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DePauw's "Warm and Friendly Atmosphere" to Welcome Britain's Harold Macmillan Today: Chicago Tribune

June 8, 1958

Harold Macmillan.jpgJune 8, 1958, Greencastle, Ind. - "This afternoon, for the first time, a serving British prime minister will address a midwestern university at commencement," begins a feature story in today's Chicago Tribune magazine. "The place is Greencastle, Ind., the quiet elm and maple shaded seat of DePauw University. There some 6,000 students, alumni and friends are gathering to hear Prime Minister Harold Macmillan deliver an address which may be as important as Winston Churchill's now famous 'Iron Curtain' speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., 12 years ago."

The Tribune's Gordon Gould goes on to provide readers with a history of DePauw, noting, among other things, that "in 1867, Indiana Asbury became one of the first American colleges to go co-ed."East College Owl.jpg

It also writes of "the center of campus life," East College. "The old vine covered red brick building, whose modified Gothic design was intended to reflect the vaulting ideals and ambitions of the university, has watched the student body grow from 450 to 2,000, seen the addition of a music and nursing school, and witnessed the development of a $6.26 million campus of 32 buildings."

Gould reports, "At one time, East College housed the president's office and the library; now it is used for classes in foreign languages and home economics and as a repository for the university archives. High ceilinged Meharry Hall still serves for occasional chapel meetings, lectures and concerts. A few young modernists would like to see the building torn down and replaced with a new one. But theirs is a futile hope. It is a measure of the affection with which most DePauw graduates regard East College that when the stairs leading up to Meharry Hall were retreaded some years ago, an avalanche of letters descended on the university asking foreast college 1978.jpg bits and pieces of the old wood as keepsakes."

The lengthy text also details the traditions of East College's bell. Gould concludes, "This afternoon, during the commencement ceremonies, the old bell will chime the hours as usual, its mellow song echoing back thru the decades. For Prime Minister Macmillan, whose grandfather was a DePauw graduate, and for the outsiders who come to hear him speak, the bell will be merely a pleasant background to DePauw's warm and friendly atmopshere. For the students and old grads, who know the significance of its peal, it will have the historic ring of Big Ben."

Learn more about today's commencement, which will take place at Blackstock Stadium and will be televised by NBC, in this previous story.

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