Library

2 Exhibits That Explore Stevens History

Make sure to check out the two new exhibits in the Samuel C. Williams Library and learn more about Stevens’ fascinating history. The first exhibit titled “Early Campus Traditions and Activities at Stevens,” is located in the exhibit space in Sam’s Place on the first floor of the Library. The second exhibit is titled, “Dr. Henry Morton: First President of Stevens” is located on the second floor outside of room 204. Both exhibits explore Stevens’ less known history. 

With a bustling campus and challenging curriculum it is not always easily visible that Stevens has a rich history of campus traditions, which go back to as early as the 1890s, within 25 years of being established. Some of these traditions are still present in a modern form today and others faded out over time. Campus participation in these events brought about a sense of camaraderie and school spirit, creating a stronger emotional tie for Stevens alumni to their alma mater. Some of these traditions took form in mass parades with extravagant costumes, games like the cane spree and cage rush, and blazing bonfires to commemorate the great defeat of Calculus, a course loathed ubiquitously on campus. The Cremation of Calculus started in 1889 and was still active into the 1950s. Stevens students looked forward to their chance to burn Calculus in effigy on an annual basis: a proper end to a rigorous semester! The exhibit sheds a light on these bygone traditions from the past. 

The first President at Stevens Institute of Technology was Dr. Henry Morton, who put himself on the radar for this prestigious position by putting on exciting lectures on chemistry and physics. He was a master at explaining complex scientific topics in laymen terms which helped him gain great popularity from the public. Dr. Morton was a well-rounded academic, which was represented in his great talents in the arts, science, and literature. He was described as “a genius endowed with balance of character.” One of his many interests included working with a group of scholars on translating the hieroglyphs of the Rosetta Stone. This exhibit explores the great achievements of Dr. Henry Morton throughout his career, including some of his beautiful original artwork that has been preserved here at the Samuel C. Williams Library. 

Both exhibits will be up in the Library until February 16, 2018.  Please contact Leah Loscutoff, Head of Archives and Special Collections, with any inquiries about the exhibits.