“100 Years of Goshen College in Goshen” exhibit opens May 4

GOSHEN, Ind. — A century ago the city of Goshen’s Commercial Exchange campaigned successfully to entice the Elkhart Institute to move its campus to Goshen. The exhibit “100 Years of Goshen College in Goshen” will pay tribute to all that has come since the first day of classes began on Sept. 29, 1903.

“100 Years” opens Sunday, May 4, in the Goshen College Library Gallery with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibit will continue through Oct. 5.

The images and artifacts on display provide glimpses of the way Goshen College has experienced and lived out its mission, according to Mennonite Historical Library and exhibit curator Joe Springer. “Student life, faculty and staff achievement, service to and for the Mennonite Church and an international outlook are among the features that have persisted throughout the past 100 years,” he said.

The exhibit will feature photographs of early college scenes, a framed portrait of the first graduating class and the class record book which includes signatures of graduates since 1910.

Also on exhibit will be the first bachelor’s diploma, awarded to John E. Hartzler in 1910, who served as college president three years later until 1918; a painting by Indiana artist T. C. Steele that hung in Assembly Hall; literary society pennants; the campus switchboard; a woman’s gym suit from the 1930s; the well-recognized bicycle of a professor, the late S. W. Witmer; and aerial views of campus.

“Although GC has literally cleared out its attics from time to time, we are pleased that some artifacts and images have survived to help us remember our history,” Springer said. “Rather than exhaust viewers with an attempt to cover our first century comprehensively, this exhibit aims to provide random glimpses of a range of campus experiences. A whimsical object like ‘Boxie’ – one student’s economical alternative to the backpack or briefcase – finds space near the portrait of highly-revered former president S. C. Yoder.”

The Mennonite-Amish Museum Committee and the Mennonite Historical Library sponsor the exhibit, with Springer as curator and assistance by Ervin Beck, professor of English, and Goshen resident Faye Peterson.

The Library Gallery, located on the lower level of the Wilma and Harold Good Library, is open during the school year from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, noon-6 p.m. Saturday and 1-11 p.m. Sunday. Summer hours vary.  Call the Mennonite Historical Library (574) 535-7418 to verify open times or visit our website for specific summer schedules.

Goshen College is a national liberal arts college known for leadership in international education, service-learning and peace and justice issues in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program and exceptional educational value, GC serves about 1,000 students in both traditional and nontraditional programs. The college earned citations of excellence among U.S. News & World Report and Barron’s Best Buys in Higher Education. For more information, visit www.goshen.edu.

Editors: This exhibit is the first in a series of events that continues in the fall of 2003 celebrating the 100th year of Goshen College in the City of Goshen. (Upcoming events will be announced in August.) This exhibit includes historical items, memorabilia and photos that wonderfully represent some of the people, events, places and eras in the life of the college as it has grown throughout the century. Stories and nostalgia surround each one. For further information about the exhibit, contact Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodih@goshen.edu.