By John Prendergast  
100 Years of the Gazette

 


 

 

SIDEBAR:

 

On November 14, 1902, the first issue of what is now The Pennsylvania Gazette appeared.

In a lot of ways it bore little resemblance to the current incarnation. For one thing, it had a different name: Olde Penn. And it wasn’t a magazine at all, but a newspaper, eight more or less tabloid-sized pages long, published every Saturday during the academic year and available by subscription for $1 annually or for 5 a copy. In other respects, it was pretty similar. The story lineup would be familiar to any current reader—articles on new campus buildings and an archaeological expedition, sports news, book reviews, etc. (For more details, please see “Decade by Decade.”)

The University was already a century-and-a-half old when its alumni magazine was born, but just 30 years had passed since the move to West Philadelphia. The creation of the campus we know today can be traced in the Gazette’s pages—along with some projects that fortunately never got beyond the drawing board, like the “University Tower” at 36th and Locust proposed in 1948. Along with that physical expansion came the University’s development into an institution of true national and international stature, with a faculty and student population to match. Perhaps most of all, the magazine is a treasure trove of information about Penn traditions and rituals, student attitudes, and daily life on campus over the course of a tumultuous century.

Though it’s admittedly a cliché, examining the back issues of the Gazette is like paging through an old photo album—a bit of embarrassment, quite a few surprises, and, mostly, fascination with all that has changed and stayed the same.

Here, some pictures from the album.





 

 
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