UK celebrates staff with historical reception

Reinette Jones, a librarian at the UK library of special collections looks at rare images from UK’s history at a sesquicentennial staff reception in the M.I King library. Tuesday, February 24, 2015 in Lexington. Photo by Joel Repoley

By Anne Halliwell

[email protected]

Staff and students browsed black-and-white views of UK’s history at the University of Kentucky Sesquicentennial Faculty/Staff Reception and Exhibition in the Special Collections section of the M. I. King Library on Tuesday.

The triangular pillars displayed rarely-seen “negative collection” photos of old classrooms and views of a sparser, smaller campus.

Paula Pope, one for the sesquicentennial celebration co-chairs, recognized a photo of the chapel that used to be located on the second floor of the Main Building.

“Dr. Patterson (the first president of UK) presided over chapel,” Pope, who has worked at UK for 33 years, said. “And he signed every single person up for classes, he told you what you would take.”

Pope also recalled a story she’d heard about a group of students who tied Patterson’s horse to the pillars in the chapel before service one morning.

“Apparently he just ignored it,” she added.

She also noted that the original switchboard for the entire university, which held only a few phones, “wouldn’t work for even one building today.”

Deirdre Scaggs, the other celebration co-chair, who organized the event, said the photos were taken by a group of engineering faculty who documented much of the campus in the early 1900s.

“Some of (the photos) have been widely seen (but) some haven’t,” Scaggs said. “These show everyday scene … and everyday men and women, which I wanted for this.”