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All The Hoos in Hooville: 175 Years of Life at the University of Virginia

May 28, 1999 -- In 1899, William F. Halsey wanted to attend the Naval Academy. When his appointment did not come through, the young Halsey decided to study medicine at the University of Virginia.

Here he flunked two courses, barely passed two others, broke the leg of the star quarterback in a scrimmage, and routinely scared guests with an anatomy class skeleton propped up by his bedside. He lasted two years, before finally receiving his coveted Academy appointment and heading off to make history of another kind.

On Aug. 29, 1945, Admiral William F. Halsey, already a distinguished war hero, stood on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri as a participant in the Japanese surrender ceremony that officially ended World War II.

Interesting tales such as that of Halsey fill the cases of the new Alderman Library exhibition, "All the Hoos in Hooville: 175 Years of Life at the University of Virginia," which explores the history of the University through the lives of its students and its faculty. The exhibit opens June 1 and runs through Oct. 30.

It is an eclectic montage of the University, according to curator Jeanne C. Pardee, a gathering of items long stored in the University Archives, not unlike one's family memorabilia, awaiting a new generation's discovery. From the letters of Thomas Jefferson and the minutes of early Board of Visitors' meetings to the papers of 20th century University presidents, faculty, and students, the Archives is a vital repository of historical materials that reflect the life and times of the University.

Photos and mementos from famous -- and infamous -- faculty and alumni tell the story of the University's founding. Represented are the history of the Honor System, athletics, the admission of women and African-American students, and the participation of University students in wars that span decades, including the Civil War, both World Wars, and the Vietnam War.

There's a 1909 letter from Civil War veteran and former student John Singleton Mosby, "the Gray Ghost," that calls the fatal game-day concussion of U.Va. halfback Archer Christian a "murder" and describes football as "barbarous amusement."

As this letter shows, the exhibit does not shy away from controversial issues nor does it exclude the more social aspects of student life. All have been included -- Easters, fraternity life, and the shenanigans of the University's secret and not-so-secret societies. Also unearthed from the archives were such wonderful items as a 1933 baseball card of the University's only baseball Hall of Famer, Eppa Rixey; the Imp Society's Hot Foot crown; and a professor's grade cards for Erskine Caldwell, who went on to become the famed writer and author of "Tobacco Road."

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Special Collections is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday throughout the summer.

For more information about the exhibition, contact Heather Moore at (804)924-4966 or by e-mail at mhm8m@virginia.edu.

Contact: Carol Wood, (804) 924-6189.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Top news site edited by Jane Ford (jford@virginia.edu); maintained by Karen Asher (kac@virginia.edu); releases posted by Suzanne Raileanu (sr3r@virginia.edu).
Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Jun-1999 15:45:51 EDT
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