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Annual Homecoming Display in Library Celebrates Ohio University's Past

Bailey Fink
September 26, 2019
Homecoming at Alden 2019
Graphic design by Herbert Frimpong / Ohio University Libraries

OHIO Homecoming is an exciting time for both current and past Bobcats alike, and while the week is jam-packed with events, many still make time to stop by the annual homecoming display on the fourth floor of Alden Library

This year’s display will be up from Tuesday, Oct. 8 at noon through Saturday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. The display will feature 19 tables of primary source materials including photographs, student publications — such as The Post, the Green and White, the Green Goat and the Ohioan — sports programs, campus maps, yearbooks, scrapbooks and other OHIO memorabilia. Additionally, posters representing years of University events will serve as the backdrop to the display tables.

“[These] historic materials … help to tell the unique and fascinating story of Ohio University, especially from the student’s perspective,” said Bill Kimok, university archivist and records manager, interim co-department head of arts and archives and the display’s curator. “We put out so much stuff that I am confident that people can come here two or three or four years in a row and still find new things in the display.”


Homecoming Exhibit 2016
Photo by John Michael Simpson / Ohio University Libraries

About the photo:
Ohio University is deeply rooted in history. During the 2016 homecoming, Kimok speaks with alumna Abby Hopkins (2015) and her mother Tammy Hopkins about a photo of the historic 1968 flood on campus.

Originally, the homecoming display was placed in Baker because that was where the natural traffic of students and alumni would pass through on the way to the football game, according to Kimok. However, about 10 years ago, Kimok decided to move the display to Alden Library because the Libraries houses all of the University Archives in the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections.

“The Library is already a natural place for students to see such a display during their daily routine or with their classes, and I have been trying to make the Library a traditional place for the alumni to visit when they return, as well,” said Kimok.

Kimok says if attendees pay close attention to the different photos of the Library buildings, they will notice the Library was housed in multiple places around campus before Alden was built — including present-day Scripps Hall and Chubb Hall.

“[The] display is designed to educate present-day students about the differences and similarities of their lives here today and the lives and times of college students of the past,” explained Kimok. “It often gives the current students a sense of familiarity with — and belonging to — something that is larger than just the four years, or so, that they will spend here as students.”

 The Libraries staff encourages everyone to stop by the exhibit and view the items. Additionally, Kimok says he can usually be found near the display and encourages viewers to ask him questions or recommend new items for the display.

“The fun [part] for me is watching other people choose their favorite things and then talk to whomever is around them — their kids, their friends, their classmates — about whatever among the items interests them,” he said.