125th Celebration: Then and Now
The University prides itself as a powerhouse of science education. Loyola Hall in the 1950s was an advanced center for learning. Though the 1950s structure is dwarfed by today’s Loyola Science Center, the top-notch instruction never changes.
While the basic setup of classrooms hasn’t changed much over the years, the technology has. Some of the newest classrooms at the University have advanced features such as projection screens with high-definition audio and video, motorized blackboards, annotative monitors at the presenter’s dais, and even lecture capture capability.
Basketball has always been a University passion. The sport came to St. Thomas in 1916 and the Royals gained their first home court on campus with the opening of the Long Center in 1967. The team won its first 21 home games in the new building.
This 1960s aerial view depicts the dormitory complex on one side of Linden Street and St. Thomas Hall slightly below and across the still-open city street. The 2013 view depicts the lower edge of the dormitory complex (still housing students!) across from the Long Center and the new St. Thomas Hall facade facing Dionne Green.
The University has a long tradition of community involvement and support. In 1933, St. Thomas College staffed a booth at the Scranton Times Progress Exhibition, an event whose aim was to “promote civic pride among Scranton residents.” The fanciful booth was called “House of Magic.” Today’s Scranton students are no less eager to help bolster civic pride.
Ask those who’ve been around the University for decades —and alumni who dodged cars as undergrads—and they’re likely to cite the closing of three blocks of Linden Street in 1980 under the leadership of Fr. Byron as the most significant development. That move unified a geographically divided campus and enabled the creation of the Commons.
A student center is the heart of campus life. Students from 1960 to 2007 enjoyed the Gunster Memorial Student Center, opened in September 1960. Today, The Patrick & Margaret DeNaples Center, opened in January 2008, serves that function. The four-story building includes dining facilities, lounges, the bookstore and the offices of University Mission & Ministry, and Student Affairs.
We’ve moved indoors, but pride in achievement and bright hopes for the future are perennial commencement guests. Commencement also creates the University’s most treasured resource: alumni. Each year, approximately 10 percent of the entire freshman class is composed of second-or third-generation students, the sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of alumni.
While the clothes we wear change, the joy — and terror — of a freshman arriving on campus does not. Then, as now, it’s good to see the warm welcome freshmen receive on Move-In Day.
Reunions have grown a bit livelier since the Class of 1919-1920 gathered! No matter how it’s celebrated, Reunion is a time to renew old friendships and enjoy shared memories.
Cheerleading has changed from all-male in 1952, to all-female today — but the zeal for Scranton remains! The men with megaphones who cheered on a football team have given way to Royals basketball’s biggest fans — an extremely athletic all-girl squad that has consistently achieved national recognition.
Appreciation for theater and trying one’s hand at acting are a quintessential part of the college experience, as we can see through the years -- from a classroom play in the 1950s to more sophisticated productions today. Drama was first performed on campus in 1893, when students staged a western melodrama as a fundraiser.
Then as now, the Scranton community loves a great musical performance. The first orchestra was established in 1915 and a band was added in 1931. Students can now play in concert, jazz, symphonic brass and string orchestras, or sing in several choirs and vocal groups. The latest addition is a group for ukulele players.
Radio & TV
The University’s own radio station, WUSV-FM, broadcast over the airwaves for the first time on Oct. 1, 1950. It provided opera, classical music and discussion programs until 1970. A new station, WUSR-FM, was launched in 1993. Students also write, produce, direct and shoot programs of all kinds for the Royal College Television Network.
A common alumni joke has to do with how much better today’s students eat. A comparison of fare offered in the 1980s with today’s choices seems to support that contention! Today’s students dine in the DeNaples Center, which features a variety of cooking stations and made-to-order meals. Service, however, was and is done with a smile.
Dormitory living — be it in the two-bed, shared bath of an older dorm or the apartment-style accommodations of newer digs – has always been about cementing friendships and taking the first steps toward independence and responsibility. No matter its configuration, a dorm’s most salient features are the lifelong bonds it helps to form.
This 1960s aerial view depicts the dormitory complex on one side of Linden Street and St. Thomas Hall slightly below and across the still-open city street. The Long Center has yet to be built, but Loyola Hall -- at this time a brand-new, state-of-the-art building -- is visible partially obscuring The Estate. The 2013 view depicts the lower edge of the dormitory complex (still housing students!) across the Commons from the Long Center and the new St.Thomas Hall facade facing Dionne Green.
Business students at The University have always enjoyed using the latest tools of the trade.
The Scranton Estate, as it appeared in the early 1900s, looks much the same as it does now, although the tower on the left was removed before the Scranton family donated their former home to the University in 1941.
Fitzpatrick Athletic Field
Aerial photograph taken in 1982 in preparation for the creation of Fitzpatrick Athletic Field. Visible in the photograph are the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, the iron furnaces, Alumni Memorial Hall, The Estate, the old Loyola Hall and St. Thomas Hall flanked by a parking lot that is now the Loyola Science Center.
Alumni Memorial Hall was once the University's library, part of Fr. Long's building campaign that spanned the late 1950s and early 1960s. Though today's Weinberg Memorial Library exterior is a bit more grand, the student studying within wears the same expression of concentration as his 1964 peer.
1970s, 2010s -- the decade doesn't matter, decorating the mortarboard is a time-honored tradition.
Rugby is such a rough, muddy, intense club sport it has to be just for men -- NOT!
In 1951, during the Korean War, Army ROTC was established at the University of Scranton. During the 1950s and 1960s, the university was all male, thus every student was required to take ROTC for the first two years. During this time the Cadet regiment was over a thousand strong. In 1969 ROTC became voluntary and the university became co-educational.
Although laptops and smartphones have largely replaced pen and paper, studying is still often a communal activity.