Handy Summary: That Wonderful Year

Pat Thomas
The Excalibur, May 15, 1967

October saw the first protest of the year -- a march against women's hours. On the lighter side, Shimer appeared in Glamour, Student Government was thrown into confusion for weeks trying to elect a J-Board, and Dr. Magill's first production at Shimer, "The Skin of Our Teeth" was well received.

On the first day of November the Frances Shimer Dulectones made their appearance outside a Tuesday-night dress dinner, and rendered the Alma Mater for the second time that year. College-Community relations were the big thing for the month-with President Mullin as a write-in candidate for U.S. Congress in the local elections, and $8,000 raised by the College's local fund drive.

The November 21 faculty meeting was many varied-with the announcement by President Mullin of Mr. Cowan's appointment as Dean of Faculty and Vice President of the College and the approval of the faculty of the curriculum revision plan. Faculty student relations were improved by the victory of Mrs. Jean Schmelling, French instructor, in the Plonsker-Bain Poll. November ended with the announcement made by Dean of Faculty Denis Cowan to 72 students that their academic standing was jeopardized by their lack of participation in the physical education program.

On December 1 Cowan's appointment as Dean of Faculty and Vice President was made known to the student body, and on that same day he accompanied President Mullin and student Bull Bahr to the UREHE Conference in Denver.

Something in the December air made Student Government resolve to end the creeping apathy on campus. A week long campaign by the Apathy Committee climaxed on December with a panel discussion featuring students, faculty, and administrators. Three days later Dr. David Weiser received a letter from George Burditt, chairman of the Board of Trustees, suggesting that he resign. Apathy hasn't been mentioned since. The day after Weiser received the Burditt letter, President Mullin issued his oft-mentioned statement on drugs, disunity, rumor, etc.

December ended right in the middle of things - the basketball team won its first game of the season, John Bellairs's "St. Fidgeta" was chosen as a course reading for Hum II, and C. Mathews Dick was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees, replacing Burditt.

Most students spent January far away from Mt. Carroll and through their absence missed the Great Twister of '67.

When classes began in February, statistics had undergone major changes: 89 students had gone, and of these 11 had graduated; 25 students had entered at mid-year; Dr. Weiser, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Richardson, and Mrs. Miller were on leave; Mr. Nicola and Mrs. Bauer had been hired full-time and Mrs. Richter and Mrs. Buchanan had been hired part-time; Mr. And Mrs. Keohane had gone to England; and Mr. Golding and Mr. McBride had assumed new area chairmanships.

Another new alliance was formed when the Society for Liberal Education held its organizational meeting. The end of the month was crowed with "happenings" - Dr. Weiser resigned on the 19th, and on the 21st the year's second committee, the Student Committee on College Affairs, was formed. One of the year's musical highlights, the Funesral March in memory of the College, was held the next night. The month ended with a fireside chat with Mr. Jordan attended by the majority of the student body.

In March still another committee was formed - this time the Student Voice group. SV members were elected following a fireside chat with President Mullin one Saturday afternoon and a Student Association meeting that night. It was a good month for resignations: Stafford G. Davis resigned as Vice-President in charge of Development, Alan Weiner resigned as chairman of J-Board, Edward Okin resigned as treasurer of SG, David Wayne resigned as chairman of SG, and Stephen and Marie Visher left The Excalibur to the present staff.

A month was no sense of reverence, March was the time of Green Curtain's production of "The Hostage," and the new sculpture studio was in full swing. The quote of the month is from a Shimer news release dated March 10, which says, "Shimer College director of Admissions, Ralph Hough, announced today that the enrollment of new students for the fall term is running of excess of 50% higher than last year at this time."

At the end of March school closed for Spring vacation, and during that week construction began on the KKP - the Old barn was leveled.

April brought visitors to campus - Miss Mildred Henry from the Center for Research and Development in Higher Education and Dr. Richard Challener, consultant hired by the Board of Trustless. Before the end of the month both of their reports had been delivered, but only Miss Henrys paper was within the public domain. News of grants and loans showered down on Shimer, especially for the construction of the new library.

Dr. Hirschfield, Mrs. Jordan and Mr. Green resigned during the last half of the month, which brought the total to four faculty members on leave 10 who had resigned.

May is only half over, but promises to be as active an exciting as any month so far. Already Dr. Gatch and Mr. Richardson have resigned, the great report slip protest has taken place, and the Alumni's visit to campus had been kicked off by a Beulah Bondi Fan Club rally.

No one would have believed this at the beginning of the year.

David Weiser Resigns

The Excalibur, March 6, 1967

     David W. Weiser, teacher, administrator, and curator of Shimer ideals, resigned on Sunday, February 19 ending a ten-year association with Shimer. "This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make," Weiser commented as he made permanent his leave-of-absence, this climaxing his involvement in the current faculty-administration tensions.
     President Mullin accepted Weiser's resignation on February 24; on February 26, Weiser left Mt. Carroll for Ithaca, New York, where has accepted a post-doctoral research fellowship at Cornell University.
     Weiser's Shimer career began in 1957, when he took office as Dean of Faculty. The position had been vacant for several years and thus required total reorganization. A major task that Weiser tackled was the survey of Shimer's goals and methods, curriculum, and faculty in an attempt to gain Shimer's accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Colleges and Universities. His task paid off in 1958 when the college gains membership.

A Voice of Dissent - Jordan fireside chat

The Excalibur, March 6, 1967

[Robert] Jordan emphasized that it was personal leadership...in which Mullin has been particularly deficient. He said that at a forward-looking and somewhat unique institution like Shimer, a great deal of personal leadership is an essential quality for a good president.

Olson Joins "dissidents"

The Excalibur, March 20, 1967

Contrary to the apparent belief of its President, faculties like Shimer's are not easily replaced. Vice-Presidents, Deans of Faculty, and Area Chairmen do not come a dime a dozen. Talented writers like Mr. Bellairs and Mr. Miller are not found on many small campuses.

From TIME to TIME: An editorial by the Excalibur editor-in-chief and managing editor

The Excalibur, March 20, 1967

We came to Shimer three or four years ago as the idealistic children of our parents. We came eagerly from the East and the West seeking the Shimer College of TIME Magazine, April 1963. We joined this community of scholars, this family of intellect, to participate in experimental education, to develop our critical skills, to learn and to grow.

Students Want Unity, Power

The Excalibur, March 6, 1967

The week's second Student Association meeting on Saturday night, opening with a statement on the situation at Shimer, pointing out that "neither faculty, administration, or students have defined their positions in the community."

Rather Fight Than Switch

The Excalibur, March 6, 1967

Over 250 students gathered in Hostetter Lounge last Saturday afternoon for their requested fireside chat with President F.J. Mullin. Some students read previously prepared questions, but most relied on spontaneous inquiry.

Members of the Shimer faculty

A letter to the Shimer Board of Trust, March 10, 1967

We the undersigned members of the faculty of Shimer College utterly reject the following statements of President Mullin as quoted in the press...

More resignations

The Excalibur, May 1, 1967

     Robert E. Jordan resigned April 15 without having secured a position for the coming year. He has taught in the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Analysis areas. Since he has been at Shimer, Mr. Jordan has been a true representative of his special interests, "people and the universe and fishing and kids."
     John M. Hirschfield, known to his students as "Dr. John," announced his resignation on Tuesday, April 18, ending a ten-year career at Shimer. He has accepted a teaching job next fall at Park College, Kansas City, Missouri. Of his Shimer career, Dr. John commented that he has been here long enough so that tow of his former students, Alan and Nancy Dowty, are now fellow faculty members. He said, "I don't regret one moment; it was an exciting experience."
     James M. Green, current Registrar and History instructor announced his resignation Friday April 28 to be effective August 31, 1967. Mr. Green has been at Shimer since 1960. Asked to comment on his resignation, Mr. Green reported he had noting to say. He felt that there had been enough said already.

Chicken races draw crowd of enthusiasts

The Excalibur, May 1, 1967

The Shimer College Sprints held on April 22 proved to be worthy of a place of honor of the racing world. Although chicken racing does not get as much publicity, you have as wide a following as more popular racing forms, chicken racing aficionados are much more devoted to the sport than fans of any sport. Those who were able to attend, braving gusty winds and near-freezing temperatures, were not disappointed. They witnessed one of the great chicken races ion recorded sports history.

"GIS Casualty count" for the past week

The Excalibur, May 15, 1967

     12 -- Faculty and administrators have resigned.
     9 -- Faculty have not resigned but do not intend to return next semester.

President Mullin Quits

The Excalibur, November 13, 1967

     Only faculty and administrative personnel were present at the meeting, which was held under tight security, provided by the maintenance staff. Dr. Mullin spoke for the first forty minutes and answered several questions from faculty members. At 4:40 he left the meeting and went to his office on the first floor of Metcalf. Vice-President Cowan chaired the meeting, which lasted until 5:10.