In new display, library exhibits photos of Western presidents

Western Today staff

A new display at Western Washington University shows photos of Western presidents dating back more than a century.

From Edward Mathes, the first president of Western from 1899 to 1914, to present WWU President Bruce Shepard, the display features large black and white photos of all 13 presidents on the walls of the Reading Room at Wilson Library.

“The Presidential display celebrates the leaders of Western’s campus. The display offers a glimpse into Western’s presidents as individuals, not necessarily just as the public figures Western and the community remembers or have come to know,” said Chris Cox, dean of Libraries at Western.

The photos are displayed in the Reading Room along with other historical photos of Western, including of the Campus School.

“It is an honor to be included among such distinguished leaders who helped guide Western in its evolution to become the premier university it is today,” Shepard said.

Former Western President Karen W. Morse put in motion efforts to create the library photo display.

"It's a pleasure to see the project come to fruition due to the skilled work of Western's Special Collections staff. The display recognizes individuals whose efforts have enabled talented faculty and staff to build a remarkable university. I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to serve Western and be a part of this group of individuals,” Morse said.

The display also features rotating exhibits highlighting individual presidents, starting with former President Morse, including her recognition by the Washington State Legislature, poignant moments on campus and even a photo of her near-miss of a golf hole-in-one.

“The display allows us to display of some of the hidden gems from our Special Collections, which exists to profile the campus’ history. I can also think of no better place for the display than the Reading Room, which is one of the most identifiable spaces on Western’s campus and a living, breathing connection to its history,” Cox said.

Creation of the display was made possible through gifts made to the Western Washington University Foundation. Also see the Western Libraries website for more information.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 10:49am
A new display at Western Washington University shows photos of Western presidents dating back more than a century. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

A new display at Western Washington University shows photos of Western presidents dating back more than a century. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

A new display at Western Washington University features rotating exhibits highlighting individual presidents, starting with former President Morse, including her recognition by the Washington State Legislature, poignant moments on campus and even a photo

A new display at Western Washington University features rotating exhibits highlighting individual presidents, starting with former President Morse, including her recognition by the Washington State Legislature, poignant moments on campus and even a photo