While good-spirited enthusiasm marked many an event like the Roosevelt visit, one year-end campus activity was not to be missed, especially by the freshmen: Moving Up Day. "It is the time when the three lower classes move up one row of seats in chapel and the seniors return to the freshman row," the Forum reported. "By this movement freshmen cease to be fresh and are considered sophomores." On that Friday morning in spring 1899, the freshmen gathered with "tin horns and devils' fiddles" and paraded to the chapel. After moving up, they stoked a big bonfire in front of the library (now the Tolley Administration Building), played music, and burned the Class of 1903 in effigy. A couple weeks later, the seniors stepped out into the world with parting advice from Chancellor Day. Known as one of the country's leading pulpit orators, Day delivered a baccalaureate sermon that was "one of the most, if not the most, powerful, eloquent, profound and inspiring discourses ever delivered in Syracuse," the Forum reported.|
"You are coming to a large age, the mightiest men ever have known," Day told the graduates. "Come with large ideas. If you find it larger than your notions do not try to dwarf things to your small views, but widen your horizon by thought and study and experience and interpret worthily the movements of the Divine Providence-in your nation, for instance, by tremendous events.... The discovery of the practical uses of steam, of lightning, the possibility of the conquest of space and time have made necessary the massing of large capital and called for executive brains not exceeded by the headship of nations. All of this belongs to the age, is of its proportions. It can no more be stayed than can the rising of the tides of the sea or the courses of the stars.
"Educated in this great age you are to go forth in sympathy with its spirit and with a largeness of appreciation worthy of its grand movements. You are to carry to it your training and culture.... You will best vindicate your alma mater and honor your instruction here if you be apt, strong, clear-brained students in the world into which we send you with our blessing."
While knowing the Alma Materis certainly a necessity, it's a mere snippet of the material packed into the 1998-99 Syracuse University Student Handbook.Like its predecessor of a century ago, today's handbook is a valuable aid for newcomers acquainting themselves with campus life. Published by the Office of Student Programs, it provides basic campus information and contacts, including e-mail and web addresses, an alphabetically arranged help guide, and a section on student rights and responsibilities. "It's an excellent resource," says student programs director Charles Merrihew, who serves as the handbook's editor and oversees its production. "I don't suppose students sit up at night reading it, but it can answer specific questions or at least jump-start them in the right direction."
Beginning each fall, Merrihew works with a team of students on updating and revising the handbook, which is sent to press the following summer. Additions to this year's handbook include the University's new policies on computing and electronic communication, and alcohol and other drugs. For the third year, the handbook is posted on the web (http://students.syr.edu/handbook/). Each year, Merrihew and the students weave a different theme throughout the publication, such as fun facts or questions and answers about SU. This year's theme is architectural diversity.
Cover designers Cheryl Hock '98 and Kate Berten '99 combed the campus, photographing pieces of architecture and other items to represent letters of the alphabet. Each letter-with an accompanying historical nugget or fact connecting it to the University-was used on the cover and as a section head in the A-Z help guide. The guide traverses territory from art galleries and places to shop to parking and internships. "We looked for letters wherever we could and wanted to represent the diversity of the schools and colleges," Berten says. "There were a few tough ones and it took longer than we anticipated, but it was fun."
They found the "C," for example, in a sample of calcite in the lobby of the Heroy Geology Laboratory, and the "D" came from a detail of a sculpture in the College of Nursing. Berten, a communications design major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, remembers walking up the hill from the Schine Student Center and looking at the Hall of Languages. "The 'I' was right there on the east side of the building," she says. "Now I look at campus as a series of letters."
Kelly Brennan '99, an advertising major in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, worked as an editor on the project. She says it was a good learning experience that increased her knowledge of campus. "Before, I would occasionally look at the handbook to try to find something," she says. "After working on it, I know where to tell people to go. If you use it, you'll know who to contact, and there are great ideas for things to do if you're not from around here."
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