Lee McNeely ’62 greets a classmate on the library stairs.

Librarian Larry Frye handed out books to returning alums according to their former academic major

(click on photos to see larger image)


Summer/Fall 2002

Class of ’62 Re-enacts
the Great Library Move of 1958

Class Agent Terry Fewell leads his classmates from Detchon Hall (formerly Yandes Hall) to Lilly Library in a re-enactment of the January 4, 1959 "Great Library Move"

“The weather’s sure a lot better!” was the unanimous initial observation by members of the Class of 1962 as they gathered to re-enact a moment in Wabash history—the moving of 100,000 books from Yandes Hall to the new Lilly Library on a frigid morning on January 4, 1959.

Class Agent Terry Fewell organized the re-enactment, a highlight of his class’s 40th reunion, during Commencement Weekend. Current Librarian Larry Frye assisted, handing out book to each alumnus according to his major. Even some of the boxes were updates of the originals (note the Miller High Life container in the 1959 and 2002 photos!).

“The temperature’s a lot warmer, and the load’s a lot lighter,” Fewell noted with a smile. “And we had to go back several times in 1959.”

Here’s how the Journal Review reported the move in 1959e:

Wabash College students returned from their two-week holiday Monday to find zero temperatures and physical as well as academic labors awaiting them.
Despite the cold and two inches of snow underfoot, they were enlisted to move about 100,000 books into the College’s new Lilly Library.

Because of the weather conditions, Librarian Don Thompson arranged to use trucks to haul the books from Yandes Library Hall to the new building. When the trucks did not turn up at 8 a.m. Monday, he reverted to the original plan of having students use heavy cardboard containers to carry the books across the 100-yard stretch between the two buildings.

The move occurred without interruption and with only one casualty—a painful sprained ankle incurred by Professor Vic Powell.


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