Students arriving at the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus may wonder who has walked the campus in the past. However, curiosities can be fed by reading Small, But Mighty: 125 Years of Leadership, Innovation and Tradition: Celebrating the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s 125th Anniversary.
125 Years was released June 2019 by the UWS Alumni Association as a complement to the 125-year anniversary of the University’s founding. Peter Nordgren (’74 graduate), an editor and member of the Alumni Board recounted that the motivation to assemble 125 Years began with an idea. In addition to an existing list of 100 outstanding alumni, created for the 100-year anniversary of UWS, the Alumni Board wanted to add 25 name to commemorate the 125-year anniversary.
The idea morphed into the goal to create the first UWS centric history book. Jamey Penney-Ritter (’97 graduate) of Bemused Design was asked to design a yearbook-style volume. While attending the meetings of the editorial board, Penney-Ritter was “amazed by Dr. Nordgren’s grasp of the university’s past and history.” She reflected that Nordgren was able to recall milestones that weren’t easily apparent to someone leading the “nose to the grindstone” life of a student.
The research of the past also let her see work she had done as a member of the Promethean. Penney-Ritter said, “It’s my history, too.” Her time with the Promethean was when she first started formatting for publication and creating advertisements – which she now does professionally.
A favorite feature of Penney-Ritter’s is on page 48 in 125 Years. A picture of a research trip to Cozumel, Mexico features Penney-Ritter and her husband. Another memorable moment is on page 115. It features a student playing the accordion from 1967.
One of Nordgren’s favorite features are on page 26. It depicts the 1971 felling of an old heating plant chimney. He recalled how in the aftermath of its felling, students streamed into the ruins to take away souvenir bricks. Nordgren also mentions that 125 Years corrects some errors in UWS’s history. For example, it affirms the 1914 Superior Normal School fire, found on page seven, happened on March 27, rather than March 17.
Copies of 125 Years may be purchased on Amazon or in the Alumni Office, and ‘Jacket Supply.