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Carter, Hilda R.; Jenswold, John R. / The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: a history, 1916-1976

Foreword,   p. vii PDF (466.5 KB)

Page vii

We are pleased to publish this history of the 
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire during its 60th 
anniversary year. The authors have presented a 
warm and living story of the growth and develop- 
ment of an American institution of higher learning. 
The narrative is written within the background of 
the political, social and educational climate that 
existed during each of the significant periods of 
this growth.... 
This history of this university parallels that of 
several hundred similar institutions which evolved 
from regional normal schools of the first quarter 
of the 20th century to multi-purpose comprehensive 
undergraduate universities (and in many instances 
graduate and research institutions as well) during 
the third quarter of the century. The University 
of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was the last of nine state 
normal schools built in Wisconsin between 1866 and 
1916. In this 60th year of its operation it has 
grown to be the largest of those original normal 
schools. Because of the foresight of the State of 
Wisconsin in the late 19th and early 20th century, 
higher education needs were met in this state with- 
out the creation of any additional public four-year 
degree granting institutions of higher learning until 
the year 1969 when new universities were created 
at Green Bay and Parkside. 
Even as the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 
is representative of the national development of 
these emerging universities (sometimes referred to 
as people's colleges to recognize the opportunities 
made available to low income families and to en- 
courage first generation college students), the in- 
stitution also symbolizes the commitment of the 
people of the State of Wisconsin to higher education. 
The reader is made aware of the simple but 
significant beginnings of an institution created to 
enable teaching to become a profession. Then, as 
the history unfolds, regional liberal education op- 
portunities associated with the arts, letters and 
sciences were to make life richer and more meaning- 
ful for the many students who matriculated as well 
as all members of the community who received an- 
cillary benefits and rewards. Subsequently, in re- 
sponse to a statewide demand for professional 
personnel, the writers trace the establishment and 
growth of fully accredited professional programs. 
In this historical account, the learning advantages 
of a small college atmosphere, the enhancement of 
instruction abetted by the commitment of dedicated 
teachers and staff members, and the unique recog- 
nition of the potentialities of each student are re- 
peated again and again by anecdote and record. 
On behalf of the university I express appreciation 
to Mrs. Hilda Richardson Carter and her associates 
for the preparation of a manuscript which provides 
a wealth of vital information presented in form and 
style to hold the interest of the general reader. Mrs. 
Carter writes with a background of many years of 
association with the University of Wisconsin-Eau 
Claire as a community leader outside the university 
family and, more recently, as a valued member of 
the faculty. Mr. Jenswold contributes to the knowl- 
edge and interpretation of the role of the university 
from the point of view of the student and as a re- 
search scholar. The product provides a record that 
will broaden the perspective of those who have been 
associated with this university. All who read this 
history will have a better understanding of the most 
dynamic period of higher education history. 
-Leonard Haas 
April, 1976 

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