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Illinois Wesleyan University's Wilder Field was built with Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor and materials, the largest of the Depression-era New Deal federal work projects. The football complex is now known as Wilder Field at Tucci Stadium.
Oscar Levant (right), the famed American pianist, composer, and actor, performed with the Bloomington-Normal Symphony on two consecutive nights, February 23 and 24, 1950, at the Scottish Rite Temple (now the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts).
In the spring of 1958, the Bloomington-Normal Garden Club planted a series of evergreens at Franklin Park, the city’s oldest green space. Seen here is Joyce Lynn Hall, an Illinois Wesleyan University student, admiring three Pfitzer junipers and a vertical yew recently set in the concrete planter at the park’s center.
Note the city bus heading west on Walnut Street in the background.
The Illinois Wesleyan legend is seen here as a promising freshman guard. A native of Anchor, a small village in eastern McLean County, Bridges would go on to coach the men’s team for 36 seasons, leading the Titans to a NCAA Division III national championship in 1997. He retired as the university’s athletic director in 2015.
On February 11, 1953, Illinois Wesleyan beat visiting Illinois State Normal 98-66 at the old Memorial Hall gymnasium (now IWU’s Hansen Student Center).
Spring training for Major League Baseball clubs began this week. In this early March 1942 scene on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus (that’s still-standing Memorial Hall) senior catcher Hugh Dickie (with bat) plays a little “pepper” with teammates (left to right) Berthyl Brigham, Walter Wadington, Jim Fletcher, and Ralph Zeitz.
Illinois State Normal and Illinois Wesleyan universities were bitter gridiron rivals going all the way back to 1887. Seen here is an unidentified Wesleyan runner getting by ISNU defender Edward Lesnick (#13).
Composer Aaron Copland, one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century, was the featured guest for Illinois Wesleyan University's Seventh Annual Symposium of Contemporary American Music in 1958. He is is seen here listening to R. Dwight Drexler, professor of piano and theory, and his wife, Maxine.
Gathered here on the Illinois Wesleyan University quad in 1938 are students (left to right) Allan Goss of Lexington; Justus Olson of Foosland; Gertrude Ringler of Strawn; and William Ewalt of Ohio, IL.
Seen here are IWU students entering and leaving Hedding Hall during the fall semester, 1938.
Acacia fraternity members from Illinois Wesleyan University compete in the outhouse race at Hudson’s Prairie Daze summer fest back in 1980.
These 12- to 16-year-olds played American Legion ball sponsored by the local Louis E. Davis Post. They’re posing here on Illinois Wesleyan University grounds. That’s the Van Leer Memorial Chime Tower at Broadview Mansion looming in the background.
In July 1950, 19-year-old Carolyn Cameron of Pekin was crowned Jaycees’ “Miss Bloomington” 1950. Cameron, an Illinois Wesleyan University student, bested 26 other young woman for the honor.
n the spring of 1941, fencing became the newest sport on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus. Seen here are Prof. R.M. Chase giving pointers (pun intended) to Russell Stickney (left) and Bill Trierweiler. Looking on is Robert Lucey, captain of the fencing group.
Bill Kemp's “Page from Our Past” column in the Pantagraph (linked below) detailed the estate in south Normal The September 27, 1940 dedication ceremony of the history of the chime tower on the Broadview Mansion included theatrical elements, such as Illinois Wesleyan University students Dorothy Mae Wilson and Helen Jean Brooks dressed as angels.
On April 5, 1941, "Tarzan," a beloved crow well known to children in the Illinois Wesleyan University neighborhood, was laid to rest in the backyard of the Elwood O. Allison home.
Back in the 1960s when Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University still played each other in football, pranks were common among the more mischievous members of the respective student bodies. For instance, several days before the September 23, 1967 game, IWU boosters "boosted" the Illinois State Victory Bell from its locked garage on the Normal campus. It was then clandestinely moved to the Wesleyan campus and chained to the old science building.
The Animal House opened 100 years ago in early March 1914.
From 1932 to the mid-1940s, Paul Rhymer's “Vic and Sade" was one of the more popular and critically acclaimed afternoon radio shows in all America. Rhymer (1905-1964) grew up in Bloomington, attended Illinois Wesleyan University, and wrote for The Pantagraph before moving to Chicago and enjoying tremendous success in the radio business.
On Saturday, May 21, 1955, some 500 area residents gathered at the Bloomington High School gymnasium on East Washington Street to attend the “Miss Heart of the Corn Belt" beauty pageant competition.