Looking Back: Vanderbilt Before 1900 – March – September 2018

March-September 2018, Special Collections Library

Established in 1873, the rich beginning of Vanderbilt University can be understood through letters from its founders, on display in the Special Collections Library. Correspondence between Cornelius Vanderbilt and Bishop Holland N. McTyeire highlight some of the earliest plans for the campus, from the construction of the first buildings to the planting of the very first trees, some of which are still standing. Their writings also document the university’s name change from “Central University of the Methodist Episcopal Church South” to “Vanderbilt University.” Historic photographs, student publications, and treasures from the first cohorts in Greek letter fraternities, sports and athletic teams, and various clubs show how much is shared between the centuries of students who have stood on Vanderbilt’s grounds, and how much has changed since the first campus map from 1897.

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