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'From Humble Beginnings': Library Exhibit Celebrates 125 Years at USU

Thursday, Mar. 07, 2013


USU track coach Ralph Maughan and athlete L. Jay Sylvester

L. Jay Sylvester, with Ralph Maughan, was an All-American in shot put and discus. An Olympian, he won the silver medal in 1972. He is among those highlighted in an exhibit at USU's Merrill-Cazier Library. (photo: USU Special Collections and Archives)


Utah State University celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, and Founders Day activities March 8 officially kick off the celebration. From its humble beginnings, Utah State has grown over the years to emerge as one of the nations respected and leading land-grant institutions.

To celebrate the birthday and recognize the university’s accomplishments over the decades, USU’s University Libraries has assembled an exhibit that showcases prominent but, perhaps, not well-known students through the decades.

The exhibit features photos of the select students and views of campus through the decades. Ten students, representing decades from the 1890s to the 1990s, are highlighted.  Accomplishments range from the land to space and from business to the arts.

Extensive narratives on each student are included in the exhibit that can be seen at the Merrill-Cazier Library’s atrium now through March 27. The exhibit is free and open to everyone.

From artists to Olympic athletes and international irrigation experts to a community activist, the students’ accomplishments are impressive. And while many could have been recognized, University Libraries shares the accomplishments of 10 students who got their start at Utah State University. By graduation date, those highlighted in the exhibit include Thomas Hyrum Humphreys (1897), Luther M. Winsor (1911), Mignon Barker Richmond (1921), Edward P. Cliff (1931), L. Tom Perry (1949), L. Jay Sylvester (1958), W. Brent Robinson (1966), Mary Cleave (1975, 1980), Norah Abdullah Al-Faiz (1982) and Russell Case (1990).

Narratives for the exhibit were written by University Archivist Bob Parson and the exhibit was designed by Kristin Heal.

**Watch Utah State University Archivist Robert “Bob” Parson’s talk “A Few Things I’ve learned while Working in the Archives,” the 2013 Spring Friends of Merrill-Cazier Library Lecture.

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