Digging out Ott Hall

The old adage says that a picture is worth a thousand words. So how about a thousand pictures? What do they have to say?

This question comes to mind during a cleaning out of the filing cabinets in the basement of Ott Hall. Doing such revealed a multitude of photographs covering the expanse of the campus’ existence.

This semester I am serving as an intern in the communications office and I have been given the opportunity to work on this project. I have spent hours looking at old photographs, recognizing some familiar faces and seeing the journey Eastern has taken to the place it is now.

Ott Hall, which houses, among other departments, Eastern’s communications office, contains the photographic history of the university. Through photographs and projects created by the communications office, Eastern’s history has been visually preserved.

“Keeping the pictures is like the artifacts for the university history,” Patti Singleton, campus photographer said. “There are also some from the seminary.”

These photographs hold memories of Eastern that go beyond the classroom. They are the candid shots of students and a plethora of precious moments captured through film. They are the visual timeline that provides a face to Eastern’s memories.

“It’s the university’s history,” Singleton said. “If it is destroyed that destroys what we are and what we have become.”

The photographs date back as far as the 1950’s, showing an Eastern that today’s student would not recognize. From transformations in scenery and buildings to the ever-changing faces of students and faculty, these images reveal the tremendous growth Eastern has experienced throughout its existence.

Among the photographs are all of the past projects created by the communications office over the years, which provides an interesting look into all the different events Eastern has been involved with.

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