises our Service Flag containing
eighty stars. All honor to our boys who are there
represented! The flag, together with the Roll of Honor,
after the dedication will hang by the main entrance to the
auditorium, so that all persons entering the building may
know who our soldiers are. 1

Cotton called upon the faculty to participate and duly report what they had done
for inclusion in the forthcoming school catalog. Several took part in Liberty
Loan drives. Together with students they purchased $16,601.25 in war stamps.
The president's wife and faculty women turned out thousands of compresses
and tampons for the Red Cross, and faculty were members of the "drive
committee to raise funds for the same organization. Faculty personnel also
helped raise over four-hundred dollars for the YMCA; others taught "nurses
classes," lectured on food conservation, and led student discussion groups on
such topics as "German War Practices." The Art Department made posters to
advertise the war savings programs. The whole faculty in session "adopted"
two French war orphans, and several members served in various groups
including the State War History Commission and the Smileage Book
Committees. Russell V. Morgan, head of the Music Department, drilled
students and faculty alike for a period in 1918. 2
Among those more directly involved in the conflict were Lincoln K. Adkins,
artillery, A.E.F., France, and Captains M. A. Goff and Joel R. Moore, Camp
Custer, Michigan. G. H. Heineman and James A. Fairchild attended officers
training. Orris O. White, of the English Department served with the YMCA in
France, and C. B. Moore took his training in psychology to army camps. Joel
Moore became a captain in the A.E.F. but achieved his highest distinction


The War Generations

assisting in supply to the anti-Bolshevik White forces in northern Russia after
the armistice. He was awarded the medal of St. Anne for his efforts. 3
Among the remaining faculty, historian Albert H. Sanford's participation in
wartime activities at the normal stood out. Not only was he directly involved, he
also collected hundreds of newspaper items, official publications, and artifacts
relating to the "Great War." The archives and museum of the school are richer
as a result of his efforts in this connection as well as in many others. As a
historian he was by training better equipped to explain the war to his students
in regular class. Beyond his usual duties, Sanford was asked to explain "Why
America is Fighting" to readers of a local newspaper and to grade-school
Thus shortly after America entered the war Sanford wrote a rather detailed
analysis of the war's background and the war aims of Americans in the
struggle. In a day of much anti-German propaganda Sanford's discussions were
remarkably free of chauvinism. In the first of these articles, he described the
autocratic and aristocratic government of Germany and pointed out the
differences between that government and the more liberal forms of Western
Europe and the United States. In a following article, Sanford elaborated on the
aristocratic nature of Germany's ruling groups and told his readers it was the
German military and nobility not the people who had brought on the war. A
third article explained the roles of Austria and Russia in the coming of the war.
Both of these powers, he wrote, sought to enlarge their territories at the
expense of weaker neighbors. Still, without the military power of Germany
behind her, Austria would not have dared to go to war. In succeeding articles,
Sanford discussed the age-old conflict between Slav and German, the struggle
between Britain and Germany over colonial holdings, and concluded with the
Wilsonian pronouncement that America was not fighting for conquest or gain
but for the restoration and preservation of world peace. 4
The articles formed the base for a bulletin which Sanford authored entitled,
Why The United States Is At War. Issued in March, 1918, under the La Crosse
State Normal School heading, this pamphlet was designed for the instruction of
grade-school children and "to counteract the falsehoods that are being spread
so persistently over the country by German agents." In simplifying the story
for school children, Sanford could not avoid recourse to some of the more lurid
stories of "Hunnish" atrocities. His objectivity suffered as he wrote of the
many thousands of German officers "always itching for war as the best means
of advancing their own interests." He told his young readers America was
fighting for the principles of national honor, the rights of small nations,
national self-determination, permanent peace, and a world made safe for
democracy. He concluded "the United States could not be safe in a world
dominated by Germany." 5

The third of Sanford's major war efforts was instructing a war issues course
designed for members of the S.A.T.C. which appeared on the campus in the fall
of 1918. The course was designed to trace the background and immediate
causes of World War I and to discuss the national philosophies of the countries
involved. The original plan was to present this course of study three hours a
week for nine months. Each participating school designed its own syllabus and
chose its own faculty. Sanford served as director of the course and shared the


The War Generations

teaching duties with David O. Coate and C. B. Moore. The instructors were to
encourage discussion of questions presumably asked by officer trainees such as
"Who are the Pan-Slavs?" and "When we get the Huns licked will we see that
they get what they deserve or will some pacifist who hasn't done the fighting let
them off easy?" 6

Student Army Training Corps
A group of educators and military meeting at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, gave
birth to this rather abortive child, the Student Army Training Corps. But within
four months it died, largely unmourned as the war ended. Its origins were
obscure, its aims unclear, and its purpose uncertain. Apparently, however, the
Corps was to provide officers for the Army and male students for the colleges
which were lacking in that commodity. For those young men who wanted to
become soldiers for Uncle Sam and to attend college at the same time a bulletin
specified the requirements. 7
This bulletin advised young men to enter school as regular students on
September 16, 1918. On the first of October they would be given an opportunity
to join the S.A.T.C. as privates and become regular uniformed soldiers. They
were to receive both military and academic training with the long-term view
that those who qualified would eventually become doctors, chemists, and
physicists. Selections based on military and academic performance would send
the men on (at some undefined future date) to officers' training camp, NCO
training camp, advanced technicians' school or, all else failing, to regular
military duties with the rank of private. This latter was undoubtedly included to
act as an incentive for conscientious work. A key sentence in the bulletin and
one that reveals some of the misgivings on the part of the educators at least
stated that "the schedule of military instruction will not preclude effective
academic work." The word "effective" was to become a bone of contention in
the weeks ahead. Whatever doubts anyone had about the scheme, it was
thought to be "an exceptional opportunity for the poor boy to go to school."
That many "poor boys" did not view the opportunity in this light must have
given the creators of the plan a good deal of thought about the perversity of
human nature. 8
On the surface all this seemed straightforward enough. In fact many college
officials were afraid the military was using the S.A.T.C. to invade the
time-honored groves of academe. The government would be paying the
students and prescribing part of the curriculum. It was not at all unlikely that
academic freedom would soon be under attack from within. The military itself
was unsure of its role in this experiment. Presumably military discipline
was to produce more willing students than had hitherto attended college.
Whether this would be true remained, in September, 1918, to be seen.
Warnings to the student-soldiers were not slow in coming. In an editorial
titled "To Students from 18-22" the editor of the La Crosse Tribune advised, on
September 6, 1918, that young men should not enter the S.A.T.C. without
careful consideration. They could expect a strict military life and, unless they
joined the unit at La Crosse, they would likely be far from home for a long time.
The editor encouraged them to talk over this momentous decision with their
parents and sweethearts before making a final decision.


The War Generations

A few days later the Tribune informed La Crosse that the "Normal School
will become a miniature West Point with all men in khaki. Every male student
(18-21) will become a soldier."9 La Crosse State Normal School as a miniature
West Point must have struck many local citizens as a bit ludicrous.
Congressman John J. Esch, who arranged for the S.A.T.C. at La Crosse, chose
that normal because of the
"strong department of physical education at the
institution. Teachers in that department are especially
efficient in military drills and kindred work which goes to
make strong men and good soldiers." 10

Particularly praised were Professors Heineman, Maroney, and Wittich. In any
case, the students rallied round the flag in front of Old Main on October 1,
1918. To the dismay of some faculty members, several of the recruits had
waited until that day to start classes. By doing so they missed the first two
weeks of academic instruction. Undaunted by the prospects suggested by the
press, 120 men were sworn into the army by their new commanding officer,
Lieutenant Catlin. After the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, the new
students were congratulated by President Cotton and Mayor Arthur A.
The daily regimen of the troops appeared military enough:

6:25 a.m. Morning Call sounded
6:45       Reveille
7:00       Breakfast
7:30       Detail duties and drill
9:45       Classes begin
12:00 p.m. Dinner
1:00 - 4:30    Academic classes
4:30       Retreat
4:30 - 6:00    Supervised recreation
6:00       Supper
7:15 - 9:30    Supervised study
10:00       Taps. Lights out.

The surroundings in which the student-soldiers found themselves hampered
what appeared to be a military routine. Their housing was on the first two floors
of the YMCA not in a barracks. They ate in restaurants and later in the Masonic
Temple. From these unmilitary surroundings they marched to the normal
school, drilled before the admiring eyes of the coeds on the football field, and
dozed in their classes. The legislature authorized erection of a barracks, but the
war ended before its completion. 11

Considerable confusion clouded the S.A.T.C. operation from the beginning.
The faculty was not sure of the student-soldiers' status as students, and the
commanding officer was uncertain about the students' standing as soldiers.
The student-soldiers themselves were only sure of one thing-that the
S.A.T.C. had turned out to be a great deal more work than most of them had
expected or planned to do. The upshot was confusion compounded and


The War Generations

ill-feeling all around. A portion of this confusion and irritation shows through in
the critiques and comments the student-soldiers wrote on request on November
29, 1918. Because most of these were unsigned and the demobilization of the
unit was imminent, comments were uncensored and frank. The worst fears of
the faculty must have been confirmed by reading them.
One soldier wrote about coming with two friends to La Crosse to join the
S.A.T.C. Because his friends lacked the necessary high school credits to enter
college he was "left a total stranger in this enormous city." In view of the fact
that he "got home every Friday nite and came back Monday" he soon
overcame his loneliness. After a short period of training the writer became ill
with influenza, "a disease raging thru the whole country." After a ten-day
recovery at home he resumed his work at school without apparently having
missed very much. He received his uniform together with the others one week
before the signing of the Armistice and in time to join the group's photo taken
in front of Main Hall. He concluded by telling of his disappointment about not
getting into the trenches, but reflected that "those who can will remain to keep
old La Crosse Normal alive." 12
Less poignant and more matter of fact were the comments of another
disillusioned doughboy:

The school work was the most disagreeable part of the
entire work. We were deprived of good times by study in
the evenings and when a fellow is in the army, what does
he care about learning such junk as "Why We Are At
War," "Literature," "Gymnastics," etc.? 13

Another comment seems to sum up the feelings of the bulk of the student
soldiers: "What good will economics or any other similar subject do me when I
get into a bayonet fight with a powerful Hun? thought I. What I want is a
training that will make a match for any enemy." 14
On the faculty side, the ubiquitous Mr. Sanford has left a memoir of his
experiences with the S.A.T.C. entitled "S.A.T.C. at La Crosse Normal School,
Experiences of a Teacher of Academic Subjects in His Effort to Conform to the
Theory That College Standards Were to Apply To The Men of the S.A.T.C.
Sub-title: The Nightmare of S.A.T.C." It seemed that neither the faculty nor
Lt. Catlin could discover exactly who was in the S.A.T.C. Many of the men had
missed the first two weeks of school because they had not enlisted until the first
of October. Men were repeatedly absent from classes for KP duty or other
details. They asked to be excused from tests because they had spent the
previous evening at band practice. Roll calls and special calls for work parties
regularly interrupted classroom meetings. Mr. Sanford's monograph ends
abruptly, as though he had despaired of even writing about the S.A.T.C.
It is difficult to know exactly what the motives of the founders of S.A.T.C.
were. If the La Crosse experience was representative, it appears little thought
went into the question of what effect such an organization might have had at La
Crosse. The faculty bent over backwards to adjust schedules and curriculum to
meet the needs of the servicemen. The teachers felt this was their war-time
duty. At the same time the army officers in charge were not deliberately


The War Generations

obstructing academic work. They were rather uncertain about the exact nature
of their mission. The La Crosse Normal School, as most other schools that
experienced the "Nightmare of S.A.T.C.," declined the offer to continue a
military program after the armistice. Until the appearance of R.O.T.C. on
college campuses, what was a unique experiment in American education
passed into oblivion. Coed Hedwig Anderegg bid it all a poetic goodbye:
The library is quiet, there's no loitering
in the halls,
We hear no tramping feet or the good old bugle
Attendance has been lowered and no khaki
now we see.
So as we sign we say "Farewell" to our good
old S.A.T's. 15

From the war front and camps came letters to the faculty on campus. Wrote
Lt. A. W. Jameson,

On my last trip "over the top" I met up with a hun [sic]
bullet, a piece of shrapnel and a dose of gas. Outside of
that I am feeling the same as usual. 16

Orris White praised the work of the YMCA in France and elsewhere and
reminded his colleagues at home how important it was to young Americans
away from home for the first time. Others wrote from Camp Dodge, Iowa,
Camp Grant, Illinois, the U.S.S. Texas, and the Naval Training Station in
Newport, Rhode Island, to tell their friends and teachers how the war had
changed their lives. 17
At war's end, some of the faculty in service - Lincoln Adkins, James
Fairchild, Marshall Goff, and O. O. White - returned to the academic halls.
Three others, Joel and C. B. Moore and G. H. Heineman, sought careers
elsewhere. Thoughtful faculty and students placed a plaque near the entry of
Main Hall to commemorate the deeds of their service people and especially to
remember those who had made "life's last, greatest sacrifice." 18 Of the
faculty, Lincoln Adkins saw the most action. In artillery, he was involved in the
St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offenses as well as numerous single bombardments. 19
In the aftermath of the war, the early enthusiasm for the League of Nations
showed at the normal. Pamphlets on different aspects of the League arrived on
the campus from the board of regents. Used in history and civics classes they
alerted the students to the coming debate on American participation in the
League. 20 In addition to these, Professor Sanford collected numerous official
and private writings on the League and the peace for use in history classes. The
Great War was over for most of those associated with the normal. Still at least
two rather pathetic but understandable messages came back from Europe.
From Professor Orris O. White came the word that he was in Nancy, France,
awaiting his discharge. "The tone of his letter was gloomy and despondent. Is


The War Generations

it homesickness or heartsickness, we wonder, for Professor White was a jolly
good fellow." 21 And Captain Herman Schroeder of the Medical Corps wrote
from a "fine camp" near Tours, France:

My opinion is that this country is alright [sic] for French
and all those individuals who like it, but as for me I
wouldn't be in favor of trading one square foot of old
Wisconsin for all of Europe. 22

World War II

The second great war of the century began for many countries in 1939 and
came to America in the winter of 1941. For La Crosse State Teachers College,
as for most others in the nation, the conflict became its foremost concern.
Enrollments steadily declined from a high of 697 in the fall of 1941 to a low of
317 during the second semester of 1943-1944. Of that low figure there were but
27 men. A year later there were 33. From the nadir, enrollments rose to 574 for
the second semester of 1945-1946 and to 959 the following fall as the veterans
returned to swell the campus population. By the fall of 1947, La Crosse passed
the 1,000 mark for the first time in its history. 23
There is little evidence that La Crosse students worried much about the
clouds darkening the European skies in the late 1930's. But by the fall of 1940
and the coming of the draft an awareness of involvement in new events
developed. Students expressed concern over the lack of physical fitness
revealed by army examinations. 24 The notions rather prevalent in midwest

Everett Addams
Oscar Simenson
William McCormick
Bernard Ferris
Henry G. Johnson
Orbeck Stevlingson
Justin Dake
Ernest Mains

To the stars of gold that tell the price
Of life's last, greatest sacrifice;
To the stars of gold that e'er should be
The beacons of democracy;
To the stars of gold we dedicate
This book; then, awed, we hesitate,
But the stars of gold in Glory's gleams
Enwrap it and it greater seems.

Plaque dedicated to World
War I dead from La Crosse
Normal School.


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America at the time-preparedness without involvement and national defense
with neutrality-seemed to dominate student thinking. Upon receiving his
draft notice in April of 1941, the editor of the Racquet, Paul Witzke, wrote that
until the draft he had thought of the European War as being very remote. He
favored defending America if the country were attacked.

Our stand in this entire European war matter should be
determined by how we answer the following question:
which will represent the greater loss to America, an axis
victory or American participation as a combatant in the
war? The administration at Washington believes that an
axis victory will represent the greater loss. I believe
participation in the war will be the greater loss. 25

Witzke's successor, R. E. Paulsen, criticized those draft boards which did not
defer students in education curricula because they did not regard them as
necessary for national defense. "What other country puts guns before
education?" he asked. 26 Enlistments and conscriptions of classmates and
friends brought sober reality home to the campus and inspired students nobly
to support National Defense Week and to remind themselves of the ancient
virtues of patriotism and Americanism. 27 They seemed neither more nor less
correct than most of their fellow-citizens in predicting the future. Wrote one
guest editor in the student newspaper seven months before Pearl Harbor:

I do not believe that we will ever, in this war, send our
human resources to a foreign battlefield. This is a war of
machines - not men. 28

Meantime school went on. New faculty joined the teaching and
administrative corps: Harry Olson in physics, Agnes Kelleher and Grace Tripp
in the Campus School, Maurice O. Graff in social science, and Edith Cartwright
as dean of women. The old training school area was renovated into a student
lounge, the library extended with the aid of WPA funds, and faculty offices
created-all in Old Main. 29 The student newspaper argued the perennial
question of student mailboxes as "possible, practical, and necessary," 30 and
accused the Student Council of being undemocratic. 31 Further, wrote one
student to the editor:

I for one would like to see the Student Council a real power
in school affairs. I believe it would become a power if some
of the 12th Century teachers would stop forcing their will
on the Student Council by taking advantage of the fact that
they are teachers. 32

Prophetic abilities had not improved meanwhile, and the editor was prepared to
agree with the nation's "economists" that no matter who won the war there
would be a depression which would make the one of 1929 look like prosperity
by comparison. 33
When the bombs fell on December 7, 1941, realization of what war might


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mean came swiftly to the students. 34 Anxiously they inquired, how long will it
last? Historian William M. Laux told them:

The war will last as long as Germany is to continue it. It
will last as long as it takes the United States and our allies
to provide ships, airplanes, tanks and men in sufficient
numbers to overcome...the military resistance of our
enemies. 35

The first casualty came soon when Harris Stuart, class of 1940, died in a plane
crash during training. 36 Within two years, historian Myrtle Trowbridge
accounted for 716 former students among which were twelve dead. Before the
conflict ended, of the over 900 students who went to war, forty-eight gave their
lives. 37 Several faculty members departed for service. Some of them had
replaced earlier departures. 38 Scarcely, too, had a year gone by when the
desire for peace showed. Articles appeared in the student newspaper carrying
such titles as "Let's Educate for Peace," "William Laux Lectures on World
Peace," "Peace on Earth Good Will Toward Men," and "Peace and Victory
Through Reading." 39
Student life as usual went on: new members joined Greek letter
organizations and hell week survived. 40 But the school's concern for the war
took on major importance. A diversity of pertinent articles regularly appeared
in the student newspaper such as: "Should Boys Marry Before Going to War,"
"A Dissertation on New Guinea Ants By One Who Knows," and "I Was a
Japanese Prisoner of War." Full page ads popularizing women's service
branches drew complaints about being "pestered by Waves and Nurse Corps
representatives." Listed also were titles of current songs: "Goodbye Mama,
I'm Off to Yokahama" and "Let's Put the Ax to the Axis." Women's field
hockey teams adopted pertinent names: "Field Artillery," "Anti-Aircraft,"
"Tank Destroyers," and "Limited Service." 41
Senior class women presented a special health program for area residents to
encourage physical fitness as an important phase of civil defense preparedness.
The Red Cross offered courses in water safety at the college. Under the
auspices of the Civil Defense Council, faculty and students gave public
demonstrations of body-building, swimming, and dancing to call attention to
the importance of physical fitness and health in the war effort. 42 The Navy
approved La Crosse for V-1 naval reserve officers' training, and the college
developed other special programs for enlisted men in various reserve
programs. Helping to answer the need for war-time workers, the
administration shortened the school year from forty to thirty-three weeks and
limited vacations and holidays. The Racquet editor pleaded for the purchase of
war bonds and stamps for "America is fighting not only for today, but for
tomorrow...for the future good of all people." Students were invited to support
the effort further by contributing to the JAPANAZI SINKING FUND through
purchases of bonds and stamps. They heard varied speakers on topics of
current interest. Journalist Jack Morrow addressed them on "This Japan We
Must Conquer." WAC Lieutenant Phyllis Ballin told the Physical Education
Club how important "physical training was for her corps." Dr. R. W. Bardwell
advised that returning veterans would expect to be challenged. RAF Major


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Touch football replaced the traditional game at homecoming during World War II


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Thomas A. B. Ditton described the Dieppe raid and predicted the success of the
Normandy invasion underway at the time. From Hilda Yen of China came the
advice that all the world should join together to prevent future wars. She
recommended establishment of a world F.B.I. to insure stability of a world
government. The college sought to alleviate the austerity of war-time
restrictions by picnics with prizes for the biggest feet, best tan, and most
impressive physiques. Pep rallies ceased and the problem of getting
"additional men" for the Homecoming dances sounded a sad and wistful
note. 43
As the last year of the war dawned, the "boys" began to return. Four
veterans joined Coach Leon Miller's basketball squad to help produce a winner.
Dean of Men Clyde B. Smith, a returning veteran himself, pleaded for large
homes for student veteran housing. Harassed administrators placed cots in the
girls' locker room of the main building for veterans unable to find a place to
sleep "as purely a relief measure." 44 Ultimately over the protests of local
townsmen, the state erected Nisson huts near the campus for the hard-pressed
returnees. The American Legion Auxiliary provided returning veterans a mess
hall named The Last Resort because the college did not have eating facilities for
them. 45 Together students and faculty, especially veterans from both,
established a scholarship fund in memory of the war dead. Early contributions
lagged; but ultimately, with the support of students, faculty, alumni, and
parents, this memorial reached the goal of $5,000. 46
Further to aid the returnees, the President appointed a war credits
committee to facilitate entry into educational programs for the ex-G.I's. 47
Arthur G. Hoff and former Corporal Theodore Rovang took charge of the
Veteran's Administrative Office to handle the G.I. Bill. 48 These were but two
tasks undertaken by the faculty as part of its war effort. In addition to those who
went into the various armed services, six faculty members served as air raid
wardens, others worked in the Red Cross and at the U.S.O., and still others
studied aircraft identification and nursing. 49 Fitness programs received
support and participation, particularly from the physical education faculty. 50
The faculty also offered special refresher courses to ready former teachers to
cope with the shortages of instructors in the elementary and secondary schools.
The V-1 program helped swell classes and provide a few additional men. At
war's end new faculty came to help meet the instructional needs of a growing
enrollment. 51
Three faculty members took an exceptional interest in the young men and
women from La Crosse serving in the armed forces. The three were coach and
physical educator Leon W. Miller, historian Myrtle Trowbridge, and English
professor Edgar C. Knowlton. The first two wrote copiously to former students
and enjoyed profound personal and professional respect from their
correspondents; the third compiled a volume containing war memories of
ex-servicemen. 52 In addition Professor Miller handled the alumni bulletin
during the war years, sending copies to every addressee available. For this he
received thanks from hundreds of former students. The letters contained
references to school days, impressions of the places where servicemen found
themselves, and plans for the future. From the Pacific, Major Ralph A. Watson
wrote Miller:


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I am glad you taught me to swim; of course it never rains
more than 24 inches a day here. 53

From Lt. Gordon Jacobsen, also in the Pacific:

We are living in grass huts in the midst of jungle land. 54

And from Ensign Fred Brunner:

The  natives... seemed  to  enjoy  the  [Christmas]
festivities...I saw two natives wearing thick garlands of
christmas tree tinsel in place of the usual flowers....55

Comments came from other theatres. WAC privates Elinor Muenster and
Hope Brokaw wrote respectively from North Africa: 56 "This is just where I
hoped to be sent, so I am well satisfied with my army career;" and "Africa is
quite the place, but it does not compare with the good old U.S.A."
From Italy, Corporal Harry Albertson observed of the bitter campaign there:

Had we had just a little more manpower at the time,
Cassino would have been ours....We can be very thankful
that the Russian army is on our side. 57

And from Captain Richard Finley:

After three weeks spent at a British battle school near
Norwich I could have easily run up the face of Granddad
with a 35-pound gun on my back so intense and effective
was our training. 58

The letters to Myrtle Trowbridge, often personal in nature, frequently
reflected the impact which her teaching of history had made. Wrote a member
of the class of '44, wounded in Okinawa:

Professor Leon Miller handled the alumni bulletin
during World War II.


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It's [sic] left me with stomach and back trouble with
headaches thrown in for good measure-nothing serious,

Something has gone out of me, Miss Trowbridge, but I
can't put my finger on it. 59

From France a sensitve note came:

You must multiply by one hundred any impression of
destruction you have gained from newspapers to get an
accurate picture.... Single walls standing starkly in a heap
of rubble. I saw gorgeous rose vines clinging to the stones
just a bit pathetically. 60

Others described aspects of defeated Germany:

I can also see a lot of foreign driftwood-French, Belgium,
Polish, Russian ex-prisoners and forced laborers-
wandering aimlessly about seeming not to know exactly
what to do.... 61

And again:

The past week has been an eventful one and has seen
many accomplishments. One of the most noteworthy in my
mind and heart is the sight of the many Polish, Russian,
and Italian prisoners we were able to liberate. What a
happy crowd they were. 62

When V-E day was a fact it seemed nothing unusual to one young man:

The ending of the war here had a peculiar effect on us. For
years we had planned how we'd celebrate that day-and
yet when it came-was just another day. 63

History Professor Myrtle Trowbridge corresponded 
with former students in the service.


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On the other side of the world awareness of the serious venture in which their
generation was involved showed in thoughtful commentary.

Observed Lt. Peter G. Pappas:

All of us are learning how the other fellow lives-and we
will know of life beyond our own group of states. I
fervently hope our lesson is a lasting one, for there is so
much to be done after the war, and we will need all of our
wisdom and strength to meet the challenge to make a
decent world. 64

Ensign James Quinn wrote his former teacher:

The way things are going the future looks fairly bright.
However it will be many many months before this mess is
cleared up. 65

Many of Trowbridge's former students reflected the deep impression her
teaching of history left on them.

Bodleian, with its old style bibliographies, lacking any
cross references, etc., was a bit hard to get used to. But it
was fun to work there and I got to know Oxford quite
well. 66

And another:

In a historical sense, I took part in one great ceremony. I
was with the first American, or rather Allied, plane to
enter Nanking since the famous "Rape of Nanking" in
1937...Where was 1 8 years ago? Why, yes, that's right, I
was taking Medieval History from Miss Trowbridge and I
remember Mr. Laux giving a speech of warring against
the Japanese and their crimes, especially the Rape of
Nanking. 67
I did manage to go through a cathedral not so long ago
that was erected in the year 1101. My work with you as a
freshman on the early types of architecture came in very
handy. I had a good look at the flying buttresses, gothic
arches, etc. 68

Yes, I have been exceptionally alert to anything or any
place within my reach about history. In North Africa, Italy
and France I sought places of historic value. Although I
am no longer a history student I still seek places I read so
much about. 69

I have about decided to take my M.A. in Latin American
history though Modern and American both appeal to me.
My only regret is that Mr. Laux stated U.C.L.A. or the U.
of Southern Cal. [sic] have the best schools in that field
and they are so far away from home. 70


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What are your predictions as to the end of the war? I
give it two more years. That should settle it in the fall and
winter of '45-'46. We can come home. Of course I know
what happened to false prophets in the old days. 71

La Crosse's great teachers of history - Sanford, Trowbridge, and Laux - gave
a sense of history to these young people which made the world a more vibrant
and sensitive place for them despite the inevitable gloom and uncertainties
which wars and absences from home brought on.

The Korean Conflict

The first note of any consequence related to Korea appeared in October of
1950. Veterans not in reserve units were advised they might be back in khaki
soon "so don't be too eager to get the mail anymore fellas. It might not be the
subsistence check." 72 The homecoming lantern hung as usual atop Main Hall,
and the pep rally, stunt night, snake dance, and Greek letter dinners went on.
The college players performed Thornton Wilder's "Our Town," and the whole
school celebrated an unbeaten football season which led to an invitation to play
a post-season game in the Cigar Bowl at Tampa, Florida. 73
As the new year turned, and the numbers of students departing for the
armed services increased, the campus newspaper pledged to keep account of
the absentees and offered its services to them. By mid-January of 1951,
twenty-five young men had joined the Air Force, thirteen the Navy, five the
Army, and one the Marine Corps. Still no direct mention of the conflict itself
appeared until a year after it had begun. Editors, columnists, and contributors
made no comments on the "police action." Only the report of a speech by
Superior State College President Jim Dan Hill contained references to Korea,
the Truman-MacArthur controversy, and defense matters. Editorials dealt with
noise in the library, the pep band, elections to the Campus Controls Council,
and messy classrooms and hallways. 74

English Professor Edgar Knowlton compiled war
memories of ex-servicemen.


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Apparently in accord with the national philosophy of "Guns and Butter,"
student and faculty concerns over the Korean struggle were minimal. A rare
reference appeared here and there, such as of the eight men whose "football
fortunes" were interrupted and a reminder that students had to keep their draft
boards advised of their whereabouts. Brief notices of men in the various
services appeared from time to time. But even presidential candidate Dwight
Eisenhower's famous campaign promise to go to Korea elicited no attention.
The presence of Korean veterans on campus caused scarcely a stir except in the
office assigned to veteran's affairs. 75


The initial involvement of the United States in Vietnam also attracted no
attention on the campus, not an unusual situation throughout the nation.
However, the requirement that students obtaining loans under the National
Defense Education Act of 1958 had to sign a loyalty oath drew some faculty and
student criticism. An enterprising Racquet columnist wrote a defense of
four-letter words, citing Norman Mailer, Alexander Wolcott, and Ernest
Hemingway as examples of famous authors who used them. And an equally
enterprising editor wrote of the next American president:

It is interesting to note the recent "official" statement by
Senator John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) that he would be a
candidate for the presidency. It is also interesting to note
the recent speculation as to whether or not smiling Jack
will enter the Wisconsin presidential preferential primary
this spring.

As some might remember, the October 8 issue of the
Racquet quoted Gerald Bruno, one of Kennedy's top
campaign aides, as stating that the Massachusetts'
senator would definitely enter the Wisconsin primary.
Remember, you read it first in the Racquet. 76

Campus editors had nothing good to say about the visit of Vice President
Richard Nixon to La Crosse and described the activities surrounding the visit
of candidate John F. Kennedy as "imbecilic." More important was a poll of
student opinion on hell week which revealed that seventy-five percent of those
who answered thought "fraternities and sororities ought to pay more attention
to 'help week' projects and less to 'hell week' activities. 77
The first campus note of U.S. involvement in Vietnam appeared in a guest
editorial written by Bruce Vandervort in the fall of 1963. He wrote of the
overthrow of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem and concluded:

At first glance, this government, though established by
virtue of military force, seems more democratic; it has at
last ended discrimination against Buddhists, so long a
factor in disunity. No matter what the outcome, the U.S.


The War Generations

has at last shown, by its tacit support of this revolt and the
quick recognition of the new regime, that it no longer is
content to support dictatorships on the vague promise that
they are "anti-Communist." 78

Not until the spring of 1965 did an article critical of U.S. involvement in
Vietnam appear in the student newspaper. It came from the Madison Daily
Cardinal. But by the fall of that year debate developed on the position America
should take. Editorial writer Peter Waterman argued that the United States
should get out at once because our continued involvement there would drive
China and Russia together. A strip satirizing American behavior in Saigon
appeared in the Racquet, and students from La Crosse witnessed the late
November peace march in the nation's capital. 79 On the other hand, one editor
sharply criticized the burning of draft cards and the actions of demonstrators.
Meantime, self-styled Marxist speakers Michael Eisenscher and James
Boulton denounced American foreign policy to small groups of interested
students. A take-off on the Ballad Of The Green Beret, called the Ballad of the
Brown Helmet, created a minor stir in the university administration and
occasioned placement of the Racquet under jurisdiction of the Mass
Communications Department.

Frightened students from the USA
innocent men who learn to kill
men who are told just what to say
the sacred kids of the USA.

Purple Hearts upon their wounds
These are flunkies, the Army's goons
One hundred killers they'll test today
But only three will want to stay. 80

Guest editor, Lawrence Weinberg, protested the Vietnam war as being brutal
and denounced what he regarded as American violation of the Geneva
Agreement of 1954. 81 And as controversies developed over SDS, "food riots"
in Cartwright Center, and a uniform student conduct code, opposition to the
Vietnam conflict increased. By the fall of 1967, a Racquet editor argued that
most people opposed the war because of its cost and because it was taking
young men. Only the military, because "it gives them something to do," big
business, because of the profit-motive, and older people, because they did not
have to fight, favored the war. It was only common sense to get out. A letter to
the editor denounced the war as a violation of the First Commandment, the
United Nations Charter, the United States Constitution, and the concept of
self-determination of peoples. 82 As election year 1968 approached, students
argued the selective service system and debated the American commitment to
South Vietnam. They heard U.S. Senator George McGovern call for a new
policy in Vietnam. They also heard Senators Eugene McCarthy, John Tower,
and Gaylord Nelson present differing viewpoints. Congressman Vernon
Thomson defended the "hot pursuit" policy before an assembly, and Harold


The War Generations

Stassen, speaking as a "peace candidate," told his student audience that both
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Republican party leadership were failures.
Forums on Vietnam, debates on the use of napalm, and talk of containment all
formed a part of continuing dialogue on the longest of America's wars. Wrote
one commentator in the fall of 1968:

The Vietnamese and American populaces alike are
confused over problems this war has created. All this
writer can say is, somehow, somewhere, and someday,
this war is going to end --it must, or the whole human race
may lose its sanity in senseless confusion. 83

By the fall of 1968 Racquet reporters were writing of the Gulf of Tonkin, the
Vietcong, and the history of Vietnam. One issue carried the quotes of two
famous men which seemed apropos. From General Douglas MacArthur:
"Anybody who commits the land power of the United States on the continent of
Asia ought to have his head examined," and from President Johnson during
the 1964 campaign: "American boys should not be sent to fight in Viet Nam
because it is an Asian war." 84
Excerpts from the letters of anti-war activist Dustin Evans reflected the
thoughts of an unhappy young man drafted to fight in a war of which he
disapproved. From the central highlands he wrote:
Viet Nam is so strange, beautiful, sad, and badly in need
of help. But never, never, never the kind we are giving
I'm not frightened as I thought I would be. I feel so
deeply for these people though, and that gets me down
occasionally. 85

Challenging Evans' viewpoint was that of veteran Bruce Miller who wrote in

War is for keeps, Mr. Evans; it is also hell. It is a shame
that the world's races must devote such energy to mass
destruction for the sole purpose of supremacy, yet in our
comparatively primitive world no other solution has
proven capable of replacing warfare. 86

Some members of the Campus Vets Club took exception to the general attitude
about getting out of the war. They expressed concern about jeopardizing
American forces by bombing halts, and disapproved of what they regarded as
the "no-win" attitude of fighting a limited war. 87
By the fall of 1969, articulate student opinion had taken a strong stand
against the Vietnam involvement. Wrote the Racquet's new editor, Janel

Ending the war in Viet Nam is the most important task
facing the American nation. Over the last few years,


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millions of Americans have campaigned, protested, and
demonstrated against the war. Few now defend the war,
yet it continues.... 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. 88

The national Vietnam moratorium drew 1200 participants to the La Crosse
peace march vigil including several faculty members and hundreds of students.
The La Crosse campus population tended to share the general American
disillusionment and weariness associated with Vietnam. Few among the faculty
and students could believe the human sacrifice was worth all the efforts made.
In the months that followed, the campus newspaper continued to hammer at
the issue of Vietnam, consistently taking the position that the United States
should get out of the war. The paper contained news of peace marches and
movements throughout the land. As the war wound down for America and
proposals to end the draft and to establish a volunteer army gained credence,
Vietnam, save for the presidential campaign of 1972, drew less and less
attention. Interest turned inward to such concerns as the loss of faculty because
of curtailed budgets, minority problems, and the closing of the Campus School.
As South Vietnam fell, the Racquet editor offered her opinion of it all:
So as Viet Nam appears to fall, the politicians and
governments began to lay blame. The American people
cry for humanitarian aid and adopt orphans to clear their
consciences. And the people of the rest of the world wait
and watch to see if the domino theory will work and see if
the U.S. can be a trusted ally....
We failed in Viet Nam, militarily and politically,
because we failed to take the time to learn the difference
between Asian and American values.

It was a tragic lesson. It cost us 55,000 lives. Let's hope
it is a lesson well learned. 89

Among those dead were at least five former La Crosse students.
Of all the veterans groups, those of the Vietnam era seemed less inclined
nationally to take advantage of educational opportunities under the G.I. Bills.
In Wisconsin, the Department of Veterans Affairs administered Education
Incentive Grants authorized by the legislature and governor to encourage
Vietnam veterans to go to vocational schools, colleges and universities. That
department also kept up a steady flow of informational materials to the
campuses. Under new policies set forth in 1972, each Vietnam veteran could
receive a $200 grant for start-up money at a college or university and, if
eligible, could "borrow up to $3,000 at three percent interest to go toward their
education with payments deferred until they complete their education." 90 As
Governor Patrick Lucey prepared to proclaim Veterans Education Week for
August 7- 11, 1972, the call went forth to the various units of the University of
Wisconsin System asking that the week be widely publicized and veterans be
fully informed of their potential educational benefits through the news media,
bulletin boards, academic counseling services, and financial aid offices. 91


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Over the years, the veterans' offices at La Crosse took careful note of
instructions and information coming from state and federal offices. In turn they
kept close contact and discreet relations with the ex-G.I.'s who were their
responsibilities. The records of the Veterans Affairs Office at this institution
show the continuing concerns which the persons directing it had for their
charges. The numbers of veterans attending arose from 250 in the fall of 1956 to
a peak of 677 in the spring semester of 1972. Veterans officers encouraged
uncertain ex-G.I.s to come for interviews where they could learn of their
educational opportunities and could be helped to take advantage of them. 92
The Campus Vets Club emerged in the late 1950's. Its constitution (1959)
states the club's purpose is "to promote the interest, welfare, and fellowship of
the veterans attending Wisconsin State College, La Crosse, through
informative and social functions." 93 There were fifty charter members of the
club out of nearly three hundred veterans on campus. Primarily a social group,
the Vets Club has never attracted the majority of veterans to membership. It is
a member of the Wisconsin Association of Collegiate Veterans organization
which held its annual meeting at La Crosse in 1974. 94

The roles played by the war generations were rather typical of what
happened throughout the United States. Vietnam drew fewer students
proportionately because of exemptions for students. In that sense, La Crosse
was typical of colleges and universities. Nor have those who went to war and
returned or who came as new students after release from the service differed
much from veterans across the country. They generally have been mature,
wiser, and more determined to complete their education than their
counterparts. The University, its faculty, and particularly its veterans' officers
have sought diligently to help them achieve their educational goals.


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1. Racquet (newspaper), Jan. 14, 1918.
2. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1918, pp. 48-49 and Racquet
(newspaper), May 14, 1918.
3. Racquet (newspaper), Apr. 8, 1919.
4. La Crosse Tribune, Jul. 8, 10,12,15,17, and 29, 1917.
5. Sanford, Albert H., "Why The United States Is At War" (La Crosse State Normal School,
March, 1918), pp. 1, 10, and 12.
6. Racquet (newspaper), May 14, 1918, p. 1. See also, Committee on Education and Special Training, 
Questions on the Issues of the War (S.A.T.C. Bulletin, C.21, 1918) pp. 4ff, and Course on
the Issues of the War (War Department Bulletin, 1918), p.2. University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
7. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wisconsin, (September, 1918).
8. Ibid.
9. La Crosse Tribune, May 2, 1918, and Sept. 9, 1918.
10. Ibid., Aug. 15, 1918.
11. Ibid., Sept. 17, 1918, and Oct. 5, 1918.
12. Albert H. Sanford Papers, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
13. Ibid.
14. Ibid.
15. Racquet (annual), 1919, p. 48.
16. Jameson to Albert H. Sanford, Nov. 8, 1918, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
17. White to Sanford, Jul. 8, 1918, and Sept. 18, 1918; Walter Bright to Friends on the Faculty,
Jan. 5, 1918; Albert C. Jones to La Crosse Normal Faculty, Jan. 20, 1918; Ernest Chambers to
Sanford, Dec. 16, 1917; and George E. Jones to Sanford, Nov. 11, 1917, University Archives,
18. There were eight dead: Everett Adams, Oscar Simenson, William McCormick, Bernard Ferris,
Henry O. Johnson, Orbeck Steblingson, Justin Dake, Ernest Mavis. See Racquet (annual)
1919, p. 7.
19. La Crosse Tribune, Sept. 18, 1919.
20. William Kittle to Albert H. Sanford, Jan. 17, 1919, and Mar. 19, 1919; Kittle to Fassett A.
Cotton, Jul. 23, 1919.
21. Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 26, 1919.
22. Ibid., Mar. 12, 1919.
23. In 1944 only 31 students graduated. This was the second smallest number in the school's
history; the smallest was 12 at the first commencement in 1910.
24. See for example the Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 22, 1940.
25. Racquet (newspaper), Apr. 25, 1941.
26. Ibid., Sept. 19, 1941.
27. Ibid., Feb. 7, 1941, and Feb. 21, 1941.
28. Ibid., May 9, 1941.
29. Ibid., Sept. 9, 1941.
30. Ibid., Oct. 31, 1941.
31. Ibid., Sept. 19, 1941.
32. Ibid., Nov. 28, 1941.
33. Ibid., Sept. 9, 1941.
34. See, for example, the Racquet editorial of Dec. 12, 1941.
35. Racquet, (newspaper), Jan. 16, 1942.
36. Ibid., Feb. 13, 1942.
37. Ibid., Dec. 15, 1943.
38. The list included Lora Greene (Spars), Clyde Smith (Navy), Harry Truman (Air Force), Agnes
Kelleher (Spars), Thomas Annett (U.S.O.), Marshall Goff (Paratroops), Theodore Rovang
(Army), Waldo Dunnington (Censorship), Alvida Ahlstrom (Intelligence), Floyd Gautsch (Air
Force), Maurice O. Graff (War Labor Board), Monte Pelton (Navy), O. H. Olson (Army). See
Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 6, 1942; Apr. 1, 1942; Feb. 5, 1943; Mar. 24, 1943; Aug. 10, 1943;
Dec. 12, 1943; Sept. 30, 1943; and Feb. 8, 1944. Ross Spangler (physics), left to do research for
Du Pont.


The War Generations

39. Racquet (newspaper), Dec. 4, 1942, and Dec. 18, 1942.
40. Ibid., Feb. 27, 1942, and Mar. 6, 1942.
41. See Charles J. Miller, "The Effects of World War I and World War II On The
Reflected Through Their Student Newspaper...," p. 9.
42. La Crosse Tribune, Mar. 22, 1942; Apr. 6, 1952; and Apr. 7, 1942.
43. Racquet (newspaper), Apr. 17, 1942; Nov. 17, 1943; Jan. 23, 1942; Jan. 14, 1944; Mar. 9, 1944;
Jun. 13, 1944; Jun. 14, 1944; Jul. 19, 1944; Sept. 30, 1943; and Sept. 28, 1944.
44. Ibid., Sept. 30, 1943; Dec. 27, 1945; and Feb. 8, 1946.
45. La Crosse Tribune, Mar. 19, 1946; Jul. 2, 1946; and Apr. 14, 1946.
46. See Racquet (newspaper), Feb. 8 and 22, 1946. President Mitchell wrote to the parents of each
of La Crosse's 48 war dead.
47. The committee consisted of Milford Cowley, Everett Walters, Walter Wittich, Leon Miller, and
William Laux. La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 1, 1945.
48. Racquet (newspaper), Jan. 18, 1946.
49. La Crosse Tribune, Oct. 17, 1943, and Nov. 11, 1943.
50. Racquet (newspaper), Feb. 13, 1942. Walter Wittich was chairman of the city of La Crosse's
physical fitness program.
51. They included: Ruth Anderson Nixon (Spanish and French), Gordon Bahr (physical education),
Margaret Chew (geography), Alice DeBower (recreation), Howard Fredricks (Campus School),
and Gordon Haferbecker (social science). Bahr and Haferbecker were replacements for Floyd
Gautsch and Wilbur Glover and remained only a short time.
52. Unfortunately the original letters to Mr. Miller were thrown away. A number of them appeared
in the city newspaper and many were excerpted in the Alumni Bulletin. Almost 500 letters to
Miss Trowbridge and the Knowlton typescripts are housed in the Area Research Center,
53. La Crosse Tribune, Dec. 26, 1943.
54. Ibid.
55. Ibid., Jan. 16, 1944.
56. Ibid., Feb. 3, 1944.
57. Ibid., Mar. 24, 1944.
58. Ibid., May 28, 1944.
59. Pfc. John E. Allen to Myrtle Trowbridge, Jun. 15, 1945.
60. Lt. Felix Kampschroer to Trowbridge, Jul. 16, 1944.
61. Pfc. Philip Nordhus to Trowbridge, Apr. 5, 1945.
62. Pfc. Jim J. Nugent to Trowbridge, Apr. 4, 1945.
63. T/Sgt. Robert E. Paulsen to Trowbridge, Jun. 5, 1945.
64. To Trowbridge, Jan. 6, 1944.
65. To Trowbridge, Dec. 26, 1943.
66. Sgt. Arlan C. Helgerson to Trowbridge, Dec. 29, 1945. Helgerson's letters show exceptionally
keen power of observation and facility of thought and expression.
67. Lt. Paul E. Hassett to Trowbridge, Sept. 18, 1945. In the same letter Hassett announced his
intention to "take advantage of the GI Bill" to get a masters degree at the University of
Wisconsin and then to teach at Wausau. At one time he was executive secretary to Governor
Warren Knowles.
68. Lt. Rodney W. Hanson to Trowbridge, Sept. 2, 1944, from "Somewhere in England."
69. Sgt. W. E. Gregorich to Trowbridge, Sept. 8, 1944.
70. Pvt. Jack R. Finley to Trowbridge, Sept. 2, 1945.
71. Pfc. M. V. Campbell to Trowbridge, Jul. 5, 1943.
72. Racquet (newspaper), Oct. 11, 1950.
73. Ibid., Oct. 27, 1950; Nov. 9, 1950; Nov. 21, 1950; and Dec. 14, 1950.
74. Ibid., Jan. 19, 1951; May 14, 1951; Feb. 15, 1951; Feb. 22, 1951; Mar. 1, 1951; and May 3,
75. Ibid., Sept. 13, 1951; Nov. 15, 1951; Oct. 17, 1952; and Nov. 7, 1952.
76. Ibid., Jan. 20, 1960. See also ibid., Dec. 17, 1959, and Mar. 3, 1960.
77. Ibid., Oct. 12, 1961. See also ibid., Oct. 20, 1960; Nov. 3, 1960; and Oct. 26, 1961.
78. Ibid., Nov. 14, 1963.
79. Ibid., Mar. 11, 1965; Oct. 15, 1965; and Dec. 14, 1965.
80. Ibid., Mar. 24, 1966.
81. Ibid., Apr. 21, 1966.


The War Generations

82. Ibid., Sept. 25, 1967; Sept. 29, 1967; Oct. 13, 1967; Oct. 20, 1967; and Nov. 10, 1967.
83. Ibid., Sept. 27, 1968. See also ibid., Jan. 9, 1968; Feb. 9, 1968; Feb. 23, 1968; Mar. 1, 1968;
Mar. 8, 1968; Mar. 22, 1968; and Mar. 29, 1968.
84. Ibid., Oct. 11, 1968.
85. Ibid., Mar. 14, 1969. See also ibid., Feb. 21, 1969; Feb. 28, 1969; Mar. 7, 1969; Mar. 28, 1969;
and Apr. 18, 1969.
86. Ibid., Apr. 4, 1969. The articles featuring Evans' writings were entitled, "One Man's War."
87. Ibid., Dec. 13, 1968.
88. Ibid., Sept. 26, 1969.
89. Ibid., Apr. 10, 1975.
90. Department of Veterans Affairs, State of Wisconsin, Bulletin No. 301, Aug. 2, 1972. See also
Donald E. Percy to Chancellors, Vice Chancellors and Registrars, Aug. 2, 1972, Veterans
Affairs Office, UW-L.
91. Robert R. Polk to Chancellors and Center Deans, Jul. 10, 1972, Veterans Affairs Office, UW-L.
At this writing, Polk is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of
Wisconsin System.
92. See the correspondence files of Dean Richard J. Gunning, Dr. Reid Horle, Alan Miller, and
Donald Staats in the Student Affairs Office, UW-L.
93. Campus Vets Club File, Office, Director of Student Centers, UW-L.
94. Ibid.



Students and the University:
Student Affairs and Student Government
Carol J. Bassuener and Clifford R. Heise

In the early years, student affairs did not have either the organization or the
personnel of the seventies. President Cotton, professing much concern with
student welfare and conduct, asked for faculty assistance in those areas. For
men students, Vice President Ernest "Daddy" Long and physicist James A.
Fairchild doubled as teachers and aides to the president. Fairchild was
officially designated the dean of men. In that position he kept a watchful eye on
student behavior and helped male students find jobs which enabled many of
them to remain in school. 1 During the first five years of the school's history,
Cotton assigned women faculty members to look out for the general welfare of
female students. In 1915, he obtained specific regent approval for a dean of
women and appointed Josephine M. Jones to that post. She was followed by
Lulu Curme Bretnall (1917-1918), Annie D. Adkins (1920-1921), Lena C.
Durborow (1921-1923), and Dr. Sarah Garrett Bangsberg (1923). Dr.
Bangsberg was also the school's physician until 1941. She supervised living
arrangements and the academic and social life of women students.

As the first dean of men, James Fairchild helped
male students find jobs which enabled many of
them to remain in school.

Josephine Jones was appointed the first dean of
women in 1915 after President Cotton received
specific regent approval for the post.


Students and the University

In the twenties and thirties, President Snodgrass spoke of the importance of
activities and balanced college programs for each student. The Student
Handbooks for those years reflect his attitudes:

College life should combine work and play, fun, and
seriousness. Students should live normal, happy, vigorous
lives. La Crosse Teachers College emphasizes healthy
activity in work and play.... A student who does not
participate in all phases of this program will miss much of

Snodgrass liked to deal with students on a one to one basis, and he took much
pride in knowing many of them by name.

Student Services: Pre-World War II
The student services available at La Crosse until World War II were varied
and changed according to the needs that arose. In the first years, the president
handled information and admissions by direct correspondence with applicants.
Faculty members, with the aid of the registrar, provided assistance in selecting
courses of study, class schedules, and broad programs. Administration and
faculty accepted the principle of in loco parentis in sweeping fashion:

Many students are away from home, some for the first
time, so the school is bound to consider itself as standing
in the place of the parents. The members of the faculty
expect to interest themselves in individual students, and
to assist them in solving not only their educational
problems, but also their personal problems. Students
should feel free to consult teachers upon any matter, as
they would parents. 2

School catalogs further expounded on the role of the faculty for students, upon
arriving at the institution, were placed in groups with an assigned advisor.
"The faculty advisor," read the catalog, "takes a personal interest in the
welfare of the members of this group. They are encouraged to come freely for
advice." 3 Freshmen weeks and individual guidance conferences also provided
direction from the faculty for students undecided about courses of study they
wished to pursue. Among advisors whom alumni remember as being of
exceptional help were David O. Coate, Milford A. Cowley, Jean Rolfe, and
Emma Lou Wilder.
Besides advice on programs and on personal problems, many students
needed financial assistance then as now to continue their educations. In the
early years President Cotton handled student employment. In 1916, the
graduating class suggested the institution should establish a loan fund for

We believe that the class could be doing far greater


Students and the University

service for this school by founding a fund from which
worthy students can draw financial assistance. It has
happened many times in the history of this institution and
other schools that lack of a few dollars has compelled
students to leave the school and give up pursuit of their
studies. If a few dollars were available to tide them over
critical times it would not be necessary to see them leave
school before graduation. 4

Alumni, the La Crosse College Club, and the Forum and Sapphonian Literary
Societies established loan funds from which upper classmen could borrow small
sums. Other financial assistance came from the College Employment Bureau
and the National Youth Administration during the thirties. Financial aid
services of various sorts helped many worthy students in these difficult years. 5
Job placement help from a central office was slow in coming to La Crosse.
Individual faculty members often sought to help their proteges find
employment. President Snodgrass made numerous visits to area schools to
make speeches and in the process sought positions for students. Physical
educator Emma Lou Wilder was not only advisor but placement director for the
women enrolled in that curriculum. 6
Prior to World War II, Dr. Bangsberg, as college physician, assumed all the
duties and responsibilities related to the student health program. She also
taught courses in physiology and hygiene for secondary teachers. Funds to
support limited medical and hospital services came from incidental fees. From
her post she also handed out aspirin, pink pills, medical excuses for missing
classes, and much advice.
In the first years, the president's office was also the housing office. In 1910
the school bulletin read:

Arrangements have been made for the accommodations of
students in some of the best homes in the vicinity of the
Normal School. This is a great advantage to the students,
and is a source of satisfaction to the parents. The locating 
of pupils is under the supervision of the school authorities. 7

Over the years, students arranged for living quarters through the dean of
women's office where a list of approved rooms was kept on file. According to
the catalog for 1910, room costs ranged from $.50 to $2.00 weekly. Food in
private homes ranged from $2.75 to $4.00 per week. Both Presidents Cotton
and Snodgrass pleaded with the regents to establish a women's dormitory. And
community clubs joined the Normal School Faculty Committee appointed for
that purpose. The committee gathered numerous signatures in support of the
dormitory construction and also collected supportive information from girls
housed in the dorm at Superior Normal. The committee's report presents a
somewhat lurid picture of what could happen to young women loose in a city
without proper protection. The report concluded:

La Crosse State Normal School...owes each young woman


Students and the University

an adequate preparation for leadership in her community,
and opportunity to develop scholarship, cultural influence,
health protection, and social and moral protection--all at a
minimum cost. 8

Although the effort to obtain a dormitory failed, the committee did arrange to
use the first and third floors of the nearby Grandview Hospital's Nurses' Home
for women's housing several years later. 9

The Organization of Student Personnel Services

Much of what was done in student affairs during the first thirty years of the
school's history met particular needs and therefore was not especially
well-organized. In June, 1937, the American Council on Educational Studies
published the findings of a conference on the philosophy and development of
student personnel work in colleges and universities. After publication of that
study, entitled The Student Personnel Point of View, student personnel
services became increasingly organized and pointed toward student needs in
the era particularly after World War II when the floodtide of college
enrollments began to develop. Thus, the significant growth of student services
occurred during the presidencies of Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Gates. Mitchell
depended on several of his administrative aides to develop student personnel
policies and activities. Among those who were involved in some phase of
student personnel work were Clyde Smith, Milford A. Cowley, Maurice Graff,
Edith Cartwright, and Richard J. Gunning.
In 1942, Clyde Smith, who had joined the Physical Education Division four
years before, succeeded James Fairchild as dean of men. He enjoyed the high
regard of students both as a coach and as dean. When he left in 1943, Dr.
Cowley, already busy as a chemistry teacher, became dean of men and acting
registrar. "It seemed like we did everything," he wrote. 10 Cowley served on

Clyde Smith enjoyed the high regard of students both as coach and dean of men.


Students and the University

the housing and food service committees as well as watching after the welfare
of men students. At war's end, he expressed particular concern for the
returning veteran and accordingly suggested to his colleagues that

faculty members give sympathetic understanding to the
differences in maturity and outlook between veterans and
other college students, and that some allowances may
have to be made for veterans who wish to register late
because of factors beyond their control. 11

Richard J. (Joe) Gunning came to La Crosse in 1947 as the new dean of men.
He had taught for twenty years in Wisconsin public schools. In addition to
regular duties, he inherited problems relating to veterans' aids, veterans'
housing, and foreign student services. Gunning was instrumental in obtaining
rental housing for faculty and student veterans. He spent many hours with
student fraternities and their Interfraternity Council. He also devoted long
sessions to plans for the student union which later became Cartwright Center.
On his retirement, a colleague wrote of him: "He sympathized with students
and their problems, he worked well with them and he was willing to get
involved with their activities. He was, and is, their friend." 12
Maurice 0. Graff arrived in La Crosse in 1941 to fill a position in social
science and student personnel services. During succeeding years, he became
increasingly involved in faculty personnel and administrative duties. As the
school expanded, added liberal arts, and reorganized the various departments,
Graff took on the assignment of college dean. By the early 1960's he was almost
totally concerned with academic affairs. Meantime, however, he had spent
many long hours working for student betterment. Also, in 1941, Edith J.
Cartwright returned to her Alma Mater as an instructor in health and as the

When Joe Gunning came to La Crosse as the new dean of men in 1947 he was faced
with the problem of finding housing for returning veterans.


Students and the University

sixth dean of women. As the university grew, so did her responsibilities, and
she acquired all the functions of the "traditional dean of women." She
described her duties during her first years as "just about everything"
including financial aids, counseling and testing, interviewing entering
freshmen, housing, board and room jobs, academic counseling at mid-term,
and meetings with probationary students. 13 Securing adequate housing for
women required much time and effort, for rooms were scarce in post-war La
Crosse. A notice in the college newspaper read: "Anyone with a spare room or
gopher hole is urged to contact Edith Cartwright, Dean of Women." 14
As a result of the efforts of Dean Cartwright and others, the college obtained
a cooperative house on West Avenue and Grandview dormitory in 1952. The
house was but one of several similar endeavors. A "co-op" cafeteria,
established in 1942, proved to be imminently successful. Students who ate
there paid a minimal charge for meals; in turn they worked for the co-op. This
operation continued until construction of Cartwright Center in 1959. A
substantial amount of money from the co-op's proceeds helped to provide a
recreation area and bowling alleys for the new student center. A snack bar,
organized and opened in 1947, in the Main Hall basement also was a favorite
student gathering spot. 15

Several other areas of concern in student affairs included housing, financial
aids, health services, placement and career advising, student activities, and
student centers. In each case, as the institution developed, all of these became
more sophisticated and more pertinent to student life. In the Cotton and
Snodgrass eras, pleas to the regents for dormitories fell on deaf ears.
Townspeople provided whatever rooms there were available; most students
commuted. The post-World War II enrollment expansion forced reconsider-
ation of housing facilities in La Crosse as it did elsewhere in the state. Thus
came the purchase of the co-op house and the Grandview nurses' home.
Meantime, the first campus dormitory, Wilder Hall, opened in early 1952.
Wilder Hall remained a women's dorm until 1970 when it became an office
building for R.O.T.C., Placement, Housing, Financial Aids, and Counseling

Edith Cartwright, for whom the student union
was named, returned to her alma mater as a health
instructor and the sixth dean of women.


Students and the University

and Testing. The decade of the 1960's was the period of rapid dormitory
construction. Women's residence halls opened in those years included
Trowbridge (1960), Baird (1963), Wentz (1964), Drake (1966), Angell (1966),
and Hutchison (1967). Today Drake Hall is co-educational. Together, they
provided living facilities for about 1600 women.16
Until 1959, the only men's housing units erected on the campus were the
quonset huts for faculty and student veterans of World War II. Then, in that
year, the university opened Reuter Hall for 200 men students. Four others
followed as enrollments grew: White (1962), Laux (1964), Coate (1966), and
Sanford (1967). Laux Hall became the second co-educational dormitory. Funds
to build both men's and women's resident housing derived from federal loans
which the university repays with student rental fees. Plans to build additional
campus housing in the 1970's have not materialized. It is not likely that new
units will be built even though student demand for resident housing has
increased. Having won the battles to allow liberalized visiting hours, co-ed
dorms, and alcoholic beverages, students find on-campus living far more
attractive than in the past. 17

Additional student services accompanied the steady growth of enrollments in
the post-World War II era. An Appointments Office located in the Campus
School and directed by a faculty committee provided job information to
graduates of all curricula. The catalogs describing the functions of this service
emphasized the opportunities in teaching and announced to students:

Teaching has always been a profession offering a
maximum of job security, fine associations, community
prestige, vacation benefits, independence of action on the
job, and opportunity for personal growth. 18

Career Services, today's successor to the earlier placement service, functions
as an informational agency with a wide purview. It provides brochures and
tapes of job descriptions in business, government, and education and handles
materials on graduate schools. It also has interviewing facilities. In addition, it
places students in credit internship programs related to their fields of study.

Another service which has grown steadily in the past generation is the
student health program. At La Crosse it has always been both a medical entity
and a health informational unit. From modest beginnings in 1918 when Dr.
Sarah Bangsberg arrived to become the normal School's physician, this service
expanded into comfortable quarters on the first floor of the Grandview
building, formerly Grandview Hospital. On the occasion of her retirement in
1944, the La Crosse Tribune described the early facilities:

Dr. Bangsberg's first office was a small room with barely
enough space for a desk and the minimum medical
equipment. Standing space in the corridor served as a
waiting room. Somehow she made it function as an
efficient office. 19


Students and the University

Because the normal school regents required a physical examination as one
condition for admission, those students who 'had no family physician had to
submit to examinations at the health center. In the early years, two major
problems were athlete's foot and tuberculosis. Nutrition also was a constant
concern of the health office. In 1940, President Mitchell established a joint
student-faculty health committee to approve purchases of supplies and to
determine policy. The following year, La Crosse joined the North Central
College Health Association and the American College Health Association.
Mitchell also provided better facilities for the center.
When Dr. Bangsberg retired, Marjorie (McGrath) Von Arx, R.N., became
college nurse and director of the health service. Of her early years she wrote:

Students lived off campus in rooming houses. Home
nursing service, office first aid with referral to local
medical service and teaching health to physical education
and elementary majors were responsibilities of the nurse.
Home visits provided an opportunity to consult with the
various housemothers, to encourage more adequate living
conditions, and to teach nutrition and sanitation on the
premises since many of the housing units contained
cooking facilities. 20

In 1946, Ellen M. Sexton became the college physician on a part-time basis.
She became involved not only with the health center itself but with varsity
athletics and intramural sports. Returning veterans and married students
posed special problems of refraction and of babies growing up without proper
medical supervision. The health service dealt with both of these, making the
referrals necessary after appropriate examinations, consultations, and
As student enrollments rose, pressures on the facilities and available classes
often gave rise to individual schedules which allowed no time for lunch. The

Sarah Bangsberg was the fifth dean of women
and the school physician (1923-41).


Students and the University

health service, after a study of this situation, recommended that no student
should be scheduled without a lunch hour and that the period for serving
lunches should be extended. The faculty agreed. 21
By the early 1950's, the entering student had to have an examination
including tuberculin, Schick, and Wasserman tests, chest X-ray, small-pox
vaccination, and urinalysis. At the center they could receive dispensary service
and referrals to local physicians for medical and surgical care. Within the
decade, Blue Cross-Blue Shield health insurance became available to them at
reasonable costs. During the Asian flu epidemic of 1954, health service
personnel encouraged students not afflicted with the disease to help those who
had a bout with it and to report the cases of high temperatures. When Dr. D.
M. Buchman was college physician, the health service acquired a refrigerator
for Salk vaccine and obtained supplies of Asian flu vaccine in 1957. Psychiatric
services also were available on a limited basis. 22
In 1964, Robert E. McMahon, M.D., became full-time director of the health
service. The following year the university provided more space for the center,
on the first floor of Main Hall, complete with laboratory facilities and a
technologist. Dr. Frederick Wolf joined McMahon in 1967, part-time in the
health service and part-time for attendance at athletic events. Psychiatrist John
Shields spent one day each week at the center beginning in 1970. When Dr.
McMahon resigned in 1970, Lou Schmidt, M.D., became the health director.
During his term, the health service operation moved to the Grandview building.
Ann Boomer, M.D., served as director from 1973 to 1978. Sandra J. Johnson,
M.D., became director of the Student Health Center when it moved to the
basement of Whitney Center in 1978. The health service continues to provide
for immediate medical needs, aid in health education, and watch nutrition and
sanitation for the student body. 23

In 1959, the university established a Loan and Employment Service. For
several years, Mrs. Velma Gunning directed it. Her office handled federal
grants and loans, scholarships, and on and off campus employment. This
service evolved into the Financial Aids Office which, under the direction of
Clarence Althaus, administered over $3,300,000 for 3,000 students in 1974-75.
Much of that sum involves financial aid to minority and disadvantaged

In 1959 the first student union opened at La Crosse. Later named Cartwright
Center, it has served as a major center of student life featuring food service, a
book store, meeting rooms, publications areas, bowling, and a myriad of other
activities. Erected in 1967, Whitney Center serves the students residing in the
dormitories on the northwest corner of the campus. 24
Student Affairs
In the past decade, the organization of student affairs has undergone various
changes. During the late 1960's, student unrest over the Vietnam war, the
invasion of Cambodia, and racial strife created uneasiness in the university
administration. Beyond those matters were student demands for more
participation in university governance, curriculum-making, and policy-


Students and the University

formation. President Gates' mode of dealing with student demands at La
Crosse was to assert the authority which he held from the regents and to try to
persuade dissident students from violent actions. The La Crosse campus
passed through the time of troubles with few major difficulties; but change was
already in the offing. What was almost unthinkable not long before was to
become reality in the 1970's--co-educational dormitories, beer on campus, and
new life styles. Student affairs personnel such as Robert Steuck, David Hogue,
Norene Smith, and Reid Horle generally worked well with their charges. They
all recognized, too, that student life was changing and the principle of in loco
parentis was no longer workable.
Thus, at mid-point in the decade of the seventies, the Student Affairs Office
emerged with two major responsibilities. First, it acts as a service organization
in the best sense of that term for students. Within its direct jurisdiction are the
student health center, the counseling and testing center, the housing office,
financial aids, and admissions. The second major role for student affairs'
personnel is the offering, in conjunction with various academic departments, of
a graduate program leading to the master's degree in student personnel
services. Initiated in 1966, the program has attracted a large number of
graduates preparing to be student personnel officers in vocational-technical
schools, junior colleges, and degree-granting institutions. The program places
major emphasis in two areas--the behavioral sciences and supervised
internships in the various campus offices directly concerned with student
Over the decades, the university has benefitted from the presence of many
dedicated student affairs personnel. They were largely successful in handling
their assigned tasks. But in one area, that of student government, their
accomplishments do not stand out.

Student Government

During the first twelve years of La Crosse's history, the student body did not
develop a governing structure. There was no faculty example for students to
follow had they wanted to do so. Publications, clubs, societies, associations,
and sports organized during these years provided extra-curricular activities
under the close scrutiny and advisement of faculty members. The student
newspaper and the annual appeared in the first two years. Both carried the
same name, The Racquet, until 1931, when, at the suggestion of alumnus
Clifford Bowen, the editors of the annual changed its name to The La Crosse.
The editor of the newspaper explained that the name came from the racquet
used in the game of lacrosse:

Among the various versions given for the origin of the
name of the city in which our normal school is located is
one claiming that it originated from the sport by the same
name played by the Indians in this vicinity in the early

Be that as it may, the name of our beautiful and
progressive city is La Crosse and in it is located a new,


Students and the University

up-to-date and efficiently managed State Normal school,
destined, as we believe, to accomplish much in the great
field of intellectual activity. It is, therefore, fitting and
proper that the name selected for our school paper--that
frame with a network of possibilities--should be The
Racquet. 25

The first issue exhorted students to develop school spirit, support the paper,
join student societies, and follow the "law of the road" by keeping to the right
when they walked the halls and climbed the stairs of Old Main. It also
denounced "The Cliques in Our School," praised the performance of the
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in the auditorium, and reported on a
successful Halloween party, the highlight of which was a potato race. 26
The senior class of 1911 produced the first annual. The class dedicated it to
President Cotton:

It is fitting and proper that the first year-book issued from
the La Crosse State Normal school should be dedicated to
our president, upon whom rested the responsibility of
inaugurating the high moral and intellectual standard of
the institution and of shaping the policy and scope of
work. 27

And the seniors expressed the "earnest wish"

that this year-book may in future years bring back fond
memories of the old school days, to enliven some lonely
hour, relieve the mind absorbed in business or household
cares, cause a glad light to come into the eyes or a laugh to
ring on the lips as of old,... 28

The first annual featured photographs of the early faculty, students, rooms in
the normal building, various clubs, and teams. It also presented an article by
Howard Mumford Jones entitled, "Government by Common Sense," and
another by Ethel Oltman on "The Woman of Today." Miss Oltman stated:

The struggle for woman's rights is drawing to a close.... In
other words, we have a new womanhood, based upon the
earnest belief that it is woman's duty to do that which she
wishes to do, if she can do it well....

Woman's place in the business world is no longer
marked off by the limitations of sex, but she is free to work
in it where she will and be bound by no bonds save her
own thoughts and her own conscience. 29

Meantime students organized two literary and debating groups for men (The
Eclectic Club and the Websterian Literary Society) and two for women
(Tri-Delta and Alpha Phi Pi). Three other early organizations, the Buskin Club


Students and the University

for drama, the Oratorical Association, and the Social Ethics Club, reflected
other interests. The faculty authorized creation of an Athletic Association for
men students. Its officers originally were all faculty; eventually it did have
some student directors. 30

Men's and Women's Leagues
Formation of women's and men's leagues foreshadowed the emergence of
the first elements of student government. Established in 1916, the Women's
League's stated purpose was "to promote the spirit of democracy and to
elevate the ideals of the students." Objective of the counterpart for men was to
"promote student welfare." Partly because World War I drastically reduced
the male student population, the men's group met irregularly and reorganized
several times before finally being made more permanent by faculty action. Both
leagues were primarily social in nature. 31 In the post-World War I era, interest
in student government increased. As a basis for it, the editor of The Racquet
argued that an existing Student Welfare Committee consisting of faculty
members ought to have student representation on it. Beyond that, another
writer argued "self-government in the schools is the best training for good
citizenship one can find." 32 In response, the faculty took up the matter and,
after several months of discussion, approved organization of a student council
of six members, four elected from the two leagues and two appointed by the
faculty. The council agreed to submit any plans or suggestions to the faculty
before making them public, and its members appeared before student
assemblies to present actions recommended to the faculty. 33 The new council
requested the faculty to issue meal tickets according to class schedules, to open
the library earlier, and to adjust schedules so students could attend out-of-town
athletic contests. It also undertook investigations of smoking in the men's
locker room and student conduct in the halls. The suggestion that an honor
system be developed received no faculty support, at least on the record. 34

Student Council
During the mid-1920's the student council seemed virtually to have
disappeared. No mention of it appeared in faculty minutes or student
publications between 1924 and 1926. In 1927, the student newspaper began a
campaign for the "establishment of a student council in the very near future."
Nothing came of the effort at that time, but in the thirties a new council
emerged and student participation in various committees, programs, and
boards such as the Athletic Board and the Men's Intramural Athletic
Association increased. Then, in 1931, with President Snodgrass' encouragement 
and help, the student body selected five men and five women students as
a temporary council to establish a governing unit. The result of this effort was
the organization of the La Crosse State Teachers College Association which
consisted of all students and faculty members and which had as the governing
unit a student council of five men and five women from the junior and senior
classes. 35

The constitution adopted for this council provided for student participation in
freshmen orientation, homecoming preparations, making the school calendar,
and all "matters concerning student discipline, student conduct, favorable


Students and the University

studying conditions, and good order." The document provided for student
membership on what traditionally had been faculty committees, including the
Lecture Course, Social, and Student Welfare committees. The council also
established a Library Committee to investigate the problems of noise, stealing
books and periodicals, and study conditions generally. Over the years, the
library question occupied much discussion and several recommendations.
Included among the recommendations was that students would have to pay a
fine of $1.00 only after failing to return a book for a fourth time. 36 Meantime,
the Student Council changed its membership policy so all recognized
organizations could be represented on it. Organizations failing to send
representatives to three consecutive meetings lost their membership. The
council broadened the base of student participation further by providing for
direct nominations and elections by the student body to council offices. New
arrangements also provided for ratification of appointees to joint student-
faculty committees by the council after the president nominated them. 37
Presidents Snodgrass and Mitchell encouraged student participation on
committees and boards. They welcomed suggestions particularly on matters
directly affecting student life. In the late 1930's and early 1940's student
councils undertook a number of projects including the distribution of more
pencil-sharpeners, the scheduling of activities on a school calendar, and
suggestions for better discipline in the halls and more orderly bulletin boards.
Councils also considered the perennial problem of noise in the library. When
the former kindergarten area in Main Hall became a lounge area, a joint
student-faculty committee developed regulations for use of the room and
planned "the decoration and administration of the new Social Room." 38
Boards of control established in the early 1940's provided additional student
participation in matters more directly concerned with student services. The
boards with student memberships included those concerned with publications,
health service, athletics, forensics, and the men's and women's leagues. Four
faculty committees- Assembly, Library, Organizations, and Social- also had
student memberships. Poor student attendance at meetings and inadequate
communications between student representatives and the student body in
general limited the effectiveness of these joint groups. The advent of World
War II further hampered the progress of student governance. The main
functions of the Student Council became social. It continued to sponsor
Homecoming, "hikes, hayrides, and the like." It also participated in the World
Student Service Fund which raised money to purchase books, stationery, and
other similar items for soldiers overseas and for prisoners of war. At war's end
the council, together with the faculty, established a memorial fund "to honor
former students who gave their lives in this war." 39
Campus Controls Council

With the arrival of veterans on the campus, the council undertook the
reorganization of student government. A committee of five elected at a general
student meeting in early 1947 scrapped the old constitution and submitted a
new which received wide support. Called the Campus Controls Council (CCC),
the new governing organization was designed to provide "an opportunity and a
means for self-expression and self-government." Its twenty elected members


Students and the University

had to be full-time students; but they did not need to meet grade-point
requirements. The second revision of the constitution enacted in 1962 required
officers to have a 2.3 average. The 1967 revision called for a 2.1 average for all
representatives and a 2.75 average for the CCC president. The officers
launched the new student government in May of 1947 with ceremonies in the
auditorium featuring speeches by the mayor of La Crosse and CCC president,
Armin Scheurle, who wielded the most influence. His objective was to establish
a student organization that would take an effective part in college
governance. 40
The CCC appointed members of the various boards of control and faculty
committees. It assumed responsibility for numerous social functions on the
campus including the Spring Prom, Sadie Hawkins Day, and the college
Christmas party. For a time the new student government appeared alive and
active. It affiliated with the National Student Association, the stated objective
of which was "to make it possible for every qualified young person in this
country to get a good college education." It supervised freshmen orientation;
conducted polls on health insurance, the Marshall Plan, and universal military
training; sponsored various speakers; and supported the drive in behalf of the
World Student Service Fund. The CCC acquired increased student
memberships on the boards of control and faculty committees. It established a
public relations committee to provide improved news releases about student
organizational activities to the campus and community newspapers and radio.
Despite this effort, the Racquet complained that the CCC itself, while a
potentially powerful organization, remained relatively obscure and that its
communications with the student body were ineffective. Following discussions
with President Mitchell the CCC obtained a voice in determining allotment of
student activity fees. Specifically, it approved additional funds for the
Women's Recreation Association and it received financial support for its own
operation. It also sponsored a campus problems clinic for representatives from
eight neighboring colleges. A major topic of discussion was the lack of student
housing and student centers. The clinic's purposes were

to pool ideas on solution of problems common to students,
and to acquaint students with a new type of discussion-
group dynamics. 41

The Campus Controls Council entered the decade of the 1950's still known
primarily as the sponsor of various social activities. It did succeed in getting
more financial support for student publications and reduced ticket prices for
athletic events for student wives. But, according to the council president in
1950, the CCC was

planning and carrying out frivolous activities to keep
students' minds off academic matters....

The organization was an unimportant one when I knew
it as a Junior, and it remained unimportant through my
Senior year. Along about October, I knew that it would not
be made effective. 42


Students and the University

The student newspaper frequently criticized the CCC's lack of action and
noted that in the most recent election there were just enough candidates to fill
the slate of vacancies and only about forty percent of the student body voted in
the election, down fifteen percent from the previous election. In response to
requests from librarians, the CCC did organize "patrols" to warn noisy
students they might lose library privileges. And it did obtain approval from the
President to keep the social room open until later in the day. 43
But the role of the CCC did not change significantly during most of the
1950's. Its concerns were largely social; its participation in governance
minimal. A few excerpts from the Racquet largely tell the story, to some
students a matter of frustration, to others a matter of no interest at all.
A portion of the Faculty Minutes of December 5, 1951, reads:

There was some discussion as to the advisability of
student participation on the various faculty committees.
Mr. Leamer moved that the decision of student
participation be left to each committee. Miss Wilder
moved that this motion be tabled. Carried.

No reference to this motion appeared in future minutes.
The question of student power was the occasion of considerable debate
during the years, 1953-54. Wrote one editor:

Do student government organizations really have any
power or are they merely tools of the administration
helping to regulate student's activities...?

Our students do not wish to run the school. There are
people placed in positions to do that job. All we wish is
that we be heard; that our suggestions, ideas and efforts
be recognized. 44

A month later, an anonymous writer referred to student organizations and

These organizations are delegated power by the administration 
and their powers can, therefore, be limited by that

These organizations have not always taken full
advantage of their granted powers and have, in some
cases, failed to set up committees which could successfully
handle some of the problems which have arisen.
Parents would not let their children come to a college if
they knew that, as students, they would have the last word
in regulating their own activities, making their own rules,
and totally governing themselves. 45

Several members of the CCC did serve as members of the joint student-faculty
committee planning aspects of Cartwright Center including publications
offices, lounges, meeting rooms and a bookstore-all of which became parts of


Students and the University

the new building. And when the center opened in 1958, a permanent Student
Union Board of Control consisting of the dean of men, the dean of women, two
faculty members, and three students appointed by the CCC emerged to direct
union activities. 46
Meantime, women students organized the Women's Self-Governing
Association (WSGA) in the fall of 1948. Its stated purpose was "to regulate all
matters pertaining to women students." It claimed all women students as
members. Representatives came from the various academic divisions of the
institution. Activities included organizing social events, promoting etiquette,
publishing a handbook for freshmen girls, and sponsoring a big-little sister
program which included hiking and picnicking. While, according to its critics,
the CCC became increasingly moribund, the WSGA increased its activities. It
assumed responsibility for housemothers' teas, Good Fellowship Breakfasts,
and special luncheons for second semester freshmen. It also promoted Fun
Night and initiated a Songfest. In early 1953, the WSGA established a judiciary
committee to investigate dormitory rule violations and to administer penalties
through the head residents. The committee also helped to establish hours and
house rules. 47 In 1959, the WSGA affiliated with the Associated Women
Students, a national organization. Purposes of this association were:

To provide a means for self-government for women
students and to make, interpret, and enforce all rules and
regulations according to the powers delegated by the
college. 48

The group made rules for women students living both on and off campus.
Housemothers, landlords, and the Social Regulations Board presumably
enforced them.
In an attempt to broaden and strengthen student participation in governance,
the Campus Controls Council revised its constitution in 1957. The new
document raised the representation to twenty-five and required a 2.5
grade-point average for the president. In an effort to improve attendance at
meetings and to minimize tardiness, the constitution set down stricter rules.
The CCC spent much time deciding whether to dismiss members who violated
the rules. Aside from such issues, it helped plan the college's fiftieth
anniversary celebration, sought to change the school calendar so as to finish
earlier in the spring, and worked to make itself more responsive to student
requests by installing a suggestion box. In the early 1960's also, the CCC
devoted much time to the issues of library usage and to the acquisition of land
for a new physical education facility. It succeeded in obtaining longer weekend
hours in the library and found itself at odds with La Crosse Mayor Milo
Knutson over the price of the land for the new facility. The CCC also joined the
United Council of Wisconsin State College Student Governments in 1961. The
following year, the La Crosse unit was host to a state-wide United Council
meeting. It approved the United Council's recommendation that student
government should be responsible to the president of the college only and that
other persons or committees involved should be only advisory. 49 Approving the
recommendation was not the same as accomplishing the goal; but it was an
adumbration of things to come.


Students and the University

Subjected to criticism as being pro-administration in the mid-sixties, CCC
President Larry Brueggeman took this viewpoint:

The main purpose of the student government is to be a
liaison group between the student body and the school

We feel that it is not a belittling attribute for us to
compromise with the administration. In the long run we
feel that progress for the student body is more important
than short-lived prestige. By the same token, the
administration will compromise with the student government 
on policies which merit change.

Cooperation is an essential element in government. 50

The CCC became involved in the collection of information on national and state
legislation affecting students, the formulation of a dress code for various places
on the campus, and the establishment of an Apportionment Board of four
students and four faculty members which distributed student activity funds
among the various eligible organizations. It also successfully persuaded the
university administration to return to the practice of putting the names of the
instructors in the class schedule.51 By the mid-sixties the CCC became
increasingly active, particularly under the leadership of Herman Dustman.
Dustman told his fellow students:

I feel that the CCC can be the cohesive agent of student
expression. We have the respect of the administration,
faculty, and qualified CCC representatives, but what we
need most is student support and interest.

In the past the student government has spoken for you
as the student, but now it will act in your behalf. 52

The CCC constructed a teacher evaluation form intended "to improve the
instruction and academic caliber of the university," obtained a twenty-four
hour study period before final examinations, and set up a committee aimed at
helping to establish a campus radio station. The CCC president also became a
voting member of President Gates' Administrative Council. Gates and the CCC
tangled over policy governing speakers on the campus when the university
president refused to allow a representative of the Students for a Democratic
Society (SDS) to address a meeting of the Humanist Club on the grounds that
there was no faculty advisor present. Ultimately the Humanists held the
meeting in Cartwright Center. The event led to considerable debate among the
faculty, students, and administrative personnel and to the establishment of a
"speaker policy."53 And it foreshadowed further controversy which erupted
over the president's refusal to recognize the SDS.
The CCC also established a Grievance Committee "to listen to any grievance
brought before it and...attempt to direct and support the student in helping him
with his concern." The committee investigated several complaints including
one about instructors giving examinations at seven o'clock in the morning and


Students and the University

another about the distribution of failure slips in class. The committee got the
Administrative Council to change the latter policy by directing that the slips be
sent to parents or guardians instead. 54
With the cooperation of the newly-formed Faculty Senate, the CCC put
student representatives on several faculty committees including those on
undergraduate curriculum, student affairs, the library, the catalog, and honors
and scholarship. A reorganized Student Life Council also included four
students appointed by the CCC. 55

Student Coordinating Committee

For twenty years, the Campus Controls Council served as a focus for
students' social events. But in the last decade of the period it became
increasingly involved in campus policy by way of the Student Life Council,
faculty committees, and Student-Faculty boards of control. The hope to
increase student participation in university governance led to a series of
attempts to reorganize student government. The result of these efforts was a
centralized organization and the emergence of a coordinating committee. This
Student Coordinating Committee (SCC) later proposed the establishment of a
representative government in the spring of 1975. It all started in 1968 with the
beliefs of two CCC representatives, President Bill Parr and Larry French,
that such a move was necessary. Parr wrote in the Racquet that the CCC was
inadequate to handle issues developing in the late sixties such as due process in
student disciplinary cases, student conduct codes, and sponsorship of
university-wide campus events. He proposed a self-governing student

First, we must realize that self-rule is within our grasp.
This fact is demonstrated by the progress made by
students in other universities and in our own system, and
by the initial accomplishments of the CCC this year.
Second, we must accept the responsibility of making our
own decisions, rather than being satisfied with rule by
other adults. Finally, we must insure the validity of our
new government by electing persons we feel are best
qualified to represent us, by evaluating the services of
these elected representatives, and by maintaining a
continuing interest in what must be our own business. 56

Parr regarded the lack of student power on student-faculty boards a major
weakness of the CCC. His view was prophetic; for in the merger statute which
became law on July 9, 1974, the legislature and governor recognized primary
responsibility of students on such boards. Students moved swiftly to assume
that responsibility.
The new government form proposed in 1968 carried the name of the
Associated La Crosse Students (ALS). As had the La Crosse State Teachers
College Association of 1931, the ALS claimed all students as members. The
preamble to the constitution was a mixture of various thoughts:


Students and the University

We, the student body of Wisconsin State University-La
Crosse, seeking to provide an effective organization to
coordinate student affairs and advance the welfare of all
students, and recognizing that such an organization is
necessary in the building of a great university, do ordain
and establish this Constitution. 57

The new governance structure had a legislative branch, the senate, and, an
executive branch composed of the officers. The senate was to be elected at
large but in proportion to the enrollments within the three colleges of the
university: Education; Health, Recreation, and Physical Education; and Letters
and Science. Two advantages derived from this arrangement:

In the first place, on a very obvious level, it would
transform the student body into somewhat of a republic.
Individual students in various educational fields would
have their views more fully voiced. In the second place,
breaking student government down would be likely to
arouse more interest and hence, more participation. If
there are more students interested in student government,
it can respond more intelligently and be more representative. 58

Publication of the proposed constitution in the spring of 1968 brought
objections particularly to that section which empowered the senate to act as an
appeal board on decisions emanating from the Associated Women Students,
Interfraternity Council, Men's Inter-Residence Hall Council, and Panhellenic
Council. In the referendum which followed the student body rejected the
proposed constitution. Its proponents sought to make a point of the fact that
only 15% of the student body voted. 59
The CCC, operating under the previous charter, made a number of changes.
It deleted grade-point requirements for election to the body, changed the term
of office, and altered the duties of the officers. Any student seeking office or a
position as representative had only to sign up at the CCC office. Students
running for office would, at the least, become representatives on the council.
The old constitution was cut by over one-half. So simple was it to become a
representative that students flocked to run for office. As a result, the CCC
wrote the provision for a primary election back into the constitution. 60
While obtaining liberalized dormitory visiting hours, seeking the closing of
Pine Street during the school day, and promoting establishment of a
student-faculty Business Affairs Board, student leaders dreamed of a
governmental system that would assure them of a much more effective role in
university affairs. Formation of an ad hoc committee to develop a new student
government followed a conference at Lutherhaven by CCC representatives. The
committee submitted its report to President Gates in late 1968 over the
signature of CCC President Bill Parr. Parr wrote to Gates: "After many weeks
of study and discussion, we have defined the goals of student government,
isolated some basic problems, and arrived at tentative solutions." 61 The


Students and the University

authors of the report blamed the Campus Controls Council for lack of student
interest in governance; but they also maintained there would not be interest
until the governing group had "not only the opportunity but the responsibility
of making decisions that will directly affect university policy." Further, they
argued that the functions now performed by student-faculty boards such as
those for publications, student centers, and organizations, should be given to
student government. And they specifically requested that President Gates
grant that authority. 62
The new constitution of the United Students' Association (USA) provided for
three branches of student governance; legislative, executive, and judicial. It
claimed the customary membership-all the student body-and it paid the
usual deference to the derivation of its authority-its members, the university
president, and the regents. There were to be three vice-presidents, one each in
the areas of academic affairs, activities, and communications. The student
court was to consist of five appointed judges. Commissions of finance,
publications, and activities were to function as replacements for three
student-faculty boards. Council president Parr urged student support of the
new proposal and added:

The new constitution offers the students better repre-
sentation, more responsibility, and a more effective
administrative structure, but it doesn't guarantee any-
thing. Only we, the students, can cause our voices to be a
significant influence in university policy making.
...The United Students' Association is an organization
created by students and existing at the pleasure of the
students who are its members. Its purposes are to define
and express opinion and to take action accordingly. 63

Apparently Parr did not convince most of his fellow students of the importance
of the proposal; only eight percent of them voted in the referendum of April 1,
1969. However, the new constitution received approval by a vote of 428 to 35. 64
Perhaps a different date for the referendum would have been more salubrious.
Elections held the following month seemed to put the new governance
structure into operation. But in their anxiety and hope to create an appropriate
instrument, the framers of the constitution neglected to provide for approval by
the university president. There were some other provisos unacceptable to him.
Lurking in the background was administrative concern over student unrest
throughout the United States in these years. The concomitant demands for
student power and student control over several areas of university life were
sources of uneasiness for members of the local administration. The convulsions
that shook Berkeley and San Francisco State College were of recent memory.
Student distaste for the Vietnam war and concerns for starving Biafrans were
very real. Closer to home, unhappy black students at Oshkosh wrecked
equipment in the administrative building. Remembrance of the controversy
aroused over President Gates' refusal to recognize the Students for a
Democratic Society was still fresh in the minds of many. The battle between the
generations of the young and the old seemed joined throughout the country.


Students and the University

Gates wanted no part of student demonstrations and he withheld any decisions
for making changes in the new governance structure until the following fall.
Apparently he anticipated unfavorable student reaction to modifications made
too soon.Then in the fall of 1969, Student Affairs Dean David Hogue made
several recommendations for modification of the new constitution. Among
these was the basic contention that student government was the responsibility
of the office of student affairs. Beyond that, the changes called for seating the
student affairs deans as ex officio advisory members on the Executive Board
provided for in the constitution, suggested that candidates for offices ought to
be full time students, and called for a careful look at the new concept of the
judicial branch. The dean also regarded as extreme the provision that at least
ten percent of the student body had to sign a petition to amend the constitution.
He also called attention to the lack of provision for presidential approval and
questioned the legality of having closed meetings. 65
Newly-elected USA President Joel Helke responded:

I believe the changes made can be accepted. But the tone
of the constitution would read like a committee of the Dean
of Students. I don't believe that this is the intention, but
one could interpret it as such.
The changes can be accepted if the student government
wishes to accept a student constitution that was not
written by students. If they feel that they can best
represent their constituency through a governmental form
that was arbitrarily given to them, then that is what will
happen. If they will accept a constitution which reads
nothing like what the students overwhelmingly ratified, if
they can operate under such conditions and represent the
student to the best of their ability, then we shall
continue. 66

Compounding Helke's dissatisfaction with the proposed changes was his
inability to interest students in serving on student-faculty boards and
committees. He also wanted students to be "loyal" to him and to the new
student government. Loyalty to the broader concept of student government ran
counter to the tendencies of most La Crosse students over the years who have
sought participation in university life through Greek letter organizations,
various clubs, dormitory organizations, and the like. To those interested in
creating a single broadly-based organization, the lack of participation in
government and on committees was evidence of student apathy, a subject for
debate through the decades. It is probable that what was viewed as apathy was
actually resistance to the idea that a single agency, student government, should
speak for the student body. Students disliked the idea that such an entity might
usurp the functions of their more intimate organizations.
When the USA met on September 23, seventeen of nineteen representatives
present resigned. According to the newspaper the resignations

resulted from a dissatisfaction with editorial changes of


Students and the University

the U.S.A. constitution as dictated by President Gates and
by indications by President Gates of a lack of respect for
the concept of elected student representatives. 67

A month later, the paper added

The reason[s] for the mass resignation [were]...lack of
student support, a lack of respect given to student
government, and a lack of understanding between
administrative people and students. 68

The resignations prompted a rally of about 800 students where several of them,
including former representatives and officers, spoke. Dean Hogue appeared on
behalf of the administration and agreed to begin negotiations with a group of
interested students in an attempt to resolve the differences. Accepted changes
liberalized the amendment process and decreed that student government was
to be a recommending not a policy-making organization. In a referendum that
followed, the student body turned down the altered charter. 69
The Racquet then initiated a campaign to provide for direct election of
students to student-faculty boards. Editor Janel Bladow suggested such an
arrangement would at least allow student voices to be heard even though there
was no formal governing structure. And, she added:

A committee composed of elected students representing
all WSU-L students on the student-faculty boards is the
only effective way we will have a voice in the
administration of this campus. Past events have proven,
without a doubt, that nothing else will work. Since
student-faculty boards do more governing, then why not
elect our governors rather than have the administration
pick them? 70

The student body approved this proposal in the referendum that followed, and
the Student Affairs Office arranged for the necessary elections. In May of 1970,
a third referendum approved establishment of a Student Coordinating
Committee (SCC) made up of student representatives from the various boards
and faculty committees. Its constitution was a model of brevity.
An accompanying development was the gradual dissolution of the
Association of Women Students (AWS). The restructuring of the Student
Affairs Office in 1968, the developing of a Housing Office, the formation of a
Panhellenic Council, the increasing roles of the Student Centers Board and the
Activities Offices all contributed to the demise of AWS. Beyond all that, the
Gamma Sigma Sigma sorority and the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity assumed
help-service functions previously an activity of the Association. Behind much of
this change, too, was the steady erosion of the practice of segregation of the
sexes and the affirmative force of the new majority law. 71
The Student Coordinating Committee did not function well until 1971. It had
some of the usual problems endemic to student governance. Foremost was the


Students and the University

perennial one of getting sufficient student interest in participating. Another
persistent concern was effectively responding to student needs and aspirations
and conveying those to the faculty and administration. Poor student attendance
at board and committee meetings continued to plague the new effort. By 1972,
students had memberships on eleven boards and eighteen faculty committees.
The Faculty Senate actively encouraged more student participation, and many
of its members openly stated that students could exercise much more influence
in university affairs if they persisted. One important though trying way was to
attend all board and committee meetings. 72
The statute which merged the two systems of higher education in Wisconsin
took cognizance of the changing position of students. In the background of this
recognition were such factors as the new majority law and the consequent
disappearance of the controversial practice of in loco parentis, the appearance
of co-educational dormitories, and the granting of permission to consume
alcoholic beverages on campus. Regarding students, the statute reads:

The students of each institution or campus subject to be
responsibilities and powers of the board, the president,
the chancellor and the faculty shall be active participants
in the immediate governance of and policy development
for such institutions. As such, students shall have primary
responsibility for the formulation and review of policies
concerning student life, services and interests. Students in
consultation with the chancellor and subject to the final
confirmation of the board shall have the responsibility for
the disposition of those student fees which constitute
substantial support for campus student activities. The
students of each institution or campus shall have the right
to organize themselves in a manner they determine and to
select their representatives to participate in institutional
governance. 73

Under the leadership of SCC President James Hill, the student body once again
undertook to establish a representative government. The constitution adopted
by a March, 1975, referendum, provided, as had its two predecessors, that all
students duly-enrolled were members of the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Student Association. It also resembled the charter of 1969 which had failed
ratification in that it provided for three branches-legislative, executive, and
judicial. The preamble is exactly the same except for the changed name of the

We, the students of the University of Wisconsin - La
Crosse, seeking to provide an effective means by which we
may promote, protect, and defend our interest, and
improve our university through a united effort do ordain
and establish this constitution. 74

Gone, however, is any reference to the derivation of power from boards,


Students and the University

presidents, student affairs offices or any other such agency. Gone, too, are
references to specific boards, commissions, activities, and organizations save
for the provision that the Resident Hall Association shall have two ex-officio
members of the Student Senate selected in a manner determined by its
governing board. Some immediate results of the new dispensation were the
disbandment of the SCC, the dissolution of the Student Life Council, and the
control of all boards by student majorities. 75


Students and the University


1. Racquet (annual), 1916-1929, passim.
2. Student Handbooks (also titled The Indian or Indian Handbook), 1924-34, ARC, UW-L.
3. See Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., 1921-1922, p. 16.
4. Racquet (newspaper), May 3, 1916.
5. La Crosse Tribune, Apr. 22, 1940.
6. Linda Jean Thompson, "Emma Lou Wilder: She Came to Teach" (master's thesis, Wisconsin
State University, La Crosse, 1970).
7. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1910, p. 7.
8. Report of the Committee Appointed to Investigate the Needs For a Women's Dormitory at the
La Crosse Normal School, Feb. 14, 1927, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
9. La Crosse Tribune, Apr. 24, 1940.
10. Questionnaire reply from Milford A. Cowley.
11. Faculty Minutes, Sept. 10, 1945.
12. La Crosse Alumnus, Fall, 1971. See also Racquet (newspaper), Feb. 21, 1947.
13. Carol J. Bassuener, "The Development of Student Affairs: La Crosse State Normal School to
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse" (master's thesis, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse,
1972). See also Patricia Ann Mertens, "Edith J. Cartwright: Dean Among Deans" (master's
thesis, Wisconsin State University, La Crosse, 1971).
14. Racquet (newspaper), May 29, 1947.
15. See, ibid., Dec. 14, 1951; La Crosse (annual) 1942-1957, passim; and Basseuner, p. 36.
16. Named after Myrtle Trowbridge (history, 1918-1954), Betty Baird (physical education, 1947-
1964), Anna Wentz (biology, 1920-1948), Alice Drake (elementary education, 1931-1962), Rena
Angell (art, 1912-1951), and Bessie Bell Hutchison (English, 1909-1936) respectively. The first
residence hall carried the name of Emma Lou Wilder (physical education, 1921-1956). The
dates are the years of appointments at La Crosse.
17. The men's halls were named after Orris O. White (English, 1914-1952), William Laux (history,
1922-1963), David O. Coate (English, 1909-1938), and Albert H. Sanford (history, 1909-1936),
respectively. See Wisconsin State University at La Crosse, General Catalog, 1970-1972, p. 36.
18. Wisconsin State College at La Crosse, Wisconsin, Catalog, 1958-1960, p. 23. See also ibid.,
1952-1954, pp. 16-17.
19. La Crosse Tribune, July 16, 1944. I am indebted to Marjorie (McGrath) Von Arx, R.N., for
much of the information in this section. Mrs. Von Arx wrote a history of the health service at La
Crosse in 1967. It is in manuscript form in the Area Research Center.
20. Marjorie Von Arx, "History of the Health Service, Wisconsin State University, La Crosse,
Wisconsin" (1967).
21. Ibid., pp. 7-10.
22. Ibid., pp. 10-12. See also Wisconsin State College at La Crosse, Wisconsin, Catalog, 1952-54,
pp. 12-13, and ibid., 1958-1960, p. 17.
23. Von Arx, pp. 13-16.
24. Named after geographer Clayton A. Whitney, long-time faculty member and vice-president of
the institution.
25. Racquet (newspaper), Fall, 1911.
26. Ibid., pp. 15, 20-21, and 27.
27. Racquet (annual), 1911, p. 5.
28. Ibid., p. 7.
29. Ibid., pp. 76-77.
30. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 10, 1911, and Faculty Minutes, May 16, 1910.
31. Racquet (annual), 1920, pp. 49 and 76, and Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 15, 1919.
32. Racquet (newspaper), Jan. 21, 1920.
33. Faculty Minutes, Jan. 14, 1920, Mar. 3, 1920, and May 12, 1920. See also Racquet (newspaper), 
Apr. 28, 1920, and Sept. 29, 1920.
34. Racquet, Dec. 7, 1921, Jan. 18, 1922, and Feb. 2, 1921.
35. Ibid., Feb. 17, 1927, May 24, 1928, and Jan. 16, 1931. Racquet (annual), 1929, p. 92.
36. Racquet (newspaper), Jan. 16, 1931, Feb. 20, 1931, Apr. 28, 1933, Nov. 3, 1933, Jan. 24, 1935,
and Mar. 12, 1937. For a copy of the constitution see Clifford R. Heise, "The Development of
and Trends in Student Governance at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1909-1973"
(University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1973), Appendix B.


Students and the University

37. Racquet (newspaper), May 4, 1937, Mar. 21, 1941, and Oct. 14, 1942.
38. La Crosse (annual), 1941, p. 50. See also Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 12, 1937, May 26, 1939,
Feb. 16, 1940, and Feb. 21, 1941.
39. Racquet (newspaper), Dec. 30, 1945, and Mar. 2, 1945. See also Heise, p. 57.
40. For the various constitutions see Heise, pp. 139-174. See also La Crosse (annual), 1947, p. 82;
Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 21, 1947, and May 16, 1947; and Heise, p. 60.
41. Racquet (newspaper), Oct. 22, 1948. See also La Crosse (annual), 1948, p. 82, and Racquet
(newspaper), Sept. 24, 1947, Sept. 15, 1947, Nov. 24, 1947, Oct. 8, 1948, and Feb. 16, 1949.
42. Ashley Ellefson quoted in Heise, p. 65. See also Racquet (newspaper), Sept. 23, 1949, Sept. 21,
1949, May 18, 1950, and May 11, 1950.
43. Racquet (newspaper), Apr. 5, 1951, Oct. 18, 1951, Nov. 1, 1951, and Feb. 21, 1952.
44. Ibid, Apr. 24, 1953.
45. Ibid., May 29, 1953.
46. Ibid., Oct. 22, 1955, and Feb. 19, 1959.
47. Ibid., Sept. 10, 1959. See also ibid., Sept. 22, 1948; Indian Handbook, 1949-1950, p. 19; and
La Crosse (annual), 1951, p. 156.
48. Racquet (newspaper), Sept. 10, 1959. See also ibid., Sept. 22, 1948; Indian Handbook,
1949-1950, p. 19; and La Crosse (annual), 1951, p. 156.
49. Racquet (newspaper), Apr. 16, 1959, Feb. 27, 1958, Nov. 19, 1959, Mar. 5, 1962, Nov. 14, 1963;
and La Crosse (annual), 1963, p. 30.
50. Racquet (newspaper), May 2, 1963.
51. Ibid., May 14, 1964, Dec. 10, 1964, and Nov. 5, 1964. See also Heise, p. 74. When the university 
adopted the practice of pre-registration in the spring semester for the following fall, the
schedule omitted names of instructors for a variety of reasons, none of them popular with the
student body. One purpose was to achieve balanced class enrollments. The system led to
massive program changes in the fall.
52. Racquet (newspaper), Sept. 23, 1965.
53. Ibid., May 14, 1966, Jan. 13, 1966, Feb. 24, 1966, and Dec. 15, 1966. See also CCC Minutes,
Oct. 25, 1965, and Faculty Minutes,May 24, 1966.
54. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 10, 1966.
55. CCC Minutes, Oct. 10, 1967, and Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 10, 1967.
56. Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 1, 1968. See also ibid., Mar. 8, 1968.
57. Heise, p. 176.
58. Ibid., p. 80.
59. Ibid., Apr. 26, 1968, and May 3, 1968. See also ibid., Summer, 1968, and Heise, p. 82.
60. Racquet (newspaper), May 10, 1968, and May 17, 1968.
61. Heise, p. 197. Racquet (newspaper), Oct. 4, 1968, Feb. 14, 1969. See also CCC Minutes, Sept.
9, 1968, Feb. 18, 1969, and Mar. 25, 1969.
62. Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Student Government Constitution, Dec. 20, 1968.
63. Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 14, 1969.
64. Ibid., Apr. 14, 1969, and Apr. 18, 1969.
65. Ibid., Sept. 19, 1969.
66. Ibid.
67. Ibid., Sept. 26, 1969.
68. Ibid., Oct. 17, 1969.
69. Ibid., and Heise, pp. 88-90.
70. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 17, 1969, and Heise, p. 92.
71. Memo from Hogue to Gates, Nov. 12, 1969, Student Affairs Office, UW-L. See also Racquet
(newspaper), Oct. 31, 1969, and Heise, p. 94.
72. See the Indian Handbook, 1972-1973, pp. 49-53, for the listing of student-faculty boards and
faculty committees on which students sat as full voting members.
73. Chapter 36, Laws of 1973, University of Wisconsin System.
74. Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 6, 1975, and Mar. 13, 1975.
75. An ad hoc committee consisting of the vice-chancellor, five faculty members, and five students
worked out the details of this arrangement. The Faculty Senate concurred in the action in the
spring of 1975. See Senate Minutes, Mar. 20, 1975.



Student Life and Letters

Within the first two years of the normal's existence the student body, aided
by a cooperative faculty, organized several extra class activities. For example,
both the student newspaper and the annual appeared in 1910. These
publications recorded a multitude of events and, together with other sources,
supply the materials upon which the historian depends to recreate the
university's past. Their staffs lavished much attention on organized activities of
all sorts.
The first student organization, the Eclectic Club for men, appeared in the
fall of 1909. It was, so the annual read, "destined to continue as long as the
school stands." The following year, students and faculty interested in
dramatics formed the Buskin Club. Also during the first two years the Athletic
Association, Oratorial Association, Girls' Glee Club, YWCA  chapter,
Sapphonian (women's literary society), and the school orchestra emerged.
Three groups established in 1910 survived only that year-Tri Delta (a second
women's literary society), a women's Social Ethics Club and the Heavyweight
Club of nine women and five men. Alpha Phi Pi for women debators also
appeared in 1910. Typically, all of these groups had four or five
officers-president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and, sometimes, a
sergeant-at-arms. 1

The Eclectic Club was the first student organization.


Student Life and Letters

During the first year the normal limited its inter-collegiate athletics activities
to basketball, track, and baseball. In the fall of 1909 a city newspaper headlined
wistfully that "the Normal Has No Football Team" but that it would have a
basketball team whose members had had previous experience. Coached by a
townsman, Alfred Mueller, the team compiled a 9-2 record the first year and
took the state normal school crown the second year. Mueller also coached the
women's senior basketball team. "Although the girls played no outside
games," the annual reported, "the merest observer could see that had the girls
made a tour of the state championship would easily have been theirs." 2
Members of this first team were Elizabeth Hauser (Onalaska), Winifred Keith
(Galesville), Minnie Knight (La Crosse), Josephine Mahoney (La Crosse), Elsie
Newmeister (Alma), Norma Pelunek (Alma), and Olga Steig (Whitehall). The
normal also fielded a track team, whose high jumper topped five feet five and
one-half inches, and put together a baseball team coached by President Cotton.
Pitcher Sam Sloggy from Ontario "caused many a victim to come forward with
a Spaulding crutch and hopelessly punch holes in the weather." 3
By the end of the first decade several of the original groups had disappeared
or had been absorbed into others; new ones appeared, some for only a year or
so; others, new and old, now and then altered, persisted through the years.
Thus, while the Social Ethics Club, the Heavyweight Club, and Tri Delta
disappeared, the Eclectic and Websterian Clubs joined to form the Men's
Debating Society. And the Girls Glee Club together with the Mozart Club
(1911-1916) became a single women's glee club. Alpha Phi Pi changed to the
Forum until 1930 when it resumed its original designation. Organizations that
formed and disbanded within the decade were two women's singing

The Heavyweight Club lasted just one year (1910-11).


Student Life and Letters

groups-the Triolet and Treble Clef Clubs (1918-1919)-Der Deutsche Klub
(1911-1913), Der Deutsche Verein (1916-1917), the La Crosse Science Club
(1912-1914), the Kickapoogians (1911-1917), the YMCA (1914-1917), the
Socialist Study Club (1915-1916), and the Apollo Club (1913-1917). Of the early
groups persisting from the first ten years the Buskin Club (1910-1937), the
YWCA (1910-1937), the Orchestra (from 1910), the Band, organized in 1913 and
led by President Cotton, Alpha Phi Pi (1910-1961), the Physical Education Club
(1913), and women's singing groups under various names are prime
examples. 4
A signally important part of student life over the years was the appearance
on campus of well-known personalities from the world of entertainment,
science, literature, the arts, and politics. Beginning in the first year, a series of
greats and near greats performed on the stage of Main Hall and often met with
small groups in class and out. As early as February, 1910, the faculty
established an Entertainment Committee of six members pledged "to bring to
the student body and people of La Crosse who care for the best things, such
entertainments as have distinct educational and cultural value." 5 The
committee designated the presentations as lectures and concerts, later the
name assigned to the committee. Collectively the total offerings made up the
lecture course. 6 The Lectures and Concerts Committee persevered through
the years as a faculty group with student representation. In 1976, it became a
student committee with faculty representation.
Rounding out the opportunities for extra-class activities for the first students
were several musical organizations earlier noted (band, orchestra, glee clubs,
and small special singing groups), theatre whose participants were members of
the venerable Buskin Club, and debate which in the first decade enjoyed the
esteem customarily associated with major sports. For some years debaters who
performed exceptionally well received letters. 7
As the institution developed during the next half-century from normal school
to college to university the various student activities grew with it. The major
publications continued to be the main sources of information on student life
such as the numerous special clubs and societies which emerged. Local
fraternities and sororities established in the thirties and forties became
affiliates of national brotherhoods in the sixties and were joined by new ones.
The diversity of intramural activities attracted hundreds of students daily, and
the school fielded competitive intercollegiate teams in football, basketball,
baseball, track, gymnastics, tennis, golf, swimming, and cross country.
Women's athletics in campus competition date from the beginning;
intercollegiate women's athletics are of a more recent date.


Of the publications, the annual was a consistently valuable source of
information on faculty, students, their organizations, and athletic activities
particularly. The format has changed somewhat in recent years; photography is
used to emphasize student life with a diminished accent on faculty.
The newspaper originally appeared in magazine form but changed format in
1923, complete with headlines, editorial opinions, and increased advertising.


Student Life and Letters

From time to time the paper received awards for its format and coverage of
campus events. In the late sixties, the Racquet became increasingly
"issue-oriented" during the administration of President Gates as noted
elsewhere. The newspaper dated December 12, 1969, included an article
entitled "The Student is Nigger." It was but one of several items including
poetry, cartooning, a satirical column by "Doc Gilligan," and the use of
four-letter words which led to confrontation with Gates. Ultimately, the board
of regents sided with the president in reprimanding the editor and others. The
incident resulted in the placement of the newspaper under the supervision of
the Mass Communications Department. 8
In addition to the annual and the newspaper, students produced several
other publications. The Scribbler, published twice during the 1922-23 school
year by the Scribbler Society, survived only that year. It contained "stories,
poems and other literary features." First Person Plural appeared in one issue
in May, 1940, selling for fifteen cents. It featured a half-dozen poems, some
short stores, and several questionable comments on doodling. Students issued
the first number of a third literary publication, The Fledgling, in October of
1947. The last number appeared in the winter of 1969. Published sporadically,
The Fledgling was small in size and had few contributors. The issue of
December, 1964, was a stencilled version. Among other student literary efforts
were Rough Draft (1941), Rick Rack (1942), Pot-Pourri (1947), Quill
(1963-1965), and Talon (1973-1975). The first three of those were single


Far more students became involved in clubs and societies than in
publications. Added to the early clubs and societies were numerous others of
varying duration. Of brief life were a women's singing group, the Triolet Club
(1918-1919), three tennis clubs (1920-1924), a women's swimming group, the
Trident, which joined the Women's Athletic Association, and the Philomatheans, 
about which the annual for 1924 noted:

The men's debating societies in the past have been
short-lived. Will the Philomatheans die soon, too? NO!
The spirit of the Philomatheans indicates that the society
will endure forever. Already it has passed successfully
through two years of life. 9

As events turned out those were the only two years of its life.
Other organizations of short existence were the Jeffersonians (1923-1928),
which studied parliamentary procedure, the men's and women's leagues which
gave way to student government, the Senate (1926-1927) for intercampus
debate, the Booster Club (1920-1922), and the College Club (1920-1923) which
served the non-teacher training students who also carried the sobriquet of
"college punks," bestowed on them by fellow students. Faced with a regents'


Student Life and Letters

that students who do not intend to teach shall be allowed
to enter the several schools on payment of the fees
prescribed by the Board, but no classes shall be offered in
any school, and no class shall be organized in any school
for students who do not intend to teach...,

the College Club members held a formal dance to commemorate the club's
demise after having previously decided to "organize and hang on for the rest of
their days." 10
The inevitable "L" Club appeared in early 1920. After its formation the
faculty approved the awarding of letters "only to participants in interscholastic
athletic contests and in contests of the Wisconsin Forensic League." 11 In 1926
the faculty authorized awarding letters to alternates on the debate team. Nine
years later, however, it accepted a committee recommendation

that L's be awarded to individuals for actual inter-collegiate 
participation only [and] that, insofar as the block
L is traditionally accepted as an inter-collegiate athletic
award, there shall be no infringement on design or any
symbol used by individuals or organizations, which might
be mistaken for the tradition block L. 12

Henceforth, only those who participated in intercollegiate athletics received

Organizations associated with particular disciplines and departments grew
as the institution broadened and enriched its curriculum. Two high school
teachers groups, formed in the early 1920's, joined to become the Secondary
Education Club (1930-1956). A 4-H Club founded during the 1929-1930 school
year went by the various names of Rural Club (1932) and Country Life and
Rural Life (1940's). It became Chi Lambda Chi in the mid-fifties. Formation of
the Physical Education Club (1913-1914) immediately followed the selection of
La Crosse as the normal to offer that specialty. Designated a majors club in the
1950's, it represents the largest continuous entity of its kind in the institution's
history. A History Club, inaugurated in the spring of 1926, became the Foreign
Relations Club between 1933 and 1939. History groups have not done well in
the last generation. The Herodotus Club (1968) and the Association of History
Students (1975) represented two revival efforts. Another of the first generation
groups was the Science Club organized by long-time faculty members Theodore
Rovang, Oren Frazee, James Fairchild, and Adolph Bernhard in 1927. It lasted
for sixteen years. Several more discrete groups reflecting specialized interests
emerged to replace it-biology (1957-1958), geography (1968), and the
American Chemical Society (1969). Other departmental societies included
economics (1961), art (1960), sociology (1963), mass communications (1974),
health majors (1973), social work (1970) and recreation majors (1962). Foreign
language clubs have lacked continuity. For example, Los Espanoles (1974) had
several predecessors over the years-La Sociedad Hispanica (1918-1922), El


Student Life and Letters

Club Espanol (1956-1957), and Los Parlanchines (1958-1963). Le Cercle
Francais (1942-1943), reactivated in the 1957-1958 school year, endured for
seven years.
Several other groups associated with academic areas emerged during the last
generation. Three of these grew out of the elementary education program-the
JEKS (1958-1962), a club for junior elementary students originally but changed
to freshman and sophomore students; the Association for Childhood Education
International (1957-1962); and the Drakels (1957-1964). The Drakels, so named
in honor of Professor Alice Drake who was on the faculty for thirty-one years,
was unique in that the membership came from experienced elementary
teachers returning to the campus for further study. A Specials Club (1939-1943)
formed of non-teacher training students was a wartime victim of diminished
enrollments. Of more recent vintage are PEMM (Physical Education Majors
and Minors, 1970), and the Students Physical Therapy Organization at La
Crosse (SPTOL, 1974).


Besides featuring numerous special clubs and societies, La Crosse has been a
mecca for organizations associated with religion generally and with particular
religious denominations. Of the earliest ones, the YWCA (1910-1937) lasted
longest. A YMCA chapter fared less well (1914-1917). In the early thirties
appeared a short-lived Lutheran Club (1930-1933), a Newman Club
(1929-1933), and a Presbyterian-sponsored "Graduate" Club (1931-1933).
Sequential to these initial sporadic efforts at religiously-oriented clubs were
several persistent and successful endeavors. One of the most durable has been
the Lutheran Student Association of America organized in 1940 which, since
1965, has been an integral part of the Lutheran Campus Center. Another
long-lived group, the Catholic Newman Club, officially recognized in 1939, has
housed its worship services and other activities in the Roncalli Newman Center
since the spring of 1964. A predecessor was the Gibbons Club for Catholic
women students which was active in the 1920's. Founded in 1954, the
International Association of Lutheran Students (Gamma Delta) "was formed to
coordinate some of the activities of the Lutheran Church with the lives of
university students." 13 Contemporary successor to this association is the
Lutheran Collegians Wisconsin Synod (from 1967) which established a center,
chapel, and campus pastorate for students of that persuasion. Two
denominational groups which appeared in the 1940's were the Wesley
Methodist Foundation (1946) and the Congregational Club (1947). Presbyterians 
organized the Pres. Club during the 1952-1953 school year and the First
Baptists formed the Judson Club (1956-1963). The Canterbury Club
(Episcopalian), initiated in 1957, appeared in the records until 1965. Other
religiously-oriented organizations of recent date include the Bahai Club (1968),
Campus Bible Study (1960), Campus Crusade for Christ (1970), Christian
Science (1972), and Eckankar (1974).
The spirit of ecumenism prevailing in some quarters of Christendom in the
fifties and sixties encouraged unified efforts among campus denominations.


Student Life and Letters

Examples of such efforts were the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship
(1959-1971) and the Inter-Religious Council (1960-1967). In a similar
demonstration of unity, the Wesley Foundation, the Disciples of Christ, the
Evangelical United Brethren (Moravian), the United Presbyterian Church, and
the United Church of Christ formed the United Campus Ministry. The
Ministry's Center, located on the corner of 17th and State Streets, opened
during the school year, 1966-1967. Capping efforts at unified activities was the
formation of the Ecumenical Christian Ministry from the Lutheran Campus
Center, the Newman Center, and the United Campus Ministry. One project
supported by this group was a free food store for students and needy
townspeople. Another project was the presentation of a course in theology by
three campus ministers, Father James Lane, Reverend Gary Putnam, and
Pastor Norman Erickson. Two other related groups were Cana, established in
1957 for Catholic married couples, and the Humanists (1964-1966).

Special Interest
Within the campus community of the last generation numerous other special
interest groups emerged over the years, some of them of brief tenure, others
persevering to the present. Among those of short duration were a Jazz Club
(1958), United World Federalists (1960), Tau Gamma or Town Girls
(1964-1965), the Alethean Society for philosophical discussions (1967-1968),
and the Young Americans for Freedom (1968). Several others which appeared
in the last one and one-half decades have had varying degrees of durability.
Examples of these are the Wivettes, a social and recreational group of
students' wives (1962-1971), the Young Republicans (since 1961), the Young
Democrats (since 1963), Campus Vets (since 1959), and the Circle K, Kiwanis
Club (1963-1968).
The Coulee Trekkers, organized in 1956 to sponsor "outdoor and indoor
activities consisting of overnights, lessons in horsemanship, canoeing, ski
trips, skating parties, archery, hosteling, camping, hikes and hayrides" has
remained a very active group. Among relatively new groups still active at this
writing are the Afro-American Association (1968), International Students
Organization (1962), Latino Student Organization, Campus Guild for Girl
Scouts (1971), and the United Native American Council (1970). Blue Key,
organized "to respect and preserve the established institutions of society and
the principles of good citizenship," appeared in the spring of 1967. Women
faculty and students, anticipating an eventual chapter in Mortar Board,
organized Ratom for outstanding juniors in 1964, "to promote college loyalty,
to advance the spirit of service and fellowship among our college women...and
to stimulate and develop a finer type of college women." 14

Greek Letter
Another significant grouping of organizations prominent in student life have
been the Greek letter societies. On the La Crosse campus such societies
historically divided into fraternal, honorary, and service entities. By far the


Student Life and Letters

greater number of such groups emerged after 1930. In some instances societies
established during the early years later evolved into Greek organizations. In
other instances local fraternities and sororities became chapters in national
groups. Chapters of still other national groups formed without predecessors.
The first group to carry Greek letter designation was the local general sorority,
Phi Sigma Chi, organized in 1924. Two years later men physical education
faculty and students initiated NU chapter of Phi Epsilon Kappa. Long-term
faculty members Hans Reuter and Leon Miller were charter members.
By 1930, Phi Sigma Chi became Delta Psi Kappa, women's national honorary
in physical education. In that year also two local sororities evolved from
established organizations. The Sapphonian Literary Society (1910) became
Sigma Lambda Sigma and the Forum Literary Society for women's debate
resumed its original name, Alpha Phi Pi. In 1961 the latter became a chapter of
the first national social sorority at La Crosse, Alpha Xi Delta. From these
modest beginnings has derived the present array of fraternal groups. Among
professional honoraries Delta Sigma Pi in business administration (1969) and
Phi Gamma Nu for women in business (1974) have joined the two earlier similar
societies in physical education. Other honoraries include Eta Phi Alpha, (arts,
letters and sciences, 1952), Eta Sigma Gamma (health sciences), Kappa Delta
Pi (teacher education, 1930), Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish, 1964), Sigma Xi
(scientific research) and Sigma Lambda Sigma (recreation, 1968). Other similar
groups sometimes dubbed "recognition" societies included Alpha Psi Omega,
the local chapter of which derived from the Buskin dramatic club in 1933, Pi
Kappa Delta (forensics, 1968), Sigma Zeta (natural sciences and mathematics), 
and Upsilon Pi Epsilon (computer science, 1974).

Alpha Phi Pi (1911), organized as a women's debating society in 1910, became the
first national social sorority at La Crosse in 1961.


Student Life and Letters

General or social fraternities numbered eleven in 1975. They continued to
flourish in the late sixties and early seventies despite declining membership.
Over the years these societies have been involved in myriad activities on and off
campus. Homecoming, "Powder Puff" Olympics, the Beta variety show, Help
Week and Winter Carnival in addition to the usual dances and parties at
appropriate times were but a few on-campus affairs. Off-campus members of
fraternities and sororities have taken part in fund-raisings, visits to
convalescent homes and hospitals, donations of blood to the Red Cross,
sponsorship of parties for children at Halloween and Christmas, and a host of
other worthy projects.
All eleven Greek letter societies extant in 1975 were chapters of national
groups. Only two did not have predecessors on campus - Delta Sigma Phi
fraternity (1965) and Phi Mu sorority (1974). Of the other fraternities Beta
Sigma Chi (1934) became Sigma Pi (1971), and Alpha Delta Theta (1938)
became Phi Sigma Epsilon (1960). Both of those became inactive from 1940 to
1946. Among the remaining three fraternities, Lambda Tau Lambda (1949)
became Sigma Tau Gamma, Sigma Zeta Phi (1953) affiliated with Tau Kappa
Epsilon (1962), and Phi Kappa Epsilon (1935) joined Alpha Kappa Lambda
(1962). The four local sororities also became chapters of national
societies-Alpha Phi Pi (1910) of Alpha Xi Delta (1961), Sigma Lambda Sigma
(1930) of Alpha Omicron Pi (1961), Lambda Sigma Chi (1935) of Delta Zeta
(1962), and Iota Xi Omega (1951) of Alpha Phi (1963). The locals had originated
as women's groups interested in debate, literature, fine arts, and music
In 1954 campus sorority representatives established the Inter-Sorority
Council to promote unity and cooperation among the various groups
participating. In the next years this council co-sponsored Christmas balls,
established scholarships, and acted as coordinator of "pledge week, rushing,
Panhell Ball, and all other general sorority functions." After joining the
National Panhellenic Council in 1962 the Inter-Sorority Council increased its
activities. In the last decade the Panhellenic Council sponsored "Inspiration
Week," published rush booklets, played host to state Panhellenic conferences,
solicited funds for the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, and participated in the
March of Dimes and Toys for Tots campaigns. The Panhellenic Council's male
counterpart, the Greek Presidents' Association (1973), originally was
established as the Interfraternity Council in 1954. This fraternal group has had
functions and activities similar to those of the Panhellenic Council. Among
other events, it sponsored Greek Week featuring various athletic contests,
organized the Homecoming for 1974, held smokers, and took on a community
project of cleaning Hixon Forest Park.
Four Greek letter groups which became inactive after varying lengths of time
were Pi Tau Epsilon sorority (1944-1965), Gamma Delta religious fraternity
(1948-1966), Sigma Delta Psi honorary athletic fraternity, and Chi Lambda Chi
(1936-1939). The last of these four, originating as a rural and country life club,
became inactive a second time following a year of resuscitation in 1958. Two
Greek service groups appearing in the sixties were Alpha Phi Omega (1962), for
students formerly associated with the Boy Scouts, and Gamma Sigma Sigma
open to all women. 15


Student Life and Letters

The Arts
Beyond the social, departmental, and fraternal groups numerous other
organized activities which have flourished through the decades as previously
noted include lectures and concerts, music, theatre, and debate.

Lectures and Concerts

The committee which brought lectures and entertainment to the campus for
presentation in the Main Hall auditorium was already at work by January of
1910. Organized as a non-profit group, it sold season tickets to students,
faculty, and townspeople alike. By 1933, partly because there was no longer
room in the auditorium for off-campus persons, the then Lectures and
Entertainment Committee ceased to offer an annual program. Students' fees
previously allotted for use of the committee went into a fund for assembly programs. 
To that point, the committee managed to bring an array of talent to the
students of the normal and the teachers college. In the early years, students
(for twenty-five cents) and others (for fifty cents) heard some of the most
famous figures of the century in the letters and arts. Among the first of these
was sculptor Lorado Taft, creator of the famed statue of Black Hawk at Oregon,
Illinois, and the Fountain of the Great Lakes. Taft told his audience that
American sculpture would be a growing art and that Americans throughout
their history have devoted much effort to it. From England came John
Masefield, later poet laureate, and John Drinkwater, author of the famous play,
Abraham Lincoln. Drinkwater read parts of his play and several of his
better-known poems. American literary figures who addressed La Crosse
audiences included poets Robert Frost, Vachel Lindsay, Carl Sandburg, and
Edwin Markham. Among the works which Frost read was his well-known
Mending Wall. Lindsay treated the audience to several of his creations, and,
when reciting Congo, he chanted, swayed, and broke into dance steps.
Sandburg lectured on poetry, read several of his own compositions, and sang
several folk-songs. In 1925 Edgar Lee Masters arrived to read his Spoon River
Anthology to the teachers college. Two years later Edwin Markham presented
the best-known of his works, Lincoln, A Man of the People, the declaratory
poem to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. 16
Other famous literary figures who visited La Crosse in the pre-World War II
era included Hamlin Garland, who appeared twice, Thornton Wilder, Louis
Untermeyer, and Carl Van Doren. Garland spoke on a number of eminent
American men of letters-Mark Twain, John Burroughs, William Dean
Howells, Bret Harte, and Joaquin Miller. He told his listeners "such men
realized that America is a grown-up nation with nothing to be ashamed of in the
arts and letters and with no need to brag and assert itself." 17 During the later
visit Garland spoke on the subject, Trailmakers of the Middle Border, which
was largely an autobiographical sketch. At seventy years of age, he was
concerned that the present generations might forget those pioneer trailmakers
who had looked to the future. As if they anticipated Garland's message the
editors of the annual dedicated the 1930 Racquet "to those sturdy pioneers
who, lured by their adventurous urgings, give to us in history a picture of


Student Life and Letters

excitement, drama and melodrama." In the spring following Garland's
appearance, the annual editors changed its name to The La Crosse and
dedicated it to him as "representative of the spirit of the age in vigor, truth,
and honor." 18
Famed novelist Thornton Wilder told how he wrote The Bridge of San Luis
Rey and discussed the relationship between literature and life. Critic Louis
Untermeyer ranked Robert Frost as America's greatest poet of the time
followed by Edward Arlington Robinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay. He also
spoke on the problems of teaching poetry as a college subject. Last in the series
of literary greats to appear before World War II, Carl Van Doren talked to
assembled students and faculty about imagination which he described as
"something which gives meaning to your lives by making your eyes make
sense." 19
The first generation of La Crosse students also heard from arctic explorer
Vilhyalmur Stefansson and adventurer-traveler Lowell Thomas, who regaled
his listeners with stories of the Great War in the Near East and of Lawrence of
Arabia. They also listened with fascination to the tales of German Count Felix
von Luckner, who sank tons of allied shipping and who claimed a boyhood
friendship with the American entertainer William (Buffalo Bill) Cody. Less
flamboyant but almost as well-known was H. V. Kaltenborn, next to Lowell
Thomas probably the best known radio newscaster of the depression years. He
told his La Crosse audience "success is the living of the kind of life that gives
you satisfaction; the first essential is to be happy in your work." Dr. John A.
Wilson, director of Chicago's Oriental Institute, offered scholarly fare on
archeology, and British ambassador Sir Fredrick Whyte received praise for his
talk on "The Crisis in the Far East." At other times the college community
heard about the importance of radium, the terrors of Nazi Germany, and such
famous contemporaries as Mussolini, Stalin and Ramsey MacDonald from the
viewpoint of their interviewer, Dr. George Raiguel. Also from the Main Hall
stage, Dr. Walter H. Judd addressed a receptive audience on his favorite topic,
the civilization and culture of China. At the time of his appearance he was on
the staff of the Mayo Clinic. In later years he became famous as a missionary to
China and as a congressman from Minnesota. 20
Interspersed with authors and adventurers were musical presentations by
several artists who were already famous or well on their way to renown. Among
those who appeared on the Main Hall stage were violinists Misha Elman and
Fritz Kreisler. Elman played Handel, Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms to an
"appreciative though not overly-large audience." Kreisler performed to
"perfection" before 1,000 listeners, playing selections from Schubert,
Tschaikovsky, Debussy, Dvorak, and DeFalla. Two pianists, American Percy
Grainger and Spanish virtuoso Jose Iturbi received enthusiastic receptions for
their contrasting presentations. Illustrative of the varied programs offered
during the first thirty years were three operas, Wagner's Lohengrin, Rossini's,
Barber of Seville, and Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado, the last staged by the
famed American performer, DeWolf Hopper. Adding to the variety were two
appearances of an unusual symphonic group, the concert band of Bohumir
Kryl whose brilliant tonal renditions brought repeated requests for encores.
Kryl himself ranked among the greatest cornetists of his time. 21


Student Life and Letters

Three other representatives of the musical world-two well-known at the
time, the other to become famous later-were Ted Shawn, Charles Wakefield
Cadman, and Walter (Wlad Ziu) Liberace. Shawn and his troop of men dancers
appearing for the third time on the La Crosse campus, on that occasion under
the sponsorship of the Women's Recreational Association and Orchesis dance
group, met an enthusiastic reception. Cadman told his audience "being a
composer in America is a great struggle." He also told his listeners that,
contrary to common belief, composers did not need stimulants to get them into
a creative mood. Among the 250 compositions which he had completed by the
time of his appearance at La Crosse were At Dawning and Land of Sky Blue
Water. For his concert in Main Hall in November of 1940, the twenty-one year
old Liberace played selections by Beethoven, Scarlatti, and Chopin, and
Poulnc's Perpetual Motion. The student newspaper reported him as "having a
striking appearance and personality which he projects to his audience
throughout his entire performance." In the post-war world, Liberace dropped
the use of his first name and became famous in night clubs and on television not
only for his musical virtuosity but for his colorful attire and the symbolic
candelabra on his piano. 22
A decade passed before the lectures and concerts programs began to match
the earlier ones in character and flavor. Best-known among the speakers of the
forties were educators R. T. Havighurst and E. T. McSwain, who addressed
separate professional relations institutes, and philosopher Max Otto who spoke
to the honors assembly of 1949 on the uses of power. Musical presentations
included two concerts by tenor Hendrik deBoer, and one each by soprano
Nancy Carr and a Pro Arte Quartet. Somewhere in between was the visit from
Emil Liers of Winona and two of his pet otters. Liers commented that he had
paid his way through a year of school at La Crosse Normal by trapping. The
only person of national note to appear before the student assembly was Boris
Goldovsky then as now the master of ceremonies on the radio program, "Opera
News on the Air,"' presented at the intermissions of the Metropolitan Opera. 23
During the next quarter century many well-known public figures graced the
stage of Main Hall. Finances for lectures and concerts improved as a result of
expanding enrollments. From time to time, too, service clubs and foundations
sponsored programs on campus. The Cold War, the Vietnam conflict, women's
liberation, and the various civil rights' struggles all were occasions for the
appearances of nationally-known persons. Among these were Pulitzer prize
winner Walter Duranty who spoke on his years in Russia, writer Carl T. Rowan
who addressed the honors assembly of April, 1956, columnist Drew Pearson
who talked on the Cold War and regaled a capacity crowd with stories of
swimming with Krushchev, and New York Times correspondent and editor,
Harrison Salisbury who, fresh from Vietnam, argued that massive bombing
would not determine the outcome there. The lecture series also featured
several political figures. Senator John F. Kennedy talked to a crowd of 700
about the role of teachers in a complex society. Senator George McGovern
appeared twice, once as a sharp critic of U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam and
again as a presidential candidate. Perennial candidate Harold Stassen presented 
himself as the peace candidate and denounced the leadership of both
major political parties. Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett faced a somewhat


Student Life and Letters

hostile audience and picketing by members of the Congress on Racial Equality
when he spoke in Main Hall. Gaylord Nelson visited the campus first as
governor dedicating the student center in 1959 and later campaigning as a U.S.
Senator in 1964. Texas Senator John Tower arrived to defend conservatism and
Congressman Vernon Thomson spoke in support of "hot pursuit' in Vietnam. 24
Reflecting other interests and issues in American life of the last decade,
astronaut Don Lind, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, and child specialist Dr.
Benjamin Spock made presentations in their areas. Attorney William Kunstler
denounced conspiracy trials, reporter Leslie Stahl noted changed attitudes
toward women in television newscasting, columnist Jack Anderson criticized
secrecy in government, and entertainer Dick Gregory urged La Crosse students
to change the country by using moral force. "The fate and destiny of America
are on you young folks," he said. "We old folks have left you a mess to clean
up." 25
The lecture series also brought anthropologist Margaret Mead, who warned
of the consequences of unchecked population growth, and a militant priest,
Father James Groppi, who spoke on problems among the poor he sought to
help. In behalf of minorities, American Indian Movement leaders Russell
Means and Clyde Bellecourt described their activities in connection with the
"Wounded Knee trial." Basketball ace Bill Russell, addressing a Black Culture
Week audience of one thousand, told students they should "think and
participate." In anticipation of the presidential election of 1976, conservative
writer Russell Kirk came to predict that Ronald Reagan would be the next
president of the United States and that the democratic nominee would be
Alabama Governor George C. Wallace. On the other side of the political
spectrum, former Black Panther Stokely Carmichael denounced capitalism as a
stupid, backward system. 26
Leading personalities in feminist and women's movements appeared on
campus in the early seventies. Robin Morgan, editor of Sisterhood is Powerful
and protestor against the Miss America pageant as being a male sexist affair,
said she was "prepared to kill or die" for women's liberation. Outspoken black
feminist attorney Florynce Kennedy, in giving the keynote address at the
Women's Awareness Week program held on campus in the fall of 1972,
denounced what she identified as "the new niggers," and added, "Women
must be aware of this oppression and use the necessary means to accomplish
liberation." 27 Three other leaders of women's movements to address campus
audiences were Betty Friedan, author of the best-selling Feminine Mystique,
Jill Johnston, author and avowed lesbian, and Elizabeth Janeway, who advised
her listeners that "women must decide what is important and what isn't, what
is wrong and what is right." 28
In other settings, figures familiar to faculty and administrators from regional
colleges and universities spoke to commencements, assemblies, special
convocations, and workshops. Thus Presidents Chester O. Newlun (Platteville),
Martin Klotsche (Milwaukee), Eugene Kleinspell (River Falls), Jim Dan Hill
(Superior), Carey Croneis (Beloit), Walker Wyman (Whitewater), James
Albertson (Stevens Point), Leonard Haas (Eau Claire), George Beadle
(University of Chicago), and Sister Justille McDonald (Viterbo College) shared
their views with various groups. From the wider academic community La


Student Life and Letters

Crosse students and faculty heard history professors Walter Agard, Theodore
Blegen, Justin Williams, Fred Harrington, and Michael Petrovich. Other
visiting academicians included political scientists David Fellman, Ralph Huitt,
Hans Morgenthau, Morton Halperin, and Mulford Q. Sibley. Britain's Dudley
Stamp spent a week on campus talking about African geography. He later was
knighted and became Royal Geographer of England. Additional well-known
visitors from the world of letters included Garland Evans Hopkins, editor of
Christian Century, Mark Twain specialist Hal Holbrook, poet Paul Engle,
Wisconsin novelist August Derleth, and social critic Vance Packard. 29
La Crosse continued to play host to outstanding performers in the fine arts
during the recent decades. Dame Judith Anderson presented characterizations
of Medea and Lady MacBeth. Canadian players offered Henry IV and Enemy of
the People, and Vincent Price gave dramatic readings from Tennessee
Williams and Walt Whitman. As the university developed its own outstanding
musical and theatrical groups, the lectures and concerts series brought
performing artists of contemporary music to enrich the campus cultural
traditions. In 1963, the Brothers Four helped inaugurate Sadie Hawkins day.
On other occasions the new Christy Minstrels arrived to begin Winter Carnival
and David Brubeck brought his exceptional command of jazz piano to the
campus. Johnny Mathis sang with the Young Americans and John Denver
performed at Homecoming with the Friends of Distinction. The need for
extra-campus stimuli of this sort has lessened as university musical groups of
many sorts have flourished. 30


Throughout La Crosse's history, music has been an important curriculum
item and extra-class activity. The first student newspaper proclaimed it was a
necessity, not a luxury, and praised the performances of the Girls Glee Club
whose members aimed

to sing music of the weightier and more lasting kind than
is generally thought of in this relation, thus creating a
taste for the standard selections, and in turn to cultivate a
higher sense of appreciation of music in the Normal
School. 31

The earliest curriculum was rather sparse. It consisted of Music I and Music II,
each for ten-week periods and both containing theory and practice for rural and
elementary teachers. But by 1915 the curriculum included four additional
courses-in music appreciation, history of music, harmony, and a special one
"for students in physical training." The last became a requirement in physical
education under the title of Rhythmic Studies. 32
A small curriculum did not dampen efforts at extra-curricular musical
activities. Except for the war periods when enrollments thinned the ranks, the
glee clubs, band, orchestra, and more specialized groups survived the years.


Student Life and Letters

By the 1920's, students received credit for participating in the three parent
groups. A half-century ago, the normal school had an orchestra of sixteen and a
band numbering twenty-five whose "appearance was greatly improved by the
securing of natty new uniforms." 33 Appropriately enough the director's name
was Joseph Leeder. He received help from Jean Rolfe who directed the band
and from Ferd Lipovetz who helped with the marching drill. On the eve of
World War II the band numbered forty, had a new batch of uniforms, and
featured majorettes. Largely responsible for both the band and orchestra for
almost a generation was Dr. Thomas Annett (1926-1962). In the early 1950's
David Mewaldt became bandleader. As early as 1925 the department also
sponsored high school contests involving literally thousands of young people
over the decades. 34
Traditionally oriented toward music education, the department has added
members who have made exceptional efforts to further performance music,
particularly since the early sixties. By the mid-seventies the curriculum
provided majors and minors and offered credit for participation in nine musical,
instrumental and vocal groups. Further, the University boasted of a half-dozen
distinguished large musical organizations-the University Symphony
Orchestra, the Wind Symphony, the Marching Chiefs, the Women's Glee Club,
the Mannerchor, and the University Singers. Musicians performing in these
parent groups also have formed small combinations such as three jazz, blues
and pop groups (the Tribe, the Council, and the Braves), the Collegiate Singers
who have traveled for the USO, and traditional ensembles such as string
quartet and woodwind quintets. Three musicians particularly have provided
direction in the major extra-class activities-William V. Estes (vocal), Joseph
Cordeiro (orchestral), and John Alexander (band). 35


In the arts, drama has been as persistent as the musical heritage. Although
the Buskin dramatic club existed from 1909, it did not present a play until three
years later when it staged a one-act farce entitled A Christmas Chime. During
the next quarter-century, the Buskin Club was the major vehicle for dramatic
presentations; it was sponsored by David O. Coate of the English Department.
Reorganized in 1937, the club passed under the sponsorship of the Speech
Department, a close association that has continued to the present. 36 When
Marie Park Toland (1937) and Robert L. Frederick (1946) joined the faculty,
theatre became an exceptional asset to campus and community. Both Toland
and Frederick directed and acted in numerous theatrical presentations for over
two decades. President Mitchell regarded drama as one of the best public
relations efforts the university made. On occasion of the dedication of the Marie
Toland Theatre in the new Fine Arts building, university and community
players presented a spectacular, well-directed, and well-acted version of
Shakespeare's Hamlet. "Doc" Toland was there to enjoy her beloved drama
from the other side of the footlights. 37
Over the years, dramatic presentations varied from one act plays and class
plays to more ambitious pageants, often favorites of the American theatrical


Student Life and Letters

tradition. Several presented more than once over the years included Wilde's
The Importance of Being Ernest (1916, 1928, 1943, 1960), Goldsmith's She
Stoops to Conquer (1913 and 1947), Vane's Outward Bound (1938 and 1961),
Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (1942 and 1974), Moliere's The Miser (1950 and 1962),
and Rigg's Green Grow the Lilacs (1938 and 1960). Among other performances
which players staged in the between wars era, the best-known were Major
Barbara, Stage Door, and Craig's Wife. The last generation of thespians
undertook a formidable array of theatrical productions. From the forties were
Blythe Spirit, Arsenic and Old Lace, Life with Father, and Antigone. Among
those of the fifties and sixties were Our Town, The Heiress, I Remember
Mama, Elizabeth the Queen, The Little Foxes, The Man Who Came to
Dinner, Bus Stop, DialM for Murder, A Doll's House, Teahouse of the August
Moon, and Inherit the Wind. Added to these were distinguished performances
of other classics such as A Man for All Seasons, The Tempest, Murder in the
Cathedral, Lysistrata, and The Glass Menagerie. On some occasions musicians
and actors joined talents to produce the operas Martha (1923) and The Chimes
of Normandy (1924) and the operettas In Arcady (1925) and All at Sea (1926).
The last one featured collaboration of two glee clubs, the orchestra, and the
Buskins, making up a cast of 150 persons under the direction of Emma Lou
Wilder and Orris O. White. Beginning in 1915, community and campus
personnel combined to present Handel's Messiah several times over the years.
Mixed casts also entertained with a musical version of Shakespeare's Twelfth
Night, West Side Story, and Guys and Dolls. Directed by Dr. Robert Joyce, the
cast gave a special performance of Guys and Dolls to satisfy audience demand.

Most dramatic presentations received warm reviews and kind comments.

The Buskin Dramatic Club (1911) began a long tradition of drama at La Crosse.


Student Life and Letters

Some drew enthusiastic praise such as The Miser, Antigone, Our Town, and
Guys and Dolls. There were occasional pannings. According to reviewers,
Aristophanes birds offered a good setting but poor acting, A Man for All
Seasons suffered from poor direction and technical errors, A Taste of Honey
was a "disappointment" and The Price carried the onus of poor writing and
bad acting. Overall, nonetheless, the sixty-year tradition of theatre at La Crosse
reflected distinguished performances in the several forms of the dramatic
arts. 38


As with music and drama, oratory and debate were among the normal's early
activities. Within a year of the school's opening interested students formed the
La Crosse Normal Oratorical Association and began taking part in inter-normal
competition. In 1924 extemporaneous speaking became a part of oratorical
activities. Two men's debate groups, the Eclectic Society (1910) and the
Websterians (1911), emerged in the first years as well. By 1919 those two
joined to form the Men's Debating Society. Three years later debate became
coeducational and the society dissolved. Oratory, which had been coeducational
from the beginning, gave way to public discussion in the 1940's and 1950's.
Debate, however, continued to be popular throughout the decades. And for
one-half century, the institution has played host to numerous high school
forensic contests on campus. The post-World War II generation undertook a
wider variety of speech activities. By the mid-seventies, under the sponsorship
of the Speech Department, university students participated in oratory,
extemporaneous speaking, poetry interpretation, rhetorical criticism, dramatic
reading, and discussion. 39
The effort expended on the various kinds of forensics was impressive. In the
first two decades, orators staged local contests to select representatives for
state-wide meets. Such contests often drew large audiences to cheer their
favorites. The program for the first contest which occurred in February of 1911
featured two numbers by the Girls Glee Club, a violin solo, and four orations.
Winner was Howard M. Jones, who spoke on Government By Common Sense.
Contestant Ethel Oltman began her talk on The Woman of Today by saying,
"The struggle for women's rights is drawing to a close." 40 Jones won the state
normal contest held at Platteville in 1912 and came within an eyelash of
winning an interstate affair at Emporia, Kansas. He spoke on The Spirit of the
Progressive Movement, cheered on by thirty-five students who made the trip to
Platteville on a sleeper train.
In the decade that followed, La Crosse orators propounded their views on a
variety of topics: The Cry of the Slums, Booker Washington, and Preparedness.
In 1922, when Edmund Hitt spoke on America's Duty at Stevens Point, "the
band, the quartet and the drill team of physical education girls" accompanied
him. The annual reported:
Even though we did not win first place in the oratorical
contest, we won first place in enthusiasm and school
spirit. Our band, quartet and drill team totally eclipsed
every like organization from other Normal Schools. 41


Student Life and Letters

The program for the first oratorical 
contest, Feb. 16, 1911.

Howard Mumford Jones won the first
oratorical contest at La Crosse State
Normal School with his speech Government 
By Common Sense.

Ethel Oltman began her talk on The
Woman of Today by saying "The
struggle for women's rights is drawing to
a close."


Student Life and Letters

Speeches of the twenties and thirties dealt with such diverse subjects as
prohibition, Robert M. La Follette, ethical business practices, and the
domination of laborers by machinery. Still oratory steadily lost ground to
extempore, discussion, and debate. The year 1933 marked a high point when
William Welter took first place in extemporaneous speaking and second place
in oratory in contests sponsored by the Teachers College Forensic League of
Wisconsin. 42
Meantime for a half-century debate teams argued major issues of the times.
In 1924, the issue was that of enabling Congress to override Supreme Court
decisions, by a two-thirds vote. In 1926, the question concerned regulations of
employment of all persons under eighteen, and in 1927 the contest involved
enactment of the McNary-Haugan farm relief bill. La Crosse debaters placed
first in 1928, discussing the question "Resolved, that the United States cease to
protect by force of arms American capital invested in foreign countries, except
after a formal declaration of war." Depression year topics included disarm-
ament, unemployment insurance, cancellation of war debts, and once again the
one of a decade before on Congressional power to override Supreme Court
rulings on legislation. 43 Debate activities lessened during World War II
although they did not cease entirely. In the 1950's, public discussion was more
popular. Revived briefly in 1960 by Robert C. Voight and again in 1966 by Jack
Starr, debate once again enjoyed the prestige of the early years. 44


An account of student life is not complete without consideration of intramural
sports, intercollegiate athletics and the numerous clubs associated with them.
At La Crosse students have enjoyed exceptionally broad programs in physical
activities. In turn those programs have attracted wide-spread participation and
large followings. The physical education speciality brought numerous students
to La Crosse who already had more than casual interests in sports. Beyond that,
the growth of intramural programs was inspired by the philosophy of physical
education articulated by Walter J. Wittich, Ferd John Lipovetz and others. For
several years the college catalog carried Wittich's statement which drew a
distinction between athletics and physical education, defining the former as a
"branch" of the latter and which spoke to the idea of "athletics for all." 45
Such an idea was as old as the institution itself for, in the fall of 1910, "the
sonorous senior boys" defeated "the lively-looking junior youths" in an indoor
baseball game played in the Main Hall gymnasium. The seniors also toppled
the juniors 18 to 9 in a basketball game. The following year women students
organized two clubs, the Reds and the Greys. They had male cheerleaders and
competed in basketball, baseball, tennis, and track. The Reds won a lopsided
first game victory but lost the championship of 1912. 46 On-campus sports
followed a somewhat erratic course in the World War I era bringing an appeal
for "alive athletic association in our school." Men's and women's basketball
leagues did provide interclass competition. There were also occasional
women's track meets. From time to time faculty basketball teams competed in


Student Life and Letters

the class leagues usually losing more games than they won. In 1917, the "Phi
Eds" won the track meet with the high school course and college course
students. The contest produced a 5:17 2/5 mile, a 5 feet 8 inch high jump, and a
pole vault at 8 feet 6 inches. 47
Completion in 1921 of the "new gymnasium," later named Wittich Hall,
expanded the facilities and opportunities for intramural and intercollegiate
athletics. Further, the addition of Hans Reuter (1920), Emma Lou Wilder
(1921), Leon Miller (1926), and Ferd Lipovetz (1928) to the physical education
faculty was indicative of Wittich's intent to support wide-spread student
participation in sports. By his second year, Reuter had students performing in a
dozen activities; and Miss Wilder built on the interest in women's sports to
organize the Women's Athletic Association (W.A.A.) in 1923, which she
carefully explained was an intramural program only. Within ten years, while
the association continued to hold to its credo "a game for every girl and every
girl in a game," it abandoned its original points and awards system. By then
the W.A.A. sponsored seven sports-field hockey, soccer, basketball,
volleyball, swimming, tennis, and baseball. When Emma Lou retired in 1956,
the W.A.A. had affiliated with two national women's amateur athletic groups.
By then, too, the W.A.A., renamed the Women's Recreation Association in
1934, had added bowling, curling, badminton, and assorted winter sports. In
the mid-seventies, the W.R.A. concentrated on a few sports, partly because
women's intercollegiate competition flourished. 48 The W.R.A. has had only
two advisors other than Miss Wilder, Dr. Beatrice Baird (1948-1959) and Lee
Stephenson (1960-).

Men's Athletics

The Men's Intramural Athletic Association (M.I.A.A.) dates from 1928.
Within a year the M.I.A.A.,organized by Ferd J. Lipovetz who was its advisor
for a decade, had over 150 men participating in one or more of thirteen
activities. Lipovetz believed that everyone should participate in something, be
it ice hockey, bridge, curling, running, water polo or whatever. During the
Lipovetz era, M.I.A.A. teams occasionally took part in intercollegiate contests.
But more importantly, the association was a social organization in a time when
there were few fraternal groups. Members raised supporting funds with
popularity contests, dances, and swimming exhibitions. In Lipovetz's final
year, the M.I.A.A. had twenty-three sports and recreational activities going.
Leon Miller, M.I.A.A. advisor from 1938 to 1956, believed the organization
should emphasize athletic activities and leave social affairs to the growing
fraternal organizations on campus. Thus bridge, checkers, chess, cribbage, and
rummy disappeared from the list of activities by 1940. A new scheme which
provided that all male students automatically become members of M.I.A.A. on
payment of enrollment fees stabilized the financing and allowed for the
abandonment of social events as fund-raising schemes. By 1956, when Robert
Steuck became the third M.I.A.A. advisor, male students were offered fifteen
activities ranging from archery to wrestling. In the last generation intramural
teams increasingly came to represent fraternal organizations. Coeducational
teams also developed in several areas. 49


Student Life and Letters

Intramurals have served the many; intercollegiate athletics have been the
province of the few usually more skillful. Still, in a very real sense, the
philosophy which has dominated the La Crosse athletic world has regarded
intercollegiate competition as an educational process above all. Traditionally,
those employed to coach have first been employed to teach. There have been no
athletic scholarships; athletes have to compete with other students on an equal
basis for student aids and scholastic awards. However much this attitude has
been explained to the student body and townspeople alike, neither group has
clearly understood why La Crosse has not won every athletic contest in history
inasmuch as it is a "Phy. Ed." school. The explanation is simple. Athletics
have always been an extension of the curriculum, not entities unto themselves.
Intercollegiate athletics at La Crosse have been as pure as can be found
anywhere. That condition has not prevented the institution from fielding
winning aggregations in every sport. Whether they be historically major (team
sports) or minor (predominantly individual) they carry equal value to the
participants and the coaches in the institution's viewpoint.
As noted previously, the first "interscholastic" activities to represent the
normal, basketball, baseball, and track, all started during the first year. Then
in 1911, Joel R. Moore gathered fifteen men into a football squad which played
a six-game schedule. The team won three and lost three, two of the losses
coming from La Crosse and Sparta High Schools. In the same year, Moore put
together a basketball team of six men which won six and lost six, a baseball
squad of ten which included Jean Rolfe, "our graceful shortstop," and a track
team of eleven which lost the city meet to Central High School. 50 In the
ensuing years La Crosse was never without a basketball team, but was twice
without a football squad (1943 and 1944), and several years off and on without
track and baseball. Gymnastics dates from 1924 after two earlier efforts. Tennis
became a perennial sport after 1933, and golf after 1937. Ferd Lipovetz revived
swimming as a competitive activity in 1938. Cross country started in the late
twenties but was insignificant until 1947. Wrestling began in 1960. 51

In 1911, Joel Moore, a country school course
instructor, organized interscholastic teams in
football, basketball, baseball, and track.


Student Life and Letters

Generally La Crosse has fared well in intercollegiate competition, and good
fortune began early. In reviewing the track season of 1916, the annual's sports
editor recounted what happened at the Inter-Normal State Meet:

La Crosse individually scored more points than all the
other Normals combined; every member of the La Crosse
team individually scored more points than did the entire
River Falls and Whitewater teams; the cocky Stevens
Point relay team was left one hundred yards in the rear by
our relay team. 52

Ten men performing in thirteen different events accomplished all of that. In
1919 La Crosse won the state track meet for the fourth year in a row, the normal
conference football championship, and the inter-normal basketball tournament.
All that prompted an enthusiastic supporter to claim:

Our school is now the foremost Normal in line of athletics
and our hopes are that it may continue to be during the
coming seasons. 53


Under a bevy of capable coaches, intercollegiate teams compiled respectable
records in most sports and at times produced spectacular performances.
Especially in football, La Crosse earned the reputation as a power among its
peers. Best-known mentors of the first generation were Carl Sputh, Raymond
(Tubby) Keeler who directed football, basketball and track from 1916 to 1930,
and Howard Johnson who replaced Keeler until his sudden death in 1938.
Spanning portions of both the first and second generations were Hans Reuter
(gymnastics), Leon Miller (tennis), Walter Wittich (golf and cross country),
Ferd Lipovetz (swimming), and Clyde B. Smith (football and baseball). In the
post-World War II era familiar figures were E. William Vickroy (football,
baseball, and swimming), and four alumni-Floyd Gautsch (track and athletic
director), Clark Van Galder (football and basketball), Ernest Gershon
(gymnastics) and Clifton DeVoll (basketball and tennis). Vickroy became
athletic director after Gautsch's retirement in 1969. A group of relative
newcomers-Roger Harring (football), Burt McDonald (basketball), William
Otto (swimming), James Howard (gymnastics) and Ralph Jones (track)
continued to uphold La Crosse's best traditions in intercollegiate athletics.
Until 1920, football teams competed against area high schools as well as
fellow normals and nearby private schools. They won the Wisconsin State
Normal School Conference titles in 1917, 1918, and 1919. Their performances
attracted enthusiastic support especially following thumping victories in 1915
over Winona (66-0), in 1916 over Superior (89-0), in 1917 over Whitewater
(59-0) and Winona again (101-0), and in 1919 over Platteville (67-0). These
squads had less than twenty members. Until the World War II period La
Crosse's chief nemesis on the gridiron was River Falls. Early in the twenties
Homecoming became inseparably associated with football. Appropriately, La


Student Life and Letters

Crosse won its first homecoming game in 1923 over a good Lawrence College
team. This first annual event featured a parade, a visit by Dr. Carl Sputh and a
mixer which had a number of "staggers" who caused some problems for the
men who had brought their own dates.
La Crosse grid teams were State Teachers College Conference winners in
1927, 1932, 1934, and 1937 and began a four-year string of titles in 1939.
Homecoming in war-time featured a touch football game between the Hoofers
coached by Milford Cowley and the Hepcats directed by physicist Harold
Skadeland. After a lapse of two years inter-collegiate competition resumed in
1945, and in 1949 La Crosse teams began a six-year string during which they
either won or shared the conference title. The squad of 1950 was one of the
best. It had a 10-0-0 record including a convincing 47-14 post-season victory in
the Cigar Bowl (Tampa, Florida) over previously unbeaten, untied Valparaiso
University. Again in 1953 an exceptional team had an unbeaten season and
tied Missouri Valley College in a return Cigar Bowl trip. La Crosse had no
unbeaten seasons after 1953 but did win or tie for conference titles in 1959,
1972, 1974-1976, and 1978, the last five under Coach Roger Harring. The
conference co-champions of 1978 lost in the N.A.I.A. play-offs.
The first basketball teams also played against area high school fives and
often had difficulty defeating them. The team of 1915 won the Wisconsin
Normal Association Conference Crown, however. In the decades between the
wars, cagers won titles in 1919, 1922, 1924, 1932, and 1937. During the last
quarter century they were conference champions three times, in 1951, 1964,

The 1915 football squad had only three substitutes but it played a six-game schedule
piling up 194 points to its opponents' 34.


Student Life and Letters

and 1965. The 1964 team which had a 19-1 season, the best in La Crosse
history, lost a first round contest at the National Association of Intercollegiate
Athletics' tournament in Kansas City. The 1975-76 aggregation was
outstanding for its season (21-6), for setting several team records including the
most wins, and for participating in a second N.A.I.A. play-off.
Tennis and Swimming
The less-heralded sports-tennis, swimming, baseball, gymnastics, track,
and golf-did not have the noisy and numerous following which accompanied
football and basketball. None-the-less, their participants established proud
records. For tennis, the 1950's were the halcyon days. Within a decade
(1951-1961) La Crosse won state college championships six times. Twice
before, in 1947 and 1948, netters won Northern Teachers College Conference
titles. They were runners-up several other times. Inter-collegiate swimming
started modestly during the 1937-1938 academic year. In the next decade
swimmers won three state titles. During the last quarter century, they were
conference champions five times and American Athletic Union (A.A.U.) victors

Baseball, despite an auspicious start with President Cotton, was not a
prominent sport with the first generation. There were but twenty-five games of
record (21 wins, 4 losses) between 1910 and 1933, and there was no authorized
team from 1933 to 1938. Beginning the following year, however, Clyde Smith
organized a team which joined a west central Wisconsin league made up of La
Crosse, Stout, River Falls, and Eau Claire. Three of Smith's teams won the

On the occasion of this team's (1919) victory, students walked out of classes
demanding a celebration dance.


Student Life and Letters

league title. During the late forties and early fifties La Crosse won or shared
titles for nine straight years, mostly under Coach William Vickroy. Then in
1956, the Wisconsin State College Conference recognized baseball as a major
sport and established a sectional arrangement. In the two decades after that
date La Crosse won five conference crowns.
  As early as 1916, Gustave Heinemann, on the physical education faculty for
three years, coached a team of husky gymnasts. When Hans Reuter joined the
faculty, he developed the sport as a perennial activity. Among his star students
was Ernest (Old Ern) Gershon, who became a highly successful gymnastics
coach in his own right in the post-World War II period. For the first quarter
century La Crosse gymnasts participated in no more than three meets annually,
competing with Luther College and members of the Northwest Gymnastic
Association. After 1949, La Crosse won a host of titles competing in the
Northwest Gymnastic    Association, the  Wisconsin  Amateur  Athletic
Association, and in open meets. Between 1948 and 1964 gymnasts triumphed in
seventy-seven of 135 dual meets. They placed first twice in the state college
conference and five times in the state university conference. They also were
twice titlists of the N.A.I.A. in 1974-75 and 1975-76 following second place
standings the two years before.
Track, Cross Country and Golf
  Three other primarily individual sports have done well-track, cross-country,
and golf. Track aggregations won four straight state meets beginning in 1915,
and, by the mid-century, had won the majority of meets in which they

  The 1911 baseball team was coached by President Cotton, back row, second from left.
Chester Newlun, later president of Wisconsin State College, Platteville, is furthest to
the right. Pitcher Sam Sloggy is second from left in the bottom row.


Student Life and Letters

participated. Since 1950 their record has been exceptional, especially in the last
decade. In 1974-1975 trackmen won both indoor and outdoor titles in the
Wisconsin State University Conference (WSUC), setting thirteen records in the
process. Their coach, Ralph Jones, was named N.A.I.A. District 14 coach of the
year. Again in 1975-1976, La Crosse swept both the indoor and outdoor meets,
this time establishing seventeen new indoor records. The following year,
trackmen captured their third straight WSUC indoor crown and their sixth
consecutive win in N.A.I.A. District 14 for Coach Philip Esten.
Cross-country began in 1928. La Crosse harriers participated in several
Amateur Athletic Union (A.A.U.) meets over the years and in the seventies
were WSUC champions six times beginning in 1971. In 1976, they also won the
District 14 N.A.I.A. title and were third in the national meet of the same
Golf began during the year 1936-1937, and its first five teams were state
teachers college conference winners. During the quarter century after 1950, La
Crosse linksmen won a variety of championships including four Wisconsin
State University Conference titles beginning in 1971-1972. In 1975, their coach,
Burt McDonald, was honored by N.A.I.A. District 14 as golf coach of the year.
The following year, golfers won the District 14 title. Wrestlers have yet to win a
title, but have placed third and fourth in conference competition several times.

After merger UW-L's men's athletic teams continued to compete in the
Wisconsin State University Conference and retained their affiliation with the
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Testimony to the prowess of
men athletes in the seventies was the string of seven straight Wisconsin State

The 1954 state championship golf team was coached by Orville Brault.


Student Life and Letters

University Conference all-sports titles (1971-1978). To achieve victory in 1976
La Crosse won championships in golf, cross-country, baseball, and track,
shared first in football, took second in basketball, fourth in wrestling, and fifth
in swimming. In 1976-77 and 1978-79, the Indians also gained the all-sports
trophy of the N.A.I.A. 54

Women's Athletics

The record of athletic accomplishment by men's teams was to be matched in
the last decade by women's intercollegiate competition. The women's program
grew from participation in selected club sports to membership in the Wisconsin
Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (W.W.I.A.C.) in 1972. UW-L and
W.W.I.A.C. are members of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for
Women. By 1974, this conference had fifteen member institutions including all
the campuses of the University of Wisconsin System, Carthage College, and
Carroll College. When the A.I.A.W. divided its members into athletic
scholarship and non-scholarship colleges, UW-L became a member of Division
III in keeping with the institutional philosophy opposing athletic scholarships.
La Crosse teams began to take part in eight conference sports-badminton,
basketball, swimming, gymnastics, softball, tennis, track and field, and
volleyball. Women also competed in fencing, field hockey, and golf. Women's
teams have compiled outstanding records in the few years of competition.
Through 1975 they had won state and/or conference championships in every
sport entered. Their finest year was 1973 when they took state championships
in badminton, tennis, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and swimming. The
year following was almost as striking. The late seventies were almost as
spectacular for the "Roonies." In 1979, their basketball squad triumphed in the
W.W.I.A.C. for the eighth time out of nine years. The team lost to
Northwestern University at the Midwest Association for Intercollegiate
Athletics for Women (M.A.I.A.W.) tournament. Two years before, the Roonies
had lost to Michigan State University in the finals of the M.A.I.A.W. Other
highlights of these years were conference victories for the badminton team in
1977, its fifth in a row, track and field in 1979, the second in a row, and tennis in
1976, fifth in a row. 55

Additional activities which became a part of campus life included the
Aquacade, the Catalina Club, Winter Carnival, Orchesis, and L-Bar-X. Presentation 
of the Aquacade featuring synchronized swimming began in 1936 under
the auspices of the Women's Recreation Association. Then in 1953, the
Catalina Club began its splendid annual swimming performances of the
Aquacade. Faculty and students interest in interpretive dancing organized a
chapter of Orchesis in 1932. This group often performed at Christmas and
Mother's Day in the early years. At least on one occasion its members
displayed talents other than dancing. In the founding year, Orchesis not only
presented its first performance, The Juggler of Notre Dame, but its debate
team won the third annual intramural public discussion meet, defeating the
History Club team on the subject, "The Outlawing of War."


Student Life and Letters

  The first winter carnivals were community affairs in which the normal school
participated beginning as early as 1922. In later years, the carnival became a
campus activity featuring, among other events, snow and ice carvings, often of
unusual character and dimension.
Last of this group, the L-Bar-X became an exceptionally popular square
dance organization. Founded in 1953 by dance instructor Bernadine Kunkel,
affectionately known as "Kunkel-Dance" by her many students, it was both a
learning experience and an entertainment mode. Miss Kunkel instructed and
advised the group for twenty-five years until her retirement in 1978. 56

The older generation of La Crosse students will recall annual physical
education demonstrations both outdoors involving large numbers and indoors
by smaller groups and individuals. The last generation will remember Sadie
Hawkins Day, Powder Puff Olympics, and Snake Dances. From the student
centers have emanated several recreational activities among which bowling
enjoyed a prestigious position and featured outstanding performances.
Residence hall directors have provided various kinds of recreation for the
occupants as well. Thus a look at student life on the La Crosse campus at once
suggests that the faculty and administration of the institution have made
exceptional efforts to provide educational and recreational opportunities
outside the classroom.

L-Bar-X, a popular square dance organization, was led by dance instructor Bernadine
Kunkel for 25 years.


Student Life and Letters


1. Racquet (annual), 1911, p. 16 and passim.
2. Ibid., p. 108.
3. Ibid., pp. 111-113.
4. Ibid., 1911-1961, passim.
5. La Crosse Tribune, Feb. 5, 1910.
6. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1911, p. 10.
7. See note 11 below.
8. The Area Research Center has twelve folders of material on the Racquet controversy.
9. Racquet (annual), p. 65.
10. Proceedings of the Board of Regents of Normal Schools, May 24, 1924, p. 10, and Racquet
(annual), 1923, p. 71.
11. Faculty Minutes, May 26, 1920. See also Racquet (annual), 1920, p. 79.
12. Faculty Minutes, Nov. 15, 1935.
13. Racquet (annual), 1966, p. 59.
14. Information on the various clubs, societies, and special groups is drawn primarily from the
15. Much of the material on Greek letter societies is drawn from Gregory D. Slapak, "A History of
the Greek Letter General Fraternities at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1909-1975"
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1975), passim.
16. Some of the materials on lectures and entertainment was gathered by Diane McDonald (class
of 1965) for a senior seminar paper. See also La Crosse Tribune, Sept. 12,1912, Feb. 4, 1913,
Feb. 6, 1913, Feb.7, 1913, Feb. 16, 1922, Feb. 17, 1922, Oct. 25, 1922, Oct. 26, 1922, and Oct.
27, 1922; and Racquet (newspaper), Feb. 22, 1922, Nov. 1, 1922, Mar. 19, 1924, Mar. 26, 1924,
Apr. 9, 1924, Mar. 26, 1925, and Nov. 23, 1927.
17. La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 22, 1922.
18. La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 18, 1930; Racquet (annual), 1930, and La Crosse (annual), 1931.
19. La Crosse Tribune, Feb. 5, 1930; Feb. 19, 1932; and Nov. 19, 1937.
20. Ibid., Nov. 20, 1928; Nov. 22, 1928; Nov. 30, 1930; and Dec. 6, 1930. Racquet (newspaper),
Feb. 14, 1923; Nov. 10, 1932; Oct. 20, 1933; Mar. 27, 1934; Feb. 25, 1938; and Feb. 17, 1939.
21. La Crosse Tribune, Dec. 15, 1925; Mar. 6, 1926; Feb. 28, 1932; Dec. 13, 1932; Oct. 19, 1928;
Oct. 29, 1929; and Oct. 10, 1934; Racquet (newspaper), Dec. 2, 1932, and Nov. 17, 1939.
22. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 29, 1933; Apr. 21, 1939; and Nov. 22, 1940. La Crosse Tribune,
Nov. 26, 1940.
23. La Crosse Tribune, Jun. 22, 1947; May 30, 1948; Apr. 27, 1949; Nov. 6, 1946; Jan. 15, 1947;
Nov. 2, 1947; Mar. 26, 1947; and Oct. 2, 1949.
24. Racquet (newspaper), Sept. 17, 1959; Oct. 31, 1961; Oct. 16, 1963; Oct. 30, 1964; Feb. 23, 1968;
Mar. 1, 1968; Mar. 29, 1968.
25. Ibid., Feb. 17, 1972. See also ibid. Dec. 8, 1967; Sept. 12, 1969; Nov. 19, 1970; Mar. 14, 1973.
La Crosse Tribune, May 10, 1972, and Oct. 23, 1975.
26. Ibid., Mar. 11, 1971; Nov. 11, 1974; and Mar. 21, 1974. La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 4, 1973, and
Oct. 26, 1975.
27. Racquet (newspaper), Sept. 9, 1971, and Nov. 9, 1972.
28. Ibid., May 9, 1974, and Oct. 8, 1974.
29. See the Lectures and Concerts file of speakers compiled by Judith Pinkston in the Area
Research Center.
30. Racquet (newspaper), Oct. 10, 1962; Oct. 17, 1963; Feb. 3, 1964; Feb. 9, 1965; Feb. 15, 1967;
Oct. 30, 1971.
31. Ibid., (1910-1911), p. 19.
32. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1915, pp. 32-33.
33. Racquet (annual), 1926, p. 102. The uniforms were gifts of two local businessmen, Frank
Burgess and John C. Burns.
34. Ibid., 1927, pp. 76-77, and ibid., 1953, p. 87. For reports on the contest see the Racquet (news-
paper), Apr. 23, 1925; Apr. 22, 1926; May 9, 1929; Apr. 27, 1935; May 7, 1937; May 3, 1939;
May 2, 1941; May 12, 1944; May 3, 1954; Mar. 19, 1959; and Apr. 22, 1965.


Student Life and Letters

35. La Crosse (annual), 1975, pp. 168-175.
36. See for example the La Crosse (annual), 1934, p. 70, and ibid., 1937, p. 54.
37. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 14, 1974.
38. Both the student newspaper and annuals are sources for the history of drama at La Crosse.
39. Racquet/La Crosse (annual), 1910-1975, passim.
40. Ibid., 1911, pp.71-75.
41. Ibid., 1922, p. 119. See also ibid., 1913, pp. 105-108 and 117; ibid., 1914, p. 113; ibid., 1916,
p. 110; and ibid., 1919, p. 91.
42. Ibid., 1924, p. 94; ibid., 1927, p. 72; ibid., 1930, p. 119; and ibid., 1933, p. 83.
43. Ibid., 1925, p. 82; ibid., 1926, p. 105; ibid., 1927, p. 71; ibid., 1928, p. 50; ibid., 1930, p. 118;
and ibid., 1933, p. 82.
44. Ibid., 1940-1975, passim.
45. See, for example, Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1918, p. 46.
46. Racquet (newspaper), 1910, p. 22, and ibid., Dec. 15, 1912, and Jan. 29, 1912.
47. Ibid., May n.d., 1914; Feb. 24, 1916; Dec. 11, 1916; Jan. 8, 1917; Mar. 9, 1917; and Dec. 10,
48. Linda Jean Thompson, "Emma Lou Wilder: She Came to Teach" (Wisconsin State University
at La Crosse, 1970), p. 19; Racquet (annual), 1923, p. 79; La Crosse (annual) 1933, pp. 116-121;
ibid., 1956, p. 162; and ibid., 1975, p. 186.
49. Much of the material on the M.I.A.A. is drawn from Glenn R. Wildt, "A Brief History of the
Men's Intramural Athletic Association at Wisconsin State College, La Crosse" (Wisconsin
State College at La Crosse, 1958), passim.
50. Racquet (annual), 1912, pp. 84-89.
51. Compiled from the annuals, the student newspaper, and records in the office of the Athletic
52. Racquet (annual), 1916, p. 110.
53. Ibid., 1919, p. 93.
54. See, for example, La Crosse (annual), 1975, pp. 132-133, and ibid., 1976, p. 97. See also
Racquet (newspaper), Summer edition, 1975; Nov. 21, 1975; Dec. 11, 1975; Mar. 5, 1976; Mar.
25, 1976; Apr. 15, 1976; May 5, 1976; Oct. 28, 1976; Mar. 24, 1977; Mar. 31, 1977; Summer
edition, 1977; Nov. 17, 1977; Feb. 9, 1978; Aug. 31, 1978; Nov. 30, 1978; Mar. 8, 1979; and
Mar. 22, 1979. Other sources include Phil Pabich, "Football Summary, La Crosse State University, 
1911-1963" (Wisconsin State University at La Crosse, 1964); Thomas Marshall, "The
Development of Football at Wisconsin State University-La Crosse" (1967), passim; Robert
Kime, "The Development of Baseball as a Major Sport of the Wisconsin State College at La
Crosse" (Wisconsin State College at La Crosse, 1957); and Hector Fisher, "A History of Men's
Track and Field at Wisconsin State College at La Crosse" (Wisconsin State University at La
Crosse, 1968).
55. See Handbook of the Wisconsin Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Revised, Jul. 9,
1974, andLa Crosse (annual), 1972, pp. 90-98; ibid., 1973, pp. 91-112; ibid., 1974, pp. 135-168;
and ibid., 1975, pp. 102-128.
56. The annuals and newspapers contain information on these groups. See, especially, Racquet
(annual), 1932, and Racquet (newspaper), Dec. 9, 1932.



The University and the Larger Community

An institution as vital and active as a university inevitably influences the
community in which it exists. The influences emanating from 17th and State,
whether they be from the normal, the teachers college, the state college or the
university, have radiated in ever-enlarging circles to reach places quite remote
from the center. Within the La Crosse community, the presence of an
institution of higher learning financed by the state signalized an important
element in the local economy. By the mid-1970's, the university had become
the fifth largest employer in the city and had a fiscal impact equivalent to
$63,000,000 on the community. A generation before, regents estimated
salaries, fees, operations and maintenance had contributed $544,000 to the La
Crosse area. 1
The university presence traditionally has provided a center for both formal
and informal educational experiences, furnished opportunities for cultural
activities of various kinds, and contributed a highly-trained faculty who
frequently have become intellectual leaders in the community. Most influential
of all are the thousands who have left the campus carrying diplomas,
certificates and degrees attesting to their abilities and training. These alumni,
some 20,000 strong, were and are the bearers of the La Crosse traditions which
touch the commonwealth of humanity. Their total impact is impossible to
assess. But the individual and composite efforts of those who are known tell the
story rather well-sometimes ordinary, other times uncommon, but most
always a story of dignity, dedication, and distinction.
At first, most alumni attended La Crosse because it was near their homes,
therefore less expensive, and because they wanted to become teachers. As the
years passed, they chose the school for the reputation of its faculty, and, after
the addition of the curriculum in physical education, for the prestige which that
program enjoyed. Thereafter the school drew larger numbers of students from
further away in the state, especially from Milwaukee, and beyond the state
borders, literally from sea to sea.
"The aim of the Normal School," the first catalog proclaimed, "is to train
teachers for the common schools-that is for positions in the elementary and
secondary schools of the state." 2 Through the two generations of the La Crosse
story this aim, elaborated on many times over, has remained a fundamental
goal of the institution. From the beginning, however, the normal offered a
college course intended to prepare the students who chose to transfer
elsewhere for completion of degree programs in education, law, medicine, and
other professions. The college course also sent graduates into all sorts of other
careers. To this end, the first bulletin explained transferability of credits to the
university at Madison:


The University and the Larger Community

Graduates from the present German and Latin courses of
the Normal School will receive two years of University
credit toward the Bachelor of Arts degree.
Graduates from the present English course of the
Normal School will be granted two years of credit toward
the Bachelor of Philosophy degree. 3

The present liberal arts and business administration curricula continue the
tendencies started by the college course.
The early faculty and students knew each other well. They saw one another
constantly during the school day. They had teas and picnics together; they put
on skits together. They belonged to clubs and societies together. First
generation students often felt quite close to individual faculty members. They
did take-offs on their instructors and often cartooned them. Student writers
referred to the best-beloved of all the first faculty, Bessie Bell Hutchison, as
Double B. Before the University became so large that each faculty member had
but comparatively few of the student body in class and most students saw only a
small portion of the faculty in their school years, everyone knew almost
everyone else in the academic community-not only students and faculty, but
secretaries, custodians, maintenance crews and other supportive personnel.
Their lives intertwined as did their impressions of one another. 4

1911 to 1916

From the first classes, graduates went forth to teach in Wisconsin at
Loganville, Trempealeau, Pepin, Black River Falls, Delta, and a host of other
places larger and smaller. Early graduates also found themselves instructing
elementary and secondary grades in Iowa, Washington, Oregon, Arizona,

Georgina Young, '11, attended the normal
school as it was being built.

Bessie Livingston, '11, believed no school could
"boast of a more dedicated faculty" than La


The University and the Larger Community

Wyoming, Illinois, and Minnesota. Georgina Ellen Young, class of 1911, taught
first and second grades for forty-seven years in La Crosse, Seattle, and
Minneapolis. Unable to afford schooling at Madison, she counted herself
fortunate that La Crosse had a normal school. She wrote in part:
LCU was a two-year Normal School when I attended. It
was in the process of being built, so there was much
confusion ...."Born thirty years too soon," I never got to
teach in one of the new modern schools and just missed
out on the big salaries due to retirement. I enjoyed
teaching, but often wonder what would have happened to
me if the darn school had never been built here. 5

Several "dedicated" professors inspired her. Among those she recalled best
were Levinus Denoyer, Bessie Bell Hutchison, Albert Sanford, Adolph
Bernhard, Lottie Deneen, William Austin, and Ernest Long-a litany of names
often repeated by others who also included President Cotton, David 0. Coate,
Dora Carver, William Sanders and Lewis Atherton in the list. 6 Alumna Bessie
Livingston wrote in some detail about several of the early faculty, describing
Atherton as "a diamond in the rough," Sanders, Sanford, and Deneen as "very
fine teachers," and concluding, "taken all in all, I don't believe any school
could boast of a more dedicated faculty than the La Crosse Normal had." 7
Carrie Peckham Iglehart, class of 1912, devoted most of her professional
career to teaching as a Methodist missionary in Japan (1915-1941). She also
served as president of Kwassin Junior College in Nagasaki and as a Vice
President in the International Christian Union, Tokyo, just prior to retirement.
She recalled changing her major from mathematics to history because of the
influence of Albert Sanford's teaching. "I have been proud of the class of
1912...," she wrote, "and La Crosse State College is a school we can all be

William H. Stevenson, '12, went on to represent
Wisconsin in the U.S. Congress.

Carrie Peckham Iglehart, '12, was described in
the annual as "too divine to love."


The University and the Larger Community

proud of. May it continue to serve the world as it trains young people and
inspires them to serve others." 8 The teachers, principals, school superin-
tendents, college professors, and assorted educational specialists in Carrie
Peckham's class included Maud Neprud Otjen who became superintendent of
schools of Vernon County in 1917 and subsequently devoted much of her life to
a variety of women's causes. Also among her classmates were Congressman
William H. Stevenson and Harvard professor Howard Mumford Jones. 9
From the class of 1913, Nellie Sime, a Kickapoogian from LaFarge, taught for
forty years in the same school at Cascade, Montana. Editors of the 1913 annual
placed under her photo: "A happy soul, that all the way to heaven hath a
summer day." She remembered as classmates, Jean Rolfe, a long-time
member of the La Crosse faculty, and Chester Newlun, president of Platteville
Normal. Among these classmates also was Carson A. Hatfield whose
uncommonly active and diverse professional life began as assistant principal at
Ontario, Wisconsin, and included appointments at Readstown, Middleton,
Sauk City, Cornell, Park Falls, Superior, and Madison. The last position was as
secondary school supervisor, State Department of Public Instruction. Hatfield
held several teacher association offices and served in both World Wars. He
wrote in part:

The association with such instructors as Dora Carver,
Bessie Bell (Hutchison), D. O. Coate, Prof. Sanford and
others contributed to my interest in teaching. This interest
took me to the University of Wisconsin and to a Masters
Degree. 10
Among those attending during the World War I years, Gertie L. Hanson
Halsted had a long career in radio work, Arthur Euler served as superintendent
of schools for nearly thirty years at Hillsboro, Westby, Wabeno, and elsewhere,

Carson Hatfield, '12, eventually became secondary  
school supervisor for the Wisconsin
Department of Public Instruction.

Nellie Sime, '13, employed her normal school
training as a teacher for 40 years.


The University and the Larger Community

and Herbert Gaarder spent forty-one years as a research chemist. Wrote
I often review with pleasure the parade of personalities I
knew at "Normal." I especially remember elderly Dr.
Bernhard who taught chemistry and who unwittingly
diverted me from a career in medicine into one of
chemistry by making the subject he taught so interesting.'

Others of that generation included Hazel Brown Leicht, La Crosse County
Superintendent of Schools for twenty-five years; Maude Mulock Havenor, who
after over thirty years of teaching in Madison, continued to work for better
education in the Florida community where she retired; and Vern G. Milum who
pursued his formal education to the Ph. D. and eventually became professor of
entomology at the University of Illinois. 12 From the class of 1916, Lloyd
Whitbeck became a reporter, editor, and publisher; Theophil P. Grauer
obtained both Ph.D. and M.D. degrees and taught and practiced urology for
twenty-eight years; and Agnes E. Carlson spent many years teaching in
Wisconsin, Montana, Minnesota, and California. 13 By the end of the first
decade, graduates of the La Crosse Normal were teaching English, art, history,
physical education and music in the public schools of Dunkirk, New York;
Skokie, Illinois; Casper, Wyoming; Salem, Oregon; Iron River, Michigan; Los
Angeles; Seattle; and a hundred Wisconsin communities.

1917 to 1939

The war and post-war classes produced graduates who sought careers other
than teaching. From the class of 1917 came: Herbert H. Wheaton, Dean of Arts

Gertie L. Hanson Halsted, '14, had a long career
in radio work.

Herbert Gaarder, '14, credited Dr. Bernhard's
interesting teaching of chemistry for his own
career as a research chemist.


The University and the Larger Community

Hazel Brown Leicht, '15, was La Crosse County
Superintendent of Schools for 25 years.

Maude Mulock Havenor, '15, worked for better
education in Madison and, when she retired, in

Lloyd Whitbeck, '16, pursued a career in
journalism as reporter, editor, and publisher.

Vern Milum, '16, became a professor of
entomology at the University of Illinois.


The University and the Larger Community

and Sciences, Fresno State College; Melvin G. Pierce, who recorded his early
affiliation with Wisconsin Progressivism together with an exceptionally active
community life; and Paul F. Schmidt, whose training, teaching career, and
activities in professional organizations in physical education and recreation
were truly monumental endeavors covering a period of forty years. Out of the
tenth graduating class in 1919 came Beulah Wallin who received an M.D. from
the University of Chicago and practiced medicine in Chicago for thirty-one
years, and Joseph A. Dreps, who took a Ph.D. in foreign languages at the
University of Iowa and held the position of professor and departmental
chairman in foreign languages at Northwest Missouri State College for many
In the class of 1921 was Thomas E. McDonough who first enrolled in the
Student Army Training Corps in i918 with the intention of becoming a
physician. After the war he completed the physical education course. He also
studied at Columbia University, George Peabody Institute, Louisiana State
University, and the University of Kentucky. Meantime, he pursued a career of
teaching and coaching in eight different schools, colleges and universities. His
last post was at Emory University where he held the position of division director
and professor of physical education for over two decades. He also held
numerous state and national offices in his discipline, published a host of
articles, participated in numerous international activities including the Pan
American games and the Olympics and received many awards.
Dorothy Dow Butturf (1922), after an early career as a supervisor of physical
education, spent the Roosevelt years (1933-1945) at the White House and Hyde
Park as assistant to the secretary of Eleanor Roosevelt. She also doubled as
swimming teacher for the Roosevelt children and as secretary in the White
House office. In the sixties she was secretary to syndicated columnist Doris
Fleeson. Her recollection of the faculty was

Agnes E. Carlson, '16, taught in Wisconsin,
Montana, Minnesota, and California.

Theophil P. Grauer, '16, taught and practiced


The University and the Larger Community

Herbert H. Wheaton, '17, became Dean of Arts
and Sciences at Fresno State College.

Joyce Webster Simonds, '26. "And her 'yes'
once said to you, Shall be 'yes,' forever more."

Beulah Wallin, '19, received an M.D. from the
University of Chicago.

Paul F. Schmidt, '17, had an outstanding career
in physical education and recreation.


The University and the Larger Community

nothing but a vivid memory of Miss Wilder the first day
she arrived at the school. We all thought that she would be
nothing but a stern disciplinarian, but she had not been
there long before we all loved her dearly. I think she was
one of the finest teachers I have ever had. 14

Mabel Anderson Henker (1923) had "many memories of La Crosse
Normal... all of them happy ones.... I remember Mr. Laux for his wonderful
sense of humor.... I remember Mr. Whitney, how simply he made the rotation
of the earth come alive." Joyce Webster Simonds (1926), who taught
geography and art for twenty-eight years, fondly recalled classes with Rena
Angell and Clayton Whitney. After almost forty years she also remembered
"bird, insect and tree orders" learned from biologist Oren Frazee. Thelma
Jacobson Finefrock (1927), who taught in a half-dozen states and travelled to
England and Turkey with her army husband, chose La Crosse because she had
heard its college had the best physical education program in the United States.
While at the institution she came to love literature almost as much as physical
education because of her classes with Orris White and Bessie Bell Hutchison.
She recollected Anna Wentz' story about participating in a World War I
experiment aimed at "trying to find out what could be put into uniform cloth to
discourage the cooties." 15
Of her years at La Crosse, Marie Czarnetzky Petroff (1929) observed:

Campus life was much different then. None of us had very
much money, so we were happy with more simple things.
Our lecture course was one of our real treats. We heard
Frank Lloyd Wright, H. V. Kaltenborn, Richard Halliburton, 
Lew Sarett and other famous people. 16

Joseph A. Dreps, '19, served as department
chairman of foreign languages at Northwest
Missouri State College.

During FDR's administration, Dorothy Dow
Buttorf, '22, doubled as swimming teacher for the
Roosevelt children and as a secretary in the White


The University and the Larger Community

Melvin G. Pierce, '17, was active in Wisconsin

Frances B. Ritchie, '30, remembers Emma Lou
Wilder as "one of the strongest personalities I
have ever known."

Marie Czarnetzky Petroff, '29, remembers a
lecture series that included Frank Lloyd Wright,
H.V. Kaltenborn, Richard Halliburton, and Lew

Otto Bergman, '34, said of the faculty "part of
their way of thinking became part of our way of
thinking and living."


The University and the Larger Community

From the same class, Stanley Bartz praised Myrtle Trowbridge "for her
thoroughness of teaching...and her warmth for her students," Hans Reuter
"for his genuine interest in his students," and Anna Wentz "for her tolerance
of me...and her quiet willingness to give assistance." 17
Frances Ritchie (1930) recalled her excellent training for teaching physical
education and observed that Emma Lou Wilder "was one of the strongest
personalities I have ever known." Long-time teacher and principal at Melrose,
R. A. Meyer (1933) attributed his successful career to close association with
Everett Walters, Jean Rolfe, James Fairchild, and Ted Rovang. From the same
class, Marie Kilkingstad Schmeckel added Walter Wittich, Anna Wentz,
Marshall Goff, Gabrielle Brendmuhl together with "Mr. Lipovetz and his crazy
experiments and double A's to the girls!" 18 Otto Bergman (1934) recollected
the familiar names-Hutchison, Frazee, Walters, Trowbridge, Whitney-and
Actually there weren't too many teachers in those days
and yet there were enough. They were all great teachers in
the true sense of the word; each knew us and we knew
them. Part of their way of thinking became part of our way
of thinking and living. 19
H. Thomas James (1938), president of the Spencer Foundation in Chicago,
told President Snodgrass when he entered La Crosse State Teachers College
that he wanted to be a writer. The president advised him to get a good liberal
arts education. James wrote perceptively of Bessie Bell Hutchison, who taught
him the beauties of English literature, of Myrtle Trowbridge's "rigor and
enthusiasm," and of Orris O. White, who took him back through the centuries
to Shakespeare and Milton. Kenneth R. Doane (1939) who had a distinguished
career in higher education commented:

Kenneth R. Doane, '39, remembers the "friendliness 
and generosity of...faculty and students."

When Thomas James, '38, told President
Snodgrass that he wanted to be a writer, the
president urged him to get a good liberal arts


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I remember the friendliness and generosity of so many
people-faculty and students.... I'll always be grateful for
the encouragement of Mr. Walters, for the sensitivity of
Mr. Coate, for the expectations of Mr. Laux, for the
opportunity provided by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Clyde
Smith, for the class of Dr. Glover, for the cordiality of Dr.
Annett and Dr. Rolfe, and the gentleness of Mr.
Snodgrass. 20

1940 to the Present

Alumni since 1940 often had no particular impressions of the faculty,
individually or collectively. Some had high praise for Mauree Applegate Clack,
Edgar Knowlton, Kenneth Lindner, and Theodore Rozelle. Others wrote of
Rhea Pederson, Marie Toland, Frederick Davies, and Carl Wimberly. Physical
Education majors recalled Bernadine Kunkel, "super teacher;" Robert
Batchelder, "inspirational;" and Beatrice Baird, "demanding." With these
also appeared Richard Fletcher, Anna Beth Culver, William Parks, and Donald

Honored Faculty

Students sparingly used the time-honored device of recognizing faculty by
dedicating the annual to individuals. Of the sixty-eight annuals only
twenty-three featured such dedications, the last one being in 1954 to Dean
Maurice O. Graff. The first thus honored were President Fassett A. Cotton
(1911), Vice President James O. Engleman (1913), and Ernest D. Long (1915)
who succeeded Engleman. The only other administrator to receive the
distinction was President George Snodgrass (1929). Annual staffs named four
faculty members twice-Adolph Bernhard (1916, 1920), Emma Lou Wilder
(1926, 1937), Walter Wittich (1925, 1936), and Clayton Whitney (1924, 1952).
Others who achieved recognition were James Fairchild (1916), Carl B. Sputh
(1917), Myrtle Trowbridge (1923), William Laux (1932), David O. Coate(1933),
Howard Johnson (1935), Grey Konrad (1950), Orris O. White (1952), and
Emery W. Leamer (1953). As part of the institution's twenty-fifth anniversary
celebration in 1934, the annual's dedication went to the six remaining members
of the first faculty: Florence Wing, Albert Sanford, James Sanders, Bernhard,
Hutchison, and Coate. 21 During the university's history only six faculty
members have been the subjects of seminar papers and theses. 22
Following examples set elsewhere in higher education, La Crosse students
selected faculty members for an excellence in teaching award for a few years.
In 1965 the first such award, sponsored by the Johnson Foundation, went to
Associate Professor James F. Lafky of the English Department together with a
$500 honorarium. In 1968, Regent and Mrs. Eugene W. Murphy established a
fund to provide four such awards in the Wisconsin State Universities at Eau
Claire, La Crosse, Oshkosh, and Platteville. The Johnson Foundation continued
to contribute funds for teachers so honored at the other five state universities.


The University and the Larger Community

In addition to Lafky, there were six recipients of the award at La Crosse prior to
its discontinuance after 1974 because of a lack of student participation in the
selection process. The six were John Alexander (music), Ernest Gershon
(physical education), Richard Hardy (health education), Brenda Randolph
(music), W. G. Vettes (history), and Donald Wille (health education), the only
person to receive such recognition twice.

Faculty Achievements

Because of the heavy emphasis on teaching, the La Crosse faculty generally
has eschewed research for publication. Nonetheless from the first faculty to the
present there have been those who found additional satisfaction in the
academic world by taking the time necessary to do research, to submit the
results of their inquiries for publication, and to keep abreast of new
publications in the various disciplines by reading the appropriate journals and
writing reviews for those journals. But the "publish or perish" syndrome has
not prospered at La Crosse, and there has been virtually no support for it either
among the teaching faculty or the administration. For those who have
published in their disciplines, it has been largely a labor of love and a source of
personal satisfaction. Still, the university annually makes a greater effort to
support research. And for the years 1978-1980, the university Research
Committee awarded over $142,000 in grants to faculty and academic staff in the
form of travel support and salary stipends.

Among the early faculty, historian Albert H. Sanford was the most
productive. Sanford published several articles and books in American history,
particularly Wisconsin history, and co-authored the Sanford-Gordy map series.
His articles appeared in the Wisconsin Magazine of History and in the
Historical Sketches of La Crosse County. Among his books are three volumes
with James A. James, entitled American History, and one with H. J.
Hirshheimer, A History of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, 1841-1900. Sanford
served several terms as president of the La Crosse County Historical Society
and a term as president of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. He was on
the board of curators of the latter from 1918 to 1946. His is one of two portraits
hanging in the board room of the society in Madison. In addition to research
and writing Sanford collected documents for the State Historical Society and
gathered items of all sorts-war mementoes, weapons, coins, Indian artifacts,
old newspapers, atlases, photos and books-for the Normal School Museum
and for the County Historical Society. The university, the local community and
the state of Wisconsin all benefitted from Albert Hart Sanford's devotion to his
profession. 23
The present generation of historians has maintained the scholarly tradition
established by Professor Sanford. They have read papers at professional
society meetings and published book reviews and articles in learned journals.
Among those thus involved in United States history were George C. Carter,
Stanley R. Rolnick, Carol Jenson, James R. Parker, J. Richard Snyder, and


The University and the Larger Community

Martin Zanger. Dr. Jenson won the Solon J. Buck award for the best article
published in Minnesota History in 1972. Historians representative of other
fields in the department who contributed to scholarly publications include Allen
Birchler, Patrick P. Dunn, George Gilkey, Gary G. Kuhn, Bruce Mouser,
William G. Vettes, and Rex Wade who authored The Russian Search for Peace,
February-October, 1917, published by the Stanford University Press in 1969. 24
Among the twenty-odd journals in which these historians have published are
the American Historical Review, Journal ofAfrican History, Journal of Modern
History, Journal of American History, Wisconsin Magazine of History,
Nebraska History, Pacific Historical Review, Illinois History, The Kansas
Historical Quarterly and Repositorio.
Five present and former members of the History Department-Carter,
Dunn, Snyder, Wade, Jenson-and classicist Jean Helliesen have received
fellowships or grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr.
Helliesen has twice been a representative of the university in the Copenhagen
program. Dr. Zanger was a fellow at the Center for the History of the American
Indian at Newberry Library, Chicago during the year 1974-1975 and on a
second year's leave received appointment as associate director of that center.
Drs. Dunn and Snyder collaborated in the publication of a quarterly entitled,
Encounters: A Journal of Regional Interaction, first issued in 1972. The last
number appeared in 1976. This journal published articles, poetry, and essays
by both university faculty and contributors from the La Crosse community.
Three other long-time members of the History Department have put their
expertise to use for the university and the community. Emeritus Professor
Frederick G. Davies was active in the Great Books Symposium at the public
library, the Civil War Roundtable, and the local American Heritage program.
For several years Dr. Davies also supervised students in searching out
biographical data on important Wisconsin figures. Howard Fredricks has made
a unique and imposing contribution to the university and the area. Since 1969,
he has spent uncounted hours enriching the Murphy Library's special
collections in oral history by interviewing a host of individuals, the young and
the old, the well-known and the less conspicuous. Recognizing the value of his
efforts, the university administration provides him with a separate budget
including secretarial help to transcribe the tapes, a difficult task initially
accomplished by the departmental secretary. Fredricks has captured thousands
of memories of the past which would otherwise have been lost. Last of the
three, Vivian Munson, has been exceptionally active in local and state political
life and in the women's liberation movement. She also became the second
person to hold the position of Director of Women's Studies on the campus.

Historians have by no means been alone in their pursuit of extra-class
interests. Almost without exception, the departments making up the College of
Arts, Letters and Sciences and the College of Education are represented by
creativity, research, publication and public service in their areas. Members of
the Art and Music Departments exemplify these creative tendencies.
Eight members of the Art Department have exhibited their works throughout
the United States and in some cases have won prizes for them. Among those


The University and the Larger Community

primarily painters, Dale Kendrick has had exhibits at Purdue University, the
Wisconsin Salon of Art, and the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California.
He received a purchase prize award for his "Boy Baby" at the latter. William
Vafeas has shown paintings in New York and Boston and has numerous works
in private collections. Dr. Vafeas also writes poetry. The first issue of
Cronopios, a small volume of poetry edited by English instructor James
Stephen featured nineteen of Vafeas' poems within the broad designation,
"Figures of a Similar Sun." Vafeas also illustrated the volume. A subsequent
Cronopios quoted the Los Angeles Free Press on this volume noting in part:
"I must say that Vafeas is powerful, perhaps greater as a painter than a
poet, yet in him the two genres seem finely inseparable." 25 Daniel Devitt has
shown paintings at Whitewater, Stevens Point, Oshkosh, and Beloit.
Erwin Erickson has displayed lithographs at the Walker Art Gallery in
Minneapolis, the Wisconsin Union Gallery at Madison, Northern Illinois
University, the University of Illinois, and Albion College among other places.
Two of his drawings won purchase prizes-"Classical Pipes" at the Madison
gallery and "Green Mountain Sunrise." The latter is part of the permanent
collection of the Georgia Commission on the Arts.
Works of ceramicist Leonard Stach have appeared on exhibit at Findlay
College, the Stoneflower and Suzanne Kohn Galleries in St. Paul, the Rochester
Art Center, and Alverno College. His predecessor, Kenneth Vavrek, exhibited
at the Shubeyn Gallery in Chicago, L'Atelier in Milwaukee, and the Kohler Art
Center, Sheboygan. Vavrek received prize awards for two pieces-one from the
Milwaukee Art Center and the other from the Cleveland Art Center. Sculptor
Duwayne Lesperance has had several one-man shows-at Clark College,
Viterbo College, and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. His works also
have been on display at the Minneapolis 118 Art Gallery, and the Wright Art
Center, Beloit. Art metalist William Fiorini has displayed his jewelry creations
in Chicago, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Ann Arbor, and Corning, New York. He
received a first prize at L'Atelier (Milwaukee) and an award at the Mississippi
Arts and Crafts Exhibition in Jackson.
Of the eleven faculty in the Music Department in 1975 only five had been
there ten years or more. Meantime the traditional orientation of the
department, which was almost entirely toward music education, expanded to
embrace performance music on a broad scale. With that change as noted
elsewhere came the Marching Chiefs, the Symphonic Band, the University
Symphony Orchestra, the University Chorus, and smaller performing groups
deriving from these. Among the early music faculty was Russell V. Morgan
(1916-1921) who penned the words to the school song which first appeared in
print in the Racquet of February 5, 1917. The first verse opening with
"Morning sun greets many banners" and the chorus beginning with "Colors
dear, Flag we love" are still sung on appropriate occasions. The second verse
has lost its reason for being:

La Crosse Normal of Wisconsin
to thy praise we sing,
All our song to thee is given
ever may it ring.


The University and the Larger Community

The career of Thomas E. Annett spanned portions of two generations.
Particularly interested in music for elementary schools he published, among
other studies, Music in the Rural School in 1938. Annett Recital Hall, in the
Fine Arts Building, honors his contributions to the university. Of more recent
date, Dallas A. Weekley wrote on the visit of Czech composer Anton Dvorak to
Iowa in Music Journal, and with his wife and performing partner, Nancy
Arganbright, discussed piano duets in Clavier. The Weekleys have performed
concerts of single piano duets throughout the United States and in Europe. In
1968, Music and Artists cited them as one of the four outstanding musical
couples in America. Truman D. Hayes has had several compositions performed
at the Wisconsin Composers Forum and has given several recitals of his own
works. The University of Oklahoma Chamber Choir performed his "I Have a
Dream" in 1971.
In the fine arts otherwise, Thomas Wirkus (speech) co-authored a text for use
in vocational and technical schools, Communication and the Technical Man
(1972). And A. Richard Tinapp (theatre) wrote on secondary school theatre
management in the American Theatre Association, Course-Guide for Secondary
Schools. He also published in Players Magazine.
Members of the art, music, and speech/theatre departments also have
participated frequently in La Crosse Community Theatre productions which
began in the fall of 1963. Artists Kenneth Vavrek and Erwin Erickson
contributed their talents to set designing in the first years of the theatre.
Among other early participants were William Dixon, John Swickard, and
William Estes. Dixon was the volunteer director of community theatre
presentations during the first three years, and Swickard played piano in pit
orchestras. For the decade beginning in the fall of 1964, Dr. Estes served as
musical director of several productions including Oliver, Guys and Dolls, Man
from La Mancha, and Fiddler on the Roof. Dr. Hayes composed and arranged
music for Othello and The Innocents. Speech professor Jack Starr acted in a
half-dozen plays and musicals of the 1970's as did Bernard Jeffries. From the
faculty at large, the two who most frequently played acting roles were Julia
Steinke Saterbak, elementary education, and William Parks, economics. 26

La Crosse's two outstanding authors of the last generation are Mauree
Applegate Clack, elementary education, and John I. Judson, English.
"Apple's" interest lay in children's literature, a field in which she published
several books. Among them were Everybody's Business-Our Children,
Winged Writing, Helping Children Write, Freeing Children to Write, The First
Book ofLanguage, and Easy in English. She also wrote many poems, often as
Christmas messages. Her poems mirror her generous love for humanity and for
the beauties of nature. Kind, thoughtful and witty, Mauree Applegate Clack
shared her reflections with audiences at a hundred commencements, on the
lecture circuit and the radio, in the faculty lounge and with her beloved children
in the classroom.
John Judson is a poet of national distinction. His books of poetry include Ash
is the Candle's Wick, Within Seasons, which won the Council of Wisconsin
Writers top award in 1971, and Routes from the Onion's Dark, for which he


The University and the Larger Community

received the same recognition in 1977. Judson was recipient of the Hart Crane
and Alice Crane Williams Memorial award (1969) for "January Poem for Henry
Thoreau." In 1973, National Public Radio and the National Endowment for the
Arts presented him with the Earplay Award for his play, West of Burnham,
South of Troy. His poetry has appeared in The Quarterly Review of Literature,
The Southern Review, Kayak 10 Descant, the New York Times, and other
publications. Judson also publishes chapbooks of poetry and prints the literary
magazine, Northeast, on the Juniper Press located in his home. In 1975 the
Authors League of America selected his publications as among the five best of
their kind in the United States. As noted elsewhere, Judson has edited the
contemporary midwest poetry series, Voyages to the Inland Sea, published
jointly by the Murphy Library and the English Department. This publication
has been tastefully printed by emeritus professor Dr. Emerson Wulling
(English) on the Sumac Press in his home. 27
From the English Department also, William Hyde has written articles on
English author Thomas Hardy for Victorian Poetry, the Victorian Newsletter,
and a new edition of Hardy's Jude the Obscure. Richard O. Boudreau has
published several items on West Salem author Hamlin Garland and on other
midwestern writers including Zona Gale, Stirling Wilson, and Rasmus B.
Anderson. He also presented a series on Wisconsin authors over the state radio
network. Former member of the English Department, poet James Stephens
published The Reason I am a Creature of the Waters, Seumas Blues, 28 Poems
by Robert Bly and Others, and A Broadsheet in the Flat Syle. The last two
include poems by Judson and another former member of the department, Jay
Gurian. As noted before, Stephens edited a small volume of poetry, Cronopios,
issued in seven numbers between 1966 and 1970. Emeritus Professor Edgar
Knowlton whose career spanned two generations published over a dozen
articles in journals such as Classical Philology, Modem Philology, Studies in

Mauree Applegate Clack, premier teacher of
children and writer for children.

John Judson, poet, editor, professor of English.


The University and the Larger Community

the Renaissance, and Journal of English, and German Philology. Among the
subjects of Dr. Knowlton's commentaries were English authors Spenser,
Shakespeare, Milton, Jonson, and Wordsworth. He also authoredAn Outline of
WorldLiterature. Professor Emeritus Mary Hebberd published several articles
on local history.

Among the more active departments in publishing are psychology and
sociology/anthropology. Psychologists Robert M. Jackson and John C.
Cleveland have written on underachievers, C. Stuart Robertshaw on
emotionally disturbed adolescents and pre-school child behavior, Harold D.
Hiebert on learning theory, Harry Gardiner on comparative roles of women in
different cultures, Andris Ziemelis on counseling, and Louis W. Stamps on
psycho-therapy. Dr. Stamps is one of sixty or so qualified therapists certified by
the Institute for the Advanced Study of Rational Psychotherapy. Among the
publications carrying the studies of these psychologists are the Journal of
School Psychology, The Journal of Vocational Behavior, School Application of
Learning Theory, Journal of Psychiatric Nursing and Mental Health Services,
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of Genetic Psychology,
and Journal of Counseling Psychology.
Sociologists who have published in their various special areas of
interest-cross cultural study, racism, social class attitudes, the effects of
death and dying on children-include Sheldon Smith, Robert A. Bendiksen,
William J. Mackey, Robert W. Bilby and Phillip L. Berg. Results of their
research have appeared in The Wisconsin Sociologist, Sociological Quarterly,
Social Forces, Rural Sociology, OMEGA, Arete The Journal of Experimental
Education, PHYLON: The Journal of Race and Culture, and The Iowa Journal
of Social Work. Dr. Berg was a fellow of the National Endowment for the
Humanities during the summer of 1975, studying religion in American history
at Princeton University.

In the sciences, biology professor Howard F. Young has published a dozen
articles on ornithological topics in the Wilson Bulletin, Ecology Passenger
Pigeon, Bird-Banding, and Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New York.
His colleagues, Richard A. Fletcher, Jerry D. Davis, and Laraine Unbehaun,
have written for the Journal of Experimental Zoology, the Botanical Gazette,
and Tobacco Science and Phytopathology. In 1973, the Smithsonian Institution
appointed botanist Seymour Sohmer to its "Flora of Ceylon Project" at which
he spent several months collecting specimens and preparing manuscripts on
the plants, some of which "are disappearing with the encroachment of
Several members of the chemistry department have contributed the results
of their researches to the Journal of Chemical Education, the Bulletin of
Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, the Journal of Organic
Chemistry, Physical Review, and Inorganic Chemistry. William Nieckarz,
Charles Hosler, Roland Roskos, John Tonnis, Gerald Rausch, and C. Richard
Kistner have been among the contributors. The department's student affiliate
of the American Chemical Society has consistently received national
recognition for its programs and activities. In 1971, the ACS honored this


The University and the Larger Community

chapter as one of the top three out of 536 similar groups in the United States.
SIAM: Journal of Numerical Analysis, 28 Glasnik Matematicki, Pacific Journal
of Mathematics, Journal of Differential Equations, and Journal ofMultivariate
Analysis all have carried articles by mathematicians Charles Schelin, James
Wine, David Bange, and John Scheidt. Dennis O'Brien co-authored an article
on computing and computers for the Indian Journal of Mathematics Teaching.
Other faculty of the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences who have published
in their fields include: physicists Dell Fystrom and Robert Allen in Proceedings
of the Third International Conference of Precision Measurements and
Fundamental Constants and The Astrophysical Journal; economists Lawrence
Daellenbach, Douglas Sweetland, and William Pollman in Journal of
Agricultural Economics, Demography, Industrial Gerontology and Journal of
Gerontology; political scientist John T. Fishel in Military Review; and
philosopher Ronald Glass in The Personalist. Geographer Herman Nelson
wrote the introductory chapter to Leland Sage's prize-winning A History of
Iowa and in 1975 his colleague Jerry B. Culver edited the first volume of the
Atlas of Wisconsin. Authors of recently-published volumes include Ronald
Greenwood (management and marketing), Managerial Decentralization;
Ramiro Manalich (foreign languages), Hispanoamerica; Ram Kirpalani
(management and marketing), co-author of Business Policies: Total
Management View; and Surender Singh, Twin Democracies: United States and

Among faculty in professional education, Burton Altman has written on
micro teaching in The Instructor and on curriculum planning in Scienta
Paedogogica Experimentalis. With Eugene Williams, English department, Dr.
Altman co-authored Monday Morning, Humanistic Teaming with Student
Teachers, (1973). Dwan Wick and Edward Zeimet have published in
Educational and Industrial Television, and reading specialist, David Gustafson
in the Wisconsin State Reading Journal.

In physical education, Walter Wittich and Hans Reuter wrote Exercises on
the Apparatus, Tumbling, and Stunts, in use for several decades after its
publication in 1925.
Wittich's efforts in behalf of his discipline both on and off the campus were
prodigious. He attended innumerable state and national professional meetings,
served as state president of the Wisconsin Society of Physical Education which
he helped to develop, and made countless speeches on questions relating to
health and physical education. His publications appeared in Wisconsin Physical
Education Journal, Journal of Health and Physical Education, and Wisconsin
Journal ofEducation, among others. He especially conveyed his ideas as editor
(1935-1953) of Health and Physical News published at La Crosse. He was very
much opposed to athletic competition among elementary students because of
its perils for growing bodies. Following Wittich's example, his staff
participated widely in professional activities, and seven of them-Emma Lou
Wilder, Hans Reuter, Robert Nohr, Elizabeth Rogers, Ann Thomas, Ernest
Gershon, and Beatrice Baird-served as state presidents of the Wisconsin
Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. 29


The University and the Larger Community

Ferd John Lipovetz authored a number of studies in anatomy and kinesiology
including Basic Physiology of Exercise and Basic Kinesiology. Of the later
generation Philip Wilson and William Van Atta have published in several
journals including American Corrective Therapy Journal, Research Quarterly,
Wisconsin Association for Health, Recreation and Physical Education, and
Theory and Practice. Dr. Wilson also edited a study entitled Adult
Fitness-Cardiac Rehabilitation. Gary Gilmore and Richard Hardy have written
articles in health education.

During the last two decades, several faculty have held state, regional, and
national offices in their professional areas, and have received other recognition.
Among these are Dean Glenn M. Smith, director, vice-president, treasurer,
and president, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation
and Dance; E. William Vickroy, president, National Association of Intercollegiate 
Athletics Football Coaches Association; Smith (1964) and A. B.
Culver (1975), president, Wisconsin Association of Health, Physical Education,
and Recreation; Clifton DeVoll and Lane Goodwin, division chairpersons,
Midwest Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. DeVoll
twice (1964 and 1965) achieved recognition as Coach of the Year from N.A.I.A.
District 14.

Other faculty who have served in state and national offices include classicist
Jean Helliesen, chairperson, Wisconsin American Revolution Bicentennial
Commission; geographer Jerry Culver, president of The Association of
University of Wisconsin Faculties (TAUWF); Cloyce Campbell, director,
Wisconsin Council on Economic Education; Lawrence Nutter, chairman,
Governor's Advisory Board on Air Pollution for 1973; Charles Haas, president,
Wisconsin Speech Communication Association; Virgil Holder, president, North
Central Council of Latin Americanists; and Robert Uber, secretary, American
Association of Physics Teachers, Wisconsin chapter. Jack Starr has been a
member of the national standards committee of Pi Kappa Delta, speech
fraternity, and registrar Robert O. LeRoy held two important posts in the
American Association of Collegiate Registrars in 1975.

The La Crosse faculty has not been hasty in seeking extra-mural funding for
scholarly activites. Still gifts and grants to support various faculty projects and
proposals have increased significantly in the 1970's. Some fifty faculty
members received over $1,260,000 from public and private sources between
1971 and 1976. Single recipient of the largest amount was Thomas O. Claflin for
the River Studies Research Group (some $300,000, most of which came from
the United States Corps of Engineers). Members of the departments of biology,
chemistry, geography, mathematics, psychology, and physics obtained grants
from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totalling $190,000. The largest
single NSF grant of $59,000 went to James Ryan in special education.


The University and the Larger Community


Ray "Tubby" Keeler ................... Coach, 1916-1930
Clark Van Galder   ................... Athlete, 1929-1932
Coach, 1948-1952


Ted Levenhagen ...........................Athlete, 1949-1953
Arnie Wilhelm ............................Athlete, 1939-1943
Coach, 1948-1952

Clyde Smith ..Athletic Director, Coach, Dean of Men, 1938-1948

Ace Loomis ...............................Athlete, 1948-1951
Ned Wulk ................................Athlete, 1939-1942

Willie Berzinski ..........................Athlete, 1952-1956
Bill Schwoegler ...........................Athlete, 1932-1935

Bob Lagerman ...........................Athlete, 1948-1952
Henry Sugden ...........................Athlete, 1935-1939


Floyd Gautsch ..........................Athlete, 1920-1922
Coach, 1939-1969


Louis Kulcinski ............................Athlete, 1916-1918
Carlton "Jelly" Roels ......................Athlete, 1918-1920
George A. Sladky ...........................Athlete, 1947-1951
Thomas Curry ...............................Athlete, 1949-1951

Billy W. Provine ...........................Athlete, 1953-1957
Arri J. Nichols ..............Athletic Merit Award Winner, 1979
Hans C. Reuter .............................Coach, 1923-1941
Richard A. Ritger ..........................Athlete, 1956-1960
Evar W. Silvernagle ........................Athlete, 1934-1938


The University and the Larger Community

Twenty faculty received fifty separate grants worth over one-half million
dollars from the federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Among
those awarded substantial sums were psychologist Kerry Nelson ($88,000),
psychologist Harold Hiebert ($67,000), and minority studies director George
Carter ($60,000). Grantees in the arts and humanities not previously noted
include two from the National Endowment for the Humanities to Shirley Tock
and Mary Gayle Pifer both in foreign languages, and to Robert Joyce (theatre)
from the National Endowment for the Arts and Wisconsin Arts Board. Sizeable
gifts from private donors were those to the Center for Economic Education, the
radio station, and the cardiac rehabilitation program. 30

In 1969, the university established an Athletic Wall of Fame in Mitchell Hall.
Here plaques and summations of the careers of former athletes and coaches
honor those selected. The first two thus recognized were Raymond (Tubby)
Keeler, football All-American at Madison and a highly successful coach at La
Crosse from 1916 to 1930, and Clark Van Galder, star athlete and winning coach
at La Crosse. To 1979, nineteen other names had been added to the wall. (See
Alumni who became professional athletes included John Watts (x-1936), who
played for the Harlem Globetrotters; Don Iverson (1968), who joined the
Professional Golfers Association tour after graduation; Craig Kusick (1972) and
Jerry Augustine (1974), major league baseball players; and Jack Connaughton
and Richard A. Ritger, championship bowlers.

Alumni Achievements

What then can be said of the La Crosse alumni and faculty? Few have
attained national prominence, but many have been highly accomplished and
well known in their fields. Some alumni remained or returned to join the ranks
of their former mentors, although the percentage of those doing so has been
small, usually around ten to twelve. Most eminent of the alumni in the
academic world are Howard Mumford Jones (1912) and Thomas McDonough
(1920). Professor, critic, and author of national prominence, Jones spent the
final years before his retirement in 1962 at Harvard University where he was
Lowell Professor of Humanities. Prior to appointment at Harvard, he taught at
the Universities of Texas, North Carolina, and Michigan. In 1964 he received
both the Pulitzer and Emerson prizes for his book O Brave New World. 31

As noted previously, Thomas McDonough has had a long distinguished
career in physical education as teacher, administrator, and member of a host of
professional organizations associated with his discipline. He also has received
numerous awards and recognitions.
These two eminent alumni, Jones and McDonough, were the first to receive
the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse,
an award established in 1977 by Maurice O. Graff who himself was the
recipient of a similar one from his alma mater, Illinois State University. In 1978,
Thomas Hancock (x-1933) and Dr. John Thomas (1956) received the
Distinguished Alumnus Award. During a forty-year career at the Trane


The University and the Larger Community

Howard Mumford Jones, '12, went on to become Lowell Professor of Humanities at

James van lassel, '51, was a member of   
the team that developed the first handheld 

Thomas McDonough, '20, enjoyed
physical education as a vocation and an


The University and the Larger Community

Company, Hancock advanced from the position of clerk to chairman of the
board and chief executive officer. Thomas is associate dean of the West
Virginia University School of Medicine.
Most recently honored (1979) were James Van Tassel (1951), member of the
team at Texas Instruments Corporation which developed the first hand-held
calculator, and Timothy Nugent (1947), director of the Division of
Rehabilitation Education Services and of the Rehabilitation Education Center at
the University of Illinois, Champaign. Widely recognized as an authority on
adaptive physical education, Nugent's research has been concentrated on
making physical educational facilities available and usable to the handicapped.
He is also the "father" of wheelchair basketball, now a worldwide sport.
Among alumni in physical education, Louis Kulcinski (1918) had an
outstanding career for over a generation. He taught at the University of Illinois,
Massachusetts Teachers College, and the University of South Carolina. He also
held the post of Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction in Illinois for
several years. 32
Some alumni have had notable business careers. Foremost among these is
Herbert V. Prochnow (1917) who rose from assistant cashier to president of the
First National Bank of Chicago. He also had authored some thirty books on
topics ranging from toastmastery to banking and has edited another eight
studies on financial institutions, world economic policies, interest rates, and
related topics. During his career, Prochnow lectured at Loyola, Indiana, and
Northwestern Universities, served as chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the

Herbert Prochnow, '17, pursued a
business career that led to becoming  
president of the First National Bank of  

Louis Kulcinski, '18, became Assistant
Superintendent of Public Instruction in


The University and the Larger Community

General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) in 1950, and sat on
innumerable committees and boards. The first position he held after leaving
the normal was as principal of the high school at Kendall, Wisconsin, a town of
about 500 souls. 33
Louis B. Falb (1922) moved through several positions to that of assistant to
the vice president of General Mills Corporation. Richard Thrune (1928, 1935),
who began his professional career as a teacher and coach in the Norwalk and
Ontario, Wisconsin, area, joined Dow Chemical as a researcher in 1937
becoming chief of an important laboratory. Thrune established a scholarship
fund for students attending La Crosse from the area near his birthplace, Coon
Valley. William Kranz (1937) achieved high position with the Natural Gas
Pipeline Company of America. 34
One member of the original faculty also became a highly successful
businessman. He was Levinus P. Denoyer who, with Otto E. Geppert,
organized the Denoyer-Geppert map company after three years of managing
editor of the A. J. Nystrom Company in Chicago. Denoyer taught at the normal
from 1909 to 1913. Apparently mindful of his early career he authored books for
teachers to accompany the use of maps and globes his company produced. In
addition to publishing Outline of Commercial Geography (1912) and Teachers'
Manualfor Globes (1929), he edited two school atlases. 35 Another of the first
faculty, Dr. Adolph Bernhard, had a second career as an oil chemist in Chicago
following his retirement in 1938.
The political life attracted William H. Stevenson (1912), teacher, attorney,

Levinus Denoyer, a geography
instructor, was one of the founders of the
Denoyer-Geppert map company.

Richard Thrune, '28 and '35, established 
a scholarship fund for Coon Valley
area students to attend La Crosse.


The University and the Larger Community

and four-time Congressman (1941-1949), as it did Paul Hassett (1940) who was
executive secretary to Governor Warren Knowles. Peter Pappas (x-1937) was
executive legal counsel to Governor Vernon Thomson and later became judge of
the Sixth Circuit Court. D. Russell Wartinbee (1923), Oliver H. Fritz (x-1925),
Robert L. Quackenbush (1950), Leland Mulder (x-1959), Marlon Schneider
(1965), and John Medinger (1970) all have been members of the Wisconsin
legislature. Frank W. Kuehl (1914) spent twenty-six years with the federal
government as an attorney. His service as bond counsel for the Reconstruction
Finance Corporation (RFC) drew high praise from his peers on his retirement in
1964. Before going into the federal service, Kuehl was legal counsel to
Governor John J. Blaine and assistant attorney general of Wisconsin between
1923 and 1933 when he joined the RFC. He interrupted his federal career to
become legal advisor to the American Medical Association from 1954 to 1959.
The first position which Frank Kuehl held after graduating from La Crosse was
that of a high school principal. 36

Eminent members of the medical profession who attended La Crosse for
varying lengths of time include Dr. Sylvester Welch, head of Beaumont
Hospital, Prairie du Chien, Dr. Sigurd B. Gundersen, Sr., and Dr. Gunnar
Gundersen, Sr. The Gundersens were among the early members of the famed
La Crosse clinic that carries their father's name. Dr. Gunnar Gundersen also
served a term as president of the American Medical Association. Dr. Janet
Anderson Caldwell, class of 1915, went into medicine at a time when few
women ventured to do so. Unwilling to accept the inactive life, she continued to
work after official retirement in 1962 until her medical career had spanned a
half-century. Shortly before her death Dr. Caldwell published a controversial
book entitled, Jesus: A Psychobiography and Medical Evaluation. 37

Don Herbert (Kemske), class of 1940, the Mr. Wizard on television during
the 1960's, chose the entertainment world for his life work after serving as a
pilot in World War II. He prepared for his profession by taking part in nine
theatrical productions while attending La Crosse State Teachers College. The
alumnus with perhaps the most unusual career is John Mwaura (1965). A
political science major at La Crosse, Mwaura returned to his native Kenya
where he joined the foreign office in 1968, serving in various offices until his
appointment as ambassador to West Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands
for Kenya in 1977. On a visit to the La Crosse campus in 1979, Mwaura spoke
highly of the instruction he received and noted: "The faculty not only knew the
subject matter, but they genuinely cared whether the student was learning or
not." 38

The university's most distinguished contribution to the military was Ralph
M. Immell (1915). Known as "Big Six" during his years at the normal, he
served with the 101st infantry in World War I, and afterwards became adjutant
general of Wisconsin in 1923 at the age of twenty-nine. He held that post for
almost twenty years. He rose to the rank of general in World War II during
which he received decorations from several foreign governments and the
American Distinguished Service Medal. 39


The University and the Larger Community

There can be no doubt that the first faculties set high standards for
themselves and for their students. How well their successors upheld that
tradition will have to be assessed by future historians. Of the first group, Janet
Prendergast Eldred recalled "Mr. Wittich, so tall, dignified and so proficient in
his work," Miss Trowbridge, "so wrapped up not only in her work, but in us,"
Mr. Coate, "because of him I still read his poets and can dash off some
Browning," and Miss Thompson, "with her stern discipline, her insistence on
excellence, and her wonderful dancing." Mrs. Eldred noted further:

I suppose, according to today's standards, teachers were
underpaid and overworked. But it seems to me, they were
happier in those days. They were completely dedicated
and wrapped up in their subjects and students. They
seemed to live for their work, gave of their free time to
clubs and after hours work, without thought of overtime
pay, were so interested in you and tried to spark your
interest in whatever their field. 40

Changes in the relationships of teachers and students accompanied the
passage of the institution from the normal school to the university of today. As
a result, the likelihood that future writers of the university's history will secure
such expressions of goodwill and praise from the latest generation of students
is less certain. The faculty and student body seemed to have turned inward,
each to its peer group. Often, save for the occasional brush in the classroom,
teachers and students seem largely unaware of one another's existence much of
the time. Perhaps more important still is the fact that neither appears to be
much concerned about that condition of things.

Ralph M. Immell, '15, known as "Big Six" at La
Crosse Normal, pursued a successful miliatry career.

Janet Prendergast Eldred, '20, described the early
faculty as "completely dedicated [to] their subjects and


The University and the Larger Community


1. Report of Assistant Chancellor David R. Witmer, Aug. 3, 1976, and Regents Proceedings
(Apr. 20-21, 1950), pp. 33, 37, and 38.
2. Bulletin of the State Normal School, La Crosse, Wis., June, 1910, p. 11.
3. Ibid., p. 10. Such credits were transferable elsewhere, for example to other normal schools
and to the University of Chicago. Individual students often had difficulties in transferring
credits to Madison which the author of the catalog statement either did not anticipate, acknowledge, 
or know about.
4. See, for example, Racquet (annual), 1911, p. 124; ibid., 1912, pp. 126-127; ibid., 1913, p. 156;
and ibid., 1916, passim.
5. Questionnaire reply, Jul. 7, 1965. In 1965 and 1975 I sent questionnaires to randomly-selected
alumni asking them about their years at La Crosse, their impressions of the faculty, and their
careers. Several hundred replied, those of the first generation much more fully. I refer to these
in the footnotes as Questionnaire reply(ies) with the appropriate date. These are housed in the
Area Research Center, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
6. Ibid. See also questionnaire replies all from members of the class of 1911: Lora Hill Axtell,
Laura Sjolander Reid, Georgia Hill Matthews, Amund Olson Tuhus, and Winifred Keith Pinto.
7. Ibid., Jul. 14, 1965.
8. Ibid., Jul. 5, 1965.
9. Racquet (annual), 1912, pp. 38, 41, and 47. Questionnaire replies from Frank M. Noll,
B. A. Stevens, Jessie A. Dietrich, Nels E. Erickson, Florence J. Everson, Jennie H. Rae,
Florence James Champion, William H. Stevenson, and Maud Neprud Otjen.
10. Questionnaire replies, Jul. 12, 1965, and Jul. 3, 1965. See also the questionnaires from Myrtle
Moore, Daisy Gage Stevens, Abbie Fauver Jones, Hildur Olson Spencer, and Helen Cox
11. Ibid., Jul. 3, 1965. See also replies from Gertie Hanson Halstead, Jul. 15, 1965, and Arthur
Euler, Jul. 5, 1965.
12. Ibid., Jul. 5, 1965, Jul. 6, 1965, and Jul. 5, 1965, respectively.
13. Ibid., Aug. 9, 1965, Jul. 31, 1965, and Jul. 21, 1965, respectively.
14. Ibid., Jul. 6, 1965. See also ibid., Jul. 5, 1965, Jul. 7, 1965, Jul. 9, 1965, Jul. 23, 1965, and
Aug. 31, 1965.
15. Ibid., Jul. 6, 1965, and Nov. 26, 1965.
16. Ibid., Jul. 5, 1965.
17. Ibid., Jul. 6, 1965.
18. Ibid., Jul. 12, 1965, and Oct. 9, 1965.
19. Ibid., Oct. 28, 1965.
20. Ibid., Oct. 15, 1965, and The Alumnus (Spring, 1977), p. 7.
21. The recipients' academic areas were: education-Leamer, Sanders; English-Coate, Hutchison, 
White; geography-Whitney; history-Laux, Sanford, Trowbridge; library-Wing;
physical education-Johnson, Sputh, Wilder, Wittich; sciences-Bernhard, Conrad, Fairchild.
22. The six are Edith Cartwright, Mauree Applegate Clack, Leon Miller, Hans Reuter, Emma Lou
Wilder, and Walter Wittich.
23. Sanford also authored Government in State and Nation (1911) and The Government of
Wisconsin (1912). See also Clifford L. Lord and Carl Ubbelohde, Clio's Servant, The State
Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1846-1854 (Madison, Wis.: 1967), pp. 140, 233, 319, 346, 352,
353, 382, 419, 452, 464, and 471; and Eleanor R. Sanford, "Albert Hart Sanford, Teacher-
Historian of La Crosse," La Crosse County Historical Sketches, ser. 8 (La Crosse, Wis.:
La Crosse County Historical Society, 1950), pp. 102-103. Sanford played important roles in the
State Teachers Retirement System and in the faculty group then known as the Association of
State Normal School Faculties now called The Association of the University of Wisconsin
24. Sources for most of the information on faculty publications and other scholarly activities noted
are the Faculty Bulletin (1963-1973), the University Newsletter (1973--), Publication Abstracts
issued by the Wisconsin State University System (1967-1970), and University of Wisconsin
System, Faculty Memo (1972--). Additional sources are cited separately.


The University and the Larger Community

25. Cronopios, No. 2, p. 47.
26. Mrs. Saterbak is official historian of the La Crosse Community Theatre and as such has
donated theatre programs and clippings to the Special Collections, Murphy Library, UW-L.
27. La Crosse Tribune, Mar. 9, 1975, Dec. 17, 1976, and May 2, 1977.
28. SIAM is the acronym for Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
29. Culver, Walter J. Wittich, pp. 125-144.
30. The information on gifts and grants was supplied by William Gresens, UW-L Development
31. The Alumnus, (Winter, 1978).
32. Ibid., See also ibid., (Winter, 1977); Crossties, (Fall, 1978); and Crossties, (Fall, 1979).
33. Who's Who in America, 2 (1974-1975): 2497, and Francis Altman, Herbert V. Prochnow,
Banker, (Minneapolis: T. S. Denison & Company, Inc., 1969).
34. The Alumnus (Spring, 1977), pp. 5 and 11.
35. National Cyclopedia ofAmerican Biography, 52: 554.
36. Congressional Record, 110, no. 196 (Oct. 22, 1964), and Wisconsin Blue Book, 1927, p. 90;
1929, p. 121; 1931, p. 262; and 1933, p. 277.
37. The Alumnus (Winter, 1978), p. 23.
38. Crossties, (Winter, 1979), St. PaulDispatch, Sept. 8, 1977, andLa Crosse (annual), 1940, p. 35.
39. Mr. Immell's son kindly supplied a biographical sketch of his father's career. See also Racquet
(annual), 1915, p. 45.
40. Questionnaire reply, Aug. 31, 1965, and The Alumnus (Spring, 1976), p. 4.


View from Grandad Bluff


The Last Decade

On a Monday in the spring of 1919, one hundred students walked out of
classes to celebrate a state basketball championship and to protest the refusal
of the school authorities to allow a victory dance. Stopped from going downtown
by President Cotton and Walter Wittich, the students extracted the promise of
a dance that evening from their mentors. An unsympathetic faculty committee
suspended two coeds and virtually forced the withdrawal from school of two
male students. In the wake of this hassle the same committee removed the
female editor of the student newspaper for allowing an "objectionable article"
to be printed. Apparently, the objectionable material was an account of student
defiance of the president when he urged them to return to school. The dance
featured spiked punch and a report that at least one student staggered on to the
floor discussing with another which of the two was the drunker. 1
A half-century later the walk-out would appear tame indeed compared to
marches and gatherings prompted by opposition to the Vietnam war and
student anger at what in their view was far too much supervision of their lives
on campus. The spiked punch could scarely compete with before and after
dance parties held by fraternities and sororities many of them not models of
sobriety. At the mid-seventies the food service in the student centers was
serving beer as a matter of course, a concession made by the regents after the
appropriate foufouraw. Chancellor Lindner was at the tapping of the first keg in
March of 1972. Alcoholic beverages had become an accepted appendage of
dormitory life, and any thirst not quenched on campus could be slaked in over
150 taverns, clubs and dining places in town. 2
During the decade ending with the mid-seventies, significant changes
brought on both by internal and external pressures occurred in student life,
educational opportunities, the governance of the university, and administration. 
By 1975, it appeared that the changes were working for the best.
Enrollments not only held steadily but began to increase. The new facilities
were in full operation, and the budget for the times was, except for salaries,
generous. Of all the changes affecting student life, two events have had the
most impact. The first of these was the abolishment of the outmoded doctrine,
in loco parentis, whose extirpation few administrators, faculty, or students
mourned. To the young and their sympathizers who raised the argument,
surely as old as ancient Greece, that if they were old enough to fight and to die
in far away wars, they were old enough to manage more of their own affairs,
this occurrence was long overdue. The legal coming of age of eighteen year olds
meant that most students were no longer minors. What this might have
portended frightened some of their elders; what actually happened was less
than sensational. The second event was the merging of the two systems of
higher education in Wisconsin. Merger has affected student life, faculty
actions, and administrative decision-making.


The Last Decade

Student Services
Despite much change, the Student Affairs Office has continued to influence
student life markedly. This office has assumed a role somewhat different from
that of parent away from home and the administrator of student discipline.
Since 1976, students accused of academic or non-academic misconduct have
been subject to the provisions of a student conduct code adopted by the board
of regents for the whole university system. The code provides for appropriate
penalties and appeals procedures. At La Crosse both the Faculty Senate and
Student Government objected to portions of the formulary because both
preferred more campus determination of stipulations in it. Still the Student
Affairs Office has continued to maintain close relations with student
governance and other activities. Further, it has expanded its scope of services,
particularly in the last ten years, in what the office staff prefers to call
"non-credit-producing learning experiences." Giving impetus to this tendency
is that part of La Crosse's core mission which is to

meet the educational and personal development needs of
students through effective teaching, academic advising
and counseling, and through university-sponsored
cultural, recreational, and extra-curricular programs. 3

The Student Affairs Office has developed sophisticated organization and
procedures to meet student needs in admissions, housing, financial aids,
counseling and testing, and veterans and foreign student advisement. Further,
Cartwright and Whitney Centers provide additional arenas for student
involvement and activities. Each of these agencies has a director. Together
they make thousands of student contacts annually. The personnel in each area
delineate and deal with discrete aspects of student life. Thus, beginning with
admission to the university, students have a myriad of helping hands extended
to them.

Admission to the university is no longer the relatively simple process of an
earlier era; and the competition for students which accompanied declining
enrollments has called for exceptional efforts on the part of the Admissions
Office. Thus this office has grown in staff and functions to carry out these
efforts. The staff's basic duty is to describe the university fully and accurately
to prospective students, their teachers, and parents. The staff also must make
special efforts to bring minority students to the campus and to facilitate the
entrance of transfers. To these ends, the Admissions Office distributes
literature about the university, confers with parents, corresponds with
prospective enrollees, organizes and directs the initial registration and
orientation of entering freshmen. The increasing and stabilizing of enrollments
evident at the mid-point of the seventies is, in part, testimony to the
effectiveness of this office.

Once admitted and attending, students may take advantage of an array of
other services. Among these is the Housing Office the task of which is to
provide an optimum living environment for on-campus students. Most of the


Myrick Marsh


The Last Decade

2800 dormitory spaces are assigned to freshmen, more to women than to men.
Recently, the addition of carpeting, kitchen facilities, telephones, and room
refrigerators to the living quarters has enhanced the quality of dormitory life
and has made that life sufficiently attractive to bring about full occupancy. Two
dorms are coeducational and the remainder are no longer segregated as before
when the men lived on one side of the campus and the women on the other.
Student resident assistants assigned to the various residence halls advise new
students on university life. The Housing Office trains these assistants.
Of paramount importance for students has been the emergence of financial
aid on a scale undreamed of a generation ago. Funds for such help come from
federal, state, institutional, and private sources (in the form of grants,
scholarships, loans, and employment). Between 1969 and 1975, the amount of
money available at La Crosse increased by eighty-two percent. During that
same time, applications for financial aid rose by twenty percent. In 1975, funds
allotted under the various categories totalled $3,326,000 made available to over
3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The largest category was in the
form of state loans-$520,000. Federal grants and scholarships in the amount
of $486,000 followed next. The Financial Aids Office may authorize loans from
six different funds and student employment from both federal and institutional
sources. The university, through appropriate committees, has forty-one
scholarships available annually through the La Crosse State College
Foundation and may utilize monies from ten funds administered by the
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Foundation, Inc. The Alumni Association,
organized in 1969, also has a small number of scholarships to offer. Clarence
W. Althaus, Financial Aids Officer between 1965 and 1975 wrote that the office

functions to provide students with gift or grant funds,
loans and employment in amounts necessary to meet their
established financial needs. Determination of established
need follows an evaluation of student income and assets
and those of their parents.... Specific groups such as
athletes and musicians do not get special consideration as
a reward for levels of academic performance. But, in
keeping with the stated objectives of the university's
mission statement, the effort made to aid minority,
disadvantaged, and non-traditional students is intense....
Amounts of financial aid available for allocation to
students tend to increase as enrollments and costs
increase. It is the responsibility of this office to request the
funds, to document the need for them, and to utilize them
properly and completely once they are made available....4

Two special advisement services provided by the Student Affairs Office are
those for veterans and for foreign students. In 1975 there were 622 veterans
attending La Crosse, 85 percent of whom received federal assistance. Over
sixty percent of them also received state veterans' benefits. The veterans'
adviser has the task of certifying recipients for the G.I. Bill, state study grants,


The Last Decade

and state Vietnam era grants. This office also is responsible for supervising
veterans receiving federal work study funds. Foreign student advisement,
intended to help such persons adjust to a new environment, operates on policy
established by a special advisory committee appointed by the dean of student
affairs. In the spring of 1975 there were forty-three foreign students from
thirteen countries on the campus. Each had an advisor to turn to for help and to
provide liaison with the United States Emigration Service.

Two other primarily advisement agencies are the Counseling and Testing
Center and the Career Services office. The first functions to aid students in
discovering their interests and aptitudes and to advise them accordingly. This
center also offers help to students in resolving day to day personal and
academic problems. For testing purposes it has at hand such national
instruments as the Graduate Record Examination, the National Teachers
Examination, and the Medical College Admission Test. The other of the two,
Career Services, was formed by the merger of the Placement and Career
Advisement Office and the Cooperative Education and Internship Office in
1978. This student service does not place graduates in positions but functions
instead to alert them to employment possibilities. For career advisement the
office provides space for interviews and for screening applicants. Serving
alumni, undergraduate and graduate students, this office produced 8500
credentials in 1975. This service also places students in internship positions, in
governmental agencies, businesses, and industry, that provide work
experience before graduation.

Among the array of services which touch daily on the lives of hundreds of
students are the student activities and centers operations, presided over by a
director who reports directly to the dean. The director's purview includes both
Cartwright Center and Whitney Center. Two functions derive from the
director's office-the operations unit and the program unit. Within the first is
the food services, utilized by 2000 persons daily, the university bookstore, and
recreational activities. These last include bowling, table tennis, a variety of coin
machines and rental service for canoes, skis, and camping equipment.
Programs vary from special film showings to art exhibits to Black Culture
Week. There is a Sports and Activity Club Council to help with travel,
scheduling events, and budgeting. There is also a committee for student
television programming and a Free University which has over the years offered
such unusual courses as juggling, karate, bartending, bridge, chess, and sign
language. Fraternal groups and student government have meeting places in
Cartwright Center.

Student Concerns of the 1960's and 1970's

Yet life did not always appear to be the optimum experience to all students.
And during the decade beginning in the mid-sixties, some of them found
sufficient excuse to join in the national tendency to protest and demonstrate.
Somehow dorm visitations hours, the beer drinking age, the Vietnam war, and
the newspaper press came together in an explosive compound which
occasionally ignited. The newspaper generally agreed with students who


The Last Decade

wanted liberalized dorm hours, a lower beer-drinking age, and out of Vietnam.
And it sharply criticized those who disagreed with the paper. On campus,
President Gates was the object of most of the critical comment and had at least
one demonstration aimed directly at him. In May of 1967 some 500 students
participated in a four-hour street demonstration preceded by a "food riot" in
the cafeteria of Cartwright Center. Some of the demonstrators tied up traffic at
street intersections, others tossed fellow students in a motel swimming pool,
and still others resisted arrest. The reasons for the demonstration given by
various spokesmen illustrate the complexity of motivations. For one person it
was an act of sympathy for Platteville students denied an eighteen-year-old
drinking ordinance by the local community. For another it was the issue of
extending library hours. For still another it was "just unwinding from the
tension built up for exams." 5 Once again, too, came the familiar one: "Don't
you think if we're old enough for Viet Nam that we're old enough to drink?" 6
Out of all this came suspensions for twelve students.
In May of 1970 about 1,500 students gathered in the Memorial Field parking
lot to protest the regulations against coeducational dormitories. Among their
actions was a march on President Gates' home. Deeming some of the forms of
protest inappropriate, the university suspended fourteen, put thirteen on
probation, and sent letters of reprimand to another thirty-three. 7 Protests
against the Vietnam involvement occurred again in February of 1971 and May
of 1972. The latter involved several hundred persons, mostly university
students, who marched through downtown La Crosse. There were some tense
moments with the police, but no serious incidents occurred. Whether there was
cause and effect operating in all of this may be moot. But America did withdraw
from Vietnam, La Crosse does have drinking for eighteen-year olds, the
university does have two coeducational residence halls-and the library has
extended hours. Beyond the demonstrations themselves, students protested
the conduct code approved by the regents as abridging their civil rights. And
the newspaper, under more active direction than usual, took up the cudgels
against the regents and Gates over a variety of issues. 8 On balance it appeared
that both sides in the various controversies developing in the late sixties and
early seventies won something. There are still questions to be resolved on the
extent of student participation in university governance and most particularly
on the degree of control which students should exercise in the allocation of the
segregated fees which they must pay to attend the institution.
The segregated fee issue derives from the merger statute which provides for
student participation in university governance and policy-making. The statute
states that, subject to the authority of the chancellor and the regents, students
shall have primary responsibility in "the disposition of those student fees
which constitute substantial support for campus student activities." While the
matter of the fees continued to be debated, in October of 1974 Chancellor
Lindner appointed an ad hoc committee of students and faculty to develop plans
for implementation of the provisions of the statute. The most important
recommendation of the committee, later approved by the Faculty Senate and
the chancellor, was to increase student membership on each student-faculty
committee to at least a majority except for the committee on intramurals and
recreational activities. Faculty committees appointed by the senate, as distinct
from the student-faculty committees, have long had student membership and


The Last Decade

continue to provide important opportunities for student participation in
governance. In March of 1975, the student body overwhelmingly approved a
new constitution for its government. This new charter provides for continued
student membership on faculty committees. It is not yet clear what significant
changes will take place in the overall process of student participation in
university governance. It is clear, however, that the merger statute allows
unprecedented opportunities for such participation.

New Programs

With the evolution of student interests and emerging societal changes, the
faculty, while continuing the traditional teacher-training and liberal arts
programs developed several new majors and altered regular offerings.

School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation
For example, the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation
expanded its curriculum to include concentrations in elementary physical
education, physical education for the handicapped, and coaching competitive
athletics. New majors in health education and community health education
draw large enrollments. Two extra-class activities which boast of an
exceptionally high degree of community acceptance utilize the facilities and the
staff of this school. These are the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, directed by
Philip Wilson, and the Adult Fitness Program, administered by Clifton DeVoll.
These programs feature careful supervision of the participants by university
faculty and attending physicians from the La Crosse area.
Basic to both the rehabilitation and fitness programs is the human
performance laboratory which was added to Mitchell Hall facilities in 1970.
Professor Wilson supervised acquisition of the necessary accoutrement which
includes body measurement devices, time-movement apparatus, and work
measurement equipment. Trane Company and Norplex of La Crosse donated a
$50,000 environmental control chamber to the laboratory four years after it
opened. Meantime, the cardiac rehabilitation program, initiated in June of
1971, directed its concerns and efforts toward helping persons prone to
coronary heart disease. The program had seventeen participants by the fall of
that year. 9

College of Arts, Letters and Sciences

By the mid-seventies, the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences offered
twenty-three majors including five housed in the college's School of Health and
Human Services. Those five are medical physics, medical technology, nuclear
medical technology, physical therapy, and social work. This college
traditionally has offered pre-professional work in law, medicine, pharmacy, and
nursing. More recently it added forestry, chiropractic, dentistry, occupational
therapy, optometry, osteopathy, and veterinary science to the list. Also within
the fold of Arts, Letters and Sciences are four institutes, all of an
interdisciplinary nature: Latin American Studies, Minority Studies, Regional
Studies, and Women's Studies.


Skiing in Hixon Forest


The Last Decade

The Institute for Minority Studies developed course offerings on Blacks,
Native Americans, Latinos, and Oriental Americans. It also established a
student-faculty exchange program with two, predominantly black North
Carolina colleges and for several years co-sponsored a national conference on
minority studies. This institute also presented  the university's first
pre-collegiate summer program for disadvantaged students in 1974. Beginning
in 1976, the institute's offices also housed a nationally-funded Black
Abolitionist Editorial Project which at one time employed seven editors and
assistants. A resource center with books, tapes, records, and film strips
available for use by the university and the larger community has been
associated with the institute from the beginning.10 Historian George C. Carter
was closely associated with the institute from the start and served as its director
for several years.
University commitment to minority and ethnic studies led to the
establishment of a Black Culture Center (renamed the Minority Resource
Center), to support of Black Culture Week, and to sponsorship of an annual
Minority Studies Conference beginning in 1973. The center featured displays of
art and literature, symposia on the black heritage, and appearances of
distinguished visitors such as attorney Vel Phillips, basketball star Bill Russell,
performer Dick Gregory, and artist Faith Ringgold. Throughout the existence
of the center and Black Culture Week activities, supporters and participants
emphasized that their intent was not only to make minority students aware of
their heritage but also to educate others about it. 11
Two outstanding educators addressed the first Minority Studies Conference
in April of 1973. They were octogenarian Ernest McKinney, assistant to the
director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and Yale Professor John
Blassingame, whose specialty is Afro-American history. Three nationally-
known figures joined the second conference. Rodolfo (Corky) Gonzales spoke
on the "Psychology and Administration of Chicano Education." Vine De Loria,
author of Custer Died for Your Sins, told his audience that "we need more than
a Chamber of Commerce view of Indian affairs. We need to make them a very
integral part of the academic program." And Clyde Bellecourt, known for his
activities in the American Indian Movement (AIM), denounced IQ tests as
racist and outlined the goals of AIM, the basic one being Indian control over
Indian programs. The conference featured sharp verbal exchanges among
discussants. 12
North Carolina Central University, North Carolina A and T University and
the A. Philip Randolph Education Fund joined La Crosse in sponsoring the
third Minority Studies Conference in April of 1975. The theme of the
conference was the importance of folklore for minorities. Among those who
addressed this gathering were Ada Deer, chairperson of the Menomonie
Restoration Committee, and Bayard Rustin, executive director of the Randolph
Foundation. A long-time civil rights activist, Rustin told his listeners that the
period of protest was changing into an era of political action for Blacks. He
added that Blacks have to realize the things they want are the same things
millions of others from diverse races want. He called for reevaluation of schools
and reassessment of demands for local control of communities. "Ethnicity
and Politics" and "The Invisible Ethnic and Mental Health" are the themes for


The Last Decade

the 8th Annual Conference on Ethnic and Minority Studies, scheduled for April
of 1980. 13

The university's commitment to women's studies has encouraged several
organizations, conferences and workshops. Thus in the fall of 1966, La Crosse
hosted "The Twentieth Century Women: Clarifying Our Goals," a conference
on the status of women. Participants heard Kathryn Clarenbach, chairperson of
the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women. She particularly
emphasized the large increase in the numbers of working women which had
occurred over the last generation. 14
In subsequent years, university women took part in the commemoration of
International Women's Day in Madison, organized a women's rights group to
work with the Associated Women Students already in existence, and heard
presentations from three leaders of the Milwaukee-based chapter of the
Organization for Women's Liberation (OWL) at a Racquet-sponsored forum on
women's liberation. These were but the opening gambits in a series of
involvements with the issues raised by the drive for legalized abortion, the
rejection of sexism, the establishment of day-care centers, equal opportunities
in employment and working conditions, and the equal rights amendment to the
federal constitution. University women heard a number of leaders in the
movement-Feminist Party leader Florynce Kennedy, psychologist Dr. Joan
Roberts, Catherine East, and Betty Friedan. Capping a decade of activities in
behalf of liberties and rights was the International Conference on the Status of
Women held on the La Crosse campus in the spring of 1975. Representatives
from thirty-three nations attended this conference, and the participants heard
speakers from as far away as India and Liberia. An office of Women's Studies
also emerged as a result of the tendencies in motion. In the summer of 1975 the
Chancellor appointed Professor Judith Green director of that office. 15 Vivian
Munson succeeded her in 1977.

Deriving from departments in the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences are
three additional non-classroom educational activities. The planetarium in
Cowley Hall provides special programs for the campus population and area
schools. The Fine Arts Building Art Gallery exhibits the work of painters,
sculptors, ceramicists, lithographers, and art metalists from the campus, the
community, the nation, and the world. An adjunct of mass communications,
WLSU, the campus radio station, received authorization to increase its wattage
twelve-fold in 1976. Its broadcasts have included City Council meetings, public
service programs cosponsored with the League of Women Voters, and a wide
variety of musical concerts and presentations.

In other areas, the university offers seven special academic programs.
Among them is the army Reserve Officers Training Corps which began
operation in 1971. By the fall of 1972, the La Crosse unit had the largest number
of enrollees-108-in Wisconsin. Seventy-one of those were freshmen. The
program admitted the first women candidates in the fall of 1973 when twenty of
them enrolled.
The Division of University Outreach extends the instructional research and


The Last Decade

public service resources of the university to the community. It does this through
continuing education programs (credit and non-credit), the Center for Regional
and Environmental Studies, the Career Services office, and the Office of
Information Services and Publications.
The university also has a cooperative program with Viterbo College
particularly in the fields of home economics, dietetics, medical records, and
theology. There are three international studies programs-a year's study in
Copenhagen, a spring Soviet Seminar, and summer geography field trips to
many parts of the world. Geographer Margaret Chew has led many of those
expeditions over the years. Within the state, the university has for some time
offered programs at the Clam Lake and Pigeon Lake field stations.
On campus, various collegial units have created added academic support
activities. These include the Center for Education Professions, the Center for
Economic Education, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, and the
River Studies Center. The last coordinates research on the upper Mississippi
River. Its activities are supported by research funds particularly from the Corps
of Engineers. Biology Professor Thomas O. Claflin has directed the program
from the beginning. 16

Support Services
Support services aid the faculty in offering programs old and new. The most
pervasive one is Murphy Library, opened in the summer of 1969. By the spring
of 1975, the library held 256,000 volumes, 3,000 periodicals, 62,000 documents
and 273,000 microforms. Budget for library materials alone was a healthy
$310,000. In 1976, a federal grant of $124,000 provided the staff with funds to
acquire numerous basic scholarly titles which otherwise could not have been
obtained. Cooperation with nearby libraries and a wide-ranging interlibrary
loan system makes thousands of additional learning resources available to
students and faculty. Murphy Library contains the Area Research Center which
houses special collections of books, manuscripts, photographs, public records,
oral history tapes, maps, and other materials pertinent to the history of a
five-county region in western Wisconsin. Also found here are the university
archives and the Center for Contemporary Poetry which, beginning in 1971, has
published volumes of Voyages to the Inland Sea, an anthology of contemporary
midwestern poetry. English Professor John Judson edits Voyages.
Audio-Visual Services, which has academic counterparts in the departments
of Educational Media and Mass Communication, started in 1958 with a
half-time person. By 1975 the AV center had thirteen faculty and sixteen
classified specialists on its staff. By that year also the center contained an
educational film library of over 5,000 titles, a collection of some 7,000 prints,
facilities for motion picture and television, and graphics production together
with an equipment maintenance and repair facility. Development of this center
was preeminently the work of Professor Viggo B. Rasmusen who devoted thirty
years of his professional life to La Crosse.
The Computer Center, which complements the Department of Computer
Science, began operations in 1966 with a staff of three using accounting
machines. Ten years later the modest budget of $30,000 in 1966 had grown to
$500,000; the staff had twenty-one full-time positions and four computers. This


The Last Decade

center provides services to administrative offices such as the controller,
admissions, financial aids, the registrar, housing, personnel, budget, and the
libraries. It also arranges for time-shared computing to the campus, to high
schools and colleges through LACE (La Crosse Computers in Education), and
offers research aid to faculty, staff and students. John C. Storlie has directed
the computer center during the last decade. 17
Another important support service is the Campus Planning Office directed
since the spring of 1973 by architect Lawrence Rice. Among the various
projects for which he has been responsible are the mall, the remodeling of Main
Hall, and the planning for development of a portion of the marsh area owned by
the university into facilities for athletics and physical education.
The merger creating the University of Wisconsin System also altered the role
of faculty in university and system governance. The La Crosse faculty did not
clearly articulate its attitude toward merger; the Association of Wisconsin State
University Faculties supported the move on a state-wide basis. Mergers of
various sorts had been proposed several times before. A 1949 proposal to put
together the then state teachers colleges, Stout Institute and the Platteville
School of Mines under one board of regents aroused sufficient opposition all
around to defeat it. Student editors wrote:

If the proposal becomes law, La Crosse will lose a fine
cultural institution, students, particularly those in teacher
training, will lose a fine college and education in general
will suffer. What will be gained. 18

Members of the local chapter of the Association of Wisconsin State Teachers
Colleges voted 73 to 1 against the proposition. The number voting represented
90 percent of the faculty. Said a spokesman:

The faculty of La Crosse State Teachers College is for the
most part strongly opposing the bill because it would
destroy the identity and self-government of these colleges
and would place the administration in the hands of
officials at the state university. 19

In 1955 the legislature provided for a Coordinating Committee for Higher
Education (CCHE). However, the CCHE seldom satisfied either the
universities or the legislature.
In 1953 a proposal to integrate the then state colleges and the university at
Madison also failed to pass the legislature. But the efforts of a determined
Governor Patrick Lucey resulted in legislation enabling a joint committee of
regents, legislators, administrators, faculty, and students to develop the details
of merger. With the implementation of the committee's recommendations
came the University of Wisconsin System which brought all of the universities
together under a single board of regents, one central administration, and one
president. On each campus the chief executive officer carried the title of


The Last Decade

chancellor. The merger statute became law on July 9, 1974. 20
The chancellor retains wide statutory and discretionary powers under
merger. The faculty, subject to the authority vested in the regents, the system
president, and the chancellor, is responsible for the "immediate governance"
of the institution, "primarily responsible for academic and educational
activities and faculty personnel matters," and exercises the right to organize
itself as it chooses "to select representatives to participate in institutional

West Central Wisconsin Consortium

Interposed between the university at La Crosse and the central
administration on matters relating to academic programs is the West Central
Wisconsin Consortium (WCWC), established in the fall of 1973. The
consortium consists of four universities-those at River Falls, Menomonie
(Stout), Eau Claire, and La Crosse. The chancellors of the four universities form
a directing board of trustees. This board receives recommendations from a
commission made up of the vice chancellors of the universities and four faculty
members selected by the appropriate governing body on each campus. The
consortium has a permanent secretary-coordinator appointed by the trustees.
He serves as secretary both to the trustees and to the commission. English
Professor Robert L. Burns from La Crosse has been secretary of WCWC from
its inception.
One task of WCWC is to review both graduate and undergraduate programs
in the four universities for the purpose of discovering and recommending the
elimination of unnecessarily duplicative and weak offerings with a view to
increasing efficiency in the use of scarce financial resources. A second equally
important task is to recommend the continuation of programs demonstrably
strong and in demand. Upon review, WCWC recommended the following
programs be phased out: Masters of Arts in Teaching for Chemistry, English,
English-Speech, History, Mathematics; Masters of Science in Teaching for
Chemistry, English, English-Speech, History, Mathematics, Social Science.
Faculty and Senate Committees
On the campus, the senate has spoken and acted for the faculty for a decade.
It meets regularly with the chancellor or his selected administrative officer.
There is no restriction on senate deliberations and actions on any matter
deemed related to the best interests of the university. The merger statute has
enhanced the opportunity for the faculty, through the senate, to assume a
greater role in university governance than ever before. The full faculty meets
occasionally in voluntary sessions to hear the chancellor report on regent
proceedings or to exercise final authority over senate actions if it chooses to do
In addition to the senate actions proper, the faculty participates widely
through committees appointed by the Committee on Committees. Currently,
there are twenty-six of these committees with about 150 faculty and 50 students
as members. Some faculty and students have more than one committee
assignment. Senate by-laws spell out the organization and delineate the
functions of each committee. Normally, the most active committees are those


The Last Decade

on undergraduate and graduate curriculum; promotion, tenure, and salary;
administrative appointments; academic policies and standards; university
budget; and academic freedom. One committee, the Hearing Committee on
lay-offs of tenured faculty, is relatively new and functions only when the need
Faculty committees carry off much business with little direct instruction from
the senate. Rules established by tradition, administrative limitations, the
articles of organization and by-laws guide committee actions. The senate may
review any committee decisions, and the senate executive committee reviews
all committee minutes to determine when policy changes appear to be required.
The executive committee puts such proposed changes on the senate agenda for
discussion and action. Merger has brought with it much more work for the
senate. The central administration in Madison has asked for reactions to
numerous proposed policies generated for the UW-System. Included among
these are the Faculty Personnel Rules, which have the utmost significance to
the faculty. Within the broad rules adopted by the regents, the chancellor and
senate fashioned local rules to determine both the substance and procedures
involved with appointments, retention, non-retention, tenure, promotion,
terminations, lay-offs, grievances and appeals. The senate gave the task of
local implementation of the regents' rules to three committees under the
overall chairmanship of Professor William E. Felch who did an excellent job of
a difficult task.
The senate annually elects a representative to a state-wide group called the
University of Wisconsin Faculty Representatives. Formally authorized by the
regents, this group meets periodically with the system's president and vice
president. It is informational not governmental. The senate also selects the
university's faculty representative on the West Central Wisconsin Consortium.
Further, the senate authorizes its chairperson to attend meetings called by the
president, the regular meetings of the regents, and any other gatherings at
which his presence in the interests of the university is deemed appropriate.
Thus, participation in governance extends beyond the campus borders
sometimes significantly. For example, suggestions from the La Crosse senate
became a permanent part of the system's Faculty Personnel Rules. Interaction
with the central administration of the system is sometimes difficult because of
the press of time. Nonetheless, central administration has repeatedly asked for
reactions and responses from governance bodies. In the asking alone there is
Another important role for faculty has been participation in long-range
planning. The university has planned before. But making projections for the
future has taken on more comprehensive dimensions since the board of regents
has requested that each campus establish a process by which ten-year
intentions could be formulated and then updated annually. Basic to this process
was the development by each campus of a mission statement which would serve
as a foundation for academic planning. La Crosse submitted its "updated"
mission statement to the central administration late in the summer of 1972.
Following several revisions and a public hearing on November 16, 1973, the
regents finally approved the statement. Concurrently, the board has approved
a system mission, a university cluster mission, and a select mission for
La Crosse.


The Last Decade

During the same period of time the local campus Mission and Planning
Committee formulated a Ten Year Academic Plan which contained a profession
of principles and priorities, a mission overview, a statement of procedures, and
a summary table of academic program intentions. That design is to be updated
regularly and is to serve as the basis for long-range planning. Central
administration will not consider for approval any academic programs not listed
in the table of program intentions. The ten year plan itself is subject to approval
both by the central administration and the regents. On the basis of the
approved mission statements, central administration, with the assistance of the
local campus, undertook a review of graduate programs. After establishing
minimum standards in credit hours produced and the number of graduates and
cost per credit hour, the administration placed some graduate programs in a
category to be phased out. Central recommended continuation of others with
only campus review, and probation subject to regional review for others.*
Some of the impetus for such planning admittedly arose out of strong
encouragement from central administration although it quickly became obvious
to the faculty and local administration that such planning was of vital impor-
tance to the long-range development of the university. Originally the Mission
and Planning Committee was an ad hoc group consisting of some members
appointed by the chancellor and some appointed by faculty and student
government leaders. The development of a mission statement and the ten-year
plan, both of which were approved by the faculty, occurred without creating
serious disagreements. The audit and review of the graduate programs have
also been accomplished efficiently and with a minimum of argumentation. In
short, the planning process has worked well and has been accepted by the
faculty as -evidenced by the incorporation of the Mission and Planning
Committee as a standing faculty committee appointed by the senate.

Physical Growth

During the last decade, administrative responsibilites and complexities have
grown with the institution. Partly the situation derives from the simple fact that
within the lifetime of many La Crosse residents, the normal school became a
fair-sized university. In 1909, the normal occupied two city blocks in a largely
uninhabited area and had a population of a bit over 200 in a city of 30,000. By
the mid-seventies it was a town of 8,000 souls within the boundaries of a city of
50,000. The two blocks of campus had become sixty-five acres, and instead of
one building there were thirty-two major structures.
To maintain the buildings and grounds and to provide necessary protection
for valuable state property, the administrations of the last decade expanded the
size and functions of the physical plant operations and established a security
force. In the fall of 1974 physical plant director Edward J. Fluekiger reported
the status of the personnel and activities of that agency. The operating budget
alone was over $1,500,000. By contrast, twenty-five years before, the total
budget for the state teachers college was one-half million. Fluekiger noted that

*Programs phased out were Masters of Science in Teaching for Economics, Political Science,
Physics, and Sociology.


The Last Decade

Mission Statements

The System Mission
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse shares in the mission of the University
of Wisconsin System which is to develop human resources; to discover and
disseminate knowledge; to extend knowledge and its application beyond the
boundaries of its campuses; and to serve and stimulate society by developing in
students heightened intellectual, cultural, and human sensitivities as well as
scientific, professional, and technological expertise and a sense of purpose.
Inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended
education and public service designed to educate people and improve the
human condition. Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.

The Core Mission

The University of Wisconsin System 11-unit University Cluster consists of the
four-year university campuses, excluding Madison and Milwaukee: Eau Claire,
Green Bay, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Parkside, Platteville, River Falls, Stevens
Point, Stout, Superior, and Whitewater. These institutions are entitled to offer
programs within the context of selective mission differentiation.

As an institution in the University Cluster of the University of Wisconsin
System, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse shares the following core
mission with other universities of the cluster:

a. Providing baccalaureate degree level and limited graduate programs
within the context of its approved select mission.

b. Meeting the educational and personal development needs of students
through effective teaching, academic advising, and counseling, and
through university-sponsored cultural, recreational, and extracurricular

c. Providing a first-priority emphasis on teaching excellence.

d. Providing a base of liberal studies needed as the foundation for
university degrees in the arts, letters, and sciences as well as for
specialized professional and occupational degrees.

e. Providing a program of preprofessional curricular offerings consistent
with the university's mission to serve the needs of citizens in its
geographical area.

f. Supporting a commitment to scholarly activity integral to and supportive
of instructional programs and teaching excellence.


The Last Decade

g. Meeting the off-campus instructional and continuing education needs of
citizens in the campus service region and (as appropriate to unique
program capability) in the state within the context of coordinated
statewide planning of outreach programs.

h. Providing public service to the surrounding region both as a cultural
center and a source of problem-solving expertise.

i. Participating in regional consortia and interinstitutional relationships in
order to maximize educational opportunity for the people of the region
effectively and efficiently through the sharing of resources.

j. Supporting a commitment to serving the special needs of minority,
disadvantaged and non-traditional students.

The Select Mission

The select character and purpose of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse can
be further delineated by the following statements of its particular goals and

a. The University should develop appropriate interinstitutional relationships 
within the region and should explore strengthening of interstate

b. The University should provide high quality undergraduate education and
degrees in arts, letters and sciences to meet the needs of the region and
the students of the University.

c. The University should offer undergraduate programs in teacher
education, health and physical education, allied health, recreation, and
business administration.

d. The University should provide basic graduate education in programs
clearly associated with areas of undergraduate professional emphasis
within the University, as well as specialized established programs in
Student Personnel Services and Audiovisual Media.

e. The University should support application of aquatic science and
Mississippi River studies to the economic and environmental needs of
the region.


Thrune Nature Center and Helga Gundersen Arboretum


The Last Decade

the value of the properties and the cost of maintaining them was in excess of
$55,000,000. At that time, too, there were over 150 persons employed in the
operation. Within Fluekiger's purview were building maintenance, plumbing,
carpentry, locksmithing, custodial services, and the fleet of automobiles
available for the use of university personnel. His office had close working
relationships with building and housing directors, deans and chairpersons, and
the personnel, security, and business offices. An additional function was to
acquire, store, and issue office supplies for the whole institution and to be
accountable for contract work on the campus. 22
The Security Force dates from the fall of 1968 when President Gates
appointed La Crosse attorney Merwin Mellor director of a five-man
security-watchman unit. Mellor was a former FBI agent. In discussing the
upcoming biennial budget (1969-1971), Gates proposed an additional seven to
ten persons for the security agency. Following Harold (Jake) Shaw's
appointment as director in February of 1970, the university increased the force
from three to nine by the fall of that year. Those employed had to undergo
special training for what could be a rather touchy job. Essentially the task at
hand was to protect state and personal property from theft, vandalism, and
destruction and while doing that to avoid violent confrontation with students
and faculty to the furthest extent possible commensurate with duty. At the
same time although in uniform, the force kept a low profile. Its members have
never carried weapons and do not have arrest powers. Within a year after
Shaw's appointment, the newspaper complimented the security unit and noted
that it had gained student respect. 23
By the summer of 1972 security had twelve full time officers and had
acquired an emergency vehicle to be used as an ambulance. Parking and
bicycle registration also fell under the jurisdiction of that office. Wide-spread
theft of bicycles and secretaries' purses led the director to advise that both the
vehicles and purses be locked up. Unclaimed clothing, glasses, watches, and
other items which arrived at the office through various ways went to the
Salvation Army at year's end. Other than the continuing problem of excessive
student drinking and occasional hassles at sports events relationships between
university personnel and the security force generally have been salutary. 24
As the university has grown, three other administrative offices have assumed
extensive importance. These are the Alumni, Development, and Information
Services offices. An alumni organization was the brainchild of professor Leon
W. Miller, physical education, when, during World War II, he began
corresponding with alumni in service and publishing a bulletin which included
both "teachers college" news and excerpts from letters he received. The first
issue of the bulletin went out to 366 men and women in the armed forces, the
Red Cross, and other supportive groups on July 1, 1943. The mailing list grew
to over 500 a year later, 177 of them overseas in various theaters of war.
Student helpers assisted Miller in putting out the bulletin and sending copies of
the student newspaper to the alumni at war.
In recent years, the Alumni Office has greatly expanded its efforts to keep in
touch with the thousands who have graduated from this institution. Although
Wisconsin has over one-half of these, every state in the union and twenty-five
foreign countries have La Crosse alumni as well. This office has sponsored


The Last Decade

countless receptions, dinners, class reunions, and other appropriate events
throughout the country. Together with Information Services it also publishes a
quarterly alumnus magazine. Information Services also issues the timely and
useful University Newsletter. The Development Office encourages gifts and
bequests to the university.
In addition to these three offices, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Foundation, Inc., a private agency, devotes its resources to aid faculty
development, fund research projects, and administer scholarship funds. The
foundation also purchased lands adjacent to the valley farm given to the
university by Dr. and Mrs. Alf H. Gundersen for the Helga Gundersen
Memorial Arboretum. The arboretum will serve not only as a memorial to the
mother and grandmother of eminent physicians but as a major learning
resource for the flora and fauna of the region and as an educational recreation
area. A committee of faculty and community persons exists to plan the future of
this invaluable educational asset. 25


The Last Decade


1. See Investigation of Students' Walk-Out of March 3rd, 1919 and Report of Conference... on
Punch Question, March 13, 1919, History Department Subject File, Box 2, University Archives,
ARC, UW-L. See also, Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 5, 1919.
2. Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 19, 1971; Jan. 14, 1971; and Mar. 16, 1971.
3. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Ten Year Academic Plan, 1975-1985, p. 2.
4. North Central Association Self-Study (1975), I, 121. The materials in this chapter on the
activities of the Student Affairs Office are excerpted from this Self-Study, I, 94-129.
5. La Crosse Tribune, May 24, 1967.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid., Jul. 23, 1970.
8. See, for example, Racquet (newspaper), Nov. 10, 1967; Oct. 25, 1968; Nov. 7, 1968; and
Nov. 15, 1968.
9. Ibid., May 15, 1970; Oct. 28, 1971; and Mar. 14, 1974.
10. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog, 1977-1979, pp. 117-123.
11. Racquet (newspaper), May 2, 1969; Feb. 20, 1970; Mar. 6, 1970; Oct. 29, 1970; Feb. 25, 1971;
Mar. 18, 1971; Feb. 17, 1972; Feb. 15, 1973; and Feb. 7, 1974.
12. Ibid., Apr. 4, 1973; Apr. 25, 1974; and May 2, 1974.
13. Ibid., Apr. 17, 1975, and May 1, 1975. See also announcement of 8th Annual Conference on
Ethnic and Minority Studies.
14. Ibid., Oct. 6, 1966.
15. Ibid., Feb. 27, 1970; Feb. 11, 1971; Mar. 18, 1971; Nov. 9, 1972; Apr. 25, 1974; May 9, 1974;
Jan. 23, 1975; Mar. 27, 1975; Apr. 17, 1975; and Summer, 1975.
16. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog, 1977-1979, pp. 15-18.
17. North Central Association Self-Study (1975), I, passim.
18. Racquet (newspaper), Feb. 16, 1949.
19. La Crosse Tribune, Mar. 6, 1949.
20. Chapter 100, Laws of Wisconsin, October 8, 1971, effectively established a merged board of
regents, central administration, and university system. This chapter provided for a merger
implementation committee of legislators, regents, administrators, faculty, and students to
make the final recommendations on merger.
21. North Central Association Self-Study (1975), Vol. I, passim.
22. University of Wisconsin System, Position Data Questionnaire, Sept. 20, 1974, passim. See also
Proceedings of the Board of Regents of Normal Schools, July 6-7, 1949, pp. 37-38.
23. Racquet (newspaper), Sept. 20, 1968; Sept. 24, 1970; and Feb. 11, 1971.
24. Ibid., Sept. 23, 1971; Oct. 21, 1971; May 11, 1972; Sept. 7, 1972; Mar. 22, 1973; May 3, 1973;
Oct. 11, 1973; Feb. 28, 1974; Mar. 7, 1974; Oct. 10, 1974; and Apr. 10, 1975.
25. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, The Chancellor's Report, 1976-1977. La Crosse Tribune,
Sept. 3, 1944. The Area Research Center has copies of the bulletin. See Annual Report of the
Director, Helga Gundersen Arboretum (1979), The Helga Gundersen Arboretum Manual
(1978), and Minutes of the Meetings of the Arboretum Committee, 1977-1980, on file in the
Area Research Center.



Seven decades ago, the first students arrived by train and streetcar to pursue
further education at the normal school. A few were experienced teachers, the
others mostly a mixture of high school and grade school graduates. Over
one-half of them were from La Crosse County; the majority of the remainder
came from neighboring counties. The building, now Main Hall, awed them.
The faculty decidedly impressed them. Four years after the opening of classes,
Floyd D. Bartels, class of 1913, wrote of the red brick edifice which sat alone on
a sandy knoll with landscaping sloping away from it:

Towering high, its reddish walls
Look o'er all the land;
Beckoning to the hungry mind,
The home of knowledge stands. 1

In an essay entitled "The Ideal Teacher" which appeared in the third number
of the student newspaper, an anonymous writer proposed that the paradigm
among teachers would have the qualities of "sympathy, fearlessness,
originality, humor, and broadmindness," concluding that

Although we would not cause any modest member of our
faculty to blush by publicly designating him as an ideal
teacher, the feeling prevails among the student body that
these qualities have been distributed in abundance, by the
kind hand of Providence, among our faculty. 2

Those who write institutional history face the ever-present temptation to
search diligently for momentous changes even if the time span under review is
short. It is true that in 1975 the student body came from a much broader base of
the population; only twenty-five percent of the enrollees came from the home
county. That alone might suggest the presence of more cosmopolitan forces at
work on the campus. If this be so, the changes which these forces have brought,
past and present, have been slow and notably not very disruptive. Some
attributes of campus life have not only persisted but have waxed
stronger-lectures and concerts, football and basketball, drama and debate,
dance and cantillation. Moreover, according to the most recent catalog,
Shakespeare and Milton, European history and American government, biology
and chemistry, anatomy and physiology are still the classroom companions of
students in the seventies as they had been of the generations before. In a
lighter vein, Dorothy Dow Butturf, class of 1922, recalled having made canoe
trips up the Mississippi to Winona with girlfriends over a half century ago.
Nowadays Cartwright Center has rental canoes available for trips no more
adventurous than the earlier ones.
With the new generation, it is true, have come graduate students and a big
college of liberal arts, extensive parking lots filled with automobiles, and fast
food service almost everywhere. Some students now follow the sun to Florida at
spring recess, several annually travel to Russia with the Soviet Seminar, and a
few spend a year studying in Copenhagen. Still they come by the thousands to
take teacher training and especially to partake of the venerable program in


physical education which has grown larger and stronger with the years. And
when they graduate from their chosen programs, they people the professions of
America, not only as teachers but as doctors, lawyers, college professors,
bankers, and businessmen and women.
Today's faculty expectedly represents a greater diversity of educational
institutions than in the past. Its membership holds degrees from over fifty
major universities. Nearly sixty percent of those degrees are earned doctorates.
With all that, for the most part, faculty members still believe their primary task
is to teach. Most of them would be pleased to have words written about them
such as President Fassett Cotton had penned in his remembrance by an old
friend and fellow professional:

He was inspired by the contemplation of the vast potential
. . . for good within the grasp of each highly efficient
teacher, and to awaken the school fraternity of his day to
this precious opportunity, he devoted his life. 3

1. Pamphlet LCNS 1914, University Archives, ARC, UW-L.
2. Racquet (newspaper), Mar. 3, 1911, pp. 17-19.
3. Lawrence McTurnan in Indiana Biography, XV, 63.


Appendix A

Faculty Emeriti

(Bestowing emeritus rank began in 1952)

Lincoln K. Adkins (1916-1949) .............................Mathematics
Alvida Ahlstrom (1931-1968)     ............................ French
Rena M. Angell (1912-1951)    ........................... Art
Thomas Annett (1928-1962)       ............................... Music
Beatrice A. Baird (1946-1974) ..........................Physical Education
Agnes T. Breene (1924-1959) .................Primary Supervising Teacher
Gabriella Brendemuhl (1946-1954)  ...........................English
Jessie E. Caldwell (1924-1958) ......................Elementary Education
Edith J. Cartwright (1941-1969)  ..........................Dean of Women
Margaret S. Chew (1945-1979) ............................. Geography
Mauree Applegate Clack (1945-1966) ................Elementary Education
Milford A. Cowley (1933-1974) ..............................Chemistry
Catherine F. Crail (1937-1966)   ...........................Librarian
Carlin E. Dahler (1947-1977) .................................... Physics
Frederick G. Davies (1947-1976) ................................History
Alice DeBower (1945-1973)  .............................Recreation/Parks
Alice Drake (1931-1962) ............................Elementary Education
Helen Clark Dyson (1924-1958) .......................English
James A. Fairchild (1911-1941) ........................Physics
William E. Felch (1963-1978) ........................Philosophy
Kenneth R. Fish (1951-1978) ........................Elementary Education
Oren E. Frazee (1920-1950) ........................ Biology
Robert L. Frederick (1947-1977) ........................ Speech/Theatre
Howard R. Fredricks (1945-1979) ........................History
Floyd H. Gautsch (1939-1969) ........................ Physical Education
Helen K. Gilkey (1961-1977) .....................................English
Maurice O. Graff (1941-1973) ............................Vice Chancellor
Marian Granger (1949-1971) ...............Junior High Supervising Teacher
Lora Greene (1928-1967) .....................................Accounting
Richard J. Gunning (1947-1971) ..........................Dean of Men
Marian D. Hammes (1947-1979) .....................Elementary Education
Richard T. Hartley (1950-1971) ..........................Biology
Mary H. Hebberd (1947-1976) .........................English
Margaret L. Hocker (1950-1978) .....................Elementary Education
Edgar C. Knowlton (1935-1961) ................................. English
W. Grey Konrad (1946-1978) .........................Chemistry
Bernadine H. Kunkel (1949-1978) ......................Physical Education
William M. Laux (1922-1963) .........................History
David H. Mewaldt (1953-1979) ......................... Music
Leon W. Miller (1926-1967) ............................Physical Education
Herman L. Nelson (1968-1979) ................................ Geography


Margaret B. Oleson (1949-1972) .......................English
Ralph L. Phillips (1958-1974) ................................Chemistry
Viggo B. Rasmusen (1947-1977) ........................Educational Media
Hans C. Reuter (1920-1956) ...........................Physical Education
J. F. Rolfe (1923-1956) .............................Elementary Education
Theodore Rovang (1927-1966) ...................................Biology
Lawrence G. Rowe (1947-1974) ........................Chemistry
Theodore W. Rozelle (1946-1971) ............................Mathematics
William H. Sanders (1909-1938) .......................Psychology
Albert H. Sanford (1909-1936) ..............................History
Leo M. Schnur (1958-1977) .........................Mathematics
Martha Olea Skaar (1919-1964) ...........................Librarian
G. Lester Steinhoff (1946-1977) .......................Audiovisual Services
Adelee B. Stokke (1947-1972) .......................English
Anna L. Thomas (1944-1970) ..........................Physical Education
Marie Toland (1937-1966) ......................................Speech
Myrtle Trowbridge (1918-1954) ..........................History
William P. Vafeas (1963-1978) ............................Art
Marjorie K. Von Arx (1944-1979) ........................Health Services
Everett L. Walters (1920-1958) .......................Secondary Education
Anna Wentz (1920-1948) ......................................Biology
Orris 0. White (1914-1952) ......................................English
Emma L. Wilder (1921-1956) ..........................Physical Education
Edith Irish Wing (1928-1961) ....................................English
Florence S. Wing (1910-1951) ..................................Librarian
Emerson G. Wulling (1938-1973) .............................English

Appendix B

Current Faculty With a Quarter Century or More of Service

Pauline A. Abel (1943)
Elementary Education

Ruth A. Nixon (1947)

Harold A. Classen (1954)

Glenn M. Smith (1954)
Physical Education

George R. Gilkey (1954)

E. William Vickroy (1948)
Physical Education

Clifton H. De Voll (1952)
Physical Education

W. Carl Wimberly (1953)
Political Science

Ernest J. Gershon (1946)
Physical Education

Bernard J. Young (1953)
Elementary Education


Appendix C

Members of the Faculty by Department, 1909-1978


Atwood, K. Edward 1978-
Azzeh, Jawad J. 1974-1975
Bergin, J. Lawrence 1978-
Bottin, Ronald R. 1976-
Dietrich, John B. 1970-1976
Karvel, George R. 1975-
Matthews, Douglas T. 1974-
Phillips, Thomas E. 1969-1977
Rovelstad, Richard G. 1977-
Rueschhoff, Donald S. 1974-1977
Tilleman, William A. 1972-1974


Angell, Rena M. 1912-1951
Beck, Richard 1959-
Crocker, Leslie F. 1969-
Culver, Florence 1916-1917
Devitt, Daniel J. 1966-
Erickson, Erwin W. 1967-
Fiorini, William R. 1968-
Frothingham, Charles W. 1955-1960
Hofflin, Florence 1911-1912
Johnson, Russell B. 1970-1972
Jones, Alice 1929-1930
Kendrick, Vernon D. 1960-
Klahn, David R. 1968-1969
Lesperance, Duwayne A. 1969-
Robertson, Elizabeth W. 1909-1911
Stach, Leonard R. 1970-
Vafeas, William P. 1963-1978
Vavrek, Kenneth 1965-1970
Wallace, Frank G. 1951-1955
Wells, Gerald 1965-1967
Wentzel, Valerie C. 1967-1969


Anderson, Orlin 1954-1968
Atherton, Lewis 1909-1911
Balcomb, E. E. 1909-1910
Bates, Richard D. 1969-1971
Bradley, Frank D. 1930-1933
Bretnall, George H. 1912-1918
Buldhaupt, LaVerne L. 1961-
Burns, Robert M. 1968-
Claflin, Tom O. 1966-
Cummings, Kenneth B. 1970-1972
Davidson, Walter J. 1949-1951
Davis, Jerry D. 1968-
Di Cecco, Frank M. 1968-1970
Dopp, Ernest 1927-1928
Fletcher, Richard A. 1968-
Frazee, Oren E. 1920-1950
Grimes, D. Jay 1971-
Hartley, Richard T. 1950-1971
Held, John W. 1967-
Jenner, Edwin A. 1918-1921
King, Joe M. 1971-1973
Ladoff, Sonia 1912-1914
Landon, Eleanore V. 1949-1951
Lee, Robert E. 1967-1973
Matthews, Mason 1929-1930
McIlraith, Stuart M. 1962-
Mowbray, Rodney C. 1972-
Nelson, Allen C. 1964-
Nord, Richard 1966-
Nordstrom, Ann M. 1946-1948
Ozburn, Clement C. 1969-1972
Parry, James E. 1967-
Peters, Lewis E. Jr. 1958-1961
Rada, Ronald G. 1975-
Radcliffe, Lyle L. 1959-1963
Rovang, Theodore 1927-1966
Sayle, Mary 1920-1921
Schuh, Laura A. 1957-
Senff, Robert E. 1965-
Sohmer, Seymour H. 1967-
Sparks, Phillip D. 1965-
Steidtmann, Waldo E. 1935-1936
Temte, Eileen G. 1967-
Unbehaun, Laraine M. 1968-
Venneman, Martin R. 1975-
Wahl, Lucrecia 1965-1969
Warner, James H. 1963-
Weber, A. Vincent 1956-
Weeks, Thomas F. Sr. 1970-
Wells, Grace A. 1914-1918


Wentz, Anna 1920-1948
Wujek, Daniel E. 1966-1968
Young, Howard F. 1955-


Bender, Gary T. 1968-
Bernhard, Adolph A. 1909-1938
Brooks, Ralph J. 1920-1921
Cowley, Milford A. 1933-1974
Fountain, Kenneth K. 1970-1972
Goff, Marshall A. 1915-1946
Hosler, Charles F. Jr. 1966-
Kistner, Richard C. 1964-
Konrad, W. Grey 1946-1978
Lindner, Kenneth E. 1956-1967
Nieckarz, William J. 1968-
Nutter, Lawrence A. 1964-
Phillips, Ralph L. 1958-1974
Radford, Lawrence 1913-1914
Rausch, Gerald W. 1965-
Roskos, Roland R. 1966-
Rowe, Lawrence G. 1947-1974
Schulz, William D. 1917-1918
Stubblefield, Katherine F. 1960-
Sullivan, F. Ryan 1974-1978
Tonnis, John A. 1968-

Computer Science

Curtis, Royce F. 1970-1975
Egle, Michael H. 1968-
Jensik, John M. 1969-1971
Kelley, Robert A. 1975-
Nierengarten, John Jr. 1971-
Schabert, Stanley A. 1972-
Schneider, Gary M. 1968-1971
Sufficool, Robert A. 1976-1977
Winrich, Lonny B. 1971-

Domestic Science

Bartheld, Margaret 1936-1946
Bradley, Alice V. 1918-1924
Farnam, Margaret 1916-1917
Lambert, Ella 1924-1925
Martindale, Katherine 1920-1921
Renwick, Janet L. 1914-1915
Saenger, Elizabeth 1930-1934
Spence, Margaret 1909-1916
Wright, Jessie L. 1918-1923


Arvola, Denny A. 1967-1968
Bock, Brian A. 1969-1972
Campbell, Cloyce 1956-
Cole, David M. 1966-1977
Daellenbach, Lawrence A. 1968- 
Dilley, Max W. 1969-1972
Elmgren, Chloe J. 1967-1967
Gerland, Daniel L. 1976
Goldsborough, William J. 1976-1977
Good, Loretta L. 1966-1969
Klersey, George F. Jr. 1970-1972
Leitner, Keith R. 1970-1971
Matthews, Douglas T. 1974-1977
Mladenoff, Clifford J. 1965-1967
Parks, William A. 1960-1975
Schoenberger, Richard E. 1973-
Shoemaker, Arthur R. 1963-1965
Snyder, Richard S. 1975-
Spencer, Arthur H. 1963-1968
Starner, George F. 1974-
Sweetland, Douglas P. 1971-
Verdon, Walter A. 1967-1975
Vergin, Brian M. 1966-1969
Wehrs, William E. 1972-
Wolfe, Edward R. 1975-

Educational Media

Coorough, Gary W. 1969-
Eben, Craig E. 1961-1963
Engel, Douglas J. 1969-1970
Friedline, Karl 1967-1973
Gilberg, Sheldon F. 1973-1976
Grant, Roger A. 1970-
Nicholas, Donald L. 1966-1968
Rasmusen, Viggo B. 1947-1977
Rood, Clair L. 1965-
Schroeder, Joseph R. 1967-1970
Snowberg, Richard L. 1975-



Batchelor, Billie 1966-1969
Bernatovich, Bernard V. 1968-
Bloom, Mary Jane 1964-
Boudreau, Richard O. 1968-
Brendemuhl, Gabrielle C. 1926-1954
Brice, Ethel 1921-1923
Bull, James E. 1958-1961
Burk, Wilhelmina E. 1946-1949
Burman, Ronald S. 1965-
Burns, Robert L. 1969-
Carroll, Elinor Watson 1932-1933
Carver, Dora E. 1911-1931
Coate, David O. 1909-1938
Comptom, Miriam Augusta 1924
Coulombe, Michael J. 1969-
Currie, Jean C. 1949-1951
Cushman, Mortimer W. 1965-1967
Deamer, Robert G. 1967-1969
DeMoville, Wiggens B. 1968-1975
Diser, Philip E. 1965-1968
Durrin, Grace 1923
Dussere, David P. 1969-1972
Dyson, Helen Clarke 1924-1958
Flaherty, Lorraine J. 1964-
Gage, James E. 1969-1974
Gappa, Richard J. 1970-
Geier, Norbert J. 1967-
Gilkey, Helen K. 1961-1977
Glasel, Lee J. 1962-
Green, Judith A. 1968-
Habson, Martha Barbour 1918-1920
Hart, M. Leslie 1958-1959
Hartig, Edward 1965-1967
Hebberd, Mary H. 1947-1976
Hinck, Henry W. 1967-
Hutchison, Bessie 1909-1949
Hyde, William J. 1956-
Johnson, Julette A. 1971-1973
Johnson, Timothy W. 1967-1969
Judson, John 1965-
Keith, Winifred M. 1918-1919
Kish, Conrad L. 1964-1965
Knowlton, Edgar Colby 1935-1961
Koenig, Genevieve G. 1968-1978
Koppitch, Richard J. 1964-
Lafky, James C. 1961-
Lesher, Frederick Z. 1965-
Lord, Ada M. 1959-
Magnus, Dorothy B. 1930-1931
Maik, Thomas A. 1963-
Manter, Paul N. 1964-
Merwin, William C. 1968-1973
Nation, Ivy 1924-1925
Noelke, June C. 1958-1962
Norris, Jay C. 1962-
Oas, Ann 1954-1956
Oleson, Margaret B. 1949-1972
Orr, Meredith 1965-1968
Parsons, Roger L. 1961-
Reed, Jeanne F. 1968-
Remington, George A. 1958-1961
Richardson, Sandra E. 1970-1971
Richter, Theodora 1957-1968
Scarseth, Thomas L. 1968-
Schrag, Sonja S. 1971-
Singer, Glenn W. 1970-1974
Snider, Nancy V. 1966-1967
Stephens, James 1965-1968
Stewart, H. Elaine 1968-1971
Stokke, Adelee B. 1947-1972
Stone, Henry Etta 1933-1935
Stuart, Walter H. 1966-1967
Sullivan, Robert E. 1960-1965
Tressman, Luella R. 1935-1936
Treu, Robert L. 1968-
Vershure, Gary T. 1966-1967
Walston, Rosa Lee 1931-1932
White, Maud L. 1913-1914
White, Orris O. 1914-1952
Williams, Eugene E. 1962-
Wing, Edith Irish 1928-1961
Woodmency, Don S. 1962-1964
Wulling, Emerson G. 1938-1973
Yeatman, Joan R. 1968-

Foreign Languages

Ahlstrom, Alvida M.    1931-1968

Anderson, Hattie R.    1918-1919

Bernard, Dorothea Sander 1931-1935


Binford, Roberta K. 1966-1973

Bennett, Jo Ann 1968-1970

Bridgham, John Merrill 1913-1918

Carlsson, Mavis 1968-1969

Chassell, Laura M. 1915-1917
(German & French)

Cobb, Lillian 1929-1930

Conner, William B. 1944-1945

Curtis, Nelson D. 1962-1964
(Spanish & French)

Dunnington, Waldo 1938-1942

Fox, Elsie Regina 1920-1930
(Romance Language)

Franklin, Glen D. 1970-1973

Goodhart, Lynne 1969-1974

Gross, Daniel S. 1969-1972

Hawkins, Emma Morill 1928-1929

Hubbard, Warren S. 1966-1969

Kenngolt, A. 1916-1917

Kuo, Marie L. 1969-1973

Kurtz, Wilma 1930-1931

Laux, William M. 1922-1925

Long, Ernest D. 1909-1912

Manalich, Ramiro 1966

Muelder, Milton E. G. 1933-1935

Nation, Ivy 1920-1924

Nixon, Ruth A. 1947-

Norse, Frank E. 1912-1916

Patnode, Loraine 1931-1933

Pifer, Mary Gayle 1974-

Roller, Juliana 1911-1912

Ruebel, Karl 1965- 

Schaeck, Erna H. 1935-1938

Stark, Laura S. 1918-1919

Tock, Shirley 1966-

Toepfer, Paul D. 1966-1968

Troy, Ann E. 1968-1969

Weck, Frederick W. 1917-1918

Wester, Lillian Frona 1916-1920

Whalen, Edna 1965-

Young, Robert J. 1969-1971


Alward, Kenneth F. 1967-1969
Banks, Geneva R. 1948-1953
Chew, Margaret S. 1945-
Classen, Harold A. 1954-
Culver, Jerry B. 1956-
Denoyer, Levinus P. 1909-1912
Fuess, Katharine 1968-1971
Hanratta, Ann 1930-1933
Hoefer, John N. 1966-
Holder, Virgil Harold 1965-
Hough, Richard F. 1965-1963
Johnson, Lawrence E. 1971-
Klink, John C. 1968-1969
Krause, Paul E. 1969-1972
Kruckman, Lawrence D. 1969-1971
Lemaire, Minnie Ethel 1935-1947
Ludwig, Edward Daniel 1951-1952
Nelson, Herman L. 1968-
Novak, Robert 1950-1953
Reiss, Allan H. 1965-
Schwartz, Mabel 1924-1925
Sheldon, Estelle 1926-1931
Stickle, Bruce A. 1913-1914
Stoelting, Paul K. 1971-1974


Strain, Warren T. 1933-1935
Wade, Paula R. 1966-
Weinzierl, Edward J. 1963-
Whitney, Clayton A. Sr. 1915-1952
Wingate, Robert G. 1965-

Health Education

Becker, Kenneth C. 1971-
Culver, A. B. 1967-
Curtis, John D. 1975-
Davis, Thomas M. 1971-1975
Gilmore, Gary D. 1974
Hardy, Richard J. 1966-1967
Jordon, Jack A. 1972-
Knipping, Paul A. 1970-1971
Leary, John E. 1971-
Merritt, Henry M. 1968-1972
Murphy, Millard E. 1950-1953
Papenfuss, Richard L. 1974-
Pratt, Le Etta 1974-
Stanko, James J. 1970-1971
Wildes, Bernita H. 1974-
Wille, Don 1953-1973


Allness, Aida 1955-1967
Birchler, Allen B. 1965-
Boyle, Hugh C. 1968-
Burroughs, Glenn V. 1916-1917
Carter, George E. 1970-1974
Davies, Frederick G. 1947-1976
Dunn, Patrick P. 1970-1974
Esterquest, Frank L. 1941-1942
Fallis, Laurence 1965-1967
Fredricks, Howard R. 1945-1978
Gilkey, George R. 1954-
Glover, Wilbur H. 1936-1947
Helliesen, Jean M. 1963-
Hughes, William R. 1964-1967
Jenson, Carol E. 1968-
Kuhn, Gary G. 1965-
Laux, James M. 1955-1957
Laux, William M. 1922-1963
Lux, Wilma F. 1951-1952
Mohr, Ester C. 1911-1912
Moore, Floyd W. 1912-1913
Mouser, Bruce L. 1968-
Munson, Vivian L. 1965-
Parker, James R. 1968-
Pemberton, William E. 1966-
Rolnick, Stanley R. 1957-
Sanford, Albert H. 1909-1936
Sherwood, Henry Noble 1914-1918
Snyder, John Richard 1966-
Sohmer, Sara R. 1968-1970
Telzrow, Thomas M. 1970-1974
Thompson, Milton W. 1912-1913
Trowbridge, Myrtle 1918-1954
Vettes, William G. 1958-
Wade, Rex A. 1963-1968
Wray, Harold J. 1970-1973
Zanger, Martin H. 1967-


Belisle, Earle M. 1970-1977
Beust, Nora 1914-1916
Birdsall, Willard 1964-1970
Brabant, Laura 1928-1929
Bristow, Ruth 1927-1928
Brown, Marguerite 1962-1963
Buss, Lorretta 1935-1937
Bussey, Charlotte E. 1916-1919
Crail, Catherine Fulton 1937-1966
Dilkens, Gertrude 1912-1914
Esch, Marie M. 1920-1921
Evans, Russell C. 1965-1969
Foster, Alice 1920-1921
Gresseth, Dale C. 1965-
Hill, Edwin L. 1968-
Hocker, Margaret L. 1950-1978
Lightbody, Martha 1929-1930
Lunde, Diane B. 1970-1975
Luther, Jessie Wickersham 1934-1935
Millich, Eugene J. 1957-
Montagna, Dennis 1969-1972
Morgan, Leone 1920-1921
Mulheim, Florence L. 1930-1931
Nichols, Lucille 1917-1919
Robson, John M. 1972-
Searcy, Herbert L. 1964-
Shiflett, Orvin Lee 1971-1978


Shirley, Edna 1921-1923
Skaar, Martha Olea 1919-1964
Thompson, Orin W. 1967-
Van Note, Roy N. 1964-
Wesson, Katharine 1922-1927
Wing, Florence Sherwood 1910-1951
Worth, Florence 1924-1925
Zimmerman, Ruth E. 1929-1935

Management & Marketing

Campbell, Cloyce 1956-
Greenwood, Ronald G. 1972-
Kirplalani, Ram T. 1973-1974
Kuffel, Thomas S. 1977-
Kulp, John A. 1972-1974
Perkett, William O. 1976-
Pollman, A. William 1969-
Ramocki, Stephen P. 1975-
Redel, Charles L. 1975-
Russell, P. Dean 1974-
Straavaldsen, Richard H. 1975-

Manual Training

Best, Louis F. 1911-1913
Lewis, Frank C. 1913-1916
Lyon, Merton J. 1916-1946
Steinhoff, G. Lester 1946-1977

Mass Communications

Andresen, Earl R. 1976-
Bardill, Edward M. 1967-
Bowles, Dorothy 1969-1977
Frost, James W. 1974-1976
Grant, Roger A. 1970-
Hook, Stephen C. 1970-1973
Jenks, John D. 1965-
Laber, Stanley P. 1967-1973
Muller, Patricia A. 1964-
Zobin, Joseph 1966-


Adkins, Lincoln K. 1916-1949
Aiuppa, Thomas A. 1971-1973
Arora, Manmohan S. 1965-1974
Austin, William A. 1909-1913
Bange, David W. 1971-
Barkauskas, Anthony E. 1972-
Barnebey, Merrill H. 1965-
Breiter, Thomas 1966-
Brownell, Arthur F. Jr. 1965-
Bursack, Bruce A. 1962-1966
Christensen, Roland W. 1960-
Conniff, Charles R. 1964-1968
Doser, Robert F. 1966-1976
Erickson, Roger P. 1966-
Jacobsen, Gerald B. 1966-1972
Johnson, Leon S. 1917-1919
Lewis, Arthur J. 1912-1916
O'Brien, Dennis M. 1969-
Ross, Arden J. 1968-
Rozelle, Theodore R. 1946-1971
Sabota, James M. 1971-
Sandau, Ronald R. 1969-1972
Scheidt, John K. 1971-
Schelin, Charles W. 1971-
Schnur, Leo M. 1958-1977
Swanson, E. Keith 1958-
Temte, Arnold I. 1949-
Unbehahn, John R. 1968-
Williams, Peter C. 1969-1972
Wine, James D. 1971-

Military Science

Archambault, Emile A. 1971-1974
Bowen, Cecil R. 1971-1975
Chester, Michael Q. 1971-1974
Gruber, Robert C. 1974-
Harms, Robert R. 1976-
MacInnes, John D. 1973-
Powell, Robert L. 1971-1974
Radke, John W. 1977-
Roof, William C. 1974-
Rumpel, Donald O. 1971-
Wardwell, Orren C. 1972-1977
Wilson, Donald E. 1976-


Annett, Thomas 1928-1962
Barham, Terry J. 1970-
Beery, Leon F. 1920-1922


Bennett, Robert W. 1969-1974
Brewer, Linda R. 1974-
Burgh, Marion Vos 1909-1910
Chandler, Helen 1914-1915
Cordeiro, Joseph L. 1969-
Cotton, Homer 1913-1916
Cotton, Homer E. (Mrs.) 1910-1911
Estes, William V. 1959-
Forte, Greta W. 1915-1916
Fristad, Millie J. 1916-1918
Hayes, Truman  1962-
Jones, Archie N. 1928-1929
Leeder, Joseph A. 1922-1928
Matthusen, Carol C. 1971-1973
Matzke, Rex K. 1974-1976
Mewaldt, David 1952-
Miller, Louise E. 1922-1925
Morgan, Russell V. 1916-1921
Oltman, Harriet B. 1911-1914
Place, Olive B. 1927-1943
Randolph, Brenda S. 1968-1972
Roggenbuck, Therese 1965-
Sulerud, Glady 1926-1932
Swickard, John H. 1962-1971
Vandewater, Cora 1912-1914
Wahl, Ralph V. 1964-1969
Weekley, Dallas 1965-
Wessler, Robert A. 1972-
Whelpley, Barbara 1918-1919
Yarborough, William 1966-1969
Youngberg, Francis K. 1944-1946

Parks & Recreation

Barta, Anita M. 1976-
Bushell, Shirley A. 1973-1976
DeBower, Alice 1945-1973
Eayrs, Michael A. 1975-
Gushiken, Thomas T. 1974-
Hartmann, Ernest C. 1970-
Lengfeld, Fred 1955-1966
Otto, William O. 1964-
Steuck, Robert H. 1956-


Broderick, Daniel L. 1970-1974
Felch, William E. 1963-1978
Glass, Ronald J. 1968-
Miller, David L. 1970-
Rasmussen, Paul E. 1969-
Raynor, Owen N. 1961-1966
Schumm, Mark W. 1967-1970
Tiedeman, Kent H. 1966-1968

Physical Education

Agli, James J. 1968-1969
Baird, Beatrice A. 1946-1974
Baird, Betty J. 1947-1962
Baker, Jane 1939-1942
Bassuener, Carol H. 1970-1971
Batchelder, Robert W. 1956
Beran, Robert L. 1959-1968
Bleamaster, Miriam 1937-1939
Brown, James D. 1963-1970
Butts, Nancy Kay 1974-
Cameron, Annah A. 1923-1925
Carter, Frances H. 1953-1973
Carter, Fred G. 1912-1915
Chappell, Isabel M. 1926-1930
Clark, Elizabeth K. 1974-
Congreve, Virginia 1944-1953
Day, Phyllis M. 1956-1959
DeVoll, Clifton 1952-
DeVoll, Diana 1964-
Dew, James B. 1971-1974
Dilley, Sue C. 1969-1972
Epting, Opal Horr 1936-1938
Esten, Phillip L. 1970-
Eustis, Laura M. 1912-1914
Fessenden, Marian 1920-1922
Floyd, William 1963-
Foss, Jean F. 1962-
Freeman, Alan W. 1974-
Fulkerson, Carole A. 1970-
Gautsch, Floyd 1939-1969
Gershon, Ernest J. 1946-
Gipe, Delia 1916-1918
Goar, Douglas J. 1969-
Goodwin, Lane A. 1965-
Greenlee, Joy C. 1970-
Grunwald, John J. 1967-1969
Hackner, Magdalene 1916-1919
Hall, Fred W. 1918-1921


Hamilton, Mary 1953-1958
Hankner, O. A. 1935-1936
Harring, Roger 1969-
Heineman, G. H. 1916-1919
Hey, J. Philip 1967-1972
Hoff, Elizabeth White 1931-1947
Howard, H. James 1966-1976
Hume, Ester 1929-1930
Johnson, Howard L. 1930-1938
Jones, Ralph E. 1968-
Kaufman, Wayne S. 1967-
Keeler, Ray M. 1916-1930
Kime, Robert E. 1956-1963
Kisler, Geraldine L. 1971-1973
Knorr, Olive 1914-1916
Kunkel, Bernadine H. 1949-1978
Lengfeld, Fred E. 1955-1966
Lipovetz, Ferd John 1920-1963
Lyons, Ross C. 1926-1929
Maroney, Frederick W. 1917-1918
McDonald, Burt A. 1971-
McLellan, Mary I. 1963-
Miller, Leon W. 1926-1967
Miller, Myron F. 1969-
Moe, Lorraine 1967-1969
Mollencop, Jane 1939-1942
Muth, Eileen P. 1968-
Nicholson, Joan 1971-1972
Nohr, Robert Jr. 1918-1927
Orr, Eileen H. 1956-1962
Pace, Judith A. 1971-
Pearson, Roland O. 1970-1974
Polleck, Patricia J. 1963-1965
Price, Sandra 1974-
Reuter, Hans C. 1920-1956
Robarge, Maurita B. 1969-
Rockwood, Linn R. 1966-1968
Rodgers, Elizabeth 1934-1944
Rog, James A. 1969-1974
Rund, Fern R. Laking 1941-1946
Schockmel, Barry L. 1969-
Schroeder, Marjorie 1962-
Scott, Clara 1914
Sehon, Elizabeth L. 1931-1933
Simons, Lois A. 1949-1952
Sjoquist, Janyce E. 1970-1973
Smith, Charles B. 1976-
Smith, Clyde 1938-1949
Smith, Glenn M. 1954-
Smith, Marion V. 1930-1931
Sputh, Carl B. 1913-1917
Stephens, Martha 1968-
Stephens, Myrna L. 1966-1968
Stephenson, Flora Lee 1958-
Stockham, Violet 1930-1934
Swanson, Jane A. 1966-1969
Taylor, Rollo G. 1965-
Terry, William G. 1968-
Thayer, Ada F. 1909-1911
Thomas, Anna L. 1944-1970
Thomas, G. Patience 1959-1962
Thompson, Leonora 1915-1923
Toburen, Karen R. 1968-
Van Atta, William D. 1967-
Vanderlip, Dolly D. 1965-1967
Van Galder, Clark 1948-1952
Vickroy, Esten W. 1948-
Vradenburg, Vernon G. 1959-1961
Walker, Sheila M. 1973-
Watson, Richard Z. 1969-1971
Webster, Grace L. 1957-1958
Westkaemper, Richard B. 1956-1966
Wilder, Emma L. 1921-1956
Wilson, Phillip K. 1968-
Winter, Anne J. 1962-
Wittich, Walter J. 1916-1953
Wood, Bernice 1930-1931
Wulk, Nancy Gayle 1966-1969

Physical Therapy

Davis, George 1975-
Gould, James A. III 1975-
Gray, Edwin G. 1972-
Kung, Jimmie S. T. 1974-
Rice, Walter H. Jr. 1973-1976
Speakman, Haddon J. B. 1976-1977
Wilson, Patricia A. 1975-


Allen, Robert H. 1969-
Blade, Richard A. 1964-1967
Dahler, Carlin E. 1947-1977
Egbert, Gary T. 1967-
Fairchild, James A. 1911-1941


Fystrom, Dell O. 1969-
Gupta, Arun K. 1967-1969
Hake, Joseph W. 1917-1919
Herzo, Dennis P. 1969-1971
Hughes, Earl F. 1965-1967
Olson, O. Harry 1942-1945
Skadeland, Harold M. 1944-1947
Smith, Theodore V. 1966-1969
Spangler, Ross Davis 1933-1947
Uber, Robert H. 1955-

Political Science

Cheever, Herbert 1966-1968
Fishel, John T. 1971-
Fitzpatrick, Thomas M. 1970-1972
Heim, Joseph P. 1968-
Kostroski, Warren L. 1968-1970
Lindblad, Richard G. 1961-
O'Keefe, Dennis J. 1965-1967
Reithel, Curtis G. 1971-
Shepherd, William S. 1967-1977
Singh, Surender 1964-
Voight, Robert C. 1959-
Wimberly, W. Carl 1953-


Arthur, Robert E. 1969-
Bogart, Lloyd M. 1969-
Breslin, Frederick D. 1958-1960
Burnett, Alastair 1967-1969
Cleveland, John C. 1960-
Eglash, Albert 1956-1958
Gander, Mary J. 1974-
Gardiner, Harry W. 1974-
Goh, David S. J. 1973-1977
Grams, Armin 1955-1967
Harris, Thomas M. 1966-
Hiebert, Harold D. 1971-
Himmel, Clark E. 1964-
Jackson, Robert M. 1957-
Jackson, Virgil D. 1938-1941
Long, Ernest D. 1920-1923
McDonald, Scott W. 1962-1963
Meara, Naomi M. 1967-1970
Nelson, Kerry R. 1969-
Robertshaw, C. Stuart 1971-
Ryan, James J. 1968-
Sanders, William H. 1909-1938
Stamps, Louis W. 1970-
Tetzlaff, Ted J. 1964-
Trabant, Jack L. 1970-1971
Trenary, Diana S. 1971-1974
Wixson, Stanton E. 1966-1969
Wood, Edward S. 1970-

Social Work

Benson, Robert H. 1969-
Hagar, Hope 1974-
Johnson, Paul A. 1965-
Knorr, Alfred A. 1969-1970
Pagel, Donald J. 1967-1969
Sapio, Patrick A. 1969-
Vance, Vere V. 1970-
Young, Charles M. 1968-


Anderson, James A. 1960-
Ashe, Lillian H. 1968-1973
Beers, James Lowell 1958-1976
Bendiksen, Robert A. 1975-
Berg, Phillip A. 1972-
Bilbey, Robert W. 1972
Griffin, Charles T. 1967-1969
Hurlburt, Julia 1965-1967
Hurst, Charles E. 1965-1970
Khleif, Baheej B. 1969-1972
Lazinger, Joel P. 1973-
Loddeke, Lois J. 1966-1967
Mackey, William J. 1968-
Metscher, Richard J. 1971-1974
Motivans, Joseph J. 1964-
Mueller, Charles W. 1967-1969
Nolte, Margaret 1953-1956
Sheils, Howard D. 1972-
Smith, Sheldon 1969-
Stott, Gerald N. 1969-1972
Stub, Holger R. 1956-1958
Thoresen, Walter P. 1947-1966
Throckmorton, Kirby L. 1967-1972
Vehik, Rain 1974-1978



Awtrey, Conrad C. 1968-
Barnard, Raymond H. 1930-1936
Bednar, Rudolph Charles 1935-1936
Bell, Burton R. 1971-1972
Bousliman, Charles W. 1966-1971
Bousliman, Susan C. 1969-1971
Brown, Betty J. 1947-1949
Chamberlain, Robert G. 1971-1977
Cleveland, Elbin L. 1972-1975
Comeau, Glenn 1965-
Dixon, William 1962-1967
Frederick, Robert L. 1946-1977
Haas, Charles E. 1964-
Hayes, Harriet M. 1967-1972
Ilkka, Richard V. 1969-1973
Jefferies, Bernard C. 1969-
John, Kaye S. 1969-1971
Joyce, Robert S. 1966-
Killough, Miriam 1925-1927
Krumel, Wayne P. 1968-
Laber, Stanley P. 1967-1973
Lane, J. Russel 1928-1930
Magnus, Dorothy B. 1929-1931
Mathias, Marilyn M. 1969-1971
Patterson, Elsie M. 1968-
Pendall, Sue D. 1971-1973
Pfaff, Donald W. 1965-1968
Richman, Joan L. 1973-1975
Siefkas, James M. 1966-
Starr, Jack D. Jr. 1965-
Steno, Michael E. 1971-1973
Stewart, Roy T. 1968-1971
Tinapp, A. Richard 1968-
Toland, Marie Park 1937-1966
Tracy, Sharon Ann 1965-1968
Vorderberg, Charles C. 1969-1972
Wedwick, Daryl M. 1967-1969
White, Noel D. 1966-1970
Wirkus, Tom E. 1959-

Teacher Education

Abel, Pauline A. 1943-
Altman, Burton E. 1965-
Anderson, David A. 1912-1913
Anderson, Roxanna E. 1912-1914
Beath, John W. 1925-1941
Bergman, Wayne G. 1970-1974
Caldwell, Jessie 1923-1958
Castek, John E. 1969-
Clack, Mauree Applegate 1945-1966
Clements, Joan 1967-
Cozad, Ralph L. 1975-
Davis, Donald E. 1965-
Deck, Claude C. 1968-1972
Deneen, Irene E. 1915-1919
Drake, Alice  1931-1962
Dunlap, Helen Leslie 1941-1942
Engleman, James O. 1909-1913
Erickson, James H. M. 1958-1974
Fish, Kenneth R. 1951-1978
Fobes, Margaret 1912-1913
Goodhart, Richard L. 1966-
Gowlland, Bob 1956-
Greenewald, Mary J. 1975-
Grooters, Lyle E. 1974-
Gustafson, David J. 1973-
Hagar, Alice 1947-
Hammes, Marion D. 1947-
Heider, Dorothy P. 1955-1970
Hocker, Margaret 1950-1978
Hoff, Arthur C. 1932-1946
Holford, May Okey 1913-1915
Holt, Milford W. 1967-1969
Johnson, Alta V. 1959-
Josten, Margaret 1927-1942
Keith, Winifred M. 1915-1918
Kelleher, Agnes 1942-1946
Kimble, Raymond L. 1971-1973
Leamer, Emery W. 1925-1952
Lemke, Justin K. 1965-1969
Long, Ernest D. 1912-1920
McLain, John D. 1962-1965
Merwin, William C. 1968-1973
Moench, Laurel 1967-1969
Moore, Clyde B. 1917-1919
Moore, Joel R. 1912-1919
Munns, Earle D. 1963-
Nelson, Owen N. 1970-1973
Packard, Edgar 1920-1921
Permuth, Steven B. 1975-1977
Rasmussen, Richard E. 1961-
Rickels, Lillian L. 1968-1971
Rolfe, Jean F. 1923-1956
Rose, Howard C. 1974-


Sanders, William H. 1909-1926
Saterbak, Julia Steinke 1960-
Schein, Norman J. 1962-
Schmidt, William A. 1959-
Showers, Mrs. Roy 
Johnson 1927-1929
Stacey, Karla R. 1970-1974
Walters, Everett L. 1920-1958
Weck, Frederick W. 1913-1917
Wick, Dwan T. 1966-
Widell, Waldo R. 1966-1975
Wilder, Flora M. 1935-1936
Young, Bernard J. 1953-
Zeimet, Edward J. 1970-

Training School

Barnett, Mabel 1918-1921
Bartheld, Margaret (Mrs.) 1936-1946
Bettinger, Lillian 1909-1915
Bigley, Ellen (Mrs.) 1924-1927
Billsburg, Eve 1918
Blatter, Dorothy 1920-1928
Boughton, Edith M. 1914-1916
Brault, Orville E. 1946-1969
Breene, Agnes T. 1924-1959
Brown, Velma 1929-1932
Carper, Leila M. 1918
Clarke, Geneva Marking 1943-1946
Clemens, Huberta 1931-1934
Conoboy, Catherine 1928-1929
Cross, Maybelle S. 1919
Culkin, Mabel L. 1917-1919
Darling, John 1939-1945
Deneen, Lottie L. 1909-1917
Dolan, Luella 1920-1921
Eddy, Florence 1920-1922
Essling, Cordella 1920-1921
Felber, Helen Kay 1930-1935
Forte, Greta W. 1915-1916
Frost, Marjorie Harker 1943-1947
Garratt, LaVerne 1909-1914
Gordon, Alice 1912-1940
Granger, Marian 1949-1971
Griffith, Fay E. 1922-1924
Gritzner, Teresa Anne 1956-1960
Hammes, Alice G. 1950-1951
Hemlepp, Emme C. 1920-1924
Hitchcock, Clara D. 1909-1914
Holford, Veronica 1957-1958
Howard, Harriet 1916-1917
Jonas, Meta 1929-1932
Jones, Mabel Thorpe 1920-1922
Kreutz, Lydia 1922-1924
Lewis, Mame 1928-1929
Marshall, Minnie E. 1911-1912
Otten, Florence A. Foxwell 1920-1930
Pederson, Rhea G. 1947-1973
Perrodin, Alex F. 1947-1950
Peters, Amelia Louise 1918-1921
Pettis, Josephine 1917
Pirner, Phyllis A. 1958-1969
Pratt, Jennie Mae 1917-1918
Prybylowski, Florence A. 1947-1956
Read, Mary J. 1935-1937
Richards, Inez J. 1935-1939
Rodger, Frances 1933-1934
Maybelle 1912-1913
Sheridan, Mary Bealla 1922-1925
Smith, Marjorie 1946-1956
Stevenson, Wilma Jane 1944-1948
Sulerud, Gladys 1926-1931
Taylor, Ida M. 1916-1917
Trane, Susan 1915-1916
Tripp, M. Grace 1926-1943
Weintraub, Sam 1953-1954
Wesley, Rose 1920-1922
Williams, Mary M. 1923-1924
Williams, Winifred J. 1914-1918
Wilson, Lenore 1935-1943
Wilson, Minnie J. 1917-1921
Ziese, Elsie C. 1917-1918


Appendix D

State Officers of The Association of University of Wisconsin
Faculties (TAUWF) from La Crosse

W. H. Sanders ............................ Secretary-Treasurer, 1915-1919
Albert H. Sanford  ................................. President, 1923-1924
Myrtle Trowbridge ........................ Secretary-Treasurer, 1928-1930
Emery W. Learer ............................... Vice-President, 1934-1936
Myrtle Trowbridge .................................. President, 1936-1938
                                                Vice-President, 1942-1944
Emerson G. Wulling ....................... Secretary-Treasurer, 1948-1950
                                                     President, 1950-1952
Beatrice Baird ..................................... Treasurer, 1954-1956
Harold Classen...................................... Secretary, 1960-1964
Robert Steuck ................................. Vice-President, 1966-1968
Keith Swanson ...................................... Treasurer, 1968-1970
George R. Gilkey ................................... Secretary, 1970-1972
Jerry B. Culver .................................... President, 1976-1978

Appendix E

Faculty Senate Chairpersons, 1966-1980

William E. Felch  .............................................1966-1968
Ernest J. Gershon  ............................................1968-1969
Stanley R. Rolnick ........................................... 1969-1970
Allen B. Birchler ............................................ 1970-1971
Paula R. Wade ................................................ 1971-1972
Robert C. Voight ............................................. 1972-1973
Robert L. Burns .............................................. 1973-1974
George  R. Gilkey ............................................ 1974-1977
Charles W . Schelin .......................................... 1977-1979
Richard P. Nord .............................................. 1979-1980


Appendix F

Administrative Officers

Presidents and Chancellors

Fassett A. Cotton, President                            1911-1924
Ernest A. Smith, President                              1925-1926
George M. Snodgrass, President                          1927-1939
Rexford S. Mitchell, President                          1939-1966
Samuel G. Gates, President                              1966-1971
Kenneth E. Lindner, President/Chancellor*               1971-1979
Noel J. Richards, Chancellor                            1979-

Vice Presidents and Vice Chancellors
James O. Engleman, Vice President                       1909-1913
Ernest D. Long, Vice President                          1914-1923
Clayton A. Whitney, Vice President                      1933-1952
Maurice O. Graff, Vice President/Vice Chancellor**      1964-1973
W. Carl Wimberly, Vice Chancellor                       1973-

Dean of the College
Maurice O. Graff                                        1954-1964

Vice Presidents for Business Affairs
Edward S. Carlsson, Jr.                                 1966-1968
Donovan W. Riley                                        1968-1972

Assistant Chancellor
David R. Witmer                                         1972-

Assistant Vice Chancellor
Jean L. Foss                                            1974-

College (School) of Arts, Letters and Sciences
William M. Laux, Director                               1947-1959
W. Carl Wimberly, Director/Dean                         1960-1973
Robert C. Voight, Dean                                  1973-

School of Business Administration
Thomas D. White, Director                               1972-1974
P. Dean Russell, Dean                                   1974-1977
William O. Perkett, Dean                                1977-

*With merger, the title was changed from "President" to "Chancellor."

**With merger, the title was changed from "Vice President for Academic
Affairs" to Vice Chancellor."


College (School) of Education
Bernard J. Young, Dean                                  1964-1974
Howard C. Rose, Dean                                    1974-

College (School) of Physical Education

Carl B. Sputh, Director                                 1913-1916
G. E. Heineman, Director                                1916-1917
Frederick W. Maroney, Director                          1917-1918
Walter J. Wittich, Director                             1918-1954
Glenn M. Smith, Director/Dean                           1954-

Graduate College
James H. M. Erickson, Dean                              1964-1974

Dean of Men
Clyde Smith                                             1941-1946
Richard J. Gunning                                      1947-1971

Dean of Women
Josephine M. Jones                                      1915-1917
Lulu Curme Bretnall                                     1917-1918
Annie D. Adkins                                         1920-1921
Lena C. Durborow                                        1921-1923
Sarah L. Bangsberg                                      1923-1941
Edith J. Cartwright                                     1941-1969

Dean of Student Affairs
David W. Hogue                                          1968-

Dean, Student Activities
Robert H. Steuck                                        1964-1968
Robert M. Mullally                                      1968-1974

Director, Elementary Education
Jean F. Rolfe                                           1928-1956
Alice Drake                                             1958-1962
Bernard J. Young                                        1962-1964

Director, Rural Education
Edgar Packard                                           1920-1921
John W. Beath                                           1928-1941
Alice Drake                                             1941-1958

Director, Secondary Education
Everett L. Walters                                      1921-1958
James H. M. Erickson                                    1959-1964


Director or Principal, Campus (Training) School
William H. Sanders, Principal                             1909-1921
Dora E. Carver, Principal                                 1921-1924
Emery Leamer, Director                                    1926-1952
Bernard J. Young, Director                                1953-1962
John D. McLain, Director                                  1962-1966
Richard E. Rasmussen, Director                            1966-1972

Director, Intercollegiate Athletics
Clyde Smith                                               1947-1949
Floyd H. Gautsch                                          1950-1970
E. William Vickroy                                        1970-

Director, Audio-Visual Center
Viggo B. Rasmusen                                         1962-1975

Director, Data Processing Center
John C. Storlie                                           1966-

Director of Libraries
Roy Van Note                                              1964-1976

Director, University Outreach
Richard E. Rasmussen                                      1974-1979
Norene A. Smith                                           1979-

Director, Student Centers and Activities
Donald H. Strand                                          1968-1970
Calvin F. Helming                                         1970-1974
     Robert M. Mullally                                        1974-


Appendix G
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Administrative Organizational Chart


Appendix H

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Shares of Enrollment,

                            La Crosse
Year	La Crosse	System	Share

1909     275       2871        9.6
1910     371       3002        12.4
1911     371       3121        11.9
1912     349       2846        12.3
1913     380       3088        12.3
1914     492       3775        13.0
1915     545       4027        13.5
1916     484       3965        12.2
1917     405       3336        12.1
1918     317       2570        12.3
1919     382       3059        12.5
1920     388       3481        11.1
1921     600       4651   	 12.9
1922     700       5392    	 13.0
1923     634    	 5277    	 12.0
1924     574    	 5078        11.3
1925     522       4513        11.6
1926     538       4074        13.2
1927     590       4217        14.0
1928     636       4392        14.5
1929     650       4420        14.7
1930     694       5173        13.4
1931     818       5630        14.5
1932     792       5761        13.7
1933     709       5565	       12.7
1934     645       5273  	 12.2
1935     644       5508 	 11.7
1936     664       5694   	 11.7
1937     694       5626   	 12.3
1938     782       6519   	 12.0
1939     806       7326   	 11.0
1940     797       6614  	 12.1
1941     697       5564   	 12.5
1942     583       4168  	 14.0
1943     356       2703        13.2
1944     411       2748   	 15.0
1945     455       3092        14.7
1946     959	 31,944	 3.0
1947	   1091	 32,202	 3.4
1948     1102      30,720	 3.6
1949	   1137	 29,980      3.9
1950     1045	 26,652	 3.9
1951     928	 23,622	 3.9
1952     918	 23,095	 4.0
1953     945	 23,162	 4.1
1954     1065	 26,478	 4.0
1955     1334	 31,682	 4.2
1956     1497	 34,941	 4.3
1957     1573 	 36,171	 4.3
1958	   1772	 39,253	 4.5
1959     1821	 41,343	 4.4
1960     1781	 44,567	 4.0
1961     2042	 50,002	 4.1
1962     2159	 54,562	 4.0
1963	   2317	 62,106	 3.7
1964     2987	 71,097	 4.2
1965     3943	 85,479	 4.6
1966     4514	 95,251	 4.7
1967     5111	 105,993	 4.8
1968     6001	 118,239	 5.1
1969     6659	 127,147	 5.2
1970     7248	 132,088	 5.5
1971     7009	 133,702	 5.3
1972     6785	 133,303	 5.1
1973     6954	 135,365	 5.1
1974     7573	 139,891	 5.4
1975     7734	 143,740	 5.4
1976     7756	 143,440	 5.4
1977     8554	 146,530	 5.8
1978     8431	 148,127	 5.7
1979     8896	 150,385	 5.9


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Kime, Robert. "The Development of Baseball as a Major Sport of the
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Marshall, Thomas. "The Development of Football at Wisconsin State
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Miller, Charles J. "The Effects of World War I and World War II on the
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The Racquet, 1910-1979.

Wisconsin State Journal, 1928.



Adkins, Annie D. 149
Adkins, Lincoln K. 94, 125, 130
Afro-American Association 181
Albertson, Harry 136
Alethean Society 181
Alexander, John 189, 217
Allen, Robert 223
Alpha Delta Theta 183
Alpha Kappa Lambda 183
Alpha Omicron Pi 183
Alpha Phi 183
Alpha Phi Omega 170, 183
Alpha Phi Pi 159, 175, 176, 177, 182,
182, 183
Alpha Psi Omega 182
Alpha Xi Delta 182, 183
Althaus, Clarence W. 238
Altman, Burton 223
Anderegg, Hedwig 130
Angell, Rena 213
Annett, Thomas E. 189, 216, 220
Apollo Club 177
Arganbright, Nancy 220
Association for Childhood Education
International 180
Association of History Students 179
Atherton, Lewis 84, 207
Athletic Association 160, 175
Atwell, B.D. 10
Augustine, Jerry 226
Austin, William 76, 207
Bahai Club 180
Baird, Beatrice 82, 103, 194, 216, 223
Ballin, Phyllis 133
Bange, David 223
Bangsberg, Sarah Garrett 79, 149, 151,
155, 156, 156
Bardwell, Edward T. 61, 133
Bartels, Floyd D. 257
Bartz, Stanley 215
Bashford, Robert 10
Batchelder, Robert 216
Bendiksen, Robert A. 222
Bentley, Arthur A. 128
Berg, Phillip L. 222
Bergman, Otto 214, 215
Bernhard, Adolph 84, 99, 179, 207, 209,
216, 229
Beta Sigma Chi 183
Bettinger, Lillian 80, 111
Bilby, Robert W. 222
Birchler, Allen 218
Bladow, Janel 170
Blaine, John J. 230
Blue Key 181
Boomer, Ann   157
Bosshard, Otto 13, 31
Booster Club 178
Boudreau, Richard 0. 221
Boulton, James 141
Bowen, Clifford 158
Bradley, W.C. 30
Brendemuhl, Gabrielle 215
Bretnall, Lulu Curme  149
Brokaw, Hope 136
Brown, Frank 11
Brueggeman, Larry 165
Brunner, Fred 136
Buchman, D.M. 157
Burns, Robert L. 65, 247
Buskin Club 159, 175, 177, 182, 189,
Butturf, Dorothy Dow 211, 213, 257
Caldwell, Janet Anderson 230
Campbell, Cloyce 224
Campus Bible Study 180
Campus Crusade for Christ 180
Campus Guild for Girl Scouts 181
Campus Vets 181
Cana 181
Canterbury Club 180
Carlson, Agnes E. 209, 211
Carter, George C. 217, 218, 226, 243
Cartwright, Edith J. 132, 152, 153, 154,
Carver, Dora 111, 207, 208
Cashel, J.L. 10
Carstensen, Vernon 5
Catalina Club 201
Catholic Newman Club 180
Chew, Margaret S. 82, 245
Chi Lambda Chi 179, 183
Christian Science 180
Circle K 181
Clack, Mauree Applegate 216, 220, 221
Claflin, Thomas 0. 224, 245
Cleveland, John C. 222

Coate, David 0. 76, 93, 99, 127, 150,
189, 207, 208, 216, 231
College Club 151, 178, 179
Congregational Club 180
Connaughton, Jack 226
Cordiero, Joseph 189
Cotton, Fassett Allen 14, 23, 23-34, 35,
51, 75, 77, 78, 80, 93, 94, 97, 113, 125,
149, 150, 151, 159, 176, 177, 198, 216,
235, 258
Coulee Trekkers 181
Country Life and Rural Life 179
Cowley, Milford 55, 82, 150, 152, 197
Crawford, William H. 36
Culver, Anna Beth 98, 216, 224
Culver, Jerry B. 223, 224
Curti, Merle 5
Daellenbach, Lawrence 223
Davidson, Roy 2,3,3
Davies, Frederick 216, 218
Davis, Jerry D. 222
Delta Psi Kappa 182
Delta Sigma Phi 183
Delta Sigma Pi 182
Delta Zeta 183
Deneen, Lottie 76, 111, 207
Denoyer, Levinus 84, 207, 229, 229
Der Deutsche Klub 177
Der Deutsche Verein  177
Devitt, Daniel 219
De Voll, Clifton 196, 224
Ditton, Thomas A.B. 135
Dixon, William 220
Doane, Kenneth R. 215, 215
Dodd, William E. 48
Drake, Alice 101, 117, 180
Drakels 180
Dreps, Joseph A. 211, 213
Dreyfus, Lee S. 70
Dunn, Patrick P. 218
Durborow, Lena C. 149
Durland, John S. 12, 13
Dustman, Herman 165
Earl, Anthony 69
Eckankar 180
Eclectic Club 159, 175, 175, 176, 191
Eisenescher, Michael 61, 141
El Club Espanol 179
Eldred, Janet Prendergast 231, 231
Engleman, James 0. 84, 93, 216
Erickson, Erwin 219, 220
Erickson, James H.M. 101, 104
Esch, John J. 17, 128
Ester, Philip 200
Estes, William V. 189, 220
Eta Phi Alpha 182
Eta Sigma Gamma   182
Euler, Arthur 208
Euler, George 11
Evans, Dustin 142
Evans, Edward E. 12
Fairchild, James A. 125, 130, 149, 149,
152, 179, 215, 216
Falb, Louis B. 229
Farber, Gerald 62
Felch, William E. 82, 83, 86, 248
Filipov, Youri 52
Finefrock, Thelma Jacobson 213
Finley, Richard  136
Fiorini, William  219
Fish, Kenneth R. 111
Fishel, John T. 223
Fletcher, Richard A. 216, 222
Fluekiger, Edward J. 249, 253
Foreign Relations Club 179
Forum 151, 176, 182
Frazee, Oren 179, 213
Frederick, Robert L. 189
Fredricks, Howard 61, 120, 218
Freehoff, Henry 30
French, Larry 166
Fritz, Oliver H. 230
Fystrom, Dell 223
Gaarder, Herbert 209, 209
Gamma Delta 183
Gamma Sigma Sigma 170, 183
Gardiner, Harry 222
Garratt, La Verne 84, 111
Gates, Samuel G. 23, 56-63, 57, 64, 82,
85, 87, 152, 158, 165, 167, 168, 169,
170, 178, 240, 253
Gautsch, Lloyd 196
Gerrard, William 2, 4
Gershon, Ernest 82, 103, 196, 199, 217,
Gibbons Club 180
Gilkey, George R. 89, 92, 218
Gilmore, Gary 224
Girl's Glee Club 175, 176, 188, 191
Glass, Ronald 223
Goff, Marshall A. 125, 130, 215
Gomoll, Robert H. 120

Goodwin, Lane 224
Gordon, Alice 111
Gordon, George 10
"Graduate" Club  180
Graff, Maurice 0. 53, 56, 56, 57, 83,
100, 101, 102, 104, 120, 132, 152, 153,
216, 226
Granger, Marian 120
Grauer, Theophil P. 209, 211
Green, Judith 244
Greenwood, Ronald  223
Grubb, Paul N. 40
Gundersen, Alf H., Dr. and Mrs. 254
Gundersen, Gunnar, Sr. 230
Gundersen, Sigurd B., Sr. 230
Gunning, Richard J. (Joe) 152, 153, 153
Gunning, Velma 157
Gurian, Jay 221
Gustafson, David 223
Haas, Charles 224
Halsted, Gertie L. Hanson 208, 209
Hancock, Thomas 226, 226
Hardy, Albert 11, 12
Hardy, Richard  217, 224
Harring, Roger 196, 197
Hassett, Paul 230
Hatfield, Carson A. 208, 208
Hauser, Elizabeth 176
Havenor, Maude Mulock 209, 210
Hayes, Truman D. 220
Heavyweight Club 175, 176, 176
Hebberd, Mary 222
Heil, Julius 40
Heineman, Gustave H. 125, 128, 130,
Helke, Joel 169
Helliesen, Jean 218, 224
Henker, Mabel Anderson 213
Herbert, Don (Kemske) 230
Herodotus Club 179
Hesseltine, William B. 48
Hicks, John D. 48
Hiebert, Harold D. 222, 226
Hill, James 171
Hill, Jim Dan 139, 187
History Club 179, 201
Hitchcock, Clara 76, 111
Hitt, Edmund 191
Hoeschler, James 68
Hoff, Arthur G. 135
Hogue, David 158, 169, 170
Holder, Virgil 224
Horle, Reid 158
Hosler, Charles 222
Howard, James 196
Humanists 59, 165, 181
Hutchison, Bessie Bell 32, 84, 99, 206,
207, 208, 213, 215, 216
Hyde, William 220
Iglehart, Carrie Peckham 207, 207
Immell, Ralph M. 230, 231
Inter-Religious Council 181
Inter-Varsity Fellowship 181
International Association of Lutheran
Students 180
International Students Organization 181
Iota Xi Omega 183
Irish, J.W. 8
Iverson, Don 226
Jackson, Robert M. 222
Jacobsen, Gordon 136
James, H. Thomas 215, 215
Jameson, A.W. 130
Jazz Club 181
Jeffersonians 178
Jeffries, Bernard 220
JEKs 180
Jenson, Carol 217, 218
Johnson, Howard 196, 216
Johnson, Lyndon B. 142
Johnson, Sandra J. 157
Johnson, Thomas 12
Jones, Howard Mumford   159, 191, 192,
208, 226, 227
Jones, Josephine M. 149, 149
Jones, Ralph 196, 200
Joyce, Robert 190, 226
Judson Club 180
Judson, John I. 220, 221, 221, 245
Kappa Delta Pi 182
Keeler, Raymond 196, 226
Keith, Winifred 176
Kelleher, Agnes 132
Kendrick, Dale 219
Kennedy, John F. 140, 186
Kickapoogians 177
Kirplani, Ram 223
Kistner, C. Richard 222
Kittle, William 17
Kneen, E.J. 31
Knight, Minnie 176
Knowles, Warren 230

Knowlton, Edgar C. 101, 135, 139, 216,
Knutson, Milo 49, 164
Konrad, Grey 216
Kowalke, Emil 11
Kranz, William 229
Kronshage, Theodore 31
Kuehl, Frank W. 230
Kuhn, Gary G. 218
Kulcinski, Louis 228, 228
Kunkel, Bernadine 202, 216
Kurtenacher, Carl 31
Kusick, Craig 226
L Bar X  201,202,202
"L" Club 177
La Crosse Science Club 177
Lafky, James F. 216, 217
Lambda Sigma Chi 183
Lambda Tau Lambda 183
La Sociedad Hispanica 179
Latino Student Organization 181
Laux, William 53, 101, 133, 138, 139,
213, 216
Leamer, Emery W. 111, 112, 112, 163,
Le Circle Francais 180
Leeder, Joseph 189
Leicht, Hazel Brown 209, 210
LeRoy, Robert 0. 57, 224
Lesperance, Duwayne 219
Lindner, Kenneth E. 23, 63-70, 63, 87,
88, 89, 112, 216, 235, 240
Lipovetz, Ferd John 189, 193, 194, 195,
196, 224
Livingston, Bessie 206, 207
Long, Ernest 149, 207, 216
Los Espanoles 179
Los Parlanchines 180
Lucey, Patrick J. 62, 87, 143, 246
Lutheran Student Association 180
Luxford, Robert 69
MacArthur, Douglas 142
Mackey, William J. 222
Mahoney, Josephine 176
Manalich, Ramiro 223
McCarthy, Eugene 141
McCaskill, V.E. 38
McConnell, John E. 12, 13
McDonald, Burt 196, 200
McDonough, Thomas E. 226
McGovern, George 141, 186, 211
McLain, John 111
McMahon, Robert E. 157
McMillan, Alexander 9, 9
McPhee, Eugene R. 57, 62
Medinger, John 230
Mellor, Merwin 253
Men's Debating Society 176, 191
Mewaldt, David 189
Meyer, R.A. 215
Miller, Bruce 142
Miller, Leon W. 35, 98, 135, 136, 182,
194, 196, 253
Milum, Vern G. 209, 210
Mitchell, Rexford S. 2, 23, 47-56, 48,
56, 82, 87, 99, 101, 102, 152, 156, 161,
162, 189
Moore, C.B. 125, 127, 130
Moore, Joel R. 125, 130, 195, 195
Morgan, Russel V. 125, 219
Morris, Thomas 2, 12, 13, 14, 17, 20-21,
21, 76
Mouser, Bruce 218
Mozart Club 176
Mueller, Alfred 176
Muenster, Elinor 136
Mulder, Leland 230
Munson, Vivian 218, 244
Murphy, Eugene W. 2, 3, 4, 49, 50, 55,
56, 57, 63, 216
Murray, James B. 11
Mwaura, John 230
Nelson, Gaylord 119, 141, 187
Nelson, Herman 223
Nelson, Kerry 226
Neumeister, William 11
Newlun, Chester 187, 208
Newman Club 180
Newmeister, Elsie 176
Nieckarz, William 222
Nixon, Richard 140
Nohr, Robert 223
Nugent, Timothy 228
Nutter, Lawrence 224
O'Brien, Dennis 223
Olson, Harry 132
Oltman, Ethel 159, 191, 192
Oratorical Association 160, 175, 191
Orchesis 201

Otjen, Maud Neprud 208
Otto, William 196
Pappas, Peter G. 68, 138, 230
Parker, James R. 217
Parks, William 216
Parr, Bill 166, 167, 168
Paulsen, R.E. 132
Pederson, Rhea 216
Pelunek, Norma 176
Pemberton, William E. 89
Petroff, Marie Czarnetzky 213, 214
Phi Epsilon Kappa 182
Phi Gamma Nu 182
Phi Kappa Epsilon 183
Philomatheans 178
Phi Mu 183
Phi Sigma Chi 182
Phi Sigma Epsilon 183
Physical Education Club 177, 179
Physical Education Majors and Minors
(PEMM) 180
Pieper, Carl 30, 31
Pierce, Melvin G. 211, 212
Pifer, Mary Gayle 226
Pi Kappa Delta 182
Pi Tau Epsilon 183
Pollack, Elizabeth 55
Pollman, William 223
Powell, Frank 10, 10, 11
Pres. Club 180
Prochnow, Herbert V. 228, 228
Quackenbush, Robert L. 230
Quinn, James 138
Randolph, Brenda 217
Rasmusen, Viggo B. 53, 245
Rasmussen, Richard E. 83, 111, 114,
Ratom 181
Rausch, Gerald 222
Reuter, Hans C. 98, 182, 194, 196, 199,
215, 223
Rice, Lawrence 69, 246
Rice, Nicholas S. 11
Richards, Noel J. 23, 70-71, 71
Ritchie, Francis 214, 215
Ritger, Richard A. 226
Robertshaw, C. Stuart 222
Rogers, Elizabeth 223
Rolfe, Jean 150, 189, 195, 208, 215, 216
Rolnick, Stanley R. 217
Roskos, Roland 222
Rovang, Theodore 101, 135, 179, 215
Rozelle, Theodore 216
Rural Club 179
Ryan, James 224
Sanders, William H. 80, 94, 99, 111,
207, 216
Sanford, Albert H. 32, 34, 37, 37, 75,
76, 93, 94, 99, 126, 129, 130, 139, 207,
208, 216, 217
Sapphonian 151, 175, 182
Saterbak, Julia Steinke 220
Scheidt, John 223
Schelin, Charles 223
Scheurle, Armin 162
Schlabach, Otto 2, 2, 38
Schmeckel, Marie Kilkingstad 215
Schmidt, Lou 157
Schmidt, Paul F. 211, 212
Schneider, Marlon 230
Schroeder, Herman 131
Science Club 179
Secondary Education Club 179
Sexton, Ellen M. 156
Shaw, Harold (Jake) 253
Shields, John 157
Sibley, Mulford Q. 61, 188
Sigma Delta Pi 182
Sigma Delta Psi 183
Sigma Lambda Sigma 182, 183
Sigma Pi 183
Sigma Tau Gamma 183
Sigma Xi 182
Sigma Zeta 182
Sigma Zeta Phi 183
Sime, Nellie 208, 208
Simonds, Joyce Webster 213, 214
Singh, Surender 223
Skadeland, Harold 197
Skemp, Thomas A. 2, 3, 3
Sloggy, Sam 176
Smith, Clyde B. 135, 152, 152, 196, 198,
Smith, Ernest A. 2, 23, 34, 34-36, 79
Smith, Glenn M. 53, 83, 101, 103, 103,
104, 224
Smith, Norene 158
Smith, Sheldon 222
Snodgrass, George M. 2, 23, 37-41, 38,
47, 81, 82, 111, 112, 150, 151, 160, 161,
215, 216

Snyder, J. Richard 217, 218
Social Ethics Club 160, 175, 176
Socialist Study Club 177
Sohmer, Seymour 222
Specials Club 180
Sputh, Carl 31, 31, 32, 33, 196, 197, 216
Stach, Leonard 219
Stamps, Louis W. 222
Starr, Jack 193, 220, 224
Stassen, Harold 142, 186
Steig, Olga 176
Stephen, James 219
Stephenson, Lee 194
Stevenson, William H. 207, 208, 229
Steuck, Robert 158, 194
Storlie, John C. 246
Stuart, Harris 133
Students for a Democratic Society
59-61, 85, 165, 168
Students Physical Therapy Organization
at La Crosse (SPTOL) 180
Sweetland, Douglas 223
Swickard, John 220
Tau Gamma (Town Girls) 181
Tau Kappa Epsilon 183
Temte, Arnold 89, 92
Thomas, Ann 223
Thomas, John 226
Thomson, Vernon 141, 230
Thrune, Richard 229, 229
Tinapp, A. Richard 220
Tock, Shirley 226
Toland, F.J. 9
Toland, Marie Park 101, 189, 216
Tonnis, John 222
Torrance, William 11, 12
Tower, John 141, 187
Treble Clef 177
Tri-Delta 159, 175, 176
Trident 178
Triolet 177, 178
Tripp, Grace 132
Trowbridge, Myrtle 133, 135, 136, 137,
138, 139, 215, 216, 231
Uber, Robert 224
Unbehaun, Laraine 222
United Campus Ministry 181
United Native American Council 181
United World Federalists 181
Upsilon Pi Epsilon  182
Vafeas, Lorna Dux 55
Vafeas, William 219
Van Atta, William 224
Van Auken, Charles S. 1, 2, 93
Vandervort, Bruce 140
Van Galder, Clark 54, 196, 226
Van Hise, Charles R. 5, 17, 29, 30
Van Liew, C.C. 100
Van Note, Roy 83
Van Tassel, James 227, 228
Vavrek, Kenneth 219, 220
Vettes, William G. 217, 218
Vickroy, E. William 196, 199, 224
Voight, Robert C. 193
Von Arx, Marjorie McGrath 156
Wade, Rex 218
Wallin, Beulah 211, 212
Walters, Everett 99, 215, 216
Wartinbee, D. Russell 230
Waterman, Peter 140
Watson, Ralph A. 135
Watts, John 226
Weaver, Andrew T. 48
Websterian Literary Society 159, 176,
Weekley, Dallas A. 220
Weinberg, Lawrence 141
Welch, Sylvester 230
Welter, William 193
Wentz, Anna 213, 215
Wesley Methodist Foundation 181
Wheaton, Herbert H. 209, 212
Whitbeck, Lloyd 209, 210
White, Orris 0. 130, 131, 190, 213, 215,
White, William E. 120
Whitney, Clayton A. 34, 37, 37, 47, 213,
Wick, Dwan 223
Wilder, Emma Lou 82, 98, 103, 150,
151, 163, 190, 194, 215, 216, 223
Wille, Donald 103, 118, 216, 217
Williams, Eugene 223
Wilson, Philip 224
Wimberly, Carl 70, 70, 83, 89, 92, 101,
Wine, James 223
Wing, Florence 84, 216
Winter, Frank 12, 13
Wirkus, Thomas 220
Wittich, Walter J. 34, 98, 98, 103, 128,
192, 196, 215, 216, 223, 231, 235

Witzke, Paul 132
Wivettes 181
Wolf, Frederick 157
Wolfe, William E. 1, 2, 31
Women's Athletic Association 178, 194
Women's League 160
Wulling, Emerson 57, 82, 221
Wyman, Walker D. 3, 4, 5, 187
Yen, Hilda 135
YMCA 177, 180
Young Americans for Freedom 181
Young, Bernard 83, 111, 118, 118
Young Democrats 181
Young, Edwin 70
Young, Georgina Ellen 206, 207
Young, Howard F. 222
Young Republicans 181
YWCA 175, 177, 180
Zanger, Martin 218
Zeimet, Edward  223
Zeisler, George 10
Zeratsky, A.W. 2, 2, 34
Ziemelis, Andris 222

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