Shippensburg University is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a year of special events and activities. As part of celebrations, two graduate students launched an online interactive photo timeline of the university’s history. Tara Quinlivan and CJ Meiser, applied history majors, created the timeline, according to a university press release.
Quinlivan and Meiser put their historian skills to work while searching through the university archives for 150 historical events to showcase. The timeline begins in 1871 when SU was founded as the Cumberland Valley Normal School, to the renaming of the school, listing events through 2018.
“It was exciting to have my eyes on newspapers, photos, letters, scrapbooks, yearbooks and pamphlets from students, faculty and alumni from the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was intriguing to see how traditions and college life has changed from generation to generation,” Quinlivan said.
She said it was hard at times to pick and choose events for the timeline, noting the vast history of the university community.
The timeline includes how major historic events impacted the lives of SU students, including those who served in World War I.
Meiser said some of the stories were moving and surprising. The graduate student shared a story from 1948, when the men’s basketball team was set to play the Hagerstown Junior College team. Hagerstown was still segregated at the time and would not let one of the SU basketball players participate because he was Black. SU forfeited the game to stand in solidarity with their fellow Raider.
Both graduate students saw SU students were consistently committed to engagement and activism throughout the university’s history, the press release said.
“Tara and CJ’s contribution to this project has prepared them to work as professional historians,” said Christy Fic, associate professor and university archivist and special collections librarian.
SU will hold various events throughout the year celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary. For 150th-related events and news, visit 150.ship.edu. The website includes student and alumni events like Homecoming, a digital hall of presidents and contact information for the planning committee, to view the timeline, visit 150.ship.edu/timeline.