Prof. Bill Leslie lectured on the importance of the seminar, the laboratory, and the field in the development of JHU as an academic institution. Credit: Larry Canner

Over alumni weekend, the Office of the President and the Archives marked the culmination of a year-long collaborative exploration of the JHU student experience, past and present, with an engaging lecture by Professor Stuart “Bill” Leslie and a reception celebrating the release of a series of online exhibits curated by current JHU undergraduates.

Under the guidance of Curator Chella Vaidyanathan, five current students selected areas of student life that were of interest to them to explore in the archives and through an exhibit:

At the reception on April 11, the students displayed their work to JHU President Ron Daniels and alumni, many of whom were eager to share their own memories of JHU campus life. Almuni who may have student organization materials, photographs, programs, and other items from their time at JHU that they would like to contribute to the archives are encouraged to review and share this flyer, and to contact the archives for more information.

Since alumni weekend, the students have turned their attention to collecting materials from current student groups. In coordination with Records Management Archivist Christie Peterson, and Graduate Coordinator Ben Gillespie they have identified and contacted current student group leaders to facilitate the transfer of materials to the archives for the use of future researchers. As a pilot project, they will be bringing in a number of collections this semester, as well as building relationships and guidance for future transfers.

The History of Student Life collaboration was just one element of the ongoing Hopkins Retrospective initiative by the Office of the President. In addition to commissioning of a book-length history of JHU by Professor Leslie, the initiative has brought JHU history to new audiences through a popular Tumblr and courses exploring various elements of Hopkins’ past. Recruitment is currently underway for a new Hopkins Retrospective Program Manager, who is also expected to conduct and produce a significant number of oral histories with faculty, alumni and staff.

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