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The Triangle: Class Explores Campus History

Archives present student work

By: David Stephenson

Although thousands pass him by each day, few actually know of the all-star alumnus for whom who Mario the Dragon is named.

Even fewer students know the story of a long lost chandelier that once hung in the Great Court of Main but disappeared after a massive explosion rocked the campus and damaged buildings along Market Street.

But these stories from Drexel's past, and more, and now being unveiled by a group of inquisitive students from professor Sheryl P. Simons's fall 2010 English 101 course.

The Drexel Archives have been presenting works from Drexel students in Simon's class about the history of their school. Although many of the posts have already been published, all of the essays are available on the Drexel University Libraries website.

"I think what we're trying to do is get students excited about the history of their school," Robert Sieczkiewicz, University Archivist, said.

Essays that are already available on the site cover the mystery surrounding the chandelier from the Great Hall, the story behind the financier who founded the University and the history of women in Drexel sports.

The posts are slated to run through March, with students delving into new topics on the Wednesday of each week.

For students interested in the history of their school, the University archives have a wide selection of primary sources covering the development of the University. Sieczkiewicz said that the Archives department supported many other projects around the University.

He also said that this was not the first time that student works were selected to be featured on the Archives blog. In fact, if students are interesting in doing research with the Drexel archives and then have their works published on the blog, Sieczkiewicz said he would be willing to work with those students to develop their blog posts.

Sieczkiewicz also said that Simon's spring class will be doing a second series of posts, this time on historical and current research innovations developed at Drexel, that will be publish as the spring term comes to a close.

Visit The Triangle online.


Stephenson, David. "Class Explores Campus History." The Triangle. Philadelphia, PA. 11 Feb 2011. Web. 11 Feb 2011.

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