Moments that define Wayne State University

Wayne State University: 150 years in the heart of Detroit

February 20

1962

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.
 

Archive

 1949

The Wayne Law Moot Court is founded to help students hone their written and oral advocacy skills. 

1949

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
 

1914

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
 

1957

The mobile newsreel unit of the university’s TV station, WTVS-TV Channel 56, films a segment in 1957. 

1973

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.

2017

Alumni Mary and @Paulglantz, who met during a class at Wayne State, participate in the launch of the #warriorstrong campaign. 
 

2012

Street Medicine Detroit, a student organization in the School of Medicine that provides medical care to the city’s homeless residents, is founded.

1933

Federal relief funds assigned through the New Deal allow for remodeling at the Main Building, which is later renamed Old Main.

1987

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. 

1952

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.
 

1965

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. 
 

1952

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.
 

1987

The drug AZT, created by Wayne State professor and researcher Jerome P. Horwitz, becomes the first federally approved treatment for AIDS.

2014

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.

1966

To accommodate campus pedestrians, Second Avenue north of Warren is closed to vehicular traffic and ultimately becomes Gullen Mall.

1952

Law School alumna Cora Brown becomes the first African American woman in the country to be elected to a state senate.

1925

The College of Pharmacy graduates its first five pharmacists including Katie Moy Lim, the first female and first Chinese graduate of the college.

2013

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.

1975

Wayne State University awards Rosa Parks an honorary degree.

1881

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. 
 

2002

Playwright Neil Simon visits Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts for a master class. 

2012

Wayne State students and faculty conduct an archaeological dig in Roosevelt Park. 

1960s

The Wayne State Tolerance Curve is used to establish the head injury criterion for federal motor vehicle safety standards.

1968

Wayne State unveils special edition logos recognizing the university’s centennial. #wsu150
 

1937

Students pose for a group photo during the J-Hop dance at the Fountain Ballroom in the Masonic Temple.

1980s

Alumnus Casey Kasem (B.S. ’58) represents Wayne State in the university’s promotional materials.

1935

Women practice archery in a gymnasium once housed in Old Main.

1922

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.

2001

Wayne State breaks ground on the Welcome Center and bookstore.

1945

Our College of Nursing is founded.

1999

Wayne State launches the OneCard with a “card-cutting” ceremony in the Student Center. 

1953

Science Library construction is completed on campus.

1987

WSU dedicates the Frederick Linsell House as the Office of the Dean for the College of Fine and Performing Arts.

1956

John Wayne hosts the "Miss Wayne University" pageant on campus as part of the promotional tour for his film, The Searchers. 

1994

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognizes Wayne State as a top-tier research university.

1918

Since its formation in 1918, the university’s student council has held regular elections, such as this one (date unknown).

1994

 Wayne State students gain access to Gopher, a pre-HTML form of internet linking academic institutions across the country.

1936

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. 

1945

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. 

1940s

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

1935

Wayne State College of Education teachers support area schools. #wsu150

1950

Wayne State opens first university computational lab in the Midwest. #wsu150
 

1988

Alumna Lily Tomlin receives an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Wayne State University. #wsu150

1923

The first sorority on campus, An-Tik-Lik (later known as Alpha Theta Sigma), is established.
 

1957

Wayne University’s WTVS-TV broadcasts an educational program, Preschooler, as part of the College of Education’s community outreach. 
 

1951

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
 

1968

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
 

1950

“Old Main” becomes the official name of the former Central High School space, now Wayne State University’s most iconic building. #wsu150
 

1868

The Detroit Medical College, a predecessor of Wayne State University, is founded by five Civil War physicians.