Wayne State University: 150 years in the heart of Detroit
Members of the Art Education Club perform for Wayne State students. #wsu150
Students purchase tickets (available at a staggering price of $1.65) for the General Motors Engineers’ Ball. #wsu150
Alumna Jeanne Omelenchuk competes in her first Olympics. Omelenchuk is the only woman to hold a spot on three Olympic speedskating teams (1960, 1968 and 1972). She won 16 national titles — more than any other individual in the history of the sport. #wsu150
Students work in the publishing house of The Daily Collegian to assemble the latest edition of the student newspaper, which was a predecessor of The South End. #wsu150
School of Social Work faculty member Eliz Werdling accompanies students Laura Hardy and Alex Zaphiris to Camp Tamarack for a hiking and camping trip. #wsu150
The Hellenic Student Society performs a traditional Greek dance during Hellenic Night. #wsu150
1925The College of the City of Detroit, a predecessor of Wayne State, celebrates its first graduating class. Forty-nine bachelor of arts, eight bachelor of science and five pharmaceutical chemist degrees were awarded. #wsu150
1965A musician jams on an acoustic guitar during the annual Frosh Camp, which was typically held on Belle Isle. #wsu150
1947During the College of Nursing’s annual capping ceremony, students prepare for a class photo with Dean Katherine Faville. #wsu150
Theodore A. McGraw retires from the Detroit College of Medicine. McGraw was one of five Civil War physicians who originally founded the college, a predecessor of Wayne State. #wsu150
Eager for new office space, chemistry faculty Calvin Stevens and David Boltz help clear room for the construction of the Chemistry Building and Science Library, which is now the Science and Engineering Library. #wsu150
1884This image shows the daily schedule for students at the Detroit Medical College, which is now the Wayne State University School of Medicine. #wsu150
The Detroit College of Medicine, a predecessor of Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, sustains a fire. The building was repaired and went on to house the college until 1954. #wsu150
Alumnus Robert Hayden is named U.S. Poet Laureate, becoming the first African American to hold the distinguished title. #wsu150
Students climb a pole in one of many physical challenges during the annual “Frosh-Soph Games.” #wsu150
Jihad Mustapha graduates from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Called “the leg saver,” Mustapha is known for his groundbreaking work with peripheral vascular disease. He holds more than 30 patents for alternative treatments he’s created to prevent limb amputation. #wsu150
Psychoanalyst Selma Fraiberg earns a master’s in social work from Wayne University. Fraiberg went on to be recognized as a pioneer in the field of infant mental health. #wsu150
Alumnus Garth Fagan earns the Tony Award for Best Choreography in the Broadway musical The Lion King. #wsu150
1945LIFE magazine features the Wayne University band, calling it “the biggest and most complicated singing, playing and marching society in the United States.” #wsu150
Alumna Rashida Tlaib becomes the first Muslim-American woman to serve in the Michigan legislature, and the second Muslim woman in the nation to be elected to a state legislature. #wsu150.
Hugh Downs graduates from City College, a predecessor of Wayne State. Downs would go on to be the long-running anchor of the television news program 20/20. #wsu150
1958Beloved radio personality Casey Kasem earns his bachelor’s in education from Wayne State. #wsu150
2013Alumnus Sixto Rodriguez is the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man. #wsu150
1943Lloyd Richards graduates from Wayne University. The first African American to direct a play on Broadway, Richards earned a Tony Award nomination for A Raisin in the Sun and won two Tony Awards for Fences. #wsu150
Ph.D. student Kenneth Honn works with Professor Walter Chavin to develop a 25,000-gallon “artificial ocean” to study the horn shark and the nurse shark. Their ocean was built at 84 Hancock Street and held 40 sharks. Today, Honn is a professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. #wsu150
Alumnus Emmett Leith is awarded the National Medal of Science for his work in holography — uncovering the principles of the hologram and improving its use. #wsu150
1946Dorothy Comstock Riley receives her bachelor’s in political science from Wayne University, and three years later she earns her law degree from the university. Riley was the first female justice to serve on the Michigan Court of Appeals and the first Hispanic woman to be elected to a state Supreme Court. #wsu150
1917Detroit Junior College, a predecessor of Wayne State, established an athletics program. #wsu150
Actor S. Epatha Merkerson graduates from Wayne State. Merkerson has won a Golden Globe, an Emmy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Obie Awards and four NAACP Image Awards. #wsu150
Wayne State University Press moves to its current location in the Leonard N. Simons Building at 4809 Woodward Avenue. #wsu150
David Mackenzie House serves as the Campus Treasure Shop, an on-campus resale boutique. The historic Queen Anne revival-style house has had a variety of uses throughout its 123-year history. #wsu150
1973Wayne State diver Dacia Schileru becomes the first woman to ever compete in an NCAA championship. #wsu150
1972"The Big Campus Eat-In" fundraiser is held at George Blond's Campus Restaurant to support the Wayne State Fund for Campus Beautification. #wsu150
The Wayne State University Police Department dispatches mounted police officers to help the crowds at the Detroit Fireworks. #wsu150
Cam Cunningham is captain of the football, basketball and track teams of the Detroit Junior College, a predecessor of Wayne State. #wsu150
Broadway and radio performer Irene Day reads her alma mater’s newspaper, The Detroit Collegian, which is known today as @TheSouthEndWSU. #wsu150
The College of Nursing charters the Center for Health Research, which is now the Office of Health Research. The center was the first of its kind to be affiliated with an educational institution.
Wayne State’s student section of the American Rocket Society receives its charter. Professor Arthur Locke, chair of the university’s aeronautical engineering department, served as the group’s advisor.
Minoru Yamasaki and Associates design Wayne State’s College of Education Building. The architectural concept relied on Yamasaki’s signature geometric patterning, as shown in this floorplan.
Polish refugee soldiers hum old folk tunes while a student dictates the music for a Polish folklore project.
The Filipino Student Society sets up its food booth during Wayne State’s 29th annual International Student Fair.
The Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery is presented with the Red Cross flag for its role in staffing 36th General Hospital during World War I.
To help fight muscular dystrophy, the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity fulfills a fundraising challenge to pack 51 Wayne State students in a 1959 DeSoto Fireflite.
The Tartar prince and princesses, who traditionally led the university band, pose for a photo in their costumes. #wsu150
Student actors pose for a photo to promote their production of the musical Sweethearts. #wsu150
1951Wayne University participates in Detroit’s 250th Birthday Festival with a float designed and built by students. #wsu150
1956Students work at the editor’s desk of The Collegian. The Collegian served as Wayne State’s student newspaper from 1918 until 1967, when it was replaced by The South End. #wsu150
The Labor History Archives at Wayne State University is founded. Now the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs, it is the largest labor archive in North America with more than 75,000 linear feet of archival holdings. #wsu150
There are 591 All-American athletes in Wayne State history. More than half of those athletes received this honor in the past ten years. #wsu150
Students present Dean of Students Joseph Selden with pins, stickers and varsity letters to celebrate the university’s new name, Wayne University. #wsu150
Wayne University’s undefeated cross country team holds hands while competing in a race. #wsu150
Students create a window display at Crowley’s Department Store. Wayne University Day at Crowley’s provided advertising students with real-world experience in retail. #wsu150
Clarence Straughn is named MVP of the Wayne University basketball team and earns the Fred M. Fisher Memorial Award. #wsu150
The Men’s Glee Club poses for a portrait. The club was founded in 1945 by Professor Emeritus Harry M. Langsford, who directed the award-winning ensemble for more than 45 years. #wsu150
During Commencement, graduates march down Putnam Street with the Wayne University marching band. #wsu150
Wayne University becomes the first American college to offer a B.S.N. The degree covers nursing fundamentals, medical-surgical, maternity, pediatric, psychiatric, public health, principles and methods of teaching, and fundamentals of administration. #wsu150
English professors Emlyn Gardner and Thelma James create the Folklore Archive, the oldest and largest record of urban folk traditions in the United States. #wsu150
Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and General Motors launch TechTown to support tech-based spinoffs of WSU. Since then, the business incubator has served more than 1,000 companies. #wsu150
The graduating class of the Detroit Teachers College, a predecessor of Wayne State University’s College of Education, celebrates at the headquarters of the Women’s Benefit Association in Port Huron.
Wayne State removes the last of the World War II barracks from campus. They had been used as temporary classroom space during the post-war influx of students.
Wayne State purchases the First Church of Christ, Scientist and converts it into the Hilberry Theatre, the nation’s first and now longest-running graduate repertory theatre. #wsu150
Wayne University students perform Oedipus Rex. At center stage is Grammy Award-winning alumnus George Shirley.
Students from the College of the City of Detroit participate in a tug-of-war during freshman class rush, which was held on Belle Isle throughout the 1920s and ’30s.
Wayne State begins construction on the Faculty/Administration Building. Now commonly known as FAB, it was completed in 1990.
Students relax and play outside the Student Center Building. Today, this is where the Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center stands.
Wayne State is the first university in the nation to offer an electric-drive vehicle engineering program.
Elinore Batie earns a degree in chemical engineering, making her the first female graduate in the College of Engineering.
A row of residential buildings on Warren Avenue serves as a hub for Wayne University laboratories and classrooms. The arrows show the Administration Building, Home Economics Building, Plastics Laboratory and the Building and Grounds Department.
Following a three-year, $41.8 million renovation, Wayne State debuts the new-and-improved Old Main.
Following a statewide election, the first Board of Governors is sworn in at Wayne State University.
The obsolete clock in Old Main’s tower is replaced by an electrically driven No. 4 Telechron clock. #wsu150
Angus McLean graduates from the Detroit College of Medicine. During World War I, he organized Base Hospital 17 with staff from Harper Hospital.
The Wayne State Tolerance Curve is used to establish the head injury criterion for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Bruce White constructs the Helios Trail, a sculpture that stands outside Wayne State’s College of Engineering.
College of Engineering students show off their vehicle for the Clean Air Car Race. The 1970 team — the first to win a national competition for Wayne State — introduced an emission control system design that’s now produced in virtually every car sold in the United States.
The Wayne State Geology Field Camp visits the Top of the World Bar in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains.
Students at the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute speak with honorary trustee and world-renowned cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead.
Wayne University receives World War II surplus machinery — including a Boeing airplane — from the Engineering, Science and Management War Training program.
This picture shows the 1900 class of the Detroit College of Medicine, a predecessor of the Wayne State School of Medicine.
Kelly green and “old gold” are adopted as the school colors of Detroit Junior College, a predecessor of Wayne State.
Detroit Junior College publishes the first edition of its student newspaper, The Collegian. This picture shows the staff in 1924. The Collegian was later replaced by @TheSouthEnd in 1967. #wsu150
Students run a test (possibly on a kymograph or polygraph) in psychology class. Today, our psychology department is ranked among the top 100 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
During the 1940s, a growing student body led to crowded conditions in buildings such as Mackenzie Hall (pictured). This resulted in campus expansion in the early 1950s.
Marion Barnhart, Ph.D., is the first woman to become a professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine.
During the 1970s, Wayne State faculty member Manuel Madayag pioneers a thinner, less invasive biopsy needle that becomes known as the Madayag needle.
Theatre students embark on a two-month U.S.O. tour of American bases in Germany, marking the fourth time that Wayne State students were selected to take plays abroad. #wsu150
Wayne State establishes its Department of Public Safety, which is staffed by deputized and armed police officers.
Alumnus William O’Neill, M.D., is the first in the country to perform an aortic valve replacement through a catheter. A leader in interventional cardiology, Dr. O’Neill pioneered the use of angioplasty to treat heart attacks.
Wayne State University purchases Chatsworth Tower and Chatsworth Annex. Built in 1928, Chatsworth Tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The General Library is completed. Later renamed G. Flint Purdy Library, it is now part of Purdy/Kresge Library.
Wayne State’s African Democracy Project (ADP) is founded by FOCIS in collaboration with Wayne State Honors and the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. The ADP has traveled to countries including Mozambique, Botswana, Ghana and Liberia.
The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights opens at WSU to study and support the civil rights of underrepresented communities in urban areas.
Wayne State signs contracts with Dillard and Tuskegee universities that pave the way for partnerships to prepare African American nursing faculty. go.wayne.edu/wsu150 #wsu150 #blackhistorymonth Image courtesy of @ReutherLibrary.
The Wayne Law Moot Court is founded to help students hone their written and oral advocacy skills.
Wayne University becomes the second college in the country to install and run its own lithograph shop. The Student Activities Division funded the business, which was known as the University Print Shop. #wsu150
This 1914 drawing depicts the J4 Quartette, a musical group comprised of students from the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery, a predecessor of the Wayne State University School of Medicine. #wsu150
The mobile newsreel unit of the university’s TV station, WTVS-TV Channel 56, films a segment in 1957.
As part of a seminar on death and disease in ancient Egypt, School of Medicine researchers perform an autopsy on Pum II, a mummy on loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Alumni Mary and @Paulglantz, who met during a class at Wayne State, participate in the launch of the #warriorstrong campaign.
Street Medicine Detroit, a student organization in the School of Medicine that provides medical care to the city’s homeless residents, is founded.
Federal relief funds assigned through the New Deal allow for remodeling at the Main Building, which is later renamed Old Main.
Alexa Canady, M.D., joins the School of Medicine faculty. The nation’s first female African American neurosurgeon, Canady would stay at Wayne State until her retirement in 2001.
Alumnus Abraham Nemeth (Ph.D. ’64) develops a Braille code for math and science notations, allowing blind scholars to pursue studies in many fields. #wsu150 ://go.wayne.edu/wsu150
Image courtesy of @ReutherLibrary.
The Frederick C. Matthaei Physical Education and Recreation Building is constructed as part of Detroit’s bid for the 1968 Olympics. The Summer Games would ultimately take place in Mexico City, with the Matthaei becoming part of WSU’s campus.
Wayne State researcher Forest Dewey Dodrill, M.D., and General Motors engineers design a machine to temporarily replace the blood-pumping function of the heart, making open-heart surgery possible.
The drug AZT, created by Wayne State professor and researcher Jerome P. Horwitz, becomes the first federally approved treatment for AIDS.
Alumna Sonya Tayeh (CFPCA ’02) teaches a master class at Wayne State. The two-time Emmy Award-winning choreographer is best known for her work on the TV show So You Think You Can Dance.
To accommodate campus pedestrians, Second Avenue north of Warren is closed to vehicular traffic and ultimately becomes Gullen Mall.
Law School alumna Cora Brown becomes the first African American woman in the country to be elected to a state senate.
The College of Pharmacy graduates its first five pharmacists including Katie Moy Lim, the first female and first Chinese graduate of the college.
WSU faculty members Robert Harr and Paul Karchin are part of the research team awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering the Higgs boson, also known as "the God particle" — the most sought-after particle in the history of physics.
The Detroit Normal Training School, a predecessor of the College of Education, is founded. The Washington School building, pictured, would serve as its home from 1895 to 1914.
Playwright Neil Simon visits Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts for a master class.
The Wayne State Tolerance Curve is used to establish the head injury criterion for federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Students pose for a group photo during the J-Hop dance at the Fountain Ballroom in the Masonic Temple.
Alumnus Casey Kasem (B.S. ’58) represents Wayne State in the university’s promotional materials.
The Cheese Gang, a freshman disciplinary student organization, is founded. The Cheese Gang would later become the Chega fraternity, which affiliated with the national fraternity Phi Sigma Epsilon in 1942.
WSU dedicates the Frederick Linsell House as the Office of the Dean for the College of Fine and Performing Arts.
John Wayne hosts the "Miss Wayne University" pageant on campus as part of the promotional tour for his film, The Searchers.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognizes Wayne State as a top-tier research university.
Since its formation in 1918, the university’s student council has held regular elections, such as this one (date unknown).
Wayne State students gain access to Gopher, a pre-HTML form of internet linking academic institutions across the country.
The Main Building (now Old Main) houses individual schools and colleges including the Detroit City Law School, Detroit Teachers College and the College of Pharmacy. Here, College of Pharmacy students are pictured working in a laboratory.
The SS Wayne Victory, a World War II cargo ship named after Wayne University, is launched. The ship served the military throughout the remainder of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
After WWII, veterans attended Wayne University in record numbers. The influx of students led the university to set up temporary classrooms and use neighborhood homes to meet space demands. #wsu150
Alumna Lily Tomlin receives an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Wayne State University. #wsu150
Wayne University’s WTVS-TV broadcasts an educational program, Preschooler, as part of the College of Education’s community outreach.
Wayne University acquires the Temple Beth-El, which goes on to become the Bonstelle Theatre. Prior to the acquisition, students has conducted rehearsals in campus-adjacent houses due to lack of space. #wsu150
Twelve WSU students form a track and field team, the Roadrunners, and go on to win first place in the Michigan Wheelchair Games. Five members of the team ultimately compete as part of the 1968 U.S. Paralympic Team. #wsu150
“Old Main” becomes the official name of the former Central High School space, now Wayne State University’s most iconic building. #wsu150