Decipher the origins of intriguing photos captured across our vibrant campus. Here, we will reveal each image and the unique stories that make our institution truly special. 

Fall 2023 Edition

Rutersville College cornerstone

A Place to Sit and Ponder

Southwestern University was built upon the foundations of four root colleges that date back to 1840. If you knew you could literally sit on that foundation, you probably guessed the location of this stone marked “RC,” which is part of a bench that rests on a circular platform between A. Frank Smith Jr. Smith Library and University Avenue. Following the Centennial Celebration honoring the foundation of Rutersville College in 1840, a small memorial was established that included the grinding stone from the gristmill of McKenzie College (1848) and a concrete bench resting on stones from Rutersville College (1840), Wesleyan College (1844), Soule University (1856), and Southwestern’s “Ladies’ Annex,” which was destroyed by fire on Jan. 8, 1925.

Spring 2023 Edition

No, you weren’t dreaming.

If you guessed that this photograph was taken in A. Frank Smith Jr. Smith Library, you were correct! The drawer with the cheeky label belongs to the library’s old card catalog, which resides on the second floor, near the lobby stairs. Digitization of card catalogs accelerated in the 1990s with the rapid development of remote, online access, and by 2000, most institutions had abandoned paper catalogs altogether. You can still open the drawers and thumb through the old cards—this particular door, labeled “Last Night’s Dream,” houses G through L, beginning with Gaddis, William, and ending with Lyle-Smythe, Alan. After you take a deep, nostalgic breath of the yellowing index cards, take a moment to admire the craftsmanship of the 1960s vintage cabinet, lovingly fashioned from birch by Remington Rand, Library Bureau Division.