OK — all readers who have degrees from Wayne State University raise your hands! I’ll bet there are lots of hands in the air now, including my own. I earned a master’s degree in history from Wayne in 1987. Indeed, there are thousands of Wayne State graduates around the world. I was reminded of this as the university celebrates its 150th birthday this year. So, naturally, I wondered what would I find in the Davidson Digital Archives?
Wayne State traces its roots to the founding of the Detroit Medical College (now the School of Medicine) founded in 1868. Since that time, a group of colleges, such as the Detroit Normal Training School (“normal” colleges specialized in training teachers) and the Detroit Junior College, both of which, along with the medical school, became the College of the City of Detroit before becoming Wayne University in 1934. In 1959, Wayne became the state university we now know, a world-class research university that produced some of the Detroit Jewish community’s leading citizens like Eugene Driker, the late William Davidson and the late Eugene Applebaum.
The first story I could find was on the front page of the Feb. 2, 1934, issue of the Detroit Jewish Chronicle and the Legal Chronicle (note that for a few years, The Chronicle had two names). It reported that Dr. Lawrence Seltzer, professor of economics at Wayne University, had been appointed to a federal advisory board.
But, just entering Wayne State University in the search revealed 16,867 pages from the JN and The Chronicle, where the university was mentioned in a story. That’s of lot of coverage about a lot of Wayne State students, graduates and programs! I also found photos of Jewish students participating in Hillel at Wayne State, now known as Hillel of Metro Detroit. Happy birthday, Wayne!
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.