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Old Main on fire.

Old Main, built in 1856-57, burned in 1904. Shevlin Hall was later built on the site.

From the pages of history

Moments in University history from the pages of the alumni journal, now called Minnesota

From M, fall 2004

100 years ago... Fire destroyed Old Main, the University's first building, on September 26, 1904. The opening lines of the Minnesota Alumni Weekly noted the event: "Remember the Main. That is all there is left for us now. The students who have used the old building of late years...can hardly appreciate the feeling of real affection with which the older alumni look back to the old building, which held the whole University as they knew it."

75 years ago... In Bronko Nagurski's final Gopher football season, assistant ticket manager L.L. Schroeder wrote in the Alumni Weekly on the perennial question, "Who gets all the good tickets?" The answer: student rooters (7,284 ticket holders in 1929) got first pick; then faculty, staff, and former letter winners; players' families and friends; visiting students and alumni; season-ticket holders; and, finally, single-game ticket buyers. Within those groups, priority was given to those who had donated money toward building the five-year-old Memorial Stadium.

50 years ago... "It seems to me that in this particular time of fear, tension, trouble, witch hunts, the rising tide of anti-intellectualism, and attacks on personal freedoms, the universities need the help of their alumni more than at any other time in their history. If the alumni can't understand the unique place, value, and contribution of the universities and the fact that all human progress comes from the unfettered exercise of the human mind, then how can anyone else understand?" From a speech by U graduate Fred Hovde, (B.A. '29), then president of Purdue University, at the 1954 Alumni Day dinner in Coffman Union, reprinted in Minnesota Alumni Voice, July-August 1954.

25 years ago... A University delegation led by Board of Regents chair Wenda Moore met with U alumni in the People's Republic of China in September 1979. According to Minnesota magazine, 42 Chinese alumni, most of whom had graduated in the 1950s or earlier and who were among China's top scientists and academics, traveled up to 1,000 miles to attend the events in Beijing. The gatherings marked the first time an American university group had met with its Chinese alumni. "You can't really appreciate how difficult it must have been for them to have to ignore any foreign connection and now to be able to stand up and talk with pride about their fond memories," Moore said later.

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