Weber State University Magazine Spring 2014 : Page 26

T he year was 1889. Utah was not yet a state — it wouldn’t be until 1896. red brick building with a stately steeple and dignified wooden doors that, 125 years ago January 7th, opened to 100 students of the newly established Weber Stake Academy. It was that day, in that assembly hall, that Weber State University was founded. It was still very much a dream, but to our founding fathers, it was a dream one step closer to being realized, for … Downtown Ogden, the transfer point between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, was bustling with business and entertainment — some innocent, some not. Nearby, on the southwest corner of Grant Avenue and 26 th Street quietly sat a church meetinghouse — a From Little Acorns MIGHTY OAKS DO GROW UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS Amy Hendricks | PHOTOS COURTESY OF WSU Archives 26 weber.edu/wsumagazine | Spring 2014

Picturing Weber

Amy Hendricks

The year was 1889. Utah was not yet a state — it wouldn’t be until 1896.Downtown Ogden, the transfer point between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, was bustling with business and entertainment — some innocent, some not. Nearby, on the southwest corner of Grant Avenue and 26th Street quietly sat a church meetinghouse — a red brick building with a stately steeple and dignified wooden doors that, 125 years ago January 7th, opened to 100 students of the newly established Weber Stake Academy. It was that day, in that assembly hall, that Weber State University was founded. It was still very much a dream, but to our founding fathers, it was a dream one step closer to being realized, for …

Playing in long skirts and most likely slippers, the 1902 Weber Stake Academy women’s basketball team took on such rivals as Ogden High School and Brigham Young Academy. The following year, the Weber women defeated Brigham Young by a score of 9-7.

The 1914 Senior Dramatists strike a pose. Dramatics played a leading role in student activities in the early 1900s, with the casts often performing in front of crowds at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Ogden.

Weber College students gather for The Promenade at the ornate Hotel Bigelow on 25th Street, now the Ben Lomond Suites Historic Hotel. The 1928 edition of The Acorn, the college’s yearbook, detailed the decor: “palms towering formally behind luxuriant ferns bordered by tall, pink tulips set in charming simplicity on marble steps, vivid yellow acacia in masses of heliotrope against rich dark paneling of the English Room.”

During the Great Depression, Weber College accepted an assortment of payments-in-kind — from sides of beef to potatoes and onions — so students could continue their education. The “produce-for-tuition” concept was advertised as far as Chicago, where it appeared in the Tribune.

In the late 1940s, several bills were introduced in the state Legislature that would have provided for Weber to expand from a junior college to a four-year college. One passed in the Senate but failed in the House. The second was passed by the 1949 Legislature, but there to veto the bill was Gov.J. Bracken Lee, who, four years later, would attempt to give Weber, Snow and Dixie colleges back to the LDS church.Instead of being discouraged, Ogden citizens fought harder for a “4-year Weber,” as witnessed at this parade in 1948.

Even in the early years, Weber professors enthusiastically embraced hands-on training opportunities for their students, as seen here with a professor demonstrating a polygraph test.By 1951, when this photograph was taken, the polygraph — popularly referred to as a lie detector — had been in existence for about 30 years.

A Weber State College cheerleader welcomes border-state rivals Idaho State at the train station before the 1964 homecoming game.

Into the 1970s, anti-Vietnam War protests materialized on college campuses from one coast to the other. Weber State College was no exception. In January 1973, a special program was held on campus to celebrate the cease-fire that halted the war. Bells rang from the Stewart Bell Tower, and students, faculty and staff gathered to hear speeches and sing patriotic songs.

While windsurfing was popular at Ogden Valley’s Pineview Reservoir in the 1980s, this young man brought the sport to the duck pond at Ada Lindquist Plaza.
Perhaps he was celebrating the addition of windsurfing to the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, but we don’t quite know, as there was no caption on the original photo. If this is you, or someone you know, please contact Weber State University Magazine. We’d love to know what it was like to “surf” on campus.

Weber State gained university status on Jan. 1, 1991, and made its sixth name change. WSU was formerly known as: Weber Stake Academy, Weber Academy, Weber Normal College, Weber College and Weber State College.

On Aug. 21, 2003, Weber State University Davis opened in Layton, Utah. Students, faculty, staff and community members carried “the flame of knowledge” in a torch relay from the Ogden campus to the new building. Then-President Ann Millner said, “The inspiration for the torch relay came from the ‘Flaming W’ in our logo, which represents the torch of enlightenment and symbolizes our emphasis on teaching and learning. The journey of the torch signifies the unity of the two Weber State University campuses.”

The year is now 2014. Weber State University has two campuses, multiple centers and more than 25,000 students. A newly renovated storefront near historic 25th Street houses Weber State Downtown, and has, in essence, brought the university full circle. Tens of thousands of dreams have been fulfilled at Weber State, and we plan on fulfilling tens of thousands more in the next 125 years.

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Picturing+Weber/1620763/194015/article.html.

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